Angels of Breath. "Portrait in Skin" by Kevin Brophy" and "The Islanders" by Andrew Sant. [review]
There is a story that when the saxophonist John Coltrane remarked to his bandleader Miles Davis that he didn't know how to make his solos shorter, the trumpeter replied, 'Take the instrument out of your mouth'. Knowing when to stop is a key feature of artistry. But then, strong originality often ignores such maxims. This tension came to mind when reading Andrew Sant's "The Islanders". As the title suggests, the shadowy condition of real life is at the heart of Kevin Brophy's latest book of poems. "Portrait in Skin" is continuous in style, content and sensibility with Brophy's two previous collections, "Replies to the Questionnaire on Love" (1992) and "Seeing Things" (1997), but where these were fine collections, "Portrait in Skin" is something else again.