PBS Recommendation Spring 2021
Living Weapon is a love song to the imagination, a new blade of light homing in on our political moment. A winged man plummets from the troposphere, four police officers enter a phone store, concrete pavements hang overhead. Phillips ruminates on violins and violence, on hatred and pleasure, on turning forty-three, even on the end of existence itself. His poetry reveals the limitations of our vocabulary, showing that our platitudes are inadequate to the brutal times we find ourselves in. And yet, through interrogation of allegory and symbol, names and things, time and musicality, a language of grace and urgency is found. For still our lives go on, and these are poems of survival as much as indictment. Living Weapon is a piercing, flaring collection from ‘a virtuoso poetic voice’ (Granta).