What do you do when you are a god – but powerless and unable to prevent one of your favourite species from their insatiable, accelerating death wish? Do you try to shout louder and more insistently, or instead reinvent yourself as a troubadour of romantic ruin, a barkeep, even a football manager? Such are the dilemmas posed by Rishi Dastidar in his third poetry collection Neptune’s Projects, a reshaping of mythology for the climate crisis era which gives bold consideration to the stark choices we face.
A post-apocalyptic jig and reel, these poems are compelling, deadpan yarns of the sea, full of both fury and fun, showcasing the eponymous hero as confessor, computer, and Cassandra, trying to slow our demise, despite our refusal to see ourselves careening towards it. In Neptune’s Projects the end of humanity is made wry, thrilling – and alive.
Nine Arches Press