Julian Stannard has been described as the poet of cabaret. His poems sing and weep in equal measure; a poetry of wretchedness and hilarity, of discombobulation and the bizarre. In his new collection a dead brother returns on a white horse, a musical stag slips off to New York, the Kray Twins reappear, a summer pudding is carried across a heath, a pair of buttocks escapes their owner, a couple makes love on a rain-soaked stoop, the Mongols catapult concubines over the parapets, a dead friend walks out of his grave like a twenty-first century Lazarus, a blind boy breaks into the Kelvingrove Gallery and makes off with Salvador Dali's crucifixion, Ezra Pound - half fish, half man - rises to the surface of the Venetian lagoon, and after ten years in the Cicada Lunatic Asylum the narrator finds peace in the Umbrian town of Bastardo.
Please Don't Bomb the Ghost of my Brother is international in scope and tirelessly ludic. The poems engage with the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine and personal loss. Stannard's poems sing and weep in equal measure: a poetry of wretchedness and hilarity, of discombobulation and the bizarre, mindful of lacerating loss and the redemptive power of strangeness, a special type of humour.
They supply a feast of stories.