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Priced Out

Authors: Conor Cleary

Published by The Emma Press

ISBN: 9781912915255

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This pamphlet speaks, in an urbane and charmingly deadpan voice, to anyone who has ever had both an ‘obsession with luxury resources’ and the nagging feeling ‘you’ve arrived at the counter of a shop / only to be told what you’re carrying isn’t legal tender’. 

The centrepiece of Priced Out is a tender and wry sequence of sonnets addressed ‘to my mother at my age’ which explores the ‘fat promise’ of the nineties economic bubble and its deflated aftermath. Despite their sharp historical awareness, Conor Cleary’s poems live unmistakably in the twenty-first century, mapping the contours of a world of goofy Vines, flat-pack Christmas trees, and the barely-suppressed terror of economic precarity. Even as Cleary’s speakers agonise over the difficulty of living with others — ‘what if my gums / concealed big steel / fangs ... that were very / much part of me’ — poem after poem reaffirms its commitment to human connection, working towards a calmly bemused acceptance of the dangers and wonders of contemporary existence.
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