So Glad I'm Me
Published by Bloodaxe Books
In his tenth collection, Roddy Lumsden returns to some familiar themes in his work: the trials of oneness versus twoness, the seduction of small calamities, and vice versa. And the everyday mysteries, of running water, salt and sugar, roller-skates and back-up flats.
So Glad I'm Me also contains many 'conflation poems' where Lumsden has knocked the square peg of one subject through the round hole of another, often music-related. There are poems here about many songs and musicians, ranging from cult artists like Alex Chilton and Robin Holcomb to big names like Elvis and Morrissey.
As ever, he relishes unusual words (nestlecock, twofer, farnesol) and interesting, taut forms, alongside a new strand of mid-length, discursive pieces in the spirit of Chicagoan poets Albert Goldbarth and Marianne Boruch. Lighter and less inward looking than in other recent collections, So Glad I'm Me is Lumsden's most optimistic and accessible book since The Book of Love.