3 minute read

May went so fast. It was a fallow period creatively for me, I put nothing on this blog and didn’t send any poems out. I hid away from the flags and jingoism. But I did leave plague island for the first time in ages and took a trip to Porto, which was delightful. I also met my newly born nephew, so a pretty good month.

Here’s what I consumed:


  • The City We Became by N. K. Jemisen- What a book. This was a present for my fiancé, which she then said I should read. I’m really glad I did because this book is fantastic, combining lovecraftian horrors with living cities. It’s also a critique of gentrification and deals with racist systemic issues. I’m really looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.

  • The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman et al- Stories of The Endless, written long after the initial, unparalleled run of the Sandman. I enjoyed catching up with Desire and Delirium, but the stories feel slight compared to the main run, side diversions from a bigger whole. Beautiful artwork though.

  • The Marketplace of Ideas by Stefan Mohamed- I picked this up after Stefan did a headline set at Tonic. Equal parts hilarious and bleak, this is poetry of the internet. I haven’t read much that feels like it captures the current twitchy feeling of being online, but this does it perfectly. His voice is completely unique .

  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata- Similar in theme and tone to Murata’s other book, Earthlings, this is less extreme but still compelling. Her characters have their own twisted logic that drives them forward, in opposition to societal expectations. I finished it quite quickly but it stayed with me.

  • Swamp Thing: The Root of All Evil by Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Phil Hester, Kim DeMulder and Tatjana Wood- I did not get on with this at all. An incoherent story that changes issue to issue, some weird art choices and panels that make it hard to follow what is going on. There’s also some graphic violence for no reason as this is Vertigo in the 90s. Maybe I’ll find the Alan Moore run instead.

  • Livestock by Hannah Berry- Grim satire about how celebrities are used as tools of power to distract from political events. The art style is bright and over the top to reflect this strange reality. It’s funny throughout, but continually undercut with a sinister subplot. Written in 2017, this feels more relevant today.


  • Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness- I’ve seen a few people complaining about this, but I thought it was one of the better Marvel films. The horror elements are played up a lot more and that is where the film shines. There’s also enough invention and unique stylings across the universes to keep it interesting. In the end though, superhero genre conventions win out and there’s lots of scenes of people hitting each other. I’d have liked to see it go full horror, instead of this strange mix of genres.

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once- The other multiverse film I watched this month. It’s got absolutely everything in- hot dogs, kung fu and taxes. It starts slowly but ramps up quickly into an amazing, multi pronged story that manages to be hilarious, weird and also deeply emotionally affecting. Michelle Yeoh is also brilliant in this, playing so many different variations on the same character. Towards the end, it reminds me of the best of Vonnegut, using scifi to talk about the human condition. This is one of the best films I’ve seen in recent years.

TV Shows

  • Moon Knight- Similar to Dr. Strange, this TV series is at it’s best when it diverges from the established Marvel formula. It’s fairly disconnected from the rest of the MCU, which I appreciated as the focus was more on this individual story, rather than an endless tease for what comes next. Oscar Isaacs has incredible physical and emotional range here, often communicating a whole new personality in a slight shift of posture. Although it ends in a superhero fight, I appreciate anything that takes as many risks as this series does.

That’s it for this month, take care out there.



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