Shape-shifting serpent, the sinuous poetry of David Ly

Shape-shifting serpent, the sinuous poetry of David Ly. Author David Ly creates shape-shifter’s guide to sometimes bewilderingly fluid, fractal nature of …

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Ly, a Simon Fraser University grad whose earlier publications include the chapbook Stubble Burn and magazine appearances in PRISM international, The Puritan and other journals, has been shortlisted for the Magpie Award in Poetry and longlisted for the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Poetry.

David Ly, author of Mythical Man. For a review by Tom Sandborn. [PNG Merlin Archive]
David Ly, author of Mythical Man, his new book of poetry.PNG

The poems collected inMythical Manare filled with compelling, chthonic imagery that can both stir and alarm the reader, calling for a courageous willingness to confront the darkness on the screen, in the world and in our own depths.

One of the most powerful examples of this element in Ly’s work is “Hunt”, which opens: “Have you noticed how sharp and sparkly/your talons are in the starlight?/Let me lick them clean once you’ve finished/stirring up my sweetest and most tender parts./Pupils dilated, I see hunters/who’ve been stalking this forest for you.”

While all of this is strong medicine, and will never land the poet a job with Hallmark Cards, the poems collected in this slim volume reward both courage in the reader and a willingness to read and reread with spectacular effects.

Highly recommended.

Tom Sandborn lives and writes in Vancouver. He welcomes your feedback and story tips at tos65@telus.net