Hypoderm (Weyman Chan)

Hypoderm is Chan's third collection of poetry, and while I preferred the poems in Noise from the Laundry, which I felt were crisper and tighter, the poems here are a little more playful, philosophical, and daring. You don't see many lyrical poems written “after Baudrillard.”

Chan writes fairly conventional free-form lyrics but bears some experimentalist influence (due no doubt to being friendly with Calgary's avant-garde scene — when else will you see derek beaulieu blurbing a book of personal lyrics), and the poems I personally respond to most are those in which Chan focuses on playing with scientific and medical language for its sonic properties.

I prefer the tighter, terser poems to the sprawl of the longer lyrics. I generally dislike this type of poetry, but Chan's someone that does it well and with erudition rather than reproducing the typical blase “epiphanies.”

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Jonathan Ball is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar living at www.jonathanball.com.

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