Hera Lindsay Bird's self-titled debut, Hera Lindsay Bird, is crammed with shocking and often hilarious imagery, nestled against bare sentiments: “I am falling in love and I don't know what to do about it / Throw me in a haunted wheelbarrow and set me on fire.”
Bird's introductory poem captures the book's tone: “I wrote this book, and it is sentimental / Because I don't have a right-sized reaction to the world / To write a book is not a right-sized reaction / To put all your bad thoughts on paper / And make someone else pay for them.”
Bird excels at this play between dark, ironic humour and bare, unironic distress. “Life! / I should never have thought I could do it.”
Elsewhere, she writes, “The mother joke is here, and there is no punchline / this is a poem, not a joke, and the only way out is death / You stare and stare at your vast superfluity of life / it stretches out beyond itself, like too many razors on a kite tail.”
A truly gripping and startling debut that promises great things.