False Memory

by Tony Lopez, Antony Lopez
ISBN: 1844710300

Post Your Opinion
A Review of: False Memory
by Kevin Higgins

False Memory, the new collection by Conductors of Chaos contributor Tony Lopez, is certainly experimental, but it's an experiment carried out under strictly controlled conditions-the collection consist of eleven sets of ten unrhymed (mostly alexandrine) sonnets-and the results are impressive. Throughout the book, Lopez re-contextualises the debased vocabularies of the financial, scientific, academic and political worlds in order to make the reader rethink the ways in which language can be used. Phrases like "This may involve some unforeseen social costs" and "Managers of personal equity plans / Ended the week with a bounce" are scattered throughout, giving the poems the feel of a monologue best read in a disembodied, machine-like voice.
But I am perhaps giving the wrong impression here, since Lopez is a poet with a highly developed sense of humour, and he uses the bizarre juxtapositioning of these found phrases to occasionally hilarious effect: "Most molecular data points towards / A lack of interest among teenage voters / In Ms Windsor and her relatives." It's true that as one reads through this (fairly relentless) collection, it begins to seem like the poetic accompaniment to the music of Philip Glass. This, from "Corneal Erosion":
And I don't see how we can win. The first faint
Intermittent soundings of the sirens may be
Just as the slogans came through the unpractised
In Arcadia, when I was there, I did not see
hammering stone
But you should vacate the building when you
A continuous note. It is best to move away-
Best to pay bills by direct debit and avoid offices.
Water bombs, I hear, are great fun and completely

And on it goes, for a hundred and ten pages. But False Memory is far from being one of those worthy-but-dull experiments which avant-garde poets are so adept at producing. Lopez pulls off the almost impossible by managing to be both linguistically experimental and very entertaining.

Home First Novel Award Past Winners Subscription Back Issues Timescroll Advertizing Rates
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers List Books in Issue Books in Department About Us