This is Michael Kenyon’s third full-length collection of poems. His poetry and fiction have always been alert to the underside, the angularity of the outcast, those forced by temperament or predilection or circumstance to the fringes of middle class life. Here, it is insight itself that pushes the speakers closer to the edge. The world of these poems is dark: Kenyon names and owns our clear cuts, our overpopulation, our fossil-fueled rush to oblivion, the violence embedded in sexuality. This is a book of expanded elegy, clear-eyed, unflinching amid the wreckage of its loves.
Fiercely elegiac, jaggedly sexual, The Last House stands on the brink of devastation — personal, ancestral, cultural. There is transcendence here, but no redemption: it is too late. But this is also a book about love-protean, violent, perduring-love as the key to reality, even as it mystifies us or tears us apart. These are poems of deep and disturbing vision, sustained by electrifying honesty.