Addressing themes of destruction, consumption, misogyny, gods, sex, form, failure and rock n roll, "Several Deer" is the debut collection by a Northern Irish writer as much indebted to Bob Dylan and Lana Del Rey as to Emily Dickinson and George Herbert. The poems many of them sonnets and doomed attempts at clear-eyed love poems are suspicious as to the legitimacy of the big beautiful transcendent moment, believing it false comfort. Adrift from a poet they don t much like, they console themselves with rhythm, with rhyme, and with riffs on literary and pop culture. Their speaker laments the state of the world while impotently aware that as a straight white male he s part of the problem; easily sidetracked and keen to be soundtracked, he breaks much of what he touches. "Several Deer "charts the vain effort to undo the damage. It s a book about the gap between what one should think and what one actually thinks, between sounding good and being good. It doesn t take its sadness seriously. It listens to the hits."