Each poem in the light user scheme is a short, tight burst of narrative. They ask: what is happening beside you? What is going on over there? Allusive yet exact, formal and philosophical, the light user scheme works as a subtly interwoven series of oblique glances, condensed emotional intrigues and resonant images drawn from the lives we live now and the lives that go on all around us, just at the very edge of our awareness.
She would stand alone in front of a mirror, stroking her belly, looking for signs. She was puzzled by the expression she saw there. Later, he climbed up to the bridge and looked out over the city. It was night and the city orange. The river swelled, folding in on itself, like muscles.
She wouldn't be leaving Russia now, she said, though she often thought she would. I try to imagine the house in 1944 - her lithe and tanned, listening to the radio, teaching her son mathematics, while her husband spent the days trying to reach his dead brothers. The summer grass yellowing in the meadows behind. She was catching crayfish with her son when he finally understood that the afterlife is what we leave in others.
We used to play in the orchards, when the apples were green. The light was sharp, our eyes were open. Years later, birds flew south. I remember sleeping badly that night. The house was empty when the apples eventually fell, red and blind.
'the light user scheme shows an original imagination at work, and there is hardly one that does not impart some kind of frisson.'
'I was interested in the way, even over a short space, they seem to evoke a strong mood. Skinner works for the larger design of the poem really powerfully.'
'inescapably moreish... I'll be reading these again.'