An Upside Down World
In the early 1990s, in his volume 'The Bears and Other Poems', Knute Skinner embarked on an extraordinary poetic project - the elaboration of short poetic fictions. In the intervening years he has become a master of this charged and compelling form. These short poems are exquisitely compressed narratives delineating and exposing lives often within a relational context. The narrators are a diverse bunch: adulterers, deviants, adventurers, lovers, friends, whose utterances and scraps of dialogue frame the foibles, truths, frailties and enduring alliances between characters strewn across a variety of contexts. In some of the poems there is an undisclosed but implied secret that entreats the reader to return, to name what has been conflated and intuitively sussed, and to define the intriguingly elusive and alluring truth of the poem.