This is Jim Murdoch. He's Scottish. He's intelligent. When you read stuff he's written and understand it, you feel intelligent too.
I can't even begin to pretend that I know how to review a book, but what I can tell you is why I enjoyed this collection of poems.
Jim writes how you wish you could write, but not so much that the jealousy prevents you from laughing at the things you wish you'd said, like, "I'd give my childhood a three. That's me being generous." This is from his poem, "Marks."
His poems follow a thoughtful progression with "Advice to Children" interspersed throughout - things you probably are happy to read now, but glad you didn't have to hear when you were a child. This, from "Imaginary Friends: "People leave; it's what they do..."
As you read along, you will be struck by his wit and adeptness. You'll be thinking, "Oh, there's so much humor here. This is a fun book." But at page 39, your breath will catch in your throat. The poem "Still Birth" will make you realize this man can not only be glib, but he has a depth of feeling that transcends gender barriers. Then you will go back and reread his poems with new eyes.
A major theme in Jim's life is THE TRUTH. You will see it here. In his poem "Shadowplay," he says, "What are lies but truths gone rotten and secrets lie in that no man's land between the two." Man, I wish I'd written that, because I think it's so true. The major theme of his blog and novel, Living with the Truth is found in "Old Flames In the Rain."
"...and the truth about liesis we can't live without them.Not even the white ones."
The title of this collection is ironic because Jim gives you permission right away to make of these poems something he never intended or imagined so it pretty much is about what you think.