Robbie Coburn’s first poetry collection, Human Batteries (Picaro Press, 2012), is a vivid chapbook that contrasts experimental narratives with pieces more tender or direct. As with all great poetry, Human Batteries is revealing, there’s a clear sense of vulnerability to some of the poems and an almost thematic ‘questioning’ of the permanence of relationships runs through the collection.
As if in opposition to such questioning, the mechanical and the constructed in Coburn’s imagery seems to stand in defiance – reliable, strong, lasting. In the face of other trials presented in the book, struggles with the self and with love, poems where animals might be friendlier than humans, the mechanical is also something to draw comfort from. This sense of permanence or strength is clear in There Are No Strangers especially, where “homes [are] suspended on brass hinges”.
I asked Robbie about his use of such imagery – cogs, ticks and…
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