Author: George Stanley
Publisher: New Star Books (2013)
Don't gaze into the abyss, gaze out.
This is what the reader receives from Stanley's eighth book, After Desire: the observations of a poet and a consciousness as they arrive together at old age. Not just what the poet is thinking, but what he sees and notices; what he is thinking about.
Like all of George Stanley's work, the poems in After Desire tend to take as their point of departure some aspect of his daily life. The poem might be sparked by the beauty of a waiter in a restaurant in Stanley's Kitsilano neighborhood; by a conversation in his neighborhood pub; by a glance exchanged with a baby or a teenager on the bus; by a failing vacuum cleaner; or by another poet's poem. Whichever the case may be, Stanley's own poems remain solidly embedded in the material city in which he lives.
After Desire includes three poems originally written in 1971, and lost for forty years.