Matthew Tierney’s debut collection of poetry is full of trains and visions. From Japan’s subtle intricacies to the harsh realities of the Trans-Mongolian Express, Tierney captures the experience of movement and the freedom and dislocation of the traveller with potent imagery and persuasive verse. Whether searching for his own history in his grandfather’s past in Wales, or stumbling through a Japanese lesson, Tierney’s poetry pulls you into the experience, and through to the other side with a new appreciation of the moment. A strong debut collection from an energetic new poet.
In the building across from me
the man in white underwear
is doing his sit-ups.
Behind him the television flickers
like a candle near the end of its wick.
The area of his six tatami mats
the same as mine, only his.
Futon lies unmade
closet door ajar
bottle of wine on the nightstand.
floats through screens all over Tokyo.
I’m sure if we stretched
window to window
we could grasp hands.
Review (Melanie Maddix, PoetryReviews.ca, 04/09/2006)
"Full speed through the morning dark is not just about physical travel. It is a spiritual journey through loneliness, companionship, and contemplation of the future."
Book Reviews (Richard Joines, Southern Humanities Review, 3/1/2006)
"Tierney's genuine fascination with the infinitely strange human dramas in which he find himself allows him not only to craft charming poems but to express a generosity and sympathy we have not seen since James Wright."
Review (Black Coffee Poet, 10/03/2011)
"As you read you’re not seeing through Tierney’s eyes, it feels more like you’re sitting beside him as he watches what he’ll later write down on paper. "
Interview with Black Coffee Poet (Black Coffee Poet, 10/05/2011)