Amy Key’s Isn’t Forever is a grimoire for feminine selfhood in a world where a sense of self is flimsy, elusive and unrequited. The poems in this book are obsessive in their desire to construct and breach the terms of their own intimacy. The poems have their own ‘narrative costume’ but are vexed with it, not quite able to master the ‘diligence of having a body’. This is a book where a tender and sabotaging shame of aloneness has taken root. Where wants cluster and are at war with each other. Where the heart is at once ‘all lurgy’ and an ‘investment piece’ to be saved for best. Where the sea is the only solace, but the sea is blasé.
The ‘ta-dah!’ and candour of these poems is an exercise in Amy Key’s imaginative protection and urge for personal extravaganza, an attempt to acknowledge but fight back the brutal inner voice. The obscure audience of the reader is never out of sight.
Amy Key's first collection Luxe was published by Salt in 2013. Isn't Forever is her second book-length collection.