A Republic of Linen is Patrick Brandon’s first collection. Whether they tell of rising late and reluctantly from a warm bed, or revisit the deceptive simplicity of childhood, or take us wandering around a cold dissecting lab, these poems are about watching and waiting. With an eye for the detail and tilt of daily life, Brandon guides us from bedroom to studio, through the distorted terrain that lies between what we covet and what we get. Mostly his poems are about love.
‘Patrick Brandon’s poems are strangely confident and confidently strange. They appear to act as a mediation between tension and compassion, between the thrilling unease of real places and the nagging familiarity of invented ones. Quotidian subjects – cameras, canals, campsites – emerge scrambled and refocussed in this energetic and rewarding debut collection.’ – Roddy Lumsden.
‘Like the waiter in “Geneva”, Brandon keeps his eyes peeled “slick as a…lychee” on what’s going on around him. His sharp sight captures the world in riveting close-up – his mother’s bathing cap, for instance, “blistered with tiny roses”. What he sees – precisely because he sees so precisely – is often how gaps open up between people, how language itself can become the intimate distance between friends or lovers or a father and son. It’s the power of this observation in particular that caught me, in poem after poem, so thrillingly off-guard.’ – Esther Morgan