Amber Fusion: Zakia Carpenter-Hall on sweetness, desire and mystery

Written by Zakia Carpenter-Hall for The Poetry Review on Thursday, January 14th, 2021

The poem and collection as a whole suggest that there are some depths of experience and connection where eyesight becomes irrelevant. However, Parkes doesn’t leave his reader in the shadows. Though the metaphors can be oblique – “no egos fingering the edges of our frailty” (‘Break/able’) or “a trumpet caught in the ill wind of a jet’s / prejudice” (‘Our Love is Here to Stay’) – it’s intentional. His use of figurative language as a decorative or passionate flourish, along with narrative, forms a kind of lattice; some aspects of the narratives are more transparent and at other points, one must feel. The purpose, like any form of delayed gratification, is to build desire.