This new little collection of splake's shorter poems, edited by Henry Denander, provides a nice entree into the large body of work tks has produced since, as the author bio at the back of the book tells us, 1989, when splake took early retirement from his job as a college professor to devote his time in contest with the "damn lady muse". These poems look back in time to the poet's beginnings and forward to the present day and his continuing search for some sort of truth that transcends the blandness of our ordinary lives and expectations, which he sees, rightly, as a death-in-life. If we push ourselves to the edge of possibility there is something waiting that lifts us beyond death, beyond ourselves, if only for a passing moment. And if you never make it to that holy shining light (which is emphatically not the light of Heaven), so the poems seem to say, you have ennobled yourself anyway by giving it a try. In this age when the System that we live under turns us into cash-disgorging manageable drones, that is a pretty revolutionary message.