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The Self-Styled Child

 

 

The Self-Styled No-Child, Cody Walker's second book of poems, offers an unlikely array of characters: Edward Lear, Mitt Romney, Amy Clampitt, and Andy Kaufman share the stage. Walker himself is ever-present, with his shrugs, his heartbreak, his "way-out rhymes": "I'd like to write some lines about the snow, / but -- I dunno, / the snow seems so / fleeting: / a flock of gulls, late for a meeting." Full of comic interruptions and grave forecasts, these poems surprise, delight, and terrify.