Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s slightly off-kilter poems promise more than they deliver, but they have crotchets and quavers (and notes too flat or sharp) that suggest a poetic imagination still under construction. Heaven, his second book, is full of heavens large and small—so many it seems he’s been taking backhanders from the heaven lobby for product placement.1 The poems have an ambitious range, moving trippingly through the minefield of pop culture, with titles that mark off large territory and over-the-shoulder glances at the Paradiso and Hamlet.

Phillips has a range of styles, though his voice is usually James Earl Jones-ish, as serious as Echo testing echoes.

 
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