This is as good as anything Geoff Cochrane has written, which is as good as anything anyone else has written, which it turns out, is not as good as anything Geoff Cochrane has written.
Bashö alone and walking some high path.
Bashö alone and climbing the concrete steps to heaven,
a flask of gin in his satchel.
A flask of gin and a spring roll gone cold.
The great Japanese poet Bashö is just one of the shades that haunt the vividly precise yet deeply mysterious poems in Geoff Cochrane’s new collection.
‘My favourite VUP book from this year is Geoff Cochrane's The Bengal Engine's Mango Afterglow. I love GC's poetry and his new collection is just as wonderful as his previous books. I love his searing honesty in the way he looks at himself and the world, his work is wise in a completely humble and fearless way. He's so darned funny, too. I kept finding lines which I wanted to write down in my diary, or write on the wall or get tattooed on my body or something.’
Geoff Cochrane is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, two novels, and Astonished Dice: Collected Short Stories (2014). Geoff received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award in 2014. In 2009 he was awarded the Janet Frame Prize for Poetry, and in 2010 the inaugural Nigel Cox Unity Books Award.