This, being my first poetry related post of 2013, I thought I’d aim high and start with an individual who’s not just a great poet, but also happens to be a director of Salt, an independent publisher of a wide range of genres: from literary biography and memoir, to plays, theatre studies, literary studies, cultural and landscape studies, companions, monographs and writer’s guides, as well as a core publishing activity in literary fiction, short stories and poetry. Salt has won numerous awards and in 2012 had one of their writers shortlisted for the Man Booker prize with Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse . As I said, aiming high.Whilst I'm aiming high I'm going to steal a quote by another fabulous poet, as my link into this book. George Szirtes, states on the back cover that the poems in this collection:“ are like highly compressed short stories that we enter at high speed. Once in, the place is full of vivid detail keeping our head turning.”I’ve taken this to mean that Chris Emery drops you right into his poems/world, and once in you have very little chance to orientate yourself before being assaulted by the next image or poem; voices and fragments of lives hurtle past you leaving behind ghosts on the retina, neurons fired and blipping beyond the moment. Again taking Szirtes idea of “compressed stories” I recently wrote a post on a microfiction collection, and stated that I wasn't sure where the difference between prose poetry and microfiction lie and that “like prose poetry, microfiction appears to be loose, possibly random paragraphs and to use everyday language, although it is heightened, making every word placed - placed with a specific purpose - as if it were a puzzle & could have only been placed there, would only fit there.” , this description seems to fit Chris’s poetry and even though he’s far to adventurous to remain in one form when he could be exploring Sonnets, Couplets, Haiku’s or free verse, I think the description an apt one.On leaving Wale Obelisk (for Jen).Did we shuck our suits that leaf-dense noon? Leave serious careers in lemon light, the high clouds, early swallows, the day moon weakened, nothing farmed, nothing tightabove the summer marriage of grasses, and all that luscious time receding in the corporate years’ climbing excesses, just a vacancy before the children?We made a kind of love pledge there. It leaves you in chromatic episodes like this doesn't it? Not quite nostalgia but who could have imagined ageing like this?We had climbed up to lie on the piled hay, the tow-coloured earth all nice and neat, what with everything that’s come our way we’re still breathing in that smashed-up wheatOn researching for this post, I read that this poet’s work is characterised by a dystopian vision of the world, having read only this and Dr Mephisto, I can say there is an element of that, but if Chris paints the world as a dystopian, he paints it with a humour that cuts giant swathes through the darkness, highlighting the dissonance in modern living and with a language that makes me smile, makes me laugh, then makes me want to read again.Dandelions.I like your plainness in the gravel, tucked sideways in the manky cracks you look like a dishcloth flattened in those corners where the pointing has come out. You don’t resist, but still endure along the sagging rec. You’re often sat next to a dog turd with lots of beetles caring. Everything is forlorn in your colourless zone.Take all those small relinquishments at your unnoticed day rate. Suddenly you are there, reminding us of seeping middle age, going to seed in some midsummer miners’ estate with no friends or music. Perhaps you are this militant scum? The bits we don’t need beneath the sun, somehow wielding a fantastic ordinary face.You never go away. When I spot you being flagrant I am usually emerging from a colossal boredom into buoyant ideas of the extraneous. You are meant to bethe perfect emblem of the wasted. Your gift is being extra. When you brighten at dusk, spotting the panicking social scrub under eight floors of life tapestry, we hear your prayers: ‘Given up but still here’ and ‘You get up, you get on with it’, which is nearly likely really.