Ten-Headed Alien draws from sci-fi and poli-sci, prog rock and politics, climate fiction and ancient mythology to create poems that are at once global and personal. The opening sections of the book take the reader on a harrowing sea-to-sky epic, from a drunken plane crash in the BC interior to the quiet beaches of Crete. Mythological creatures battle for the attention of an inverted mermaid, bionic pigeons flee their creators, barflies conjure soulmates, balloon farms exist on the moon and pigs, of course, fly. From Lake Nipissing to the moons of Jupiter, these poems travel around the world (and off it) united by the language of human fragility, and a sense of the body as engineered, temporary and exquisitely sad.
The book's final section brings an uncanny ten-headed alien to Earth and the apocalypse that unfolds is complex and devastating. Ten-Headed Alien, broad in scope, revels in strange, protean imagery to explore the swamps between our natural and technological worlds.
David James Brock is a playwright, poet and librettist whose plays and operas have been performed in cities across Canada and the UK. He is the winner of the 2011 Herman Voaden Canadian National Playwriting Award for his play Wet. Brock's debut poetry collection, Everyone is CO2, was released by Wolsak and Wynn in spring 2014. He is co-creator of Breath Cycle, a multimedia operatic song cycle developed with cystic fibrosis patients that was nominated for a 2014 Royal Philharmonic Society Award. He lives in Toronto.