Punctuated with Romani language, Raine Geoghegan's new chapbook, published by Hedgehog Poetry Press, is a feast of poems and short prose.
Each poem comes with a micro dictionary at the bottom of the page, where you can learn the words for fire (yog), hedgehog (Hotchiwitchi/jog jog) and more. The style throughout the collection is both simple and blunt:
'Me mum's cookin' sushi stew,
Me Dad's chinning the koshtie's.
I'm practisin' handwritin' with a fine pencil'.
Factual yet intimate, Raine captures a simple and stripped back way of living with care and love - a happiness which is breached my police hatred of travellers. Raine describes one day when the 'gavvers' came and 'started to wreck the site. One of 'em kicked the kittle off the yog' - the men forced to sit back and watch, for fear of being taken away.
My favourite poem, although it seems against Hedgehog Poetry Press to say so, is 'HOTCHIWITCHI/HEDEHOG', in which Raine informs the reader how to cook a hedgehog,
'when you open up the clay,
the spines will come away,
chank it while its good n'ot'.
Although I won't be using this recipe, it added a... flavour to the collection!
This collection is released 15 November 2018 from Hedgehog Poetry Press.