Walsh, Michael: Creep Love

Walsh, Michael: Creep Love

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Autumn House Press, paperback

Publication Date: May 26, 2021

Publisher Marketing: Michael Walsh's poetry collection Creep Love explores a family contending with a complex and ongoing crisis, the aftermath of which creates a shockwave that reverberates through these poems. Stories, half-truths, and lies combine into disturbing fable: A young pregnant woman flees her abusive boyfriend only to discover with terror that he is focused on her younger sister. When her younger sister later gives birth to her abusive ex's other sons, the unsettling presence of the child's father becomes unavoidable, and the family soon forces the first son to become a family secret.

We come to find out that the father carries a secret of his own. As tensions rise, attacks within the family escalate and finally culminate in an attempted murder. In Creep Love, Walsh captures the terror of this event, and these poems take us through the surprising outcomes. Near death, rather than floating into light due to hypoxia--a temporary release from the grip of compounding trauma--the speaker sinks into all-encompassing darkness. The anxiety of this moment returns him to his body from the edge of death. These poems give witness to the fallout, demonstrating how love can be charged with something ultimately unknowable.