Fulfilling the promise of his first collection, Clay Hill, Tim Liardet's new book is full of complex, ambitious and beautiful poems. They are marked by an unusually skilled use of form, meter, and rhyme as Liardet ranges from the tragic, almost operatic, to lighter works like his treatise on traffic jams. The book is written in two sections. The poems in section one are dramas with atmospheric sets, peopled by mad, eccentric, or Felliniesque characters. The author's dedication to classical forms and rhyme is counterpointed by ironic humor and a playful delight in gothic detail. Section two includes poems on family, erotic love, childhood, adolescence, and even a trip to the dentist.