A troubled world haunts these poems; and each poem suggests ominous meanings. Sometimes the distaste is personal: ""The masseur from Ceylon... His poulterer's fingers pluck my queasy skin."" But most often, the poems frame bizarre depersonalized dramas: a king whose queen dies, men visited by angels or stranger apparitions, the conquering and reconquering of kingdoms in peculiarly gruesome battles, the death and dissolution of a fox. Then there are savage religious poems full of bloody flesh and a hermit (Christ) viewed as a snail withdrawn from life into his shell. The rhythm of the lines is so colloquial, and quiet, as if resigned or exhausted, that the shock-value of words and the viewpoint are oddly muted. Not rage or despair, but a blunt, bald, almost coarse statement of life's ugliness and ferocity colors this outlook. At best, it emits a weird, poetic sheen, exerts an odd fascination.