Review: Dorothy Porter’s “The Monkey’s Mask”

by writereaderly

dorothy porter the monkey's maskFinally found a copy of my own! Snaffled in an opshop this morning, devoured this afternoon, this lesbian-detective-verse-novel was even better the second time around. PI Jill Fitzpatrick is investigating the disappearance of 19 y.o. wannabe poet Mickey (female). She enters a torrid affair with Mickey’s poetry teacher, Dr Diana Maitland, meets her lawyer husband Nick, and hobnobs at a few entertaining poetry readings. The plotting is smart, the affair is sexy, Sydney is gritty and real, the poems are bitey and sharp – a damned fab book. And I can finally have this poem on my very own shelf:


In love I’ve got no style

my heart is decked out
in bright pink tracksuit pants

it weaves its huge bummed way
through the tables to Diana

she’s reading something
with very fine print

she doesn’t need her glasses to see me.

So highly recommended. (Although I don’t like the str8t-acting front cover, or understand the fascination in the weird straight almost-sex scene.)

Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading:
Afternoon devourment on a sunny couch/bed
Where it went: Keeper Bookshelf
Reminds me of/that:
Who I’d recommend it to:

Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; Delaunay by Hajo Duchting; The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez