Black Pepper, $24.95 pb, 136 pp
Fuel is Andrew Sant’s eleventh poetry collection. His previous volume was Speed & Other Liberties (2008), which included some of the new poems from Tremors: New & Selected Poems (2004), along with additional work. The epigraph to Speed & Other Liberties is Marc Bloch’s statement that ‘Contemporary civilisation differs in one particularly distinctive feature from those which preceded it: speed’. So, the titles of Sant’s last two volumes imply movement, power, freedom and forward thrust. Certainly, some of the poems in Fuel move at least as fluidly as the often fast-paced poems in Speed, impelled by a rapid accumulation of ideas and associations.
There are also other respects in which Fuel and Speed & Other Liberties read as companion volumes. For example, both contain poems in the voice of Mr Habitat, an alter ego for Sant who allows him to write with a sometimes prickly assertiveness.