Cargo of Limbs (2019)

Hercules Editions, October 2019: poems by Martyn Crucefix; images by Amel el Zakout; essay by Choman Hardi.

CoverBlurb: Martyn Crucefix’s Cargo of Limbs is a “brilliant revision” (Choman Hardi) of lines from Book Six of Virgil’s Aeneid. Two Western journalists document in their different ways the ordeal of migrants in search of safety in Europe. The tone and narrative – as in the original – is dream-like and nightmarish. As they reach the shoreline, this is not the River Styx but the Mediterranean and the ferryman’s boats – “the black dinghy squeals / the leaking boat groans” – promise danger more than escape. “Martyn Crucefix knows in his bones that “what / happens is what’s true” and his liquid, propulsive poem records, like the accompanying photographs by Syrian artist Amel el Zakout, the horrible adventure of survival. Cargo of Limbs sees or struggles to see; it is a lament and a rebuke, a concise saga of our savage time” – Dan O’Brien