I Don't Love You, Christian Wethered
Eyewear Publishing (Goggles), 2018 £6.00
Intimacy in the mundane
The bold title prepares you for the direct approach Wethered takes in this pamphlet.
In ‘Bedtime’ we see the casual conversation a couple had during vulnerable moments: one naked after showering, the other sitting on the toilet. We’re brought into the small, intimate parts of the relationship, allowed to witness the private routines nobody else sees. The poems collect these kinds of moments, which become the anatomy of a break-up.
The first line of ‘Break’ (‘We’ll discuss your things’) explores the seldom discussed — but emotionally fraught — practical considerations that must be dealt with when two people split up: the admin of heartbreak.
In the immediate aftermath of an ended relationship, the most significant person in your life is suddenly and painfully gone. It’s a loss that comes with its own grief, a grief that here is mostly under the surface until the speaker cries out in ‘Michaelmas’ —
not because I was sad, but because I can still
remember a world I keep having to explain
as though it’s not there, wasn’t there.
The power of this collection lies in its understated method, capturing the heat of strong emotions with measured language. The images and interactions are precise snapshots, each slender poem evoking a whole relationship.