Mario Wirz’s poems have been published in French, Italian, Ukrainian, Polish, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, and Chinese, but it took ten years for his first novel to be published in English, and now the publication of this companion volume of poems is made possible only by recent changes in the publishing world—-the rise of e-books and desktop publishing—that have made it far easier and more cost–effective to publish literature in a minor key. But this volume, though small, is not minor. Mario Wirz is wrestling with a problem of major proportions-the constant threat of death hanging over his shoulder. It is a shadow that hangs over all of us, but it is the fate of some to feel it more keenly, to live with it minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, and day-by-day. These poems hone in relentlessly on this topic until one is inexorably affected by their stark existential reality.