Daniel Sluman's 'Absence has a weight of its own' is an unflinching study of serious illness, sex, death and decadence. In sometimes brutal and spare cadences, Sluman explores the extremities of human experience in poems that are skilfully, icily primed. This debut collection is at times provocative and by turns tender and wry. Frailties and vices are held up for inspection in a ruined landscape of disappointing highs, hung-over regrets and head-on collisions, haunted by figures such as Roman, an unrepentant and debauched womaniser. In the aftermath, real love and hope remain stubbornly, emerging into the sunlight of an unexpected new day.