Readers of Dennis Lee's Riffs (Brick) might find themselves disappointed with this book, which declares itself to be fiction when they would perhaps prefer it to be fact. As fiction, these poems don't read well: they are clever, well-crafted, technically exciting, yes, riffs, which leave you wondering about the story they describe. But as fact, they would be stunning: if this were the story of this middle-aged man, caught in the throes of a doomed, incandescent love affair, then we would be excited to read them. But as it seems to be only the story of a middle-aged man, the "narrator," who may or may not have experienced what's being told here, we become bored by them. At the end of the book there's a full-page photo of Lee, with a caption saying that he was born in 1939 and lives in Toronto. He is smiling at the camera, with a thin beard, a cap and thick horn-rimmed glasses. We want to imagine that face being kissed by the woman in the book.