Café Alibi


74 pages
ISBN 0-919688-53-5
DDC C811'.54






Reviewed by Susan McKnight

Susan McKnight is an administrator of the Courts Technology Integrated Justice Project at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.


Café Alibi swings from biting social commentary (“we marry our
unachievements, make / resentment a second home”) in poems such as
“Critical Theory” and “The More Deserved” to unique statements
of love in poems such as “Coming to Your Senses.” Swift uses
literary and historical references to reinforce his thoughts, replacing
conventional images of real situations, such as the thought of Thomas
Hardy missing his wife, with his personal vision of that type of deep
loss. In a calm yet often disquieting way, Swift manages to get under
your skin, pulling you back to read his words just one more time.

The poems in Café Alibi were written between 1999 and 2002; some were
previously published in Leviathan Quarterly, Poetry Wales, and Matrix,
among other literary publications. Swift’s previous collection of
poetry was the critically acclaimed Budavox: Poems 1990–1999.


Swift, Todd., “Café Alibi,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,