The 2007 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry Winner! Thumbscrews is a poetic engagement with the aesthetics of sadomasochism and consensual pain. It employs the techniques of mannerist poetry to constrain language as ropes, cuffs, or shackles that might be used to constrain the body. Each poem can be taken as a miniature sadomasochistic encounter where language is tied up, beaten, and twisted into submission. This book abuses language; language begs for it. Thumbscrews engages with the sexual subculture of BDSM in content as well as in form. It explores the erotic scene and the prevalence of role-playing in the kinky bedroom, examines various settings as pervertable locations, and chronicles a series of embarrassing trips to the emergency room. Poems are shaped from the hobbled language of email, visual representations of pain, and odes to various implements. Thumbscrews is a dirty-minded, sticky-fingered book.