When Peter Porter noted the brilliance of Philip Salom’s poems and said they were unlike anything in Australian poetry, he was referring to Sky Poems (1987), an ironic otherworld of the twentieth century and the first book of the Alterworld trilogy. Salom later added The Well Mouth (2005), an underworld of limbo and stopped-life to counter Sky Poems’ endless possibilities. Now the accidental realities of Alterworld reach into the twenty-first century but remain haunted by Salom’s ambiguous visions of life and death. The poems have satirical verve and sensuality, and are layered in surprising linguisitic echoes; his imagination is almost architectural but also acutely social. Alterworld is extraordinary and unique.