Smartarse is my kind of poetry
- and at 139 pages for £9.00 is pretty good value, showcasing sixteen or so
poets. I love the cover of the book which is a work of art in itself produced
by Jock Mc Fadyen.
Can I direct the reader to Bobby Parker on page 32:
The sound of
girls walking home
the clubs keeps my
wedged between the blinds.
They are so
full of temporary happiness
abandon and temporary
that I want to run out there
they will be gone
and I will just be another
half- naked nutcase
dancing for love
under the marmalade
I love that 'marmalade streetlamp'. This poem is a typical example of the
easy style of this book - which is very approachable and unaffected by degree
or nuance. Simplistic it is not as any confessional existentialism is never
that easy. This is a relaxed approach - a self-assured 'nice' dialogue of
modernism and anti-mainstream bollocks so prevalent today.
Another good poem is 'Bachelor' on page 66 by Martin Mooney:
In a bedsit or
the man to blame
for the flight
of the sparrow
with twenty others
and chewed up pages
from the personal
of the local paper.
is parked with humour, parody, and vernacular. It is a mixture of all things
postmodern - whatever postmodern means these days. For as soon as it's modern
then it's postmodern, then when postmodern it's old hat. There is a
playfulness and below the surface something a bit more real and disturbing,
even sinister. This is poetry of reflected place; of confession and pain. A
black humour born of the inner city and a rejection of societies norms. That
these writers think for themselves and write for themselves - that sheep they
are not. We don't have the celeb here or well-ordered market gloss of the big
boys. What you see is what you get.
The book really is full of good poetry that you can come alongside and enjoy.
There is a freedom of form and style which leans on confidence and
originality; and its feet are in 2011 and not 1707 much to my refreshment.
And I would recommend this book to the reader.
I'll finish with another small excerpt on page 26 by David Briggs
My Rival's Poems
have begun to appear
posters on municipal buses,
are on the
I've noticed my
rival steals phrasing
and imagery from my
but with such
that an accusation
would no doubt be
greeted by howls of derision.
I hope he doesn't mean me.
© James McLaughlin