An independent small press poetry review

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This page last updated: 1st September 2009.

Edrington takes no prisoners. Everything here is raw reality, written in technicolour. Often the language is shocking, sensual and serious. I don't give full marks to much work I review, but there again, Edrington's work is seriously good. Of the 35 poems, I marked 18 as five star if, however, you are easily offended or of a nervous disposition, you'd best stop reading now.

The rest of you are in for a master class in writing poetry for the 21st century. SHEDDING SKIN gives a feel. It's about a hooker dreaming of getting out of the business:

	sucking on a .357 chunk of steel
	like a pacifier...
	she's not a fucking object
	and smart enough to know it,
As you see, nothing sentimental or mawkish here. Edrington's work is infused with the sweat of the near-constant summer heat that is Tucson, Arizona from AFTER HOLLYWOOD:
	The heat hung in the air
	like sheets of cellophane
from where he reflects, in graphic detail, on years of substance abuse, veins and syringes filled with heroin, used razor blades, brains and blood splattered on dirty floors, too much booze, self and female masturbation, living on the line, even prison green tattoos - it's all here. These two extracts are taken from the first stanza of SICK FUCKS:
	a rookie cop puked
	into a shit-clogged toilet
	& called for an ambulance...

	...momma lay overdosed
	with a welfare check
	coursing pure Afghani
	horse through her caved
	hypodermic veins
Besides the reflections these fine poems are filled with poetic truths, evaluations on life which only years of experience and a truly focused mind can achieve. From the long poem WHIMPER, Edrington has this to say about the current state of poetry:
	But today,
	the poets place is in the margins
	of the society page.
	Not centre stage.
	We reserve that for petty scandals.
	We want to know
	which rockstar is fucking
	which moviestar,
	how to lose 30 lbs in 30 seconds
Perfect truth there.

Honed silk smooth with absolutely no wasted material, everything is so skillfully written that these poems read themselves. Minimal punctuation, enjambment working overtime and metre is perfection. Sensational throughout, so all you need do is concentrate on the gritty word pictures. Taken from the third stanza of MELISSA SOMETIMES, this is one of many such pictures, vividly told in four short lines:

	like an albino's dry leper skin,
	as my syringe slowly soaks
	up the final split tear
	of a pawned diamond ring
This collection should be compulsory reading for all those who still believe current poetry to be about blue skies and daffodils or penned in ten seconds flat for daytime TV.

Best of the bunch for me is MACHO MANHOOD BULLSHIT which tells of wife-beating, homophobic men riding round in Chevy 4x4 truck extensions of their penis. I've had way too much of this cowardly abuse in my own life, so when they slide up to the curb and threaten this clearly hetero guy, Edrington's street wise take on putting them down reads:

	...threaten to call the cops
	when I flick out a nine-inch Italian stiletto
	and promise to cut off their balls
Way to go! The rest of the poem is brilliant too. I can't praise this realistic and direct work enough and make no apology for the number of short quotes taken from my five star selection. Keep the writing coming RC, I'm hooked, and above all, never stop telling it like it really is.

reviewer: Steve Anderson.