ROB A MACKENZIE: THE CLOWN OF NATURAL SORROW
21 Hatton Green
ISBN 0 9550280 4 3
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|ROB A MACKENZIE: THE CLOWN OF NATURAL SORROW|
Rob's vision falls into the periphery, in the title poem, the clown:
He steals sticks of rock from the mouths of children, sharpens then into stakes for the heart, or in gentler mode, juggles eggs on the brink of hatching, careful to drop all but one. That's his version of hope...That's not to make the poems marginal, but a reflection of where the poet leads us: to the slipstream, the borders where a look at the strange tells us more about usual life. HAPPINESS falls somewhere before the kettle boils:
...Then steam filmed across your eyes, floated them on its raft of dissipating vapour to the East wind, which smoothed out the scars on a rock's proud face and froze a crow's feet to a sycamore branch. It dropped you somewhere between the happiness you already missed and the one you'll never possess...There's humour too and a neat way with portraits which expands them beyond the canvas, eg in THE BABYSITTER with a McDonald's meal and his daughter sharing it:
...Will she end up like Janice, skin like a seal, eyes that seem to blur behind a film of grease, breasts that roost like lumpy sacks on her paunch? Those breasts, what must they be like to touch? My wife says, Time, and glares. As if she knows exactly what I'm thinking.The production values are elegant too: an ink drawing of the title poem on the lilac card cover and blue flyleaves with the poems typeset on cream paper. A solid debut.
|reviewer: Emma Lee.|