I know, I know, I can be flippant, I can be irreverent, and I can be rude – but for this review, I’m parking all those trait and reviewing some of the most beautiful poetry I’ve ever read.
This book is simple, no blurb, no foreplay, no preamble, its straight into the work with some of the simplest and most intelligent words I’ve read
Take the poem, “Five Little Words”, which does exactly what it says, it plays with the placement of the five little words: This is a love poem……it changes the meaning, plays with its audience, forces you to ask questions, who is its audience?
“Cemetery” in nine lines sums up loss and death, how we who are left to visit graves feel, how the place makes us feel, what it means to loose someone or something and place them in the ground.
Dean choose words carefully, as if they were rationed, it feels very Haiku, very Japanese but with very western subjects.
Take “People Strutting” – it evokes Saturday Night Fever, Tony strutting in his too tight jeans, winkle picker shoes and unbuttoned shirt, off to pull some stranger at the disco….all this in only five lines.
“Film of You” made me cry… a story of love ended, images gone, a story of film not files, sending things via snail mail to get physical images back……….it speaks to me and my generation of how we felt, how love felt back in the day.
Dean is something of a renaissance man, a true artist not just with words, but as an illustrator, with images too. if you can, follow him on twitter. I do like that there are no images here, the words paint a picture clear enough, no images needed in this book. Dean does a clever thing and lets his words speak volumes
And to turn things on their heads, to lighten the moods, we shift on to “Brits in Summer” which reads like an episode of Benidorm on ITV. It sums up us Brits at our basic levels, lobster red, label whores, everything display….
“Media Sex” reads like an indictment of our age, how everything is lived in the glare of publicity, nothing is sacred anymore, nothing is kept private, we all clammer for publicity, adoration, and are willing to sell the most private details for a column inch in the next days paper or someone else’s blog…….
“Homeless Man kicked to Death” could read as a headline in any local paper, but instead makes you think about how easily we accept these things. How we are immune to what it must be like to be on the streets, what these people face each and every night. The threats, the drunks, the risks…..
Dean is a poet that makes you think, and not always about the good stuff, not always about lost love or feelings, but also about the underbelly of society, the people and things you pass by every day, the news stories you may not want to see. And always with an eye on the word count, never using two where one will do, wary of overly decorative narrative….
Take my advice, read this book, you wont be disappointed. The price belies the content – less than £1 for pages of enlightenment.