‘The poems are a series of signs pointing not to Fleck but to other signs, because Fleck himself is not there, is someone of whom even an imagined newscaster’s imagined dress is “more solid than himself”.’and:
‘... the themes themselves are unusual, or at least have unusual clarity: to write more about a specific absence than any real moment or presence seems new to me, especially when achieved with such grace. And there will, as I’ve suggested, be many more ways to read this book than mine, it is far bigger than its size suggests... Fleck couldn’t hope for a better offering, wherever he is.’
Three new reviews have gone up now at Sphinx and these reflect the huge variety of thought and opinion that constitutes Contemporary Poetry PLC these days. Jake Campbell doesn’t care much for the pamphlet, describing it as having ‘crystalline moments of greatness, but also elements of drudgery’. He goes on to say:
‘I want to be angered; I want to feel Fleck is angry, or at least alive. Instead, he feels like a wet lettuce.’ :-)Rosie Miles, on the other hand, finds the poems and themes interesting. Rather self-effacingly, she says:
‘I am not this collection’s ideal reader. I don’t entirely “get” it. But I assent to the world it creates and Mackenzie’s use of language is inventive and full of a kind of demotic energy.’Actually, her readings of the poems seem perfectly fair to me.
Matt Bryden finds it “satisfying” and “generously dense and experimental.” And he makes the interesting point that
‘While some of the fun in reading is to make out Fleck a little more clearly, in one sense he is the MacGuffin that keeps you reading to figure out his world.’And, finally – on Andrew Shields’s blog – you'll find not a review as such, but more a reflection on how juxtaposition and disorientation are used in some of the poems to create new meanings.
Thanks to all the reviewers for taking the time to set down their thoughts, whether positive or negative. It’s all much appreciated and I certainly hope Salt and I sell a few pamphlets as a result...