Two TLS reviews: Ben Wilkinson on Mark Waldron and Carrie Etter on Rob A. Mackenzie
This week’s TLS contains two reviews of Salt titles.
Ben Wilkinson on Mark Waldron’s The Brand New Dark
The late American comic Bill Hicks once began a stand-up routine with the deadpan line “If you work in advertising or marketing, kill yourself now”. He may well have made an exception for someone like Mark Waldron, a poet who writes adverts for a living. His debit, The Brand New Dark, is far reomoved from the clichés and superficiality of modern commercialism; witty, subversive, often darkly comic poems which are full of unusual images and curious turns of phrase.
Wilkinson ends with the comment that The Brand New Dark “… reveals Mark Waldron as an emerging talent to watch.”
The Brand New Dark
In the same issue, Carrie Etter tackles Rob A. Mackenzie’s first full-length collection, The Opposite of Cabbage:
Rob A. Mackenzie’s first full collection inhabits present day Scotland in all its liveliness, banality and bad weather. A Polish NHS dentis contrasts with “Mr McPhee’s/private sector armpits”, excited rumours of Michael Jackson’s appearance in Aberdeen abound, and summer brings “Such rainfall that unemployed arsonists/ surrender their matches”. Mackenzie’s vigorous urbane language, often employed in declarative senetences, vivifies it all.
Etter ends, “The Opposite of Cabbage impresses with its distinctive style and energetic exploration of ‘the way we live now’.”
Rob A. Mackenzie
The Opposite of Cabbage