Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hellbound Reviewed

Pleased to have received the following review of Hellbound from Puma Perl

Review: Hellbound, by David McLean

David McLean’s new collection opens with the line we are Pinhead’s pure children today and closes on the following three words: don’t mind bleeding. Purity and blood, good and evil, childhood and death – do any of these concepts really exist or are they like Pinhead, once human, now a Cenobite; not even the Gates of Hell will open to him. If there is such a place as Hell.

It is not strictly necessary to familiarize oneself with Clive Barker’s Hellraiser series, which features the character of Pinhead, but it makes the reading of McLean’s fine poems even richer; the mixture of true nihilism, dry humor, and the writer’s distinctive command of form and language exemplifies the Cenobites’ predilections for pain and pleasure.

McLean is a favorite poet of mine because of his stubborn individuality as well as his genius; he is amazingly prolific without compromising quality. Hellbound can be read as a continuing story, or as 39 pieces that stand up on their own. In any case, we take a journey to a Hell that we create for ourselves, and, like Pinhead (he almost cares*), we are:

loving the sufferings
we share, our brutal bodies
if Pinhead’s hooks and chains

In Hellbound, murder and orgasm, angels and sexuality meet in cruel heaven:

standing there under the erect cross
where we are all dead already

all the cruel angels are happy.
closing lines of the cruelest sexualities

We question “reality”:

fingers tearing open life’s thin skin
in a world where such red truth

is not welcome, is seldom allowed in
and the children whimper

We look through the eyes of McLean’s Pinhead:

what Pinhead says is “let go”
so Hell’s sweet order is chaos
Pinhead speaks

I have a running conversation with whoever will listen to me about the difficulty of finding, thinking, creating, in any form, something that has not been done before. This is another reason I like McLean so much; his concepts and his words are instantly recognizable to all who know his work as his and his alone, or as the writer puts it:

mine the only ever Hell
you truly know
is you,

the only one you need to

Puma Perl, author, Belinda and Her Friends

I have no copies left just now, order from epic rites bookstore.