Tuesday, January 12, 2010

first blurbs for funerals

Five great writers have been kind enough to provide blurbs for laughing at funerals thus far, the last here being more of a little review than a blurb.

"One again David McLean has captured the voice of the disaffected and disaffection itself in a finely nuanced collection of poetry, "Laughing at Funerals." In this volume, McLean's most accessible, the reader is thrust into the surrealistic reality of existence and painful refractory ennui. McLean is at once melancholy and profound, an extraordinary writer with endless elegance, grace and talent, and a style quite his own. This is your first mandatory literary purchase of 2010. And if it is your only one, count yourself lucky."

Jack Henry

"The thing that really strikes me about these mostly very short poems is the economy of language McLean employs. He gets it. He understands it. He knows that it doesn't take a very long knife to kill... just a sharp one."

John Yamrus

"It may be early 2010 but ‘Laughing at Funerals’ is likely to be the best thing I’ll read this year. David McLean disturbs me the way I like to be disturbed - he is not in the business of making us feel better about ourselves. His work is short, sharp and addictive; his language not only slices through our lazy prejudices, but amputates them clean off."

Gillian Prew

"LAUGHING AT FUNERALS is, in my opinion, the very best work by David McLean. This book is gonna open many eyes, silence many critics, and establish McLean as one of the most unique poets of our generation."

Wolfgang Carstens

Laughing at Funerals is a perfect title for the new collection by David McLean. Like the brilliant author, it is irreverent, surreal, with a Fellini-esque sense of the absurd. Why not laugh at funerals? – there is no afterlife, we don’t even know if we are in real life right now, or in some ungodly parallel universe – and does it matter, anyway?

McLean had me with the opening poem:

first thing we do

first thing we do let's sit and do nothing
and wait until we die,
drinking beers and watching sports
having opinions about indifferent things,
bored out of our minds –
let's pretend that that's a life

He continues, in his inimitable unsentimental, spare, manner to write of devils, suns, rats, and stars, fear, dread, flowers, and junkie landscapes, and, within the nihilism, somehow, there is passion, life, and a certain, measured feeling of hope, as exemplified in the final poem:


tomorrow smells like murder
but the sun is shining here
and nothing is interested
in the coming slaughter
so we sacrifice ourselves
tonight, to life, but breathe
a minute here, under the loveless

It is the assurance, humor, and commitment to contradictory elements which makes this my favorite McLean book to date –

Puma Perl, writer, knuckle tattoos