Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Michael McAloran - Debris (review)

chapbook review
Debris, by Micheal McAloran
erbacce press, 36 pp. £5 / $7.50
reviewed by David McLean

Stench
Rip of silent blood
Torn veins of the skylines
Atrophy
My skull a death orchard of bound bones
In the sickness of my laughter I vomit scars


I cite here Scars, one of the poems in this collection in full. It is one of an impressive collection of short dark poems here that follow a specific form, in that they are apparently nihilistic in the axiological sense, and the language is very rich in images, stench images, the odor and color of blood and shit given us on the chipped plate of the new millennium's psyche. The richness of the last line here is typical

in others last lines may be

I am disgust
(Reek)

The debris of my tears ablaze
(Ablaze)

I am the spit of the sun's vulgarity
(Spit)

So each poem is a little jewel cracked from the modern cancer, the malfunctioning spiritual pneumatics in each one of us. I don't feel that McAloran is looking for some nasty god in the details, he is showing what there is if one seeks something allegedly more, some holy source of values. His sort of “nihilism” - like most others – is only nihilism if we feel that the question of a source of transcendent values is an open or interesting question. If we don't mind vomiting scars then we're home free.

Obliterated skull you are the
Silence of tombs
Rest rest for in your fatal flowerings
I am breathing
(Rest)


There is a promising conclusion here, as we hear at the end, we fill the world with our whatever

Tearing out stitches with my teeth
The echoes
Fill the skyline
(Stitches)

We can live in the shit and learn to see the aesthetically appealing in the amplified roar of self-mutilation. This collection of aphorisms or sketches, almost a haiku feel to many of them, is one that I can heartily recommend. Get it at http://www.erbacce-press.com/michael-mcaloran/4542338472