I have broken the rules again. Sorry Miranda! I’ve gone over the wordcount limit for Miranda Kate’s – Mid-Week Flash (The General Guidelines can be found here if you’d like to join in) but, in my defence, I’m using both the prompts from week 98 and from week 100 in combination today, so if I get a 750 word limit for each prompt I’m well under 😉
(Reading this back now it’s obviously heavily influenced by Death and Albert from the Discworld by Terry Pratchett, but that wasn’t conscious when I was writing it!)
Here are the prompt images:
Johnny Come Lately
I was at rock bottom when he found me. Literally, lying on a piss stained concrete floor, puking black blood, caked in my own filth. Must’ve looked like a feral animal.
I’ll open this review of Steve McAuliffe’s debut poetry collection, Thamesmead, with a disclaimer: I do actually know Steve (online at least), we’ve worked together on a couple of independent lefty media sites, both being writers of a similar political persuasion. He did also give me a copy of this book free – but it was a birthday gift, rather than in exchange for review, and I didn’t tell him I intended to review it until after I had read it and decided it met my personal standard for public review. Long term followers of my goodreads, facebook, and twitter will know, I generally don’t like to give public reviews of books unless I can give them three or more stars.
Once I had read and fallen in love with Thamesmead, I badgered and nagged and irritated Steve until he agreed to answer some questions to make me go away – you can find his author interview below my review.
Thamesmead by Steve McAuliffe is a collection of 30 poems, some only a few lines, a sketch of an idea or snapshot in time, some several pages long, telling entire narratives. I really enjoyed the contrast in length and style throughout the book. It’s a slim volume, but I still found it took me a long time to read, because each piece made me want to pause and reflect, and at times re-read before moving on. The imagery is powerful, and even in the parts of the book that delved into the fantastical and mythological is vividly painted on the page so that the reader is right there with the subject, seeing the scene clearly through their eyes, a feat that’s difficult to achieve in poetry.