Thursday, December 18, 2008

George Anderson's Dancing on Thin Ice by David McLean (Chapbook Review)

George Anderson's Dancing on Thin Ice
Review by David McLean

This new chapbook is a cynical and funny account of life, sexuality, love, violence, and motorbikes. It is often raw and exhilarating, the language well-tooled and crafted


the elderly couple
leave the cinema
& in fast forward mode
visibly age. Die. There is
a solemn, quickly forgotten


the Bonneville circles
again. The dark visors of the
in purple
bars of light

There are really excellent images here and the poems work well together. They even become reflexive

I suppose some MFA student in the distant future
will ask what this or that line means
or the symbolism behind such and such image
but let me assure you dear reader-
there are no lessons to be learnt here,
no underlying meaning, no ironic commentary about existence
it all just happened as I tried to describe it

I can recommend this book both for the slightly brutal humor of many of the poems and for the underlying truth of its cynical take on life, like in a poem about photographing roadkill

the use of metaphor is acceptable
but keep it simple & always link it
back to the blurred line
between art & excrement

And it's seldom that poems ever reflect on the pleasures of kicking the shit out of somebody, they aren't usually that honest, that real. So buy this book for being the delectable exception.

Availble from: Erbacce Press.

Author bio:

David McLean is Welsh but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there in a cottage on a hill with a woman, five selfish cats, and a stupid puppy. Details of his three available full length books, various chapbooks, and over 700 poems in or forthcoming at more than 300 places online or in print over the last couple of years, are at his blog at htpp:// He has recently been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, whatever that is. He would very much like you to buy his books so he can drink more. A new chapbook "of dead snakes" is due at Rain over Bouville in Feb 2009, and one from Poptritus Press in the summer.

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