by Martin Mooney
A fine collection . . . lyrical but never precious, moving but never mawkish, political but never hectoring . . . a very impressive debut. —John Dunne
One mark of the genuine poet is the ability to revel in language and, at the same time, to query it. It’s canny and uncanny; it’s a high-wire act though the poet is the first to say that it’s only words . . . Mooney’s account of young people from Belfast adrift in amoral London at the end of the twentieth century is powerful and haunting stuff. Through a quietly masterful range of forms Mooney shows a number of souls sinking inevitably in a world that makes the seediness T. S. Eliot once observed seem like a nursery school . . . shrewd and matter-of-fact as it notes how the wheels of crime and justice grind up some bodies just as other bodies manipulate the process or flee elsewhere... —Baron Wormser
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MARTIN MOONEY’s poetry, short fiction, reviews, criticism and cultural commentary have been published in Irish and British periodicals. Following Grub, which on its original release in Ireland won the Brendan Behand Memorial Award, Mooney published Bonfire Makers, Operation Sandcastle, and Rasputin and His Children. His poems have appeared in Field and The Gettsyburg Review. He was writer-in-residence as the Brighton Festival and the Aspects Festival of Irish Writing, and twice was appointed a member of the resident faculty at The Robert Frost Place Poetry Festival in Franconia, NH.
They are so much older than us
that they live only in photographs,
where they crowd the pavements
or jaywalk between tramcars.
We barely recognize them, whose
shirts are without collars
and whose waistcoats are chained
to their own buttons –
they are all strangers in suits,
as if every day was a Sunday
where you keep your cap on
and worship the god machinery.
Even today old men, their sons,
preserve their hand-me-downs,
keep faith with pocket watches
at well-attended funerals,
raise old-fashioned hats to wives,
widows, roomfuls of daughters,
their heads full of old street maps
and the long-culverted rivers.