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My poetry is Marilyn Manson, your poetry is Michael McIntyre

Wednesday 13th February 2019 at 1pm 0 Comments Literature


"On the art of taking a request, I assume no responsibility as I offer the last tweet I posted before I deleted my account:

My poetry is Marilyn Manson, your poetry is Michael McIntyre.

Sang okay to broken ice, and so, my development as a poet started the same as I suspect many other poets did; being intrinsically and intangibly “moved” by a poem, thus realising the insurmountable and overwhelming wow that a poem, as a purposeful language construct, can shift an entire being in a concentrated flux of profundity/empathy, in which one is forever altered, in an instance from which one assesses the aesthetic intensity of the world afresh and less daunted. This is perfect. This is authentic hyperbole. This is not poetry.

Once upon a distant moon I began to focus on writing in a way that was contrary to the dominant, traditional modes made famous by the poets of the Ulster Renaissance. John Berryman's Dream Songs, Blaise Cendrars' elastic poems and Julia Kristeva's Revolution in Poetic Language were influential as was Mina Loy since like forever. I had Pangs! I found that what I was doing could be academically contextualized as Menippean Satire, to defend a thesis, so I guess that's what I trade in; a contemporary rendition of Menippean Satire, all be it skewed by cultural inundations, both high and low, of the digital age.

My second collection, Songs for Ireland (Salvage Redux) is a conceptual sequence of poems with a complimentary video piece, building on smaller scale experiments using methods of collage, appropriation and textual bibliomancy. I don't subscribe to the theories of Kenny G and a school of Conceptual Poetics, I choose to play the metaphorical truant, testing lame that, I contest that the concept is more important than the finished art piece. The concept must bolster/enliven the completed article and vice versa. Otherwise it's a redundant exercise in reductive accomplishment. There is a huge difference between a poem that accomplishes something and a poem that achieves something. You know what I mean? Poems find an audience if they remain persistent and peculiar.

Inspo List Upon Invitation

Death by chance.
Eventual death.
Terminal illness.
Mental health issues.
Ecological disaster.
Empathy tears.
Atheistic abandonment issues.
Quantum physics.
Class struggle.
Social engagement.
Expression, both necessary and unnecessary.
The how and why that I’m not a new poet from the North of Ireland.
Love above all. For real.
Because poetry.

(Please listen to / view my artist statements.)



Robert Herbert McClean

Robert received an Arts Council Support for the Individual Artist (SIAP) Award in 2016 and 2018. He has held residencies at Belfast Exposed, The Curfew Tower and Forum Stadtpark. He won the University of Liverpool Miriam Allot Poetry Prize in 2013, was a nominee for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship in 2017 and was a finalist for the Arts Foundation Poetry Fellowship 2019.


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