‘She raises her frail bird-boned hands to wipe fresh teardrops from her eyes, she reveals thin scars carved up & down her pale wrist’. Scarred Canvas
I received my bound galley copy of ‘Scarred Canvas’ by RC Edrington in the post a couple of weeks ago and have just finished my second reading this morning, not the type of poetry book you want to be reading during breakfast. I had never heard of RC Edrington before, but that is the reason why I have this site and why I love finding new writers or new writers finding me, and what a privilege it is to find such a writer who speaks straight from the heart, fearless, with a back-bone straight and hard.
It would be too easy to state that the poems in this collection are not for the fainthearted, that if you want nice little poems this book is not for you, to not bother buying this book, too easy and wrong. You may be a writer, or reader, or both, but, like myself, should always be open to different styles, genres, views, opinions, all walks of life that great poetry throws at us and in the world and life of Edrington in ‘Scarred Canvas’ there is no escaping the brutal expressive images of a reality of life far far away from the comforts most of us live in.
The poems in ‘Scarred Canvas’ are emotion packed powerful images not created to shock but to draw you in to the world of chaos and fragile reality that Edrington has crawled, witnessed and bled. Whether it is shooting up heroin, searching for coins for the next hit, hanging with prostitutes, troubled borderline of suicidal tendencies, series amount of cigarettes and alcohol, tattoos, murders and the dirty realistic side to Hollywood hidden from the flashing cameras of wandering tourists, these poems explode from the page as shrapnel, lodged in the mind for days.
Though some poems are are a hard read, I found myself coming back to reread certain poems due to the striking imagery and energetic jazz filled musical feel of the writing. There are no lies in these poems, just full-hearted honesty. Edrington is not trying to impress, not trying to fill the page with drug fueled drunken rambling, but uses his skill as a poet in first person narrative and the hard neck of a man that does not give a damn what you think of him personally, to draw you in to a world of shit and hell, tantalizing and in dramatic fashion, and be open in the most honest way that all poets should be.
Even in all the harsh and grotesque images raging through the poetry there is tenderness to be found. A lot of these poems can even be classed as love poems or elegies Edrington style. Take the poems ‘As She Sleeps’ Words that touch me/in ways lips/fingers never will and ‘Lipstick Bruise’ I never wanting/of her lips/against my waking chest/to only dream are just some of the excellent gorgeous lines that speak of a love either living or passed on, filling the mind with wonderful haunting images.
Edrington writes with balls and a voice from the harsh jaws of life. These poems must be read and you can be sure that you will be hearing more and more of this poet in the future. Think of Bukowski and Burroughs, mixed and mashed with more energy and valour, roared and shot from a gun to explode in words and you have the wonderful expressive hard hitting poetry of Edrington to behold in your collection, to read and reread, poems of a personal nature unheard of in contemporary writing, just make sure you have finished your breakfast before hand.
Where To Find It?
This review is for the excellent site Underground Voices. The release date of this book is June 2013 so I suggest buying a copy.
About The Author:
RC Edrington has been a scourge on the small press for years. He’s published numerous chapbooks, the first being Whiskey Coma Blues. His scribbles have also appeared in countless journals, anthologies, e-zines and magazines. He offers no graduate degree in any imaginary art form. Nor can he produce a certificate of authentication from any hip writing guild to prove he is an actual writer. He despises hip coffee boutiques and the meaningless flesh that haunts them. You can find him here at his personal site, which I highly recommend as there is tons of great content and useful resources.