As the wind whispers through the grass, what sounds does it make? According to this poetry collection by Matt Nunn it whispers a tale of anarchy, teen angst and rain plop on a crapola landscape. From his early school days with a 'right-venerable tosspot' headmaster to the two-tone reggae beat in his poem 'Coventry Calling,' this self-labelled 'dumb brummie buffoon' takes us on a roller-coaster ride of gutsy language that holds no truck with any refined sensibilities.
‘What’s it all about big ‘ead?’: Nunn's poems evoke a Burgess-like quality with their old-school expressions, insults and in the creation of Nadsat-like words ‘the screaming Pollocky sky of angels.’ Nunn manages to capture the love for ‘this soaking beloved isle of sodden crapness’ that is both new and yet harks back to a familiar past. His poems juxtapose the everyday with the sublime, making us look at our experiences in a renewed light, like ‘God with a spray can’ attacking our insensitivities.
‘Grubby precincts of paradises’ are populated with the bizarre and bereft, from the have-a-go-heroes and 'grot-faced nippers' to the 'prissy cagouled tourists' and 'Tudor-haired truckers.' Nunn scatters a range of characters throughout his text to share their stories with us, affectionately reminiscing on the revolting recent past of Mini Metros, cassette tapes, Vespas, Chernobyl and disco lights, taking us on a stroll down memory lane with an eye on the profane. His opening 'Prologue' sums it up:
and rude thumping drummers
and you too, you strangely alluring
and I’ll teach you in a boom frazzled
in daydreams of thunderstorms.
inside out until you are nothing
but a bloody shredded kiss
hanging off a borrowed skull’s humming lips.
If you want,
I can be all crazy flesh,
the epitome of polite romance
as sweet and delicate as you would wish:
Open your ears and visualise the scene, as Nunn transports us to an all too familiar ‘screaming landscape.’
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