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Mark Mahemoff / Urban Gleanings

  • Mark Mahemoff / Urban Gleanings
‘In Mark Mahemoff’s Urban Gleanings the routine of the urban commute, punctured by fragile incidents and ruminations, is interspersed with poems drumming against mortality, such as the refugees whose “corpses washed to shore / all in the same boat”. Many poems are shaded by nostalgia and a tinkering unease: an old garage where “dreams often end up in mothballs”, parents and children cagily circling each other, or watching balloons “disappear into their past”. As well as these segmented descriptions of daily life demarcated by a crowded metropolis, two long centos chronicle some recent Australian injustices.’ - Gig Ryan
Urban Gleanings is an urbane collection that manages to be both sophisticated as verse and open-hearted as poetry. To “glean” is to seek what is left behind, overlooked, deemed superfluous but which yet sustains the gleaner, who patiently works the fields others have forsaken. In this manner, Mark Mahemoff scrutinises the ground of our living and uncovers what is valuable in it. What we, in our turn, discover is that these poems - these gleanings - are in fact the true harvest itself, its rich abundance laid out before us as his gift.’ - Paul Kane
This book is remarkable for the humanity of its content and austerity of its language. It is a constant going out of itself into the experience of others. Family, friends and strangers are seen for themselves in an effort of sympathy. The style is entirely appropriate to what is said, opening out possibilities from one line to the next. There is a drive to make sense of experience and then offer that as a new experience in the form of poetry. The impulse to remember is richly present. To memorialise the overlooked or unseen is the constant intention. Words pick up words through subtle rhyming and alliteration demonstrating interconnection, the abiding theme.’ - Robert Gray
‘…concise, wittily memorable and elegant.’ - Rochford Street Review
978 1 76041 329 3, 88pp




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