. . . call a poet up today
Invite one to your next soiree
Secure he won't be in your loo
Syringe in arm and turning blue . . ."
of rhyme, tidy of diction, precise of cadence and inventive
of form, Martin Newell is a poet you can invite into your home
on any occasion, secure in the knowledge that he will not baffle
or patronise you. His intention seems merely to entertain. It's
only when you've ushered him past the Ikea dado-rail, the Astrohome
CD-holder and the Littlewoods catalogue wallpaper that you'll
notice the menacing teeth, and the satirical talons that are
sunk deep into your own pretensions as well.
Newell's poems are light verse at its most intelligent, smartly-
crafted, pissed-off extreme. Since he began writing for The
Independent, where he is now Canary Wharf's unofficial Poet
Laureate, his subjects have moved from the disgustingly personal
(like "I Hank Marvinned", a sordid confession of the
solitary act with the tennis racket) to the disgustedly political
("The Great Beef Scare of '96") along with a hundred
obsessive excursions into the more foolish rings of the rock
'n' roll circus. Whether he's being politely formal with Jarvis
Cocker and Michael Jackson, slangily Essex with Karen and Darren
or sleekly regretting the down-grading of Hell ("Do something
wrong, it got redressed. A red-hot triton up your vest").
Newell is an original, a card and a caution. . . .
John Walsh, The Independent
135mm x 215mm
ISBN 0 9525594 2 0