Having just read “26” I feel like I’ve had an aesthetic experience roughly akin to being happy slapped with a kipper while having my underwear filled with live hermit crabs. I sit down slightly shakily, torn between contacting trading standards to report this mess passing itself off as a poem and sheer horror that not only did it get written but also published. Surely an indication of a civilisation in decline?
You would have thought that given the starting premise of coming of age and boy meets girl some feeling and emotional context could be forthcoming, but no. Instead you get what appears to random collection of words with all grace, meaning, style and flow meticulously beaten out of them. But the abuse doesn’t stop there. Having beaten these poor innocent words into a flaccid shadow of their former selves they are now roughly crow-barred into a form approximating a poem. And I do mean crow-barred. A word to would be poets out there — randomly breaking a sentence in the middle
does not make it art.
Just when you think that things couldn’t get any worse the abuser, as the author will henceforth be known, takes the klunkiest metaphor possible and shoehorns it into the middle of the unholy mess (with a section in parenthesis believe it or not) leaving the reader feeling like they have not only been pushed to the floor but repeatedly kicked while down.
This pile of word detritus is not only a dearth of art and creativity but an actual black hole. Upon reading it you can feel your soul being suck away from you leaving the world a little uglier and a little greyer than before.