Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
On the Road to Infinity
by Mark Logie
25 pages, Oct 2011
Reading poetry isn’t always an easy process. Sometimes poems can take the reader to dark, deep, and even dank places as they draw the reader inward. Mark Logie’s poems plumb the depths of human pain, the loss of innocence, a child abandoned, the terrible freedom of adulthood, the inhumanity of the daily grind, the impact of genetic engineering, and a post apocalyptic landscape.
The thirteen poems in this chapbook cover a range of themes, working between personal turmoil and political issues. The book works between a number of dichotomies: sickness and health, sanity and insanity, youth and age, city and wilderness:
Drinking in the bitter-sweet rain
From the titanium leviathans
All nightmares of the wilderness
This collection of thirteen poems explores the pain, joy, fears and hopes of people living their lives (sometimes mundane, sometimes extraordinary), fighting the world, fighting themselves, or simply trying to survive against the odds.
At time Logie stretches metaphor to its limits, inviting the reader to take a dive into madness, into transformation, into escape:
I am a kestrel flying across the
From Instades to Outstades,
Towards the open territories of
the Great Void
At times, this takes the work into ‘purple’ territory, going just a bit far into the metaphor; using language so wrought that it become unsubtle:
The grotesque creatures who
haunt the bowels of the camp
Will pursue me into the antelight
And torture my anguished cries
until the darkfall of eternity.
Overall though, this is a powerful, often self-referential collection that covers the broad spectrum of human experience, from the simple pleasure of a farmer on Christmas morning, to the drug fuelled hallucinations of a solitary man. The deeply complex poems are image rich, and repay multiple readings.