A Knockout Debut

Christine McNair is a one-woman fireworks spectacle. In her debut poetry publication CONFLICT she hits just about every target of creativity in writing in the poetic forum (and even tosses in some ‘short stories’ to boot). Words, for McNair are a means to an end, and she scrambles them, places them all over the place in some poems, combines them in ways that at first glance make us wonder about the meaning only to come back later and, red-faced, say ‘Ohhhhh….’ And yet this sorceress of language can settle into some poems that are about as sensitive and tender as any we can find.


We have an easy dress code here, take
many breaks, smoke cigarettes, let
bitter chocolate melt

It is permitted to display tattoos,
play music, make long distance phone calls

but pin yourself to demands, supply
crosscheck inventory, clear dates
you may be forgotten, someone

we hire one week and can’t
remember the next (some mild milky girl
her smile tucked on itself)

we will see what we can do
about the view
about the play

the hours are good, you can come
and go as you please

the benefits: poor

And another example of her work follows (many of her poems require spacing, are long or use language that cannot be reproduced here) – another terse bu brittle poem:


economically speaking
the production distribution
and consumption of goods
aggregates demand and
mountain fold or valley fold
self-serve soft-serve stuff
craves cheques and balances
a utility of function this is what
we mean when we talk about
love that there’s a warehouse
full of TNT high voltage concrete
shoes 36-24-26 perfection held
together by sparklers and red
balloons pork bellies held on
lay away and a foolhardy notion
in defense of disposable income

Christine McNair drives a rollercoaster of words and ideas and feelings and off the wall ideas that provide the reader with a challenging but thoroughly satisfying experience. She’s new, in more ways than one.

Grady Harp, July 2012

ISBN: 9781927040058

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