Clearer by Mark Shackleton
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans
I don’t pick up too many poetry collections, but am glad I did this time. Clearer is formatted to throw you off the usual reading pattern, with sentences split, separated, and spaced all over the page. It jars you into paying attention.
This short work by Mr. Schakleton supplies a cornucopia of opportunities to look at the dramas, roles, illusions, and so-called existence, we all share, with a different view. There is no denying the darkness, the “hellish” aspects of living, the depressing events that take place, but there is also something within which it is all contained.
Here is the one that touched me the most and helped me remember to not get caught in my own play. To pay attention to the script I’m writing, and realize it is all coming and going, and holding onto anything is impossible. Better to give it away moment to moment.
Don’t Buy It
Don’t buy into your own publicity,
everything is passing.
This thing you’ve found is not yours to keep,
it was given to be given away.
You may not be here tomorrow but tomorrow is another day.
You will never get away until you give it away.
You will never know the stars if you’re afraid to lose your way.
Don’t believe your own publicity.
Whether good or bad,
happy or sad,
sane or mad,
from start to finish it was someone else’s idea.