‘longshadowfall’ reviewed by David McLean

Michael Mc Aloran
Editions du Cygne 2017
book review by David McLean
Mc Aloran’s new book is not about participating in any sort of Irish tradition, although the fact that he is Irish has obviously created an expectation that he be expected to care about Beckett & the other notable Irish writers, if there are any, especially since he does not create conventional prose in his texts. It is not evident in what way Mc Aloran follows in any Irish tradition given that he has developed an individual voice. Mc Aloran takes this subsumption of his work under the patriotic assumption of Irishness & some regional identity qua writer with some grace, since it must be very frustrating.
What the books are basically about is the circumstance that existence is extremely temporary & not driven by some fundamental meaning whereby things fit into their various places & are essentially & unproblematically what they are. We are loathsome ugly clumps of meat – the failing echo of which Mc Aloran writes is moronic repetition, it is the pathetic quest for meaning: there are no razors that do not have blood on them, nothing that does not rust, no flesh forever except the repetitive return of more worthless flesh. The echo might be an originary echo, the sounds that come out first are already echoes. The road, everywhere, is marked by shit, it is full of shit. A perfect place for the shit that is humanity to drag itself back to nothing.
I think that Mc Aloran would agree with my assessment of humanity that I developed from Homer Simpson “People do things because they are stupid & die because they deserve to” – there is carrion everywhere: people die so often that it is (almost) not even funny anymore.
The best aspect of Mc Aloran is the gloom. There is no trace of the inability that the later (& better) Becket regrets as he notices that words do not work, they just lie on the page & suck. This is because what Mc Aloran is portraying is the fact that meaning is not there, life sucks because it is meat that fails to mean.
When we die we will have failed to speak, we will have failed to mean, we will have failed to matter. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with modern society or any sort of political criticism, that’s just the way it is. We are left with “speech lack of claim/ words dead foreign ice encasing fathom untimely said
It helps to be mad, it helps to be drunk. Buy this book. It’s available from the usual culprits & the publishers

3 new…

   decibel overture of night’s collapse into/ fleshed lest of rigour trace of one singular edge sudden as if to grace what when/ mute tone of sarcophagus traces of design mock of syllabus detritus cast/ what will obscure colourings eye’s undone/ some given less than taken skinned lock-lapse walls wombs of lightless suffocate nothing in from final sky unfelt (the) extinguish in grip of shadowing/ a caress of teeth dragging pelt white lock through bloody sands/ nocturne spread-eagled given to parasite where one wound burning colourless obscure wrestles with silken skin/ it-bones (we) what gathered from broke stone silences/ automaton steel echoing in kaleidoscopic hemorrhage stead will what as if to say it will what/ =/ weight blind echo of unfelt/ not a/ nor (the) other than as if there were ever any/ winds cascade into lung shred of vocal light carrion atrophate sheltered by flesh/ ever some trace to
   cold colours in coagulate of flesh echo-echo neither left find skull of dreaming-in sudden as if to expire once spoken else/ shard of unlocked bulb of heart drenched in shit offered up unto devour lack taste shadowing spitting out plumes of/ cracks not no knuckles bled meat sways as of some orchid’s kiss unto winds we laughter-long/ stun-collide/ hollow knock upon marble surface cleans away some liquid spill/ cum dead lock-weight desire’s fruit (the) stench of rotting silence uprooted/ (we-it)/ eye-lit/ echoing wounds spec-ial black lacking end pock-marked desire’s long circus parameter/ as all away to/ grains of shadow caressing (the) broke bone skylit/ as all for as for of into from which till no collides with one singular purpose given unto forgotten in instance/ knowledge putreformed/ putrified/ veranda of cold mist/ (waves farewell to non-space in given absent trace)
    stairwell descends/ rescinds/ expands eye in/ vulture kisses from blackened teeth skinning apart (the) abattoir disgust of absurd trace collapse burning in mist of final edge of razor light/ syringe taste upon dry tongue what world a/ to break/ a/ …/ not a forage nor a whisper collapsing into dawn effortlessly divided where words form prayers to/ where words form prayers for dissipation-disease fled unto/ what as if in it/ it/ fingers to cauterize (the) bleak blood tide screaming silently/ shines some unfled sun given from out of taken distance tasted skull-depth acrid azure skinning (the) teeth of purpose blind/ subterfuge of light/ spasm of some locked hold in/ see (the) white sheer in mind it burns black what static else ever unto colourless appeal/ in a suicide of retribute trimming (the) fat from meat most real dense viscous tar no better than/ yet in/ and yet/ of or other than unspoke