Review of David McLean’s Pushing Lemmings

Pushing Lemmings
By David McLean

Reviewed by Joseph M. Gant

“my blessed devils”

i hope the blessed devils
and accursed bacteria
that live in me scratch runes
on my hollow sounding bones
that the replete ghouls may read
a lesson of profoundest negativity
when they plow through the meat
machine me and see nothing
inside any us, like life, just death
and insanity dressed in night

“my blessed devils” is one of roughly 130 poems that comprise the volume Pushing Lemmings by David McLean. From “cemeteries” . . .

they used to put the bones
in dirt, thin caskets of nothing
we become, lying promiscuously
together whores and doctors
and murderers, children
and ancients, all gone

With poems such as these, McLean does not merely raise the bar for poetry; he moves it to a place most poets can’t find. To call the poems “existential” would be asinine and cliché. However McLean does, with these verses, make the grave itself moisten in its defeat via contest of stare. The lack of sentimentality in the examinations throughout Pushing Lemmings is stark and evident. Yet there is light and softness entwined with the deft precision of language that comprises poems such as “Stockholm sky” and  “the smallest movement.”

David McLean’s Pushing Lemmings is a truly complete collection of poetry. These tightly written and acute pieces present a work that is rich in scope and engaging. If Nietzsche were to write with the warm, running blood of Dylan Thomas, Pushing Lemmings would readily mirror that creation.

Pushing Lemmings and other books by David McLean are available for purchase here:

Published by Joseph M. Gant

Writer and Open Source enthusiast.

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