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Spearmint & Rescue
by Mark Russell
(pub. December 2016)


Praise for Spearmint & Rescue



“There is much to admire in Mark Russell's first collection, from the assured, lyrical voice, to the skilful rendering of an inner life rich in imagination and quirk. Whether gifting jeopardies to life stories in a game of people-watching or immortalising intimate moments, Russell seeks to record a messy, complicated world with humour, candour and grace.”

Jo Hemmant

“With an assured use of language, Russell gifts a cast of characters who’ve come and gone in his life; allows them to disquieten ours with each turn of the page. We follow his “barren pauper’s promise”, weave past yellow streetlights to open roads, watch his landscape unfold through half-curtained eyes.”

Abegail Morley

“Mark Russell writes about strong emotions by describing other events than the one that triggers them. He looks at people and sees their potential to be other people. His indirection is consistently witty. If you like your poetry droll and dry, whether it is about love or sex or imagination, this is for you.”

Bill Greenwell


How Dark the Clyde

There is a road that leads
from the halogen paths of night,
a curl of tarmac to nothing
live or attended or fruitful,
its silent factory so far
from the pubs, the kebabs,
the broken pavements,
you would have to know
it was there before turning
or you might mistake it for
another forgotten legacy
of sweat and alcohol,
of early mornings, smoke,
sandwiches and fellowship.
Down there the river runs
beetle-black against the rim
of one parish breaking
against its limits.
A man can park a car there,
play music, fiddle with keys,
be unheard, unseen; can listen                          
to the low lap of water rushing
about its important business,
luring all down to its womb-depths,
take a short drive,
burn but a spurt of oil.


(from Spearmint & Rescue)

Spearmint & Rescue

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