Dreams From Under a Rock, available through Concrete Meat Press, is a six poem chapbook by UK poet, Adrian Manning. The cover art, by Jocelyne Desforges is a painting of a muscular, tattooed, bald-headed tough guy; he has pain in his eyes. It is an old-fashioned pain, an inner anguish so severe, it is realised in the physical.
Manning’s dreams are nightmares that come in the dead of night and outstay their welcome. He is haunted by the past, visited by the dead and well-acquainted with death. His subconscious is bruised and its companions are damaged. Rodent ghosts with rapacious greed are hungry for his soul. He falls from a great height and cannot remember if he was pushed or if he jumped. Death’s kiss lingers on his lips and every breath appears as the last. These dreams are a life sentence, served in solitude. They dominate in slumber and rule the waking hours.
Dreams From Under a Rock, is concise, well-crafted and cutting. Manning is a gutsy poet who isn’t scared of vulnerability. He harnesses his fears, as the tough guy, and uses them to confront life’s ever-present threat of death. There is pain in this poetry. It is an old-fashioned pain, an inner anguish so severe, it is realised in the physical.
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