The world we live in has changed drastically over the past few weeks. We are living in a pandemic. Basic items like hand-wash, toilet paper and pasta have become that rare golden ticket just waiting to be claimed. It has become a very, very mad world lately dear reader. A grenade waiting to be pulled, thrown and…
Today I am reviewing Grenade Genie (Published 17th April) By Thomas McColl and Happy publication day! A big thank you to the publishers Fly On The Wall Press for my copy to review, always appreciated.
About The Author
Thomas McColl was born in 1970 and lives in London. He’s had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Iota, Prole, Riggwelter, Atrium, London Grip and Ink, Sweat & Tears, and his first collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, was published in 2016 by Listen Softly London Press. One of the poems from the book, The Chalk Fairy, was subsequently included in the Shoestring Press anthology, Poems for Jeremy Corbyn, and ended up getting quoted in the Evening Standard. He’s read and performed his poetry at many events in London and beyond – including Celine’s Salon, The Quiet Compere, Birkbeck Writer’s Room and Newham Word Festival – and has been featured on East London Radio, Wandsworth Radio and TV’s London Live.
These 25 succinct studies of the cursed, coerced, combative and corrupted bring to light societal injustice, describing a thirst for freedom from our current political systems. A subtle but powerful exploration of oppression, McColl reminds us through humour, references to popular film, music and Greek mythology, that what seems apparent normal, might on a closer look be cursed, coerced, combative and corrupted.
McColl explores the four C’s: Cursed, Coerced, Combative and Corrupted. His poetry expresses what it means to be alive in these uncertain times. In a world full of selfies and mindless tweets, he tackles the digital devil and questions what others fear to. These poems explore human behaviour and the instructions we all seem to follow. We are, as the famous phrase goes: lambs to the slaughter. We follow and don’t ask questions, we copy and repeat to the extent that we don’t push for answers on the discovery of hidden bunkers and burned bodies. We nod and move along on the conveyor belt that is life. McColl has captured and delivered the very essence of our existence flawlessly.
The use of imagery is both amusing and disturbing. You find yourself subconsciously doing a double take every-time you walk past a mannequin, wondering who they used to really be. As you drive past trees you feel their claws reach out, scratching the paintwork. I loved envisioning the trees taking back the city. I agree that they got given the short straw in the ever expanding growth of our species. The jaw-clenching honesty of these poems at first can appear unnerving but you soon begin to relax as you realise that you’ve already walked this wasteland. You live there, day in, day out.
McColl shows the reader how what they portray online is a misrepresentation of their true self. No one cares about another selfie or what you had for dinner. Yet these are the things that consume the web, we fall into the trap like a foolish fly, feeding the hungry spider that awaits above. There’s always someone higher up pulling the strings and McColl hints at this heavily throughout. It makes for thought provoking ideas to form and expand the mind.
I give Grenade Genie By Thomas McColl a Four out of Five paw rating
These poems couldn’t have arrived at a better time. More than ever outspoken voices need to be heard over the corrupted. There is so much we take for granted and it’s only when it’s forcefully taken away do we appreciate what we once had. These poems are engaging and challenging, you will find yourself looking at the world filter free now that you have noticed what was staring straight back at you all along.
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