Fly on the Wall Press Poetry Tour: Micro review of Michael Maul's Birds Who Eat French Fries.
Isabelle Kenyon of Fly On The Wall Press asked if I wanted to take part in the blog tour for Michael Maul’s chapbook Birds Who Eat French Fries. I’ve written a micro review for Maul’s chapbook, which I think summarises it neatly. The opening poem, of the same title shows the the stark reality of wildlife sharing the world with humans ‘or KFC skin and bones/locked inside styrofoam’. This poem sets the humorous tone which runs throughout the selection of poems and it also presents a sense of the macabre - a bird eating another bird that has been killed and cooked by humans. This is an apt poem for the world of today, where climate change and the impact of human life on nature is a rapidly increasing concern. What follows are poems which show the interlocking of reality and memory, ‘because we were friends first, I bought flowers to help me say goodbye’ and there’s a sense of poignancy throughout, particularly in ‘Thoughts on Hate Speech’. The poems’ subjects vary greatly, such as the power of nature, abusive relationships and ageing; Maul handles each with care, truth and creativity. We see a journey through childhood into adulthood, highlighting the notion of the past living within the present. Many of the poems are rooted in the everyday ‘like a mass beaching before the Pro Shop Door’ whilst taking us to other worlds ‘a floating leaf in cosmic tea’. Maul’s poems are full of life and death, peace and hate, love and loss. A thought-provoking chapbook which prompts the reader to think about their own experiences and reflect.