Poetry

Make it a Double

By

This book will launch on Feb 2, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

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Contemplations on Life and Death included between the beers and bourbons

Synopsis

Broken into five sections—The Status Quo, The Descent, Death in the Middle, The Rising, and Return with the Elixir—“Make it a Double” is a heartfelt, humorous recounting of what it was like to be stuck on a barstool year after year over a ten-year period, ruminating on one’s purpose. The second in award winning poet Randall McNair’s Bar Poems series, Make it a Double builds on the momentum of “Dispatches from the Swinging Door Saloon” to resurrect images of McNair's dead kin, and his love for life—though buried in a bottle of whiskey—is evident throughout its pages.

If you enjoy raw, gritty, unique images used to paint pictures of love, life and self-loathing, then you’ll love this volume of blue collar poetry “written by a man for men.”

This is the second book of McNair’s poetry that I have reviewed. Thematically they are very similar. The poet hangs out in bars, and also drinks outside of them, at times waking up in a field of crops without knowing how he got there.


There is an explicit language warning; while not excessive, there are quite a few f-bombs and the like sprinkled through the poems. A few are understandable, but at times it seems as though McNair thinks his inner Bukowski mandates such things. I do not mean this as a criticism necessarily, but more as an observation.


For me, the book really came to life in the second section. “Death in the Middle”. The book takes a turn into mulling over larger issues than finding the next drink or trying to remember how one got where one woke up.


After McNair’s “big heart boom boom” a tone of introspection enters into the poetry. He speaks often about his wife, and in loving ways, She, incidentally, does not accompany him on his drinking excursions. Fro “My Wife Seve Years Ex Post Facto”, he sees his wife as having moved on after his death, remarried and belonging to a country club:


     And that one word, “steak”

      will instantly transport her

      back to life with me,

      Poet Laureate of the Absurd,

      founder of Bits of Steak Press,

      her first true love and father

      to her only son.


From there he recalls the deaths of his grandfather and of the father of some boyhood friends. And then it is a short step to his own death. Pardon my pun, but it is a sobering thought.


The second of any creative work has an inherent danger. Too often they consist merely of things that could not fit into the first book, album, whatever. As a result they do not break new ground. Make it a Double avoids that trap rather nicely. That’s why I recommend it.

Reviewed by

I am a published poet with four books out there of my own, and two in collaboration with artist Carol Worthington-Levy. Additionally I have drafts of a novel and one short story in the process of being sent out.

Synopsis

Broken into five sections—The Status Quo, The Descent, Death in the Middle, The Rising, and Return with the Elixir—“Make it a Double” is a heartfelt, humorous recounting of what it was like to be stuck on a barstool year after year over a ten-year period, ruminating on one’s purpose. The second in award winning poet Randall McNair’s Bar Poems series, Make it a Double builds on the momentum of “Dispatches from the Swinging Door Saloon” to resurrect images of McNair's dead kin, and his love for life—though buried in a bottle of whiskey—is evident throughout its pages.

If you enjoy raw, gritty, unique images used to paint pictures of love, life and self-loathing, then you’ll love this volume of blue collar poetry “written by a man for men.”

The Status Quo

It starts at the start

with your future before you

and ends there as well.


About the author

Described by his friends as Poet Laureate of the Absurd, McNair was inspired to put pen to paper by a mixture of Charles Bukowski, Billy Collins, Sharon Olds & the muse at large. His poetry has been published in both American and Canadian literary journals. To learn more, visit www.mcnairpoet.com. view profile

Published on February 01, 2021

10000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Poetry

Reviewed by