McKinty, Ciaran Carson, and Belfast Confetti
Here's how Ciaran Carson does it in "Belfast Confetti," writing about the sort-of-war that was Northern Ireland's Troubles:
Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining exclamation marks,I first heard of Carson through Adrian McKinty, and I found that several of Carson's poems reminded me of the opening chapters of McKinty's novels I Hear the Sirens in the Street and The Dead Yard. And lo, it transpires that the prologue to Dead I Well May Be, the book that got me reading McKinty in the first place, is called "Belfast Confetti." I attached no special significance to that title when I read the novel, however, because I had not read Carson at the time.
Nuts, bolts, nails, car keys. A fount of broken type.
And the explosion
Itself – an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of rapid fire …
I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept stuttering,
All the alleyways and side-streets blocked with stops and colons.
I know this labyrinth so well – Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman, Odessa Street –
Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated.
Crimea Street. Dead end again.
A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields.
Walkie-talkies. What is
My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I
going? A fusillade of question-marks.
Sample Carson's poetry here, read a bit about him, and hear him read "Belfast Confetti."
Troll McKinty's blog or a bookseller's site to read the openings of those three novels and see what I mean about similarities to Carson. Better yet, read the books.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013