The Book of Revelation serves as a lonely planet guide to this outrageous place in time. With a nod to Mark E. Smith – late lead singer of The Fall and “the John of Patmos of his day” – Rob A. Mackenzie’s apocalyptic nightmare vision encompasses the rags of Empire, political turpitude and blindingly oppressive headlines in a grimly comic phantasmagoria of twenty-first century turmoil. It is not all darkness, however: there are consolations to be found in the creative underground, the varieties of artistic resistance, and guinea pigs. With typical formal variety and stylistic energy, Mackenzie takes us on a tour through the kingdoms of mosquito governments and “hyena influencers, hyena Messiahs”, recognising both despair at passing moments and also that “the moments are always beginning”.
‘These poems scorch the page—funny, tragic, full of wordplay and zing and despair. In other words, entirely apposite for our times.’ —Tishani Doshi
‘I very much enjoyed Rob A. Mackenzie’s formally various and deeply satirical The Book of Revelation, which reflects the strangeness of the biblical text through a contemporary lens – its horrors, doubts and seductions.’ —Sasha Dugdale
‘This is a dense, allusive, layered collection and I feel I shall need several more readings to really get under its skin. That will be no hardship, and anyway I always feel it is a virtue in a book not to give up all its meaning at once.’ —Sheenagh Pugh
‘Biting, satirical, polemical and eschatological, this collection is Mackenzie’s attempt to navigate the outrageous labyrinth of the 2010s. Many of the poems talk shop about the poetry world and cock a snook at its self-serving and navel-gazing irrelevance.’ —Richie McCaffery, Northwords