Praise and Poems
Cremin’s poetry chews you up. She has an amazing ability to transfer poems onto the page where they muscle into your mind with visceral physicality and rare style. These poems snap your neck round from the dreamily conventional. They’re a wake up call that’s irresistible.
John Davies aka Shedman, pighog press
The poetry of Bernadette Cremin etches itself into the mind as distinctively as the fricatives of her name. One of Cremin’s great strengths as a poet is her gregariousness, shedding light to ‘whisper a rumour around the room’ (‘Scribbling in the Margin’) in the lock-ins of days where ‘the weather is missing’ (‘Once a Month’), and someone ‘sips black bitterness’ (‘The Reason for Thursdays’). In Cremin’s urban picaresque nothing is spared its posterity and everything is up for grabs on the page: a lunching office worker is detected ‘leaving a graze of insistent aftershave/on his way to the deli on St James Street’ (‘The Reason for Thursdays’).
These poems are pebbled with a verbal play that echoes the urban itineraries of the late Ian Dury. Minutiae of the living – and the dead – are vividly documented: from ‘Aunt Teresa’s/ back-combed laughter, her titian rinse/and creased cleavage’ (Uncle Tom’s Wake’) to ‘a Ladbroke docket for the three thirty at Haydock’ found among a deceased’s effects (‘Déjà Vu’). We figuratively ‘snatch a fag between smiles’ (‘Snapshot’) at ‘The Lavender Rinses/ and Walking sticks’ (‘Men at Work’). Cremin also sofa-surfs on the seamier side: a Goth girl has ‘punished herself like a thin dog’ (‘Growing Pains’), while a specialist’s gesticulations ‘hack mid-air/ attacking language’ (‘Dr. Sanjez’s Hands’). Her voice carves its own niche in cliffs of bitten witness to an ‘incessant beach’ (‘Carney’). Cremin’s Brighton is a seaside cheapside of bedsit ambitions, which, in its sheer gusto, will stand the test of time and tide.