Mark G Pennington is a writer based in Kendal, Cumbria. He is the author of Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins, his debut book of poems published by Dempsey and Windle (2018). He has recently been nominated for The Pushcart Prize for poetry. His second collection, That Summer They Broke the Birds, is to be published in April 2019. He is writing his first novel at present.
Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins
29 poems, 45 pages
15cm x 21cm
Praise for "Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins":
"Mark G Pennington’s poetry is masculine and sensual. It’s orchids and roses, it’s burnt orange and deep burgundy. It’s playing the blues on the accordion in a jazz bar. It’s a soulful busker with a battered guitar in the rain or the corner of a brothel. It’s spicy and secret with hints of Mexico, beat poets, angels and a shy Cumbrian. Mark G Pennington takes you to a place that you want to inhabit but from the safety of a page. A page that no longer feels like a page but a portal you are keen to re-visit. This is a poet you will fall in love with and after his poem Impossible Heart, you can’t help but love him with your guts."
Ann Grant, Poet
The filth and the rag brine
(from "Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins")
The mirror looked like it had been
up all night. A sunken, netted and
pilfered salmon marked by the
severity of the fisherman’s net.
Blood dances like shadow assassins.
Inflated, pink skull.
The room dropped to its knees.
A man can bruise in many ways.
Eyes tired as mothers of gin and
drivers with bad road directions.
The gut of brokenness.
Overture in songbird elegy:
reminder of the dead broken heart.
You are always alone,
even when in good company.
© Mark G Pennington
That Summer they broke the Birds
43 poems, 66 pages
15cm x 21cm
Konstandinos Mahoney, poet and playwright, writes about That Summer they broke the Birds::
'The poems in Mark G Pennington’s second collection are sensual, surreal outpourings that flow from the page often with no stanza breaks, turbulent streams of consciousness marshalled by a metric discipline and an underlying symbolic cohesion achieving a musicality that binds the surge of startling juxtapositions and collocations into a powerful whole. Decadent Baudelairian themes of love, sex, drink, drugs, travel are explored through a build up of original, exotic imagery; spirit of place: Amsterdam, Berlin, Spain, Mexico, USA , is evoked through a daring dislocation of the expected. Pennington’s is a muscular, minotaur voice roaring from the centre of an elaborate labyrinth.'
Prayers written by queens
(from "That Summer they broke the Birds"_
The long grass blades sweating up to my knee,
mountain as breasts - a little rain in the sky,
auld grey town snuff and shoes.
The valley on a river of damson, blowing east
in the marine west coast climate, fowl, sheep,
cattle perfume ringing like dust.
Footprints on a shallow marsh leading out to
the range - in the distance a pecking sun.
The schoolyard now temporarily deserted for
summer with grass short, shot with vast emptiness.
Perched high I see greens with amateur
filmmakers, black dogs pounding, breathless, no
Meadow trees catching ribbons and ropes,
a river from Bela to Winster soaking your land,
a moody winter is coming.
The town’s twin – her secret lover is the lower Saxony
sister with English landscape gardens, markets for sun
climates and wishbones.
In this place I know the land is living, quiet
bells from prayers written by queens; factories
pumping to the sky, air bitten left rash and taut.
A gesture to the drink and the boys play
gladness, served under a row of chimney tops;
the gas blows out, gin talk and rum affairs, it is
night to the midnight walkers.
Roses almost washed, now the rain coming to clean
the roof slates - limestone as buckets, fences, shelter
from the storm, a bed for the libertine, and the
town is best swallowed in a Japanese diet.
© Mark G Pennington