A Book Review: Robin McNamara – Under A Mind’s Staircase

This is a review of Robin McNamara’s debut chapbook “Under a Mind’s Staircase” under The Hedgehog Poetry Press (c) 2021.

As I was reading Robin’s poems I first felt like this was a lost journey, a poet seeking answers. Diving into every emotion and trying to absorb them into words. To be in a lonely state of mind, a scared state of mind, a worried state of mind (religion), to take in the beauty of nature. To be in panic and seeking quick answers. I identified most with the imagery of this poet as they try to figure out love, lust, lost, what’s left, then death. I appreciate the influences expressed in the poems such as Sins of Soul & Soul of Dust inspired by T.S. Eliot. I am often inspired in my own writings with T.S. Eliot’s inklings left for us to read.

“Sins of Souls” is one of my favorites because it dives into the unknown whether you’re wants might be the lust that the world impulses you in. How you are made to feel ashamed to sin, when hidden. While everyone is behind the curtain mimicking the same sins with a ridicule.

Published poetry by Robin McNamara from “Under A Mind’s Staircase”

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Robin McNamara

The language in these poems I can deeply feel such as in “The Devil’s List” “Have the angels fled?” …. “The angels have fled” I often dive into this same interesting dialogue within poems that leaves questions and ultimately a realization, or an answer from the poet’s perspective, however this leaves the reader pondering if they truly have found the answer at the end, or are they still searching.

Life being so complex. Figuring out what is real, what is ideal, what is surreal, and what is just a feel. This is what this journey is trying to lead you through.

With eyes: observations of nature “Blackbird on the Hill”, “Tides and Seasons” “Apple Picking Season” “Dusked Evenings” “The Fold of the Seasons” this leads to observations, to the mind, what do these images conjure, how can you relate to what you see?

With the mind in static: “It’s Quite Mental, Really” a trip through moments of insanity. Everything that surrounds is surreal, nothing is real, what can I do? To make it real? What does loneliness cause a person to be?

Explore this journey of humanity and take in the beautiful words, relatability (if you’re empathic) and realize we are all hidden and we are also all in front of those curtains in display. Soul and all for the pickings and the observation.

https://robinmcpoet.com/ for Robin’s bookstore on his webpage.

https://amzn.to/3BUKxb4 for Amazon link (U.S.)

Published poetry by Robin McNamara from “Under A Mind’s Staircase”

The Devil’s List

Demon dogs howl at the moon’s rise. 
The room is readied with incense of
Frankincense and myrrh. 

Have the angels fled?
A shadowy figure moves slowly; 
Almost elevated.
The grass is scorched from hooves 
Of the called.

As the devil thrills a captive audience, 
With his splendid playing of the violin.

‘Such gusto! Bravo sir!’
— How the fires are stroked.
Such glow cast upon faces.

‘Care for a margarita?’ 
To watch the burning
Of the Testament.

For the poet hasn’t arrived yet with a rebuttal. Dare he try? 
He lays at the Devil’s
Feet— like a faithful dog.

The crowds dance like mistresses 
To music of the Devil’s symphony.
Have the angels fled?

The sounds cascade down their writhing bodies- The fiddle has them captivated.
It’s inside them/possesses them. 
How they moan...

In a dream-like state, the music of the Stradivarius wraps its trilled embrace round me.

The angels have fled.


Happily Ever After

In this house of ours, 
We (you) picked out
The new wallpaper in this 
Sitting room of silence.

The pictures on the wall
In the hallway near the door
(Which once promised freedom)
Seems somewhat... incongruous, 
To what the separate bedrooms entails.

Two unfulfilled souls in their 
Own Les Misérables.

Frowns, sighs and shrugs 
Are reiterated daily.

From blossoming beginnings:
You’re so lovely!
Ah stop, I’m blushing!

To the happily ever after of:
Did you put the bloody bin out?
Where’s my socks?


Hedgehog Poetry Press (c)


2 poems by Robin McNamara : New York city ain’t you just so & Holy Fires of Religion

Bio: Robin McNamara has over 145 poems published worldwide in America, Canada, Ireland and in the UK with Versification, Pink Plastic House, Daily Drunk, Full House Literary Magazine, Dream Journal, Second Chance Lit, Literary Heist & Ephemeral Elegies. A regular contributor to Poetry Ireland and Black Bough Poetry poetry prompts. Robin’s forthcoming debut chapbook, Under A Mind’s Staircase, published by Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK is available to purchase now at: https://robinmcpoet.com/

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