Book Review: A Chapbook About Nothing – Scott Cumming

Scott Cumming’s ‘A Chapbook About Nothing’ illustrates the feeling of being a newborn adult. Assumptions of stability trail behind us like old smoke, and Cumming sheds light on this through these poems. Scott is a father, and he discusses this through this collection. He is also relatively new to writing poetry, but that should not deter you. I read this book while listening to The Pixie’s ‘Where Is My Mind’, and no song could have been more perfect in providing a soundtrack to Cumming’s work. 

While I do not claim to know what it’s like to be a parent, I can only imagine that it’s terrifying to have these tiny beings look to you as an “adult” when you’re still figuring things out. I believe this is what Scott was conveying through ‘A Chapbook About Nothing’, which is almost certainly the opposite. It is about everything. The cover of this collection is a simplistic illustration of a streetlamp beaming over a mic stand, which I feel is apt. Writing poetry is acting under the assumption that your thoughts and experiences matter, which they do. It takes an extraordinary amount of bravery to do that. 

My personal favourite of this collection was ‘Power Murder Ballad’. The vivid imagery ran shivers down my spine. 

I killed our love with a bathroom/fuck chasing the precipice, I reached between your legs…

Overall, Scott Cumming has a knack for poetry, and he should continue to write it. I hate to compare, but there are elements of Bukowski and Hemingway in his poetry. And, what a damn fine combination that is. 

BUY HERE: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chapbook-About-Nothing-Scott-Cumming/dp/B09NWZ2VQ7/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+chapbook+about+nothing&qid=1642501629&sprefix=a+chapboo%2Caps%2C143&sr=8-1

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