Having reflected for many years on his motivation for writing poetry and the subjects that obsess him, Mark realises that his writing primarily involves memorializing and eulogizing the overlooked and forgotten. Not only people but places and objects. He is driven by the weight of his forebears’ historical loss. Loss of family, of identity, of homeland. This loss has been handed down
like an heirloom.
‘When “ethics are fading”, so too our ability to see and attend to the care of other sentient beings. It’s then that poets like Mark Mahemoff step in. Unwilling to let the casual cruelty (to man or dog for instance) or the truth that hides under ‘the fresh mulch of denial’ evade poetic examination, his scrutiny of human behaviour is discrete and precise as befits a poet whose working day is a constant test of compassion versus the brutal objectivity
that it requires. These poems are never moralising, but rewarding.’
– Adam Aitken
‘“I fear the Greeks, even those bearing gifts”, cries Laocoön warning the Trojans. Trojan Gifts, then, should give us pause. But life itself is the primary Trojan gift, as the poet-psychotherapist Mark Mahemoff demonstrates, with poems that probe the subtext of our lives, bringing a new text to the surface. In communicating life as it’s lived, day to day, Mahemoff draws on “Memories precise and cobbled/ from compelling fragments.” These poems are gifts we willingly—knowingly—accept.’
– Paul Kane