In his sixth book, Greg McLaren finds his stories in those of others, and others’ in his. These poems seek, suspect and deepen connection; they nod, wink, and pay, in nearly equal parts, homage and fromage. While Windfall includes responses and asides to, and satires of, contemporary writers, it also sees McLaren further exploring his interest in classical Chinese poetry. He takes these poets for a drive through new contexts, reimagining their poems, eking out connection across culture, history, experience and space into a voice that is shared and his own.
This is a refinement of McLaren’s poetic signatures – avian life, creative palimpsest and homage, the mythic melancholy of the Hunter Region and Sydney’s inner west, laconic absurdity – to a new level. There is mastery in his fringing of gothic moods with dry humour, and his ability to go to the edge of self-questioning but always return with some awkward blossom or shiny bottletop.