Reviews on Not the First Thing I’ve Missed
These poems are as much mini short-stories as they are quirky and biting minimalist observations on contemporary living. Offering compassion, unexpected insight and humour, MacEoin transforms sadness and despair into a catalogue of memories of survival. These are stories we didn?t know we wanted, no needed, to hear.
– Priscila Uppal
How do you write about despair? Beside Rockwell’s oatmeal and fishing rods, MacEoin’s version of the world doesn’t have a chance. Life inside and outside the institution is one proliferation of the progressive tense — experience as “floating, barking, shaking, turning, slaving, clutching, glaring, coughing, and disappearing”: that mutated world where present, past, and future are one. “You could call it living,” moving from “bed to chair / bed to chair” where time is a “barrier to be broken” because no one wants the depressives. These poems stagger and drool. Sometimes, they brawl. Nothing like Purdy’s fisticuffs in a northern bar, this landscape is inside the head, the one in the mirror, the hospital bed.
– Susan Stenson