Bone Ink has been grabbed, opened, re read and sobbed over so often it has tattooed itself into my skin. The pages fall open to where I am thinking now. Rico’s poems screech and burn. ‘Cops Killed Tsakos’. We used to read that graffiti everyday, a billboard of black freehand, its message powerful, stark though no one ever asked each other, ‘whose Tsakos?’ That family’s grief is forever and remembered by more than they would understand. Its role in his piece Angelo, sparks the mood of youth and the game of roulette played with our friends. No eulogy could ever match as I pass another streetlight that goes out while I’m watching.
He continues to write about youth. Those messy times, rough but no less romantic. “our palms cling, sticky with blackberry, backs grass-slapped, pin-pricked with bindis and briars” Rico is cinematic, he should be spending his hours with the keepers of the blue light. Through The Witch Window is pure adrenalin. There is a phenomenon in Australia, though a little different to the new towns of England, of new suburbs. Emperor Of 32 Bella Vista Drive is the epitome of McMansion syndrome and the curse of daughters with plans grander than theirs. She carries “his devious blood” that of the subdivided ones. Rico’s touch with the suburban illusion is so tantalising and succinct here.
Then there is the beautiful synergy of Malay influence, that ‘sama sama‘ style, that relaxed embodiment of no worries. Monsoonal Light Of Our Childhood outside the rain begins… and Rico is back home in Kellyville unaware of his sublime influence in a cloud of resin. Excited to be back in KL, Kuala Lumpur 1977: Prawn Heads, Oil Rigs and Infidelity. The woman is “divine as a gecko, tail part-shed, scaling a wall” and we all know what that means. Rico Craig absorbs the world and reacts the only way he knows how. So excited that his method of delivery is that of a poet. Though Rico’s eyes seem to see further than that, once more mediums are explored. His poetry is a multi city ticket, we ride through Germany, Russia, Spain and Rico slips into spectres through poppies and sand. A sprawling dance on these white pages.
You can hear the tale and buy Bone Ink here