BAD BOY POET by Scott Manley Hadley
You’ll see a scrunched up face when I hear the word Millennials. It feels derogatory, its tenure overused and just too easy a pigeon hole for me to be comfortable with. But it has been uttered in the same breath as Scott Manley Hadley on occasion. A wonderful writer and reviewer who I have been following for a few years now.
Having been away from reviewing, fed up with books, fed up with social media, of thousands of feeds to hit me was Scott. Dig, dig, press and I was in. He fired me up again. A fellow reviewer in need of a scoop, some freaking beef for the bones. Unorthodox and one of a kind. His Triumph Of The Now website well worth following. Drawn to the reviewer before the poet, his examinations are brilliant and brutally honest takeovers. Who cares about the book when the messenger’s thoughts far outweigh anything the book may offer and at times, this is the case. Though when it is due, we get more than analysis. We get to read a very individualistic approach and often more on how the book actually fits into his own life. It would be an honour to be critiqued by one so thoughtful and so in love with literature. In fact, the best review I have read regarding Bad Boy Poet is the bad boy himself.
Scott Manley Hadley had an immediate addiction for me. His gold lamé suits, his unashamed nudity, his relationship with his dog (which is purely platonic even though one’s suss-ometer may be pricked a little when you find him posing, soft and fluffy against his thighs), his obsession with dead squashed things on Instagram are all endearing. His tweets can have an uneasy provocative angle at times but mostly you’ll see a sweet dark humour.
Scott flew his English coup last year. Spying him online prancing about in the snow of Trudeau, a Spring and Summer past. I think he found love. His poems on the subject are reflective, from over enthusiastic chicks on snort, to those who you think are the ones but it all gets a bit dull once the high wears off. There are also beautiful realisations on amour ‘and the way you look back at me looks like the way I’m looking at you‘.
All generations have their shortcomings. If Baudelaire had a phone we’d be saying what a god damn brat he is. Age or era has never been a barrier to what I will read or have any preconceptions that I could not connect or emphathize with others experiences of any generation. This bad boy’s poetry has it’s moments of strangeness and lapses of puerile gobbledygook reminiscent of ‘The People’s Poet’ anger fuelled, anti poet, free verse from Young Ones day’s. Though this just awakens my genes that will never grow up, surprised by my smile at a returning theme of poo and if ‘Robots do electric shits?‘. Honesty is what this book of poetry should be championed for. It’s points of references, twitter, dating apps, drugs, depression, sex, anxiety, bodily functions, fantasy and love ‘We cannot talk about love without talking about our phones‘. Death also looms, well more of the ‘water torture drip of declining health‘. It’s his poems and reflections about his parents that show the man and generate real tears.
If there is one poem worth the cover price it is the untitled but begins, I Don’t Have To Hate Myself. The power of this poem when I read out loud at a recent girls weekend was so palpable I thought Scott would materialise in our centre of love cushions, ready to be caressed for hours while we painted our nails, brushed each other’s hair (sorry Scott) put on face packs and watch popcorn movies. This poem is a cathartic ritual for anyone wishing to free themselves from their mindfuck.
Actually none of these poems have titles. It’s the spaces that trigger the pauses like high speed train windows of thought. It’s fast paced and only takes a few long breaths to get through, but definitely gives you enough insight into Scott’s thought processes when his guard is down. Written between Autumn 2017 and the Spring of 2018, Scott should be moving on just fine on his ‘personal fucking journey‘ and I look forward to catching him in future publications. In the meantime, there is always his blog (with links to past work including video of pre nude nut reflections), twitter and instagram.
featured image by Paul D. Rowland