A review of Hegemonick by Steve Sneyd
From Data Dump, issue 192, February
4 Nowell Place, Almondbury, Huddersfield,
West Yorkshire HD5 8PB
UNDER THE HILL is the timelessly dangerous yet inescapably compelling world of the alluring Other, in universal folklore, that yet is always also precisely located in place if not in our time, or any; ANDREW JORDAN’s remarkable versed prose poem sequence, the 112pp ‘HEGEMONICK’ is in a sense a 21st century take on that theme, at once a curious type of dark fantasy, fringe SF, explorations and voicings of a damaged central persona and others equally unattuned to societal “consensual” demands and, above all, an extraordinary interrogation of an obsessively-drawing, manipulated-to-destruction landscape, imprisoner of such entities as constructed essence of martyr pornstar Mary Millington. Setting/persona(s)-entrapper is Portsdown Hill, ridge n. of Portsmouth, a palimpsest of enigmatic structures and sites from Neolithic to present, where, though much of its mass of military establishments from a variety of English wars are derelict, abandoned, or museumised, some, like those used by the privatised military services entity Qinetiq, are still enigmatically functional on/in the wounded hill. Through this fearsomely baffling terrain array, the voices move, conjuring bestial or lost entities trapped below, harmed or lost children, housing-estate pedophile hunters, ley line seekers, and those in search of lost futures/selves. Aided also by detailedly deceptive notes, this complex work is impossible to extract in a way validly, typically, reflective, though the page 29 lines “Modernity, the victim in all this— / like a child—abused and demonised, / or made into an ideal ( . . . ) The true word they hate you for.” does perhaps begin or end the labyrinthine thread.