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Clean
Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Weight 0.5 kg
Format

Paperback

Size

210x150mm

Length

110 Pages

About the Book:

In this volume, Scott-Patrick Mitchell propels us into the seething mess of the methamphetamine crisis in Australia today. These poems roil and scratch, exploring the precarious life of addiction and its sleep deprivation. From an unsteady and unsavoury life, we are released into the joy of a recovery made through sheer hard work.

Even in the disintegration, the poet points us towards love and carries tenderness every day in memory. Scott-Patrick Mitchell’s decades of spoken-word practice has enabled a fine tuning on the page when, for so many readers, we enter into an alien zone of unknowing.

"Our lucent teeth spark the rainbow dark.
Here, we do not use words like love.
Instead, we speak with hands that hold
as shoulders tussle

the roughhouse rougher.

In the absence of daylight,
we are just two young men,
silent save for giggle and shoe scuff:

we do not rouse suspicion when touching."

About the Author:

Scott-Patrick Mitchell is a WA-based non-binary poet who is a guest on unceded Whadjuk Noongar land. SPM’s work appears in Contemporary Australian Poetry, The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, Solid Air, Stories of Perth and Going Postal. A seasoned performance poet, Mitchell has toured Australia with works that have fused language and minimal baroque. A focus for the poet is in building community through their work with Perth Poetry Festival and WA Poets Inc’s Emerging Writers Program. They live with two black cats, Beowulf and Bones.

Cover artwork: Penny Coss


"The inimitable SPM's first full-length collection is a fear-and-loathing-journey-book through addiction and back again. These are beautifully written, harrowing, wise, tightly-wound poems of witness, survival and hard-won insight. There is a wry playfulness and joy here too, and sex, and a deep engagement with cultural touchstones (including the Rocky Horror Picture Show). Above all, there is an understanding of the true cost of everything: remember,/ getting clean is a form of grief / so let go / of your own ghost: / a wake, every day."
Melinda Smith

"Scott Patrick-Mitchell’s poems will mark you,  the way desire lines wear their maps into the soft places of a city. He makes you look, intimately and generously at spaces it would be far easier to turn away from, by meticulously crafting hard subject matter into exquisitely musical language."
Amanda Joy

"This work will change readers — it will reach deep into their psyches and have them checking their interior lives, as well as how they live their lives in the shared world. Scott-Patrick Mitchell is a remarkable poet who shifts and realigns language, because it must be placed under pressure, given the pressures we live under. Confronting the trauma of addiction, we move with the poet through to being 'clean', and all the complexities around that new clarity. A poet of intense empathy with others and who has a unique way of processing ideas that arise from experience, they travel the streets of Perth, and the contradictions of private grief and communal presence, with phenomenal linguistic skill. This is the book that comes after and beyond Michael Dransfield's Drug Poems. It is a lodestar book — a book you will never forget."
John Kinsella

"After years of watching SPM perform across stages, their poems achieve new volume on the page. Split into the three sections of an elegy, this debut collection performs an act of resurrection; the dead do not stay dead in these poems of addiction and obsession. Even within a landscape of hurt, these stories form a forest of love so wisely woven that the reader can take shelter in its shade.

Despite what the title may suggest, this collection is still on its knees scrubbing at memories. In Scott-Patrick Mitchell’s poetry ‘Clean’ is not a destination; it is a grief still wailing, a queer body undergoing renovation, it is the whispered promise of daybreak."
Maddie Godfrey