Ross McCleary is a spoken word artist and performance poet who found lines blurred as he struggled through the maze of seeking employment through LinkedIn while all the time pursuing his art. The culmination of this journey is the pamphlet: Endorse Me, You Cowards!, and a Fringe show: Employ Me, You Cowards! to be performed at the Scottish Poetry Library from the 13th to the 23rd of August 2019.

First impressions are that this is the type of work that must be heard rather than read to get its point across.

There are interesting touches. A number of pieces fall under the “10 things” category outlining the journey from getting a job to getting promoted and one list (this time of five) is particularly poignant. 5 Things Your Spreadsheet Cannot Do highlighting that love and heartbreak are impenetrable no matter how good you are at your work. There is no algorithm for the breakdown of a relationship.

At other times the poetry jars when being read off the page, due in large part to misplaced enjambment which does not always serve its purpose. Perhaps it does when heard rather than read…

Just as I’m sure his LinkedIn profile does, McCleary has an impressive résumé. Organiser and co-host of successful open-mic night, Inky Fingers, a novella exploring the mind and workings of an artist which was shortlisted for a Saboteur Award, a poetry podcast and a nomination for Best Spoken Word Show all already under his belt but it is difficult to extract true meaning from his latest work. Much as the worker seeking employment in his pamphlet perhaps feels he needs to be seen to be appreciated, McCleary’s work perhaps has to be heard to be truly appreciated.