Published in 2009, Adrian Fox’s collection represents both engagements with, and challenges to, his reader. Centring on his devastating stroke while still in his forties and his painful inching towards some form of recovery, the poems in this collection triumphantly celebrate the power of the imagination in overcoming pain, desolation and profound despair.
Splint & Other Poems sees the poet refusing to be defined solely by a random twist of fate. Lyrics about childhood, belonging, the legacy of the troubles, marriage, as well as ruminations on poetry and art take part in a dialogue to produce a collection satisfying in its depth.
Adrian has also given us two new poems, which we are delighted to showcase here on Lagan Online, ‘The Crying Truth’ and ‘Still Life’.
I wake at 4 a.m. on my 48th birthday.
Maybe the wheelchair and the piss-
pot are my mid-life crisis.
I feel like an outlaw in this crazy world.
It seems like we’re drifting back in time.
This night has an essential loneliness,
there’s even a poetic edge to the birds singing.
This feels like an Anon poem
written in a middle age.
Maybe there are sewers on the streets.
I don’t want to put this in a time and place-
I’ll leave that up to you.
I hear the hum of a car’s engine and realise
this is my fragment of time, stilled.
I’ve got my jumper on inside out
and it looks better like this.
It took me twenty minutes to put on
so I’m not taking it off.
Who is there to really see
I spend my day alone reading Capote, Sartre
Camus, William Stafford, Kenneth White,
Nietzsche and Samuel Beckett and they
like things inside out.
New Poem: The Crying Truth
I celebrated new year with
My weeping woman, streams
Of grief showing face as both
Our images merged. This is
A new year, a Picasso time
Of ration war. Not much
Different than my own, 1961.
Have we turned a corner or
Are we just the same, putting
On a brave face, crying truth.
New Poem: Still Life
Disabled distorted blues. Get up stand up-
stand up for your write. The pun is on me
only you know your true form, poetry is
full of loss and joy like reading in the dark
it reaches out, goes against your will.
Be strong and able- bodied to bend it
reality is the distorted truth.
There is only one way, detour. Derail of the track
only then will you come back. As Jack Kerouac said
write as if you’re the last person on earth or as
William Stafford said, write the bad poems good.
In other words, don’t be afraid. This has been said
Ten thousand times but never by me, this is my head-
Stone view writ in stone. The dog’s bollocks, I can’t
Live a lie, I want to write and die
Don’t want to be like da.
The storm is brewing outside in, whacked out of my head on
Moonshine, Irish mist and Guinn. The pun is still-still on me
Moonshine fucking still, I can’t write crucifiction.