"Sets a standard against which you will measure your future reading - for structure, for narrative control, for language, for new ways of writing about being human." - D A Prince
Here is a new and gripping poetic voice, delivering a sequence of sonnets of remarkable power and subtlety. These intense, unfailingly honest poems chart a life that moves from a hard, sometimes brutal upbringing in mid 20th century Lanarkshire to the 'quiet calm' of the midsummer dim of Shetland. This collection deals with the mysteries of sex and the secrets of sexuality. It declares uncompromisingly that, even in an era when such matters were rarely acknowledged and in a place where 'nothing happened', experiences that were real, vital, and passionate did happen. This is an extraordinary poetic debut.
More or less
I think I see and hear the care with all
the lines rehearsed but then I was a boy
and Mum was acting strangely at the sink
and telling me that I was very special
and so they picked me. What was happening
when what I asked was Where did I come from?
But I was meaning where did babies come from.
Not Glasgow. I did not want to know that
Dad's not dad and you are not my real mum
and so the aunts and uncles aren't real
and my cousins know I'm not their cousin
and I don't know who I am from somewhere else
and she gave me away. No no I wanted
to know about birth and death and sex.