Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press, 2020), and of Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Award.
They are the editor of the forthcoming anthology, Divine Orphans of the Poetic Project, from 1913 Press, and their work has appeared in the Fence, Boston Review, APR, Volt, Lana Turner, Iowa Review, and elsewhere.
An Excerpt from – Midnight’s Talking Lion and the Wedding Fire
When outside of prison doesn’t look much worse than life in, routine security community, just another neighborhood. Wish resentment gets their children present. Kids local schools be mediocre, unengaged and bored. And they are all that frustration and free time somewhere: whether starting a California, turn pro with a skateboard, gangbanging, becoming new Nico Muhly. Interestingly, this concern for iterative selves across a spectrum, bring meaningful conversation with breaches more subtle. And the struggle for expression, represented by these breaches, that urgently untangling toward meaning, or simple retrospective understanding. Resistance and play which reproduces a foundational struggle with the protean nature of language, memory and the self. ~ Only one thing: it’s the bomb that wins” recasts War Mastung, Banu, Nice, Baga, Baghdad, Deir ez-Zor into conflict between explosives and everything else: whatever does not explode on impact cities, islands, archipelagoes implausible imminent pervaded. Trauma, a thrilling nonevent questions, without offering answers tracing unstable limits like the ruin, its untimeliness and its out-of-placeness of definition and delimitation. ~ Many war diaries across time develop impressions of siege experienced by youngest victims hours watching miners wielding massive picks dig into hard stone inch by inch occasionally dynamite the rock” carved bomb shelters, indigenous limestone people slept, ate, argued, had sex and birth. Barrel bombs in the dockyard,” voices “drowned in the explosions or the chattering of the ground artillery.” The siege began on June 11, lasted until two years January 20; all told, there were _ , _ _ _ casualties and _ _ , _ _ _ homes destroyed by both nation’s group’s bombers most days, effectively creating subterranean society “sheltered in whatever cliffs rarely ever coming to daylight pounded by average bombers a day . . . lull in the bombardment children emerge to gather around “a broken structure” descend from “the top of a slope of debris” like a spies,” transfixed by a cleric “[w]edged under a fallen beam,” the children: “Speak to us,” they goad, “What is your sermon today?” ~ What sleeps`1`1 an underground shelter, young, daughter, among peers, a generation learned to cope with turmoil of relentless bombardment “swinging down from the trees, jumping off the ruined ends of jetties into the sea” they swarm “among the ruins,” words find themselves “drawn by the detritus” in “site[s] where things are being visibly worked on” their dirt, noise and roughnecking” devised to veil the world that was.” ~ Before coming to the children “growing up in state housing their land was becoming” a night down in abandoned sewer, raining outside phosphorous flares above the city, a few candles in here, barrel bombs. The child sleeps shoulder drooling. Packed close round are other citizens little talk listen wide eyes to above the streets at first cried on being wakened middle of night. But grown used to stand now near the entrance to shelter, watching flares and bombs, chattering, nudging, pointing. Will be a strange generation.