Adam Day


Adam Day is the author of Model of City in Civil War, and Badger, Apocrypha. His work has appeared in Cordite, American Poetry Review, Poetry London, Sweet Mammalian, Iowa Review, Poetry Ireland, and elsewhere. He coordinates The Baltic Writing Residency.




These poems wrestle with contemporary culture by addressing both the commonality and complexity of people and experience. They are influenced by classical Japanese and Chinese (Buddhist) verse, but also by the bawdy, impertinent, visceral aspects of Samuel Beckett’s work.

Adam Day




It’s not personal; no someone here. Thumb

and index-finger touch; palm’s center


hollows out like the roof of the mouth. This

sadness is a position in time. Hit a fallow


deer – hoof-skids slantwise across

river road, slicker than goose shit.


Curious about the pain. It isn’t mine;

existing keeps happening. Below


tree canopy, the headlight’s frame cracks

under my feet. Where have I been?





Town sits like a sleeping animal

on top of a hill, drenched in mist


and drizzle. Along the road, a jeep

with a silver birch growing


where engine was. Snow

in the swale. ‘And what is death,’ Neighbor


asks, ‘Some mother’s or my own?’

They pop off all day at the clinic,


cut into bits in the dissecting room.

Woodshadows float silently


through morning motes,

seaward. Inshore and farther out


the mirror of water whitens, spurned

by lightshod hurrying feet. Cloud


begins to cover slowly the sun, shadow

the bay in deeper green, bowl


of bitter waters. Nickel shaving dish

in his hands, feeling coolness, smelling


the clammy slaver of the lather

where the brush is stuck. Nothing


here quite the same.





Broke the surface of shock water

with a black-ash loon, blood-eyed


bastard. Thought loon. And it

disappeared below. Peeling


birches lean over ferns,

the lake mirror. Sky, stay


whole. Fog-rain feels good. Why

am I always running away?





Hard the black bear

has to work to speak,


accosting the boulder

for its lack


of ambition, its absence

of anger, its need for touch.