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Fission by Adam Sol

Crowd of Sounds by Adam Sol


by Adam Sol

A jay cackles the rumours of summer
and I’m hunched around
the morning in my legs, this brightness.

Now her house: red X’s on the wall calendar
counting down to her departure.
I’ve woken her. She squints

me into focus,
her face close, two eyes becoming one.
Touch the roof of my mouth with wishing.

The words are: Your sleep is
like water. Her closed-eyed smile,
canvas of shadows on her winter neck.

I hang my head from the baseboard,
almost to touch her lips
with my dumb lips. Lately the East

is a nowhere between us.
Her pupils contract.
I blur into noises from the street.

Once in a long while a lyric poet comes along whose technique, emotional pitch, and intellect combine in sublime balance and take poetry to a new level. Witness Adam Sol. Sol’s work is exhilarating in its range. Here he is gentle and mournful, attuned to his surroundings, and suddenly over here he mounts a sneak attack and hits us with erotic joy, erotic threat, history, elegy, comic absurdity, and acts of disturbing ventriloquism somehow stitching it all together with a tightly scored thematic coherence. For once our eyes are not our first concern, Sol writes, and in poem after poem, as he conducts jay, wasp, streetcar, busker, and lover’s breath, he awakens our listening. These poems are about music but they are also about the silence it breaks, and the inevitable recurrence of that silence.

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