Here Comes the Night Review by Jade Cuttle
The gristle grey which runs through Here Comes the Night by Alan Gillis, presents a new perspective to poetic beauty in proof that poetry can be practically anywhere. In one poem, we dance with the dusted lilacs growing among windblown cellophane and discount flyers; in another, poetry sings out from the superstores, the sensor systems and Styrofoam, the stereo as it squawks into song. It’s seen in the smog which smothers the city, wafting from the smoky bars with duct tape across the cracks of their panes, creating a collection which dives deep into the concrete cracks of contemporary culture and delights in the dust it discovers. The poem ‘Prelude’ opens the cracks within ourselves, embracing “the ache to reach within, clear the clutter and discover (…) the looming contours of yourself from core to brim.”
The metaphors of this collection are in a constant state of transformation, as changing as the cities they explore. For instance, the rush hour traffic is compared to rats racing through the sewer pipes, which then suddenly become the burst of blood through veins. We wander through this urban unknown with curiosity, refusing to creep past alleyways or dodge our own shadow, searching for the backstreets with the hope of stumbling into strangers with a story to share. This book will transform your experience of walking down an empty alleyway, and even the crumpled caress of a crisp packet will suddenly be transformed to something beautiful beneath the streetlight’s stare.
Jade Cuttle is studying at the University of Cambridge, is an editor at Cambridge Creatives and a regular contributor for a range of magazines. She is a recipient of two Foyle Young Poets Awards, has won competitions including Ledbury Poetry Festival Competition, National Student Poetry Competition and BBC Proms Poetry Competition – recently featured on Radio 3 – and is looking to publish her first pamphlet. Tweets @JadeCuttle