SHATTER: Justin Tuijl, the poems: 2011-2020

201 confessional, avant-garde or weird poems.

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What people are saying:

If I got to the end of this book of poems, it’s no thanks to the poet, Justin Tuijl. He has presented his poems in the order in which they were written, however in his Introduction he notes that ‘you might actually like to start reading from the back towards the front and give up as the poems get worse!’. Clearly he and I are poles apart in this, as I preferred the earlier poems, on the whole, to the later.

I was loving them from the word go; there is so much of life in there, pain and pleasure, love, lust, sex, four-letter words, scatology, travel, views on destruction of the planet, so much of experience. Disability figures, and one of my favourites was ‘Tattoo a wheelchair on my forehead’; I used to work with disabled students, and had more than once to fight the corner of those who got hassle because they ‘didn’t look disabled’, meaning that they weren’t in a wheelchair. ‘An Idiot in the class’ is heartbreaking, a personal account by someone who thinks they don’t measure up, academically. So many of the poems address universal themes; ‘If we were together’ hits home about the potential brevity of attraction, while ‘I know you were not the one for me, but ...’ makes a brave comment about love and cultural differences.