?We look away from his open mouth,
look instead at the corn, the crows
floating above the river in their private worries.
Tonight, when we turn in,
the candle will sputter and blow.
Pinched out easily, all flame
gives way to this wide black wing.
- excerpt from "Black Wing"
The poems in Ashland, originally published by ECW in 2003, lay the groundwork for Adamson's award-winning and internationally bestselling novel, The Outlander.
Neogothicism, the surrealist snapshot, feminist Western and postmodern parable are just some of the elements that feed Gil Adamson's second collection of poems. Adamson creates a world fully awash in violence and history, the absurdities of the frontier, the gorgeous terrors of death. Everything is simple, and yet nothing is as it seems.
Moving easily from prose poem to lyric, verbal portrait to improbable biography, Ashland leads us on a macabre tour of our nightmares, perverse secrets, and death-focused mythologies: "In the end we see ourselves. We last longer. The night opens its mouth, and we step in."
"You brought me back into this because you know what I am. I'm a grinder, I find out everything."
Bullets squared everything. Wilson left his old boss alive in exchange for a clean slate. Wilson held up his end of the bargain and stayed off the grid for two years. Two years of peace until a man came calling. The man brought a gun and a woman in his trunk. Thousands of miles from home, Wilson learns that the city doesn't let go so easily. The city is more than bricks; it is a machine running on the blood of hard men and women. The hardest man in the city remembers Wilson and he will stop at nothing to get him back.
A dangerous mobster's nephews are missing and the only suspects are his lieutenants. Wilson is pulled back to once again work under the radar - to quietly find out who is responsible, so it can be settled with screams. Wilson is back to being what he was. He's a grinder again. All bets are off and before he's done - everyone will pay.