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The Testes of Lenin
by Graham Fulton
£10 (pub. 2022)


“Graham Fulton has been publishing poetry across five decades, and he has never failed to capture important and immediate details of life in Scotland, and in western culture generally. His work is about personal observation of locality and specific incidents, out of which he strives towards something human and humane. A master of rhythmic free verse, his words dance on the page irreverently, sharp as a needle pricking the balloons of pomposity. This collection provides an ideal starting point for anyone who wants to delve more deeply into his writing. Without question Fulton is one of the finest poets living right now.”

Jim Ferguson


"Graham Fulton is a poetry magician. He draws characters and everyday situations that are immediate, identifiable, often hilarious at a glance. Then deftly he drops in such strong, clever images and metaphors that you barely see them coming till the bomb of emotion detonates. Without a hint of polemic, his poems are deeply political, complex comments on what’s actually happening behind the propaganda. With searing pathos and tragicomedy, he writes with a yearning for a more equal, compassionate world in which everyone’s humanity is recognised."

Leslie Benzie


"Graham Fulton brings his trademark observational scalpel and black-silk wit to life’s big themes of love, loss, politics, and planetary health. Each poem reads like a film still in cinematic detail, the collection an intimate conversation with a good friend. People, buildings, buses, and objects dominate these poems with glimpses of the natural world. This is city life where eyes are level with roof tiles to try another view. Unexpected tenderness—a little star lying in a puddle outside William Hill or a ‘Parcel for Tommy’ to keep him through the long hours of staying alive—neighbours the comical with Death pushing in for a selfie. Long after reading, I am looking for answers to questions I didn’t know I had been asked."

Morag Anderson

The Day After the Queen Dies
Edinburgh 9/9/2022

a solar powered
in a shop window
entices our eyes
as she wiggles her hips
in amongst
the souvenir Scottie dogs,
ginger wigs,
Walkers Ecclefechan tarts

three inches tall
with a purple gown
and a pearl necklace,
a white handbag,
made in China

the castle flag
is at half mast

a grey, child-size pair of shoes
is mysteriously placed
at the foot of
a photo of the dead Queen
on a bus shelter
in Princes Street

the same photo
is on every shelter
receding into infinity
by royal decree  –
the twinkly crown
growing smaller and smaller
until it appears to
have vanished entirely

we make a 15 second film
which we post
on Facebook
for all to see

it’s the least
we can do

the sun is shining,
‘the music’s high’

the rampart gun
bangs 96 times
and everyone explodes
into rampant applause

Queenie shakes her ass
and waves goodbye

(from The Testes of Lenin)



The Testes of Lenin

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