Elephants (Fragile) – David Gilbert
An extraordinary sequence that puts pressure on language to unsettle expectations and raise vital questions.
This collection mingles the real and a surrealism of the understated Magritte kind to insinuate, with carefully modulated images and rhythms, a subtle disquiet that tests the boundaries of mental health and ‘normal’ apprehension.
Extract from ‘The World Is Full of Toilets To Cry In’
Old smelly ones of course, uninspected, with cracked floor tiles, damp inglorious seats and broken locks, where one tap gushes forever hot and the dryer doesn’t work, even if you bang it several times. And where you’re not so poorly as to fail to notice the plethora of metaphors.
I can feel more at home in posh ones, conference centres, government agencies and four star hotels (you can sometimes sneak in if you’re desperate) where Mozart streams in from unidentifiable wall speakers and the soap and incense sticks, in your justifiable fury, are easily nicked.
David Gilbert is a born and bred Londoner. He had a nervous breakdown when 25 and recovered at 31. Before and after this, he has been an activist on behalf of people who use health services and now works as a Director in the NHS. He is Writer In Residence at the Bethlem Gallery and his first pamphlet, Liberian Pygmy Hippopotamus, was published by Templar. He is married to Susan (who he met during his period of illness) and they have two sons, Samuel and Adam, and a cat called Tulia (Finnish for fire). He supports Leeds Utd.
David’s first full length collection, The Rare Bird Recovery Protocol, is also published by Cinnamon Press.