Wednesday, December 14, 2022

"Book of Dreams" by Arran James Grant

Arran James Grant is a dreamer. 

He dreams of love, and broken love. He dreams of work. He dreams while waiting for the morning bus, and staring from a window. He dreams when taking a walk. He dreams of haunted people, not haunted houses. In his dreams, he follows “the riders of midnight black,” and he stands in an empty room with “no more doors to close.” He dreams while filling out a census form, thinking of the people a century from now who will be researching their family tree. And he dreams of ambition, and working, and hopping a boat with St. Peter (because careful of those sudden lake storms), and moonlight in the streets of Paris.


And fortunately for the rest us, Grant writes down what he dreams. Book of Dreams is his new chapbook collection of 33 poems. In relatively few words (he is anything but verbose), he conveys a story, an image, an experience, and a connection to the reader. He has a gift of describing the personal and translating it to the universal.


Dream #3


staring up

sideways and down

too low lonely and beat broken

for anyone to take seriously


another day


following our favourite rules

as dramatically to the edge

as we can


you are the most beautiful

photograph I’ve ever

had to burn


and I do it every day

before I get out of bed.


Arran James Grant

A native of Scotland, Grant is a poet and writer; he’s currently working on a short story collection. He cites Charles Bukowski, Bret Easton Ellis, Stephen King, and Ernest Hemingway, among others, as influences (but I don’t find a sense of Stephen King anywhere in his poems). He lives in Aberdeen.


You read a collection like Book of Dreams, and you wish it were longer. Collectively, the poems tell a young person’s story, but we were all young once, and Grant’s story sounds startling, and sometimes achingly, familiar.




Poets and Poems: Arran James Grant and “Mania.”

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