Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Laughter Epidemic.

Laughter raised the roof off of a house while it rained. Everyone inside the house was soaking wet. Their champagne glasses refilled with rain water. They cared not. The fish tank became one with the living room. The water level raised steadily. Some women took the initiative and started handing out snorkles, and scuba gear, to those taking it all a little too seriously. Arm bands, and rubber rings, came out. A man started doing the doggy paddle in the shallow end. A row boat careered down the waterfall of the stair case, from the attic men dove into the down stairs bedroom. There was no a life gaurd to be seen. Neighbours came round to see what all the laughing was about. They cared not. They cared only for the the laughter, and the laughter inside of the house, for laughter is a house without a roof, alive with people soaked to the skin and happy to the bone.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Featured Poet McGuire Interviewed.

Tell us about your poems.

What: I am a playful poet but also a dark artificer. I write about everyday life, the hundreds of characters we meet, as well as psychiatric darkness. I write informal poetry, filled with flights of fancy, keen observations, philosophy — so anything that snags on my muse or strikes out to me in curiosity or unexpected coincidence. Erratic and temperamental, what I write is ignited with an almost nervous, kinetic energy, if my poems could jump or dance or be drank down in one gulp, they would.

Why do I write: because I once went into my mother’s underwear draw and discovered a letter at the bottom which revealed family secrets, real and true. This embodies my need to write and my long literary obsession with secrecy and honesty. I want to write what has been left unsaid, what has been hidden from sight; I want to find private letters beneath underwear smothered in private truth.

How do I write? Dare, I say, I take notes. I write rather slapdash and sporadically. That’s how I approach most of my writing. Write first, think later. I write in bursts of nervous energy, frenzied sessions of typing and diatribe, followed (perhaps days or weeks later) by precise reform and edit. I don’t like to butcher the poem with correction. As Sir Walter Scott reminds ‘many a clever boy is flogged into a dunce and many an original composition corrected into mediocrity.’ I’m not saying I’m great or original simply that I like the unpolished feel of my poetry, down to earth, never seeking professionalism. I like my poetry like my prawns – raw.

-Read the whole interview please visit: One Night Stanzas


Many thanks to Claire Askew for considering me and putting me up on the site. It was a rare and unexpected bit of exposure. Despite my rather long winded and rambling replies, I feel I managed to convey my tiny human dignity and my little flicker of soul-poem. Thank you anyone who reads and anyone who takes the time to care.

Grazie tanto! ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If I had to have a Christmas tree.

If I had to have a Christmas tree,
it would be as compact and inviting
as a log fire.

Understated yet bright and nourishing,
like a piping hot roast dinner on a
bitter Sunday winter evening.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Death is lurking somewhere in the maternity ward.
The nurslings scan the room and find a shadow
on the ceiling above their droning incubators,
what could be a shadow of black smoke.

They giggle, grab out, cry or curiously frozen,
look out wide eyed, staring in question, above the light.
Caught in neutral moment, cooing, caaing, ommm aware.
Like an angel chorus fresh alive with space and time.

Then, a live one comes in, a Mother of Sunday,
serenely calm in sleeping gown. Warm with affection,
She lifts one baby, her baby, a boy, swaddled in white.
Mother and Son walk into a corridor of nightingales,
make their way, a pair in pact, to the family room.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Parable of the fence

One crowd was putting up the fence
While the other was busy tearing it down.

Very little was achieved.
This went on for quite some time.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Concrete Irrationality

(A mental written collage, for Tristan Tzara, whoever he was.)


Sexual perversions disguised as poems
as you read, a hand slips under your skirt.

8000 attitudes later
and still this boy here!

1500 sexualities in this head alone.
All wearing identical smiles!
Pretending they don't notice each other,
pretending to be shy as they undress
for the 4800th time.

There are many Grey Chair people
who do nothing except let other people sit on them.

The boy who was a thief of consciousness
Stole someone's memories and took over their life,
and regretted it because it reminded him of his own mind.

The Great Dictator
who told all of his friends he hated them
while stripping them naked and flaying them
destroying their personalities, scoping out their souls
As they stopped to sip red wine and eat
delicately cook swordfish.

Several thousand light bulbs later,
And the light is still not any lighter.

Chrysanthemums picked fresh from the earth
deep fried and then dipped in olive oil,
Sprinkled with pepper and salt - Delicious!

A heart rolls out of the left trouser leg
quickly stood upon,
Shell smashed soul yoked all over the floor.

Take off your first clothes, then your second,
then your third, then your forth, then the bones you bare,
then the heart, then the second and third heart, all off:
Welcome to the House of Subgenius!

A Surrealist must avoid weightlessness:
words are arm bands, rubber rings, life guards.

Did you hear about the boy
who got nutrition from language
only if it was sung to him?
He died young of anorexia.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Alex Millsom

(Too many years ago. 1980/1996)

'There is nothing more appalling than being alive and having to die.' - McGuire.

Damn! The memory of Alex, 16 Years Old: DEAD!
Smashed over an L.A. highway lying there like
an open wound for every one to see and remember
their own childhood. All the cars that passed and
all the passengers that looked, would never know
that Alex would be on a life support machine
for one week before it was finally switched off.
No, they still do not know that and nor should they.
Nor do they know that Alex's parents where Scottish
and that on the day he lay dying on that road
the woman who came to comfort him in his pain
was Scottish and the last voice he heard was Scottish.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Keiran's first death:

(Dedicated to Maw McGuire, Oatlands, Glasgow, 1901/1990.)

Keiran cried for one day without stopping. Someone had passed away in the family. A distant Grandmother had died in his family. Keiran was eight years old. This was his first death. His father had woke him and told him early this morning:

'Maw died in her sleep last night...' The words were spoken solemly but without urgency as if all along it had been expected. These words held a silence that spread over the entire day. He knew death meant something irretrievable.

Keiran wept in his bed, wept over his breakfast, wept walking through the park, wept in the supermarket aisles, wept in the car, wept on the couch, he wept in the bathroom, he wept at the dinner table, he wept in his bedroom and finally he wept in his sleep.

The next day he did not cry a single, solitary tear, he had thought out death.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The window pane

(Dedicated to a window on Kings Park Road, Glasgow.)

The window is crying. The tears are disguised by the rain drops. The window is so lonely, invisible and thin. It stares out blankly. It cannot move or call out. It cannot make itself known.

The window is crying. It has no hands to cover its face. It has no face. It is simply a window pane that people look out from or in through, and that can be great company, especially when a warm hand presses against the glass momentarily.

The window is crying - it stares, bare glass, thin, skeletal. The tears roll and fall in time with the rain. The night is dark, the amber light from the street lamps cast out. The traffic is unconcerned. The window is shattered and lonely in the distance.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The love inside of the balloon

(Image by Bansky.)

This is a short story about one large balloon filled with love that a small child let go of and how it kept floating up, up, up into the air and everyone panicked for the child, for the balloon and for the love inside of the balloon. The child cried. People stretched arms high, clutched at the sky, in a last scrambled attempt to catch hold, but no one could bring it back down from the sky; it continued to float away, further and farther, higher up in to the atmosphere, escaping in to space where, like an illusion, it eventually burst.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Boy at the zoo

Boy at the Zoo,
you feed a peanut to an Elephant
through the wrought iron fence;
she graciously scoops it from your palm.

Peanut! Pea nut!
Nuts! Nuts! I think.
Will you discover later,
how devastating the world is,
and why the fence grows higher still?

The Sun glints and pokes my eye,
and I move on to the monkey enclosure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


'All Wars are one war' - McGuire

'Lest we forget'

The Third World War is on its way
and all the while everyone sits
patiently drinking tea sleeping
or fixing bolts on to large sheets
of metal, slaving over pliable life.

I'm in the bath:
The War is a million miles away.
I know a decent set of mountains.
I know basic survival.
I know how to run.

If I am not caught in some
atomic explosion melted down
to my basic puddle of atoms
then I'll find a way to ignore
all the hell and horror
and set up my own Croft
somewhere beyond
City and Contract
and the wall of War.

I shall grow
Giant Vegetables and Fruits,
learn whittling
sing at the top of my voice.
And no one will know
the secret of my escape…

Friday, November 07, 2008

Olaf the apolitical optimist

'The best argument against Democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter'- Winston Churchilll

O Olaf, even when you weep
the tears laugh as they roll
down your Joke Face.
Olaf, come on!
Let's play at Singing
and blow up balloons in
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce,
because we cannot join Mensa,
Neither start nor stop revolutions.
And we refuse to educate ourselves
in economics because we have
shortbread attention spans.
O Olaf, despite everything,
even when you weep
the tears laugh as they roll
down your Joke Face.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The troubles of George Eliot

(Sketch of a Glasgow Grandfather, Kilmartin Place, Arden.)

I keep forgetting myself more and more. Just the other day I was looking for my glasses ages I spent, hunting through the house. Lo and behold, where did I discover them? Perched upon my brow. A common stupidity I suppose. The obvious is easy to forget. A busy mind cruelly absentminded. Even Margaret is finally going spare. She bites her tongue mind. Honestly, only this morning, I said wearily to the postman as I walked to the newsagent:'Is it Saturday or Sunday, Son?' He said:'It's Friday.'

I was mortified, a tad disorientated too strolling cringing at my absentminded. Seriously, I'm forgetting everything, imagine. God help when it's something serious. God forbid I should forget something vital that could lead to serious danger. I'm looking at trying out those brain train games. They are meant to work quite well I hear. Keep dotage at bay. Keep you alert. Keep you from losing it completely. I mean, I'm a grandfather, now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Poem for the Moths.

You are fragile tracing paper thin.
Easily a berry between two long fingers.
You dart busying yourself searching
for bright heat or the light of purpose,
which only moths know and talk about
in moth think moth talk and moth love,
perhaps the pursuit of safety.

But why is the light so maddeningly important,
you hover there like late Buddhas,
in the air of time. Are you Trapped in
moth size, screaming toward the light?
'Clip my wings! Make me larger!
Don't want to be a moth anymore!'

What nonsense; mistaking lamp bulbs
for flower heads. You remind me
of a certain someone species, a certain civilised
manwomankind. They appear clumsy, fluttering
foolish but sincere in the heart of the matter
like you struggling into the small hours
but generally they turn the light off and go to Sleep.

*I realise the Moth muse is staid, over done, but I like the poem, its nonchalance; a lackadaisical muse upon a moths flicker, while smoking alone, one night, in the back garden of the close.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The forgotten Jesus

The Forgotten Jesus:

I keep making people fall asleep;
whenever I sit beside them for long enough
and say what needs to be said they slowly
but surely doze off into tranquil snooze.
I am left with eternity all around me
twiddling my thumbs, lonely for my Father,
who never calls; perhaps he too has passed out
on his Heavenly bed, dreaming of everyone
and everything, besides me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Team Work at the Post Office (excerpt)

Terry: 'Awright Spacecadet! Ya fuckin' dandy boy, yee. How come yir in at yir work early the day? You here tae shirk work fir a bit longer?'

Colboy: 'Am no a spacecadet, a keep tellin yee, I'm a fully qualified Astronaut. And, a work like fuck in this place, we all day. A pull ma weight. So don't make oot am freeloadin or no breakin back in this joab.'

Terry: 'Aye, Son, lot a pish! just you get the heed doon, and stop fuckin' waffling.'

Colboy: 'It's the system, the organisation is fucked, we can't work within it, we canny cope, we just tolerate it, we shouldnay tolerate any of it, we are the system, and wir no that systematic, believe it or no. It has us tearing each other apart, when we should be dismantling the shite system.'

Terry: 'Ack! Yir all talk bumboy. Lot a pish! Just get on with yir work and shut it! You don't know your livin, Son.'

Colboy: 'Is that right, Dad?'

Joe: Is that terry and col havin a shouting match? HAHA! Terry, ya fuckin' inbred beast, shut the fuck up and get a wife! Stop being married tae the joab. Ya jobsworth Proddy.

Terry: 'Ha! You shut it, Joesy! Ya catholic cock. You catholics, all shaggin wee boys!'

Joe: 'Ha! And you proddies, all fucken memebers o yir ain family. Fuckin beasts. A tell you, beasts, man.

Terry: 'Right, shut it, every body get the fucken heeds doon and do some work. Ya shower o reprobates.'

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Skittish Boy

(Me, aged roughly, 4 years old)
The Ancestors’ albums
All the photo albums of my family history
Are stored in the eves of the attic.
In the night the attic doors shudder in the wind,
And depending on the strength of the wind
Sometimes the rattling wakes you.

Queer memory

A hot summer tent, flap flailing in the breeze.
We climbed in and out, naked, blithe. Two boys uncovered.
Our clothes still inside. Our bodies without recoil.
Little luminous white skins not without a blemish.

In Art class,
We made Valentine cards
and marked our kisses with an X.
I never painted much always drawing
stick soldiers in battle scenes.
Later adding underground bunkers for safety,

now here I am
And I’m thinking,
(And the thinking screws it)
become a type writer,
a word dresser, an honesty monster.
Something straight along the line.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Little bird
upon the branch
you have no
National Insurance
number and that
is beautiful.
You fly, live die
and cannot be arrested.

Friday, October 10, 2008

So many faces I can pull

So many faces I can pull,
like Mr Sad and Mr Cool.

On Sunday's young boy Halo
On Monday's old man gloom.

And on occasion Mr Angry
concedes that he loves Mr fool.

Cause we're all in this together,
all the faces I can pull.

But most of all I love Mr Big Laugh
And sincere, Mr Wink-if-it's-True.

*This is definitely one for the kids book.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Car Park Poem

car car car car car car car car
car car car car car car car car
car car car car car car car car
car car car car car car car car
car car car car car car car car
car car car car car car car car

Car parks,
as a space,
offer very little poetry.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Invalid Night

Twiddling in a barrel of darkness,
desperate to beat upon my chest
like the Orangutan.
My life is a single room,
and I must gather my head there.
Like an invalid.

I have seen slivers of
private night, my skull is
soggy putrid apple core;
and there are children that
have been mutilated by no love
and too much love.

And my head is rotten through,
with rats of affection
and disgusting compassions.
And minuscule patches of bursting
flowers pink and blue.

I nibble my thoughts
like the terrifying Eucharist.
Dumb to my seriousness.

All the invalids want
to shit from the sky
like seagulls.
But they will all die,
No cure for the inevitable.

In the hollow space of a graveyard,
atoms form circuses and carnivals.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The One that Missed the Boat.

I believe I'm the loneliest odd sock in the world. I have been residing for nearly ten years in this empty cupboard draw. I say reside, but such a word implies an amount of willingness on the subject to live in the accommodation, but I do not take residence here comfortably. I am utterly stranded.

My friend, nothing has moved in this draw, in this cupboard, or indeed, this very room, for over a decade. Neither sock nor pant share this derelict cabinet. Why this silence? Driven mad with asking, I tell you! I have called out for answer, sung wild chants to attract, but there is no other presence that has yet acknowledged.

What of the human feet? The humans themselves? Dare I even wonder where fate has taken us! I swear, I must tell you, at times, in contemplation I panic within my condition. My thoughts dart and riot against me, with the terror of my isolation. The weight of silence like a presence all the more. The other, remains always an acrophobic absence, which I need, no long! to reinhabit this space.

Has life loosed upon them death? Plague...war, genocide! Destitution.My friend, I must leave! I must venture alone. But I am only a sock, how am I too move? To get out of this drawer! Damn, damn, damn....ten thousands damns for human hands and feet. The hands to pick, the feet to wear! That's the way it is, was. Must I take this much longer!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sister Karmelita Borg.

Sister Karmelita Borg sits in a Church.
She says nothing. I sit beside her,
equally silent.

She fingers her rosary beads,
in a rigid pinched gesture.
Her contemplation
far removed from the world,
mourning the merciless voice of God.

Like the memory of infinite childhoods
righteously scraped and deplored
against a religious sentence
quickly hushed into silence.

But all I hear is the faint echo
of her sharp whispers moving off
the vast cathedral walls.
A cathedral so indebted it can ill afford
the concrete imitatio of Christ.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This is a sentimental poem.
A love poem without a lover,
an erotic poem without a bed.
A love poem that seeks the ideal
not of the perfect body but the ideal
of finally meeting someone of silence
interrupted by light affirmative confession.
Please do not forgive this sweet conceit
on my part, the soul is lonely for its lover.

I seek him still more than ever.
Nothing catches on the nets of my love yet.
I seek him still more than ever.
His body and my body in answer
to each other. I seek him anonymous lover
as yet untouched, unknown.
I seek him and he seeks me
but we know not each other.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Foolish Paradise

This is a wee surrealist sojourn. I enjoy writing in such a fashion, it's like a great big comforting yawn or stretch: leisurely strokes for a leisurely imagination. It seems to describe a kind of child-utopia, utterly impractical unreasonable and full of naive delight.

The Bananas on the Banana tree explode
like fire works bursting upon branches
they blow out bright colours!
The colour of Yes is an exceptionally
bright colour indeed like the colour of paradise.

The Apples and Oranges walk down the road in Autumn,
their rolling is walking and they walk far in form,
the leaves fall from the trees leaf hands waving
as they fall to ground they rest gust around,
fiddle with themselves eventually leave.

In Art galleries the paint pours from the painting
onto the ground and the people walk over the paint
and it sticks to the souls of their shoes
and the shoe paints their smile-print over the ground,
no body is concerned because that's just the way
these people are slack breezy walking about
with large glasses of orange juice chinking
with large ice cubes...no one complains
the sun lasts for days and the nights cool
with breeze keeps them content.

In summer cars hover leaves talk,
birds sing and bears laugh
water tickles and every body has a body
which does wonderful things
and occasionally if you stop to listen
you will hear nothing which is perfect
the sound peace of calm air.

until a banana explodes upon the tree
and the birds adorn bowler hats
and flocks imitate clouds
jokes abound
musicians stir the dream
lost is found.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A glass of orange juice.

A glass of orange juice lights up the kitchen.
The juice is spilling over the brim.
Olaf picks it up, and it dribbles over
his knuckles, and through his fingers, spilling
onto the carpet.

'You're getting juice all over the place, Olaf!
You'll! ruin the carpet!
A passerby shouts from the back lane
through the open kitchen door.
'Why must you fill your glass so full!'

Olaf turns and winks at the passerby.
'Don't worry, my friend, carpets can be replaced,
but life must be drunk rapidly with affirmation,
even if there must, on occasion, be horrible spillages.'

Olaf, with precise intent, drunk the juice
in three large swift pure orange gulps
some of which pour down his cheeks and chin
then wipes the juice from his joke mouth
with his white shirt sleeve, before he exclaims:
'You see, I have just answered a question!'

The passerby looks at Olaf curiously,
and then with a jolt
they burst into easy laughter.

Friday, May 02, 2008


'Yir a wee puke'
That's whit ma Granny
used to say tae me.
'Yir a wee puke'

And, ah think whit she meant was,
ah was a wee bit soft in the heed,
a wee bit sensitive and dependent,
a mammies boy like, daft wae it tae.

'Yir mammy and daddy,
see only the Angel's Halo
above your heed, Boy.'

She didn't mean it nasty.
Maybe she was a bit jealous.
Bit she meant it in a way
that was just a wee observation.

'That boy, he's as saft
as a Caramel Sundae.'
Ma gran used to make
pancakes every Saturday.
A large tray of them.

And ah wid watch her make
the mix up, wae eggs
and flour and sugar.

She'd spoon some mix oot
pouring it ontae the hot pan,
in a wee circle it wid form,
and it wid cook.

Then she wid flip it over
and it would be golden broon.
And she'd make about thirty
pancakes, fir the whole family
to eat wae thur tea and coffee.

And ah wid just stand beside her,
and watch the pancakes being made.
And ah wid smell them like a wee prayer.
The sweet baked smell clung tae my nostrils.

And ah loved that,
watching her make the pancakes,
wee circular pancakes,
wee, saft halos
that we all ate.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Death in Venice

'Sincerity is an openness of heart; we find it in very few people; what we usually see is only an artful dissimulation to win the confidence of others.' - François de la Rochefoucauld

There is a certain
someone boy
plastered to my mind.
A certain
someone boy
whose lips I cannot find.

The boy has placid blue lagoon eyes,
(this boy actually exists)
eye wide to stare obvious and neutral.

Chiseled chin camomile skin
fixed adonis stare
self portrait alive with looks,
shy catching eyes, calm smile;
some intuitive air filling
the space between us
an awareness
of each other in passing.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Political Opinion of Musculus