Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Cheeky Little Article

Reviewing The Mermaid.

The Mermaid and The Sailors.

Askew means 'not in a straight or level position' or 'wrong, awry'. It's synonymous with 'skew' or 'skewed' meaning 'to turn aside' or 'swerve' or 'to squint'. Some name for a poet. For perhaps the requirement for being a poet, if there are any other than simply a mouth and a pen, it might be that need to 'squint' at the world, not follow the straight line, to turn things aside, upside down, and not be afraid of the results. Claire Askew, squints her eyes at experience - in curiosity in concentration - and takes her slant on the page with control and clarity. Allow me to squint with my short-sighted eyes at the poetry of Lady Askew.

Read on at Cheeky Little Article. Read more reviews there and wait for more to come, ya cheeky bizim.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cat Fight 2 a.m.

Leaning out my open window late at night.
Two cats are fighting over territory in the back garden.
I cannot see them, only hear, and listen.

They square up to one another, prowling in circles,
Eyeing each other Gladiatorial, swiping paws cutting through air,
letting out piercing screeches like sharpening blades.

They want to kill each other.
They want to wound so there will be a victory,
until the next cat comes along with bigger, sharper, smarter claws.

I take off my boxing gloves,
shut the window securely,
And leap into to bed.

I have no idea who won.
No one ever does.

Monday, November 07, 2011

A Splasher

'Boys should be
strong enough
to keep

'But Da a canny,

I'll drown. Gonny
get us a pair
o arms bands.'

'You'll need more than that, Son.
You'll droon if yee don't stop bleatin.
A never got arms bands in ma day,
yee got flung in - sink or swim.

And that taught us.

None of this inflatable
life guard material.
Shower o splashers.
Wee safty.
Stoap yir gurnin fir Christ
Away doon the shallow end.'

A Splasher


Should be

Strong enough

to keep themselves

a float, Son.’

‘B u t d a, a c a n n y s w i m g o n n y g e t s u z a p a i r a a r m b a n d s!












! ‘

Friday, November 04, 2011

Guy Fawke's Night. (a chorus of crazed baby chicks)

What radicals you are blowing up in suburban streets.
Startling the solemn households from their quiet Sunday
breathing, lighting up thousands of tiny troops of Civil War.

Anarchy! Streets run amok!

In flocks you burst and scream, a chorus of crazed baby
chicks being strangled, a thousand wild light bulbs sent up
into the air fusing,
bouquets of flowers, flying out
like burning feathers.

You fizz and whistle like sparks of fat.
Breaking the rude silence of safe
towns, reminding us of a war
the corner, or
to shut the curtains, lock the door, and always
blow out candles.

(An old favourite I've posted before.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Parable Of The Fence.

'this went on for quite some time' from KickingParis on Vimeo.


McGuire reading in St Andrews, at Risk-A-Verse, with Inky Fingers and Stanza, Byre Theatre.

Thanks to Rachel McCrum for taking the footage.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quiet night sponsored by the letters O and L.

Olaf aloof in his loft, loafing on his lounger luxuriating in lofty litigations with his lifeforce while looking through the skylight skyward, lamenting the final harbour of loss and snuffed love of all life. Then, laughing lightly, he licks his lips and gulps a glass of cloudy lemonade, toasting to longevity.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Peck Rechublic.

From a summer schooling.

In Czech - fined 700korun on tram check, played dumb but ticket master not fooled, repaired a burst Jeep tire check, huge bananas check, off to teach tomorrow check. A cloud in a pair of trousers - check. The sun is made of honey and shooting stars are bees spilling with pollen - check. Packed verbosity and pretension - Check. Still gay - check.


Teaching in Czech - check. Work with raging friendly Alcoholic pervert professors, eyes drunk on young possibilities - check. Teach in a style aloof yet caring, confused yet powerful - check. Drink too much, alarm bells drinking, God put me here to teach me a lesson. Not to drink like it's a practical skill. Watch middle aged men ruin themselves. Run around barking like a dog at the world and my own obviousness for being crazy. Life redeemed by hundreds of glorious young engaged and engaging with alien words, the breaking world, their secret selves and Mr Doe-Eyed Me.


Back in Prague - more drunk days and mornings - my liver sings a dirge! Possible divorce proceedings. In love, out of love, who to love. Same constant state of inertia. Hours of A.A. footage to confirm my suspicions. Kafka's house is a tiny prison. Can't find Hasek's bar. Beautiful day of orange juice. Smack head off low ceiling. Too surround sound self-involved. Lazy cow grazing on Prague. Perversions need my absolute attention - Czech. New day - going sailing under a blue pallet of sky and bright people
. Open all the windows let the air in and the fruit flies out - check.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Father in the Sun.

Photo: August Sanders.

'Don't be such a fucking poof!
Be like me, Son,
Long in the tooth.

Why don't you go off
and bake a cake
with your Mum?'

He kneel's out of sight
continuing to cement the brick
wall he's building between us.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Snail on Easter Road.

A patient God in the rain;
oblivious to the business shoes.

Like the gentle progress
of an ocealiner across the atlantic.

The smallest most slow of comets
glittering a trail across wet night pavement.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What I Say About Him: A Review.

What They Say About You – Eddie Gibbons: A Review.

Eddie Gibbons is a Liverpudlian living in Aberdeen. I've always liked the soft pudding like pud sound in pudlian and Gibbons is a Pudlian Poet and an accomplished one at that. He has the technical skill to weave his pen (or, press his key's) between form and formlessness with ease.

He has all the inventiveness a quality wordsmith should – juggling word play, toying with double meaning, jiving with associations, balling with rhetoric, scattered with allusions; the books buzzes with trickery, mischief and comedy.

Read the full (fool's) article by clicking here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mick Kelly's News.

Twelve, May 1930, North Carolina.

Miz Colours is nice teacher. A real soft voice. Real smiler. Not as nice as Momma. Momma sayz neva play with peoples’ who lie or cheat or steal. Sayz the world is a danger untoitself and that each person has a devil inside thum equal to their angel. people are only people at the best of times and at the worst.

Dada works hard as hell and it's as hot as hell at the mill, like a furnace, he sayz, like momma's cooker on full for the bread. He don't beat me - and done more boys sayz they dada's hits them when theyz too hot or unhappy.My Dada don't hurt at all. He gone made me a swing, out back too. He is fast and hard when we wrestle. My idol. He doesn't cry.

Momma bakes pancakes with vanilla ice-cream and feeds Bubba scraps o' meat. It's summer. It's bright like all day, and sticky in da night, window open to let cool in, and i here the chip crickets and owl's call, and it sleeps me well. I play twist in the garden and the sun shines through the tress like one hundred swords.

I go school and learn to understand and make things and plus ones and twos and paint brilliant colours and listen to music on piana, which buils up side of me like a foutain. I play ball wit Joey and Sondra and everybody else who play. Momma and Dad sayz life wasn't prepared for me, thought they sayz I gotta make my own mark in thiz here world. Thiz is it a guess. My news for today.

Micky Kelly

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sing a rainbow.

The sun catches the glass vase
at 12:40 in the afternoon -
painting on the wall
a circular burst of rainbow.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Contractual Obligations.

Man, busy after work, scoops two goldfish out of the pea green pond.
Drives home to put them in a large skull shaped bowl
with castle, stone bridge, marble rock inside.

Time streches its long arm - hours, days, weeks -
until one day, by means of a wayward elbow,
the bowl fall to the ground, detonating, fragments of skull everywhere.

The fish writhe out of water, struggle and gulp for last air.
They are scooped up and flushed down the toilet
thrust into the ocean of the suburban sewage system
to die without any form of contractual agreement.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Collection Friendly Slam.

'The holy miraculous difference between firstrate & second implies nonthinkable enormousness by contrast with the tiny stumble from second to tenthrate.' - e.e. cummings.

Aye Eddy, whatever you say son!

The inaugural ThisCollection FRIENDLY POETRY SLAM has been and gone. It was a great success, with consistent quality and entertainment, from a controlled crowd of temporary human beings and poets. It took place in the dark cavernous downstairs bar at The Banshee Labyrinth. It was hosted by the miraculous, relentless labourer of poetry Claire Askew.

1st place went to Young Dawkings: A quality controlled performance of orange juice compact passion. By that I mean, Dawkin's performance contained with the same 'juice' (energy/nuritional value in poetic terms) as a ripe orange. He was sincere, empassioned and caused the hair on my neck to stand on end.

2nd place went to Stephen Welsh: This was his first poetry slam and, I think, his first public reading. He was polished, confident, thoughtful, and gave us a poetic-lecture of the complexity and mystery of the universe.

3rd place went to Chris Lindores: A beardy man of quick wit and self-deprecating humour, and enough dirty realism to undermine the pretense of the far-too-serious of the night.

All three got money and booze and self-satisfaction, and what more deserved than that, on this shorttimespent-planet-earth! Well done to them.

Question: what's the difference between SLAM and a poetry reading? Anwser: SLAM (in this case) is COMPETITIVE, but poetry reading is not. SLAM involves score sheets, ten point scales of content form and delivery. It involves arithmetic/calculators. Time keeping. Stop watches. Shouting, reading, self-doubt, an excess of passion and microphone reverberation. It involves financial incentive and booze promise.

All in all, it was a quality night, and the three winners now get to go to St Andrews and read at an experimental poetry night. So, good luck on that wee poetry galivant. I think there may be more this collection SLAM nights to come. I hope so. Let there be mic!

End note: I came a tight, but not tight enough, 4th which astounded and encouraged me, like a child on stabilisers cycling for the tenth time and not worrying that you'll fall over.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rip Van Winkle: A Review

Tomorrow, we will live here. Ryan Van Winkle.

'RIP VAN WINKLE, known to all as a harmless, drinking, shiftless lout, who never would work, but roamed about, always ready with jest and song-idling, tippling all day long.'

Ryan Van Winkle arrived in Edinburgh in 1999, from USA, working in bars, cafés, and the Forest Café. He's came a long bloody way since that beginning. Jesus, I barely know him, but what I do know is he's a pro-active, tireless encourager organiser, and fair poet.

He recently won the Crashaw prize for poetry.

Read the complete review here.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Precision Engineering: A Review.

This is not about what you think. A poetry collection by, Jim Murdoch.

Murdoch is not a poet of excess. Murdoch does not mess about. Murdoch gets to the point, and then gets off the page. In some respects the poems are sterile, not in the sense of imagination, but of being thoroughly clean and free of destructive elements.

Read the complete article by McGuire here

Friday, March 04, 2011

I wonder.

Self does not exist, I say,
but we kept on talking to each other anyway.

All the while clouds shift and move -
giant white lawn mowers of the sky.
And God the great gardener of the sky
as the rain falls from his watering can.

Soul does not exist, I say,
but we kept on destroying them anyway.

All the while people are dominos
caught in random tragedies,
taken by
bullets, by electricity
by everyday garden appliances.

Intellect, does not exist, I say,
but we kept on using logic and reason anyway.

All the while it rains in one part of the world
while it snows in another, a direct debt
is taken from someone’s bank account,
and someone chokes on a toffee.

Love, does not exist, I say,
but we kept on kissing anyway.

All the while trains shuttle past
graveyards, cars zoom through
puddles that spray passers by,
a blind woman walks in a flower garden.

Poetry, is shit, I say,
but I kept on writing anyway.

*Found a file full of old poems. Here is one. Wrote it in about 2004.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Jobseeker.

Tam: Awright son, long time no see, yuptay these dayz?

Alec: A laot a fuck all, on joabseekerz, been own it fir last five munf. Fuck all hapnin Tam. Hall worlds a riot man. Nay jobs ur nuntin. Even Helen no got nuntin. Shez volintearin it the charity shaop. Fuck all fir it. But, guid fir her c.v. They sayz. Better tay day somefin thin nufin, they sayz. Iz it fuck. Better tay day fuck all an git yir benefit. Fuck them. Government full o curption. O multie millionairz, floatin aboot on boats and aw that, in the fuckin hitlon, pish man, i'm no workin.

Tam: Fucksake, wish i'd nevir asked. A'v goat a joab the now, threw an agentcy, a day deliveries fir Tesco. Mind you son, I don't work fir Tesco – only goat the joab fay the agentcy. It's that bad. Git yirself tay an agentcy. Plenty o kitchen work goin'.

Alec: Me? A pot scrubber. Fuck that. Peelin potatos fir 5 pound a oor. Fuck washin ma ain dishez let alany a resturant full o shirt and tie fuckers. I'm aff tay the bookies, try on a coupla the horses. Mare luck on the gamble, I hink.

Tam: Fuck gamblin' that's a bottomless pit.

Alex: Lives a six feet pit. Fuck it. Am aff. Take it easy, Tam. Driving they wagonz for tesco. Tell the wife I sayz hello.

Tam: Aye, o right, you and yours too, Leck. Catch yee doon the local some time, I'll shout yee a pint.

Alex: Noted, Tam. Noted. Take it easy ma man.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011


Rather lounge on a couch nourished
by the sharp turn and talk of a single page
than strain through the luminous glare
of an electrified screen like a conspirator.

Knead the dough of the story,
the warm loaf in the hands rising
rather than stretch plastic cable
to that-just-right angle to balance a machine
awkwardly at midnight.

Most of all, imagine, a Mother or Father
reading beside you by lamplight,
or you reading to your loved ones,
as they fall asleep dreaming of a game world,
a sky sugared with new meanings,
clusters of constellations, of sentences.