Sunday, December 30, 2012

Statistically Significant Happiness.

'Face wiz trippin' the loat ae um...' - Pedestrian.

The graph curves

There is a weather beaten rock were you sit
with your back to the wind trying to light
a hopeless cigarette.

A bus stopped dead at the lights
sealed with young mothers, folded buggies,
and cantankerous soured faced history lessons.

If they took a slice of orange
on the head of their beer
they could enrich their lives
with some vitamin C.

You oil yourself on whiskey
and tough boy humour
and varnish old wounds.
You sure know how
to lighten up a swollen cloud.

A geriatric ward
with fourteen year olds
going on eighty
year old cynicism.

Statistically our laughter
doesn't stand
a chance against
the wall of the cemetery.

There is not enough
sun through the sky 
to cheer up this Nation.

is a
in the

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Foot of The Walk

He is an old skeleton of a man. Stranded somewhere in his sixties. Stubble tough as sandpaper. Stubble cement grey. His eyes bloodshot and ghosted like a man who has been taken over. He whispers to himself.

He carries a bottle of wine haphazardly under his arm right which spills as he tries to settle it. A cap sits crookedly on his head. His short coat is dirtied by grease and sick mess. His trousers hang loosely around his waist. By all accounts one gone quite mad.

He walks stiffly like a boy who has defecated in his trousers. This is no simile; a sewage leak has stained through and dribbles down his right leg. He mutters to himself.

This is a man who has been burned of his wings and robbed of his halo. No Saints in this city. The burden is yours alone. Stories of despair wait behind so many dank curtains. 

At the junction he edges awkwardly round the corner. We cross the road, walking farther into our lives and further away from his; averting our eyes from the suns glare.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cheap Christmas Selection Box

Sky Glass

Snow flakes under magnification
look like complex mechanical structures.
Thank you, Great Voiceless One
for such immense Christmas d├ęcor.
We, Royally speaking, always knew you to be
an Interior Designer of the First Order.

Wise Old Beard

Father Christmas has a great white beard, it is:
A snow capped mountain top.
A frozen snow caked lake.
A snow covered gully near the mouth of the fjord.
A candy floss of snow carpeting the land.
Father Christmas's great white beard – adored, revered.
Perennially pruned, combed and sheered.
Let us never forget that large mysterious
most ancient of beards.

Dirty Realist

Santa is in the drinks cabinet using 
Billy Boys new monster truck as a drinks cup.
Bottles surround his black boots in worship. 
Billy in reindeer pyjamas climbs down the stairs, 
mouth open 'O' shaped in shock:
'You fucking drunken materialist whore!
You're not my Father any more!'

*Written in 2005. Edited in 2012. Dreadful for eternity.  

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Mainly warm, asleep and safe.

No Einsteins here, no equations,
just gormless, goggle-eyed queues.
Some pray before false angels
end up dancing in psychiatric wards.
Build safe families with a perfect mortgage,
file it all under standard procedure.
Keep the monkey and bananas in the pen.
Hose yourselves down don't run the risk
of catching fire while the comets explode.
Bolt the doors, lock the windows.
God forbid the chaos of the fearless spirit
should catch our eye.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Word on December

I have some readings this December. Here is a note of them. If you can come, do come! All in Edinburgh. When will I turn my coat back to Glasgow? 2013.

December 5th TENRED Persevere on Easter Road: 7:30 until late. Buy a juice for me as I go wild with calmness. Ten Poets reading, stay for 5, 6 or 7 if you can. Reading alongside the likes of Hawley, Turnbull, Monaghan, Giles, Amey, McMahon, McCrum, Lindsay, Dillion, Sithole. Come let your ears bleed.

December 10th open mic slot at Blind Poetics reading alongside Chris Emslie and James T Harding. Hosted by ALec Beattie and Roddy Shippin. At the Blind Poet Bar, 32 west Nicolson Street. It can be hard to see the quality. 8 until 11. 

December 12th I will be reading at The National Library of Scotland. I think, though must confirm, I am reading as part of the  Callum Macdonald Poetry Pamphlet Fair 12 December 2012

Then on to Xmas...and New Year...! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Praise of Worthwhile things.

Things are afoot. Plans. Actions. The backburner has been thrown out and the present moment contains all the right tools for being alive. Thank fuck for that. Thank God, that mighiest of abstract nouns, which refers to everything and nothing, simultaneously.

New Press In Eden - Stewed Rhubarab:

Run by the sweet ensemble that is Rachel McCrum and James T Harding. They produce some artfully crafted pamphlets. They recently held their launch at the Jazz Cafe in Edinburgh. Featuring hot cakes and hot cross buns: Rachel McCrum, reading from 'The Glass Blower Dances', Katherine McMahon reading from her collection 'Treasure In The History of Things' and the keen observations of Jenny Lindsay from 'The Eejit Pit'. Good night. God people, but not in a religious sense, in the sense of decent altogether alive.

Stewed Rhubarb have just produced novelist Tracey S. Rosenberg's first collection 'Lipstick Is Always A Plus' and the inimitable Harry Giles has also just brought out his collection with them 'Visa Wedding'. Watch Rhubarb grow. Send over your submissions. Go read. Go buy. Go to it.

Banana Cake - or Banana Loaf: Easy Banana Cake

Banana Cake Banana Loaf Banana Man Banana rama. Not enough drug addicts and alcoholics are discovering the benefits of home baking. I wonder why!? Imagine the baking shelves empty in the supermarkets? The streets silent. The kitchens bustling with activity. Glasgow Young Team, Edinburgh Young Team, aspiring to make the best banana choc chip hash cakes this side of Scotland. How about some home grown magic mushroom tea to go with that?

There must be some way to provoke the youth out of indolence and cynical violence. Maybe the news is prejudiced and they are a fine lot. Business Gateway should really be funding the youth in baking.

Buckfast Cake, Hash cakes, mushroom tea?

Poet Russell Jones will be launching an anthology of Sci-Fi poetry he recently edited which includes over 40 poets from the UK. Where Rockets Burn Through is a comprehensive collection of Sci-Fi poetry from a shitload of poets from this planet. There is a mind-expanding 'sci-fi-essay-poem' by the maganificently articulate and creator of a few amazing neologisms, Steve Sney. Plus a preface from the imaginarium of Alsadair Gray's mind, and a sobering introduction by Russell Jones. Read it and weep spaces boys and girls.

There is a launch at Blackwells in Edinburgh on Southbridge (EH1 1YS) on Thursday 29th November at 6:00pm. The book costs 9.99. If you are in London there is another book launch at Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street London E1 6AB on the 6th of December.

Penned In The Margins are the publishers!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Prayer For Rightwingers.

May you be seated at 
the right hand of 
a left handed person.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lady Brassica Oleracea

Thy chlorochrous miniature forest. 
Thy Olympic torch of antioxidants. 
Proud Sister of the Brassica Family. 
In honour, we plate and devour thee!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Before turning off the bedside lamp:

Bed has fallen asleep;
duvet rises and falls with each
imperceptible feathered breath.
Pillow has tucked its head back
into its warm groove, I watch it sleep 

and leave it, undisturbed.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Quietly This Month

I will be reading at the following events. They are all sure to be quality events in themselves. Come see, come hear, come rotten tomato in hand, however you see it, through a glass eye or a stone heart, through a gleeful optimism or a dyspeptic cynicism. Life herself stands, doing things to us all.

I am usually far away in another country during June/July/August but not this year and I have managed to build up a wee list of events I'll be reading at. Encouraged to be considered for some of them and happy to just be involved either way. For a man of my disposition, it is a strange honour if you knew my disposition you'd understand. ;)

Quickly arrange reading organised by Claire Askew at a nice wee bar I have never been too. Come hither! Ahoj! Ahoj! 

Captain's Bar
Monday 6th of August. 2012. 
South College Street, Edinburgh.
6:00 until late.

Thanks to Claire Askew for considering me good enough to warm up, along with Ryan Van Winkle and Jenny Lindsay, before this guy. Who is quite famous in Amercia and can be found all over YouTube, and his brother I presume, will also be there. I am slightly daunted by it, no doubt is is a polished as a Monday morning work shoe, and has oodles of style and word-charm.

One Night Stanzas presents Watsky X 2. 
Tuesday 7th August, 2012.
Henderson's at St John's.
7:15pm until 11:00pm 

Summerhall’s Festival Club
Wed 8th August, 10pm – midnight
Inky Fingers takes over the stage at Summerhall’s Festival Club, to bring you a selection of the best spoken word around. Tonight featuring local star Colin McGuire, alongside experimental texts from Sean Burn and brilliant new verse from Lynsey Calderwood. Inky Fingers are doing a SHED load of events in Augut. Seek them out.

40 poeple reading at this event. The biggest open mic at the Fringe ever. It will be some marathon. Going to try and stay the entire time without getting catatonic or making a breast of myself. It's bound to be a good riot and some good words to be heard. 

Monday 13th of August, 2012.

The Blind Poet, 32 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh.
8:00pm until 1:00am
BBC@Potterrow, Second Space, Edinburgh. 
Wednesday, 22 August, 5pm: Liz Lochhead, Colin McGuire, Elspeth Murray, Jim Monaghan, Jenny Lindsay and Bram Gieben
5:00 pm 9:00 pm

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

To have and to hold:

'Is sign language the real language of Paradise?' - Hugo Ball

You have lovely fingers, yes.
Five each amazing are
twigs of hold stems of grasp
through each other we clasp
our feeling closer than touch;
yet touch is more than we could ever say.
I hold you gently - tree by tree, twig to twig.

(Love is a little conifer in the backgarden of our hearts.)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

May 5th Moon over Glasgow

 Photo by Rick Adam. 

The Moon is a light at the end of a tunnel - Unknown. 

The moon is larger tonight, closer - looking at us, looking at its bald face - in a staring competition lasted well over a millennium; O haloed white whole in the tapestry of a black sky, O giant milky button illuminating the dark room of the world, sometimes I wish to switch between you and the sun repeatedly, like a child with a light switch. See you tonight.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Excerpt From The Psychosexual Sandwich Bar

 'We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within...' - Karl Jung.

Down town at The Psychosexual Sandwich Bar:

'I'll have a large ciabatta, please, with a hint of melancholy, and a few slices of sexual repression, over a bed of lettuce, spiced with the shadow of childhood and for sauce, I'll have a rich sense of perversion.'

'To go...?'

'No, no, the feeling of something not quite right, to remain forever in the pit of my stomach. Just wrap it quickly in a cellophane bag of truth, and I will discard of the contents before analysis, and pretend it never existed. I would like to name this sandwich, if possible.'

Yes Sir, what name would you like to give it?'  He passed a golden pen by which to scroll it.

'The Shadow, Sir. I would like to call it.'

'Sorry sir. Everyone has got one of those already. They are regulrarly eaten by them. But, we never go into the details. We only make the sandwiches.'

'How about - Shadows Strech Far Back Into Childhood?'

'Slightly verbose, Sir. Something more succinct perhaps?'

'Irrationality Sandwich?'

'Excellent choice, Sir.'


*Rough and ridiculous idea but been quiet on this blog and it was mad enough to post.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Arthur's Seat.

I've been living in Edinburgh on and off for about two years now. I live near Leith Walk. I walk up and down it regularly. There is this guy who always sits around the street. Wiry wild grey hair, bleary red eyed, of African descent, wears dirty blue jeans, blankets tucked and wrapped around his waist. Face haggard and rich with lines and wear and ruin. His hands are tought, skin cracked clay and caked in grime or dirt. He sits in bus shelters, smoking cigarette doubts. I seen a man once hand him bananas.

Every city has these lone wild card eccentrics.  Lone ineffable homeless characters. Often an oblivious feature the street. This guy sleeps outside Majestic Wine everynight on a grate with some cardboard for a matress and a tatty sleeping bag to keep warm. He sleeps awkwardly on his side. I've passed by him while he sleeps. I always take a moment to look at him. What crazy world has he got inside of himself? What has life unleashed upon him? Maybe he escaped something far worse. Maybe he has gone a bit mad with indifference. This man with wild grey hair and a red eyes, who is he? His atmosphere is not hostile. He feels amiable, pleasant, yet his oddness is undeniable. He walks up and down Leith Walk. I've never seen him anywhere else. He has sat ouside the 'Sea Breeze' cafe (greasy spoon), and they don't move him along. He sits with a blanket over his shoulders. Sometimes fast asleep. Other times just waiting. Waiting for what. Waiting for the mercy of the sun perhaps. Afterall, he survived winter sleeping out here. Least I think he did unless he has somewhere else to go. I've seen him sleeping out there in ice cold conditions. He must have some strength. Some immunity.

He carries bags filled with other platic bags. Not sure what's inside. More polymers, maybe blankets. People know him, I'm sure. People stop to talk. I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to find out more. Somehow I found out his name is Arthur but I can't remember who told me. Did I make it up? I don't think so. Someone told me. I heard it. Somewhere. Some rumour. But that's how I see him - Arthur. I wanted to talk to him. Find out his story. Give him a cup of tea for his time. Instead, I have his name, and some photos I took one evening walking down. I never asked permission. I just wanted to capture him. Get something down.

I've walked passed him so many times and felt the urge to talk. He probably gets it all the time though. Strangers trying to be nice. Trying to be angel like. Thinking they will be the first person to really give him the time of day. And one evening he was walked towards me, our eyes met as eyes do, and we both said 'Hello' as we passed by.

Arthur has his own style. His own atmosphere, his wild wiry grey hair, his short limping gait, his just sitting watching time pass, people migrating to work and back. I might yet talk to him. Keep a respectful distance. Maybe this is enough, to acknowledge him here with some photographs, and keep that mystery which anonymity brings. I don't want to invade his space. He intrigues. That is enough. Seeking too much can destory a thing. So, there he is, Arthur.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wrestling With Shadows.

Do you think I wrestle merely with goldfish
on an Icecream Sunday of the soul,
enduring the outrageous slings and arrows
of a pantomine dame during the dark night
of the lost remote control?
 - Wilhelm Spearshake.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Grandmother Earth Wise


(Grandmother Mother Aware Idealism)

Don't be such a cardigan, Son.

Get out there into the world.
Make it tremble to meet you.
Take great strides through crowds.
Don't be shepherded into enclosures.
Strike out and flame like a sure match.
Gamble your chances on intuitive charm.
Gather your skill as hidden treasure.
There are doors in the world that open
before you even push. These are the doors
of destiny, the doors of chance, the doors of a
God indicating possibility. Take it son.
Run with your spirit flaring in the dark night
of so many quiet lives. Do not be ashamed
of your peculiarities but do not let them own you.
You are not governed by a corporation of shadows.
You are a part of the fabric of the broad cloth.
Life is a table cloth Son, a clean sheet of infinite stain
and you must let all your limbs burst with the flowers
of your being. But you are not a solitary piece of biology.
There is so much love you have yet yo receive from those
who have already given so much. Take love as your task,
pour your waves of affection outward into good works
to the even sea of people surrounding. There is much
gold in simplicity. There is so much care
to be aware of in a quiet minute.

(Aye Gran...

Whitever you say.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Piano Burns And A Crowd Warm Their Ears By Its Sound.

Benny And The Jets:

Soldiers punch into each key 
a squad of ten crazed fingers
fighting the enemy of silence.

The lava inside the volcano erupts
and crowds run possessed to dance,
on a floor consumed by fire.

Clair De Lune:
Rain drops, wearing ballerina shoes,
pirouette slowly on the small lake
of a puddle rippling in the moon light.