'Trojan Horse' at GOMA, 24th September 2017
(First verse to be sung to the tune of Frère Jacques)
How Are You?
I’m Fine Thank You
Nice To Meet You
I walk and the Clyde stares up,
its cataract of hazy sky
those dodgy hues
to catch your breath
or lose your mind in.
When I skim stones across its skin
I don’t expect them back:
there’s a greater beauty in
those little holes in the wind.
Some panes take my heart less seriously.
In the shower everything comes back,
while removing city from the holes in my face
I remember other places, dangerous orange
and birds that fish, coiling laughter.
They showed us rocks laced with moon metal,
giant holes and piping bands to plug gaps
in ideas of Beyond.
‘It’s the Great Barrier Reef!’ she cries in desperation,
hoping to rescue this moment from
the aggregate of memories
trademarked for further reflection
on the eyelids’ underside.
There are other places,
a draped eel glistening green in a
crater lake’s fallen tree’s forked branch cleft,
the other fish wide eyed at my pale invasion,
but I keep my distance:
it’s best to leave some things unseen.
Down Sauchiehall Street scant rain dusts
ruddy stones plate glass
mirror wheelchair passing
by, tinny bagpipes patriot’s frosting,
ailing hair under threatening sky.
Glances gather on
Richard’s corduroy, all fluted brown
to flatten his beard, perhaps
she was pretending though:
‘Dead gorgeous’, we feared,
Later impish under motorway,
sleet licks sharper relief
from hollow spaces, hats and bridges
watch a wider world appear
‘We can make this ours’ you say.
It’s 19:39 on the Glasgow train
as HD Hitler spits his rhetoric to the Quiet Coach,
where few even notice his presence,
registering only flashes or susurrant bleeps,
A war we’re begged to remember to swat other fears away.
People mainly read here, or eat sandwiches from Tesco,
as tanks advance slowly across tray tables.
Two coppers in the surgery
scope the room as if breaking the Fourth Wall.
You, tiny torpedo,
smear your hands with custard creams,
a sugary outer layer to fend off
the baddy bureaucrats keeping you
from nap time, and then to draw a line
under the matter you exhale a globby filament
of milk, joining mouth to floor
for one sucked-up second.
All that in Springburn this Sunday afternoon.