The Body

The Body

​I have stopped being me again,

And these faithless hands caught

between steeples,

how they mimic the prayers you once taught me

with the exception that they never close. 

For the only church they know

is the graveyard, 

the bones, the bodysnatchers, the dark. 

Those twisted fingers scraped dirt from coffins, ransacked linings, stole souls from sunken skull eyes 

and I

watched from afar with lips pressed firm.

I never trusted what I could do in the dark

without you. Without


Loneliness is contagious, and I have known 

too many fevers,

but I can’t just call the doctor.

I’m scared of phone calls

and kindness

and frankly, of myself. 

These faithless hands

so quick to leave bruises on the inside of my thigh,  

so eager to see me starve again.

But it is

not just them.

Some nights my body leaves me to sleep while it wanders under flickering street lights 

and when it comes back, it always leaves the door unlocked, 

all the lights on. 

Last week, I thought a burglar got in. 

She had left a window open and it wrenched me from my sleep, 

pulled us out to a moonlit hallway,

and she lied about it.

She said, it must have been a cat.
But there are no cats in this street.

They have been driven away by the dark leaking like glue out onto the pavement

from under my floorboards. 

The smell is awful. 

My body has been out hunting again and she never knows where to hide the evidence.

I am harbouring a murderer inside my lungs and I am not cut out for jail,
But these faithless hands write scripture

in the form of post it notes,

small mercies in the form of steadiness, 

and my body 

has become a convert. 

She stays at home most nights. 

And when she leaves, she lets these hands lock the door, put all

the lights off.
It is not a miracle.

It is not

quite enough.

But it is something.


In Which I Use Bad Words


Descriptive word.

Outside of Glasgow, almost always offensive. 

Inside it’s walls, it depends. 

Consistently conflated 

with mad, sound, other descriptive terms. 

Tam there’s a stingy cunt, but see his bird? 

Soundest cunt I ever met. 

It’s a Scottish thing, 

I think. 

Turning insults on their head, twisting ‘pal’ to sound aggressive cause see

its all about the tone. 

All about the emotion. 

We produce so many stellar poets, cause partially

it’s in our bones. 

The sound of trees means almost nothing

unless you’ve felt it on your cheek, in your skin, 

and I love yous fall flat without emotion. 

We work behind the words.

Painting bright reds on sunsets and life into the stones.

But knowing the darker things too. 

Until you have been so lonely

as to relish the touch of a cashier

as she passes you your one pence change,

you cannot taste the ash on your tongue,

cannot know

that bittersweet silence between I miss you and goodbye. 

So cunt 

seems like the lesser of two evils,

cause I’d rather be all bar fight than teary eyed, 

rather feel blood than nothing. 
See, it’s all about

the context,

you beautiful bunch of bastards.

The Hangover Of A Century

​You never miss home on holiday 

til you’re hungover. 
Where is the fog

hiding all the clumsy footprints I left on the edge of someone’s heart? 

These foreign walls are too bright, too big

and for some reason, always too yellow. 

Where did 

I leave my shoes? 

I only brought two pairs and I have to walk to breakfast, 

curse that continental spread cause all I want’s a Tattie Scone.

And this fucking heat

makes fighting the whitey ten times harder. 

How am I ever going to feel better without the aid of Irn Bru 

or of you? 
There is too much water between us now to run, but if this hadn’t been so expensive I’d still try. 

You’re all bright eyes in my livingroom and unexotic airs

but I don’t care. 

Cause Egypt’s too hot this time of year,

and I could proper go some bacon. 

My stomach’s churning faster than an engine and I’m near dizzy at the sensation.

Everyone else is by the pool, I’d rather be by George Square 

cause I don’t care to go anywhere without you.

We’re both Scottish,

so I think we were born always longing to be home.

That’s why we have so many folk songs 

and every American MacSomething pretends he’s one of us. 

Other places are alright,

please don’t get me wrong. 

But give me rain. Give me hills. Give me song,
and I’ll spend every note on longing after you.

Cause I’m a sap. 

And I know my rhyming’s crap 

but I’d trade this whole bloody week just to be next to you.