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.


For Sophie

Nineteen passed by too quickly,
what with the liquor
and drugs
and all the mentally ill crap,
but I don’t wanna talk about that.
I wanna talk about the moments
lit like fireworks in my memory,
heartbreak loud without apology or consideration
for my neighbours
(who still hate me, by the way).
I wanna remember her smile
how it felt in my stomach,
roses growing in my oesophagus,
thorns catching my throat when I laughed
but her hands brushing mine
containing a quiet apocalypse with fingertips that always smell too much like cigarettes and home.
The curve of her mouth
as we recount stories of high school classrooms and jumping picket fences,
police calls and serenades by boys who heard we were bisexual
and assumed threesomes were on the table.
Our English teacher,
her voice a symphony but one we almost ignored 
too caught up in dreaming ourselves to death and emptying our rose stems into toilet bowls.
We were newly sixteen then,
and we understood Persephone over any other god
cause when Hades opened its jaw,
she leapt,
balled fists and pomegranate seeds,
straight into the dark.
Let it swallow her whole.
And Sophie, I let him
swallow me whole,
and I can still taste hell on my tongue sometimes.
Nineteen passed by too quickly cause I spent it wasting away,
locking myself in rooms, too sick to move, every part of me feeling colder than death.
I do not say this to demonise,
or throw accusations in his direction,
merely to say that I loved him
and when I was nineteen I thought
he loved me too.

Sometimes things happen for a reason but it doesn’t make them any less shitty.
Clarity can only wipe away so much dirt.
I know I am better now, wiser now, fuller now
but that doesn’t mean it didn’t fucking hurt.

I have waged wars almost all of my life.
But you are the one nation
I know will always take my side,
a commander and general with nothing but pride
every time I pick myself up again.

Never pity. Never fear.
Only love.


ah christ, writers are the most sickening!
Verses bloated with cigar stains, wine glasses lying toppled,
any excuse to talk about grass!
If it doesn’t come, wrench it out,
grab it’s neck,
the fucking trigger.
It’s only enough if you’ve bled for it,
starved for it,
if it holds you captive, embedded in ink.
If it leaves claw marks on your back, you know it’s good,
it’s decent, it’s


What a crew.
What a night!
Writing, each of us,
until knuckles grow bruises like paint strokes and it’s last call everywhere but here.
Until tongues drag
across bitter pavements, scorched by asphalt,
sends us sprinting into back alleys to smoke cigarettes with the mad and disillusioned.
What a crew!
What a mess!

Each one of us bearing scars and secrets like Highlanders bore wine skins,
dotting lines with apologies and fuck yous simultaneously,
and all for the love of

What is it that propels us
like helicopters or planes,
drives us into the same lyric filled lanes?
I used to think it was blood.
Born of a woman who sacrificed her own skin to make mine,
I couldn’t seem to think of lines that didn’t involve wolves
or wine
or self destruction in some way.
But not today.
Today I am fresh spring meadow
plagued by bees and breeze
and in my veins there are fucking symphonies,

and that’s on you,
not all you but it helps.

Writers are the most sickening.
All our hearts are drowning in vomit and bad verse, clumsy attempts to console the sky
even though it’s not listening

but I am
and you are
and that is all that matters.

They call us star gazers
but looking up always strains my neck.
I’d rather look down at the human,
gutted and rising,
than depend on the heavens for my soul,

I guess I never learn my lesson,
always ask fifteen questions at a time
and have a chronic need to make everything rhyme.
I’ve been talking to ghosts instead of praying to God above
and to steal a line from Sam Small, it’s gotta be love.

Yes, of course!
sending us skipping through verses, tangling us up in words.

It’s love,
it’s love,

Aphrodite, she
writes poetry too,
much better than mine.
That explains it all then,
doesn’t it? That explains