Graham Hardie

Glasgow
 

Glasgow you could not afford me the spare change
For the ferryman's boat.
Glasgow a packet of lights and some Earl Grey April 26th, 2008.
Glasgow the green leaf of the Botanics
And the silver dollar of the whore's ghetto.
I have breached the walls of insanity and let out the chaos.
Glasgow when will you rebuild the fire?
Fuck the City Chambers and the dead statues of George Square.
Fuck the traffic cops and the paranoid delinquents.
I write to feel alive for Blair's Britain has killed me.
Glasgow when will you show me your nakedness?
When will you flower in the light?
When will you adopt your prodigal sons?
Glasgow why do you shit in your own streets?
Glasgow when will you be true to your word?
I'm admonished of your intolerable sin.
When can I reach for the sky above the designer labels
And executive coffee houses with my honurable intentions?
Glasgow you swim in the twilight of heroin
And the sawdust of greatness and I am but the poet of your vanity.
Your heart is what is left of me.
You speak like the widow at her husband's funeral.
There must be thoughts in the anger you possess.
Quinn is in Amsterdam with his summer delight
And the prostitute's cream.
Are you watching the barge on Maryhill canal
Or is this just some of your banter?
I'm willing to forgive you.
I want to rejoice in your happiness.
Glasgow shout no more for I am but a stranger
In your docklands.
Glasgow the thistle has struck you down.
I didn't seek your truth for your bosom is swelling
With stabbings and murders.
Glasgow some of the most beautiful woman walk by your side.
Glasgow I was a revolutionary
But then I never had your stubborn pride.
I watch him talk with the dragon at every chance I get.
I stand by your estuary for hours and hours
And gaze at the gathering of grey herons on the shore.
When I go to the Barras my mother waits and I feel at home.
My head is the lost city of Sodom.
You are the witness as I read Rimbaud in your parks.
My psychologist got divorced and is now in therapy.
I say the Lord's Pray every day.
I have gifts of bread and wine and lateral visitations of an alien kind.
Glasgow I listen to you and you confess what happened
To Marlene, 7th October 1997, as she jumped
From the Towers of Barlanark.

I'm speaking to you
Are you going to survive
And let your heart be ruled
By the malignant suit in the black wagon.
I'm obsessed with sanity.
I search for her all the time
And when I find her she looks at me from behind a glass door,
Desperate to be return to her family.
I see her in the face of my sister and my brother
But she is always unchained. I am unchained. God is unchained.
I think I belong to Glasgow.

Bush is fighting with me
In the land of the free
Perpetuating the material disease
As Sheriden the hope of the radical few,
Fucks swingers, as the sweat breaks the fake
Suntan of his blemished skin.
What do I have but a box of valium, thousands
Of poems awaiting my death and publication,
The sight of an Osprey on Loch Chon
And twelve days and counting in an asylum.
I whisper nothing of my illusions nor my beliefs
Nor the multitude who chase poverty down the street
And who are housed in the bins of the rich
And whose only recourse to justice is prison or rehab.
I have banned the brothels of Charing Cross, St Enoch
And Venus will be the last.
My ambition is to die having been loved.
Glasgow what do I write in your elegy to celebrate your heroism?
I will go on like Napoleon, my struggle as significant
As his defeat.
Glasgow solace and honesty does not come cheap.
I'll give you both for a grand.
Glasgow release Rose Gentle.
Glasgow save St. Mungo.
Glasgow your addicted sons and buckfast daughter must not die.
Glasgow I am the Anderston girls.
Glasgow when I was eight my father took me to church
Where they told stories of Jesus sang on the rickety piano
Drew his picture on fine paper knelt in sermon and prayer
Conversed with the old and dying babtised the unfaithful
And I would look up to the roof above me and watch as it opened
And proclaimed me the second Christ.
Everybody must have been an unbeliever.
Glasgow don't drown with your salmon.
Glasgow it's them Corporate Capitalists.
Them Corporate Capitalists them Corporate Capitalists
And them Muslims and them Corporate Capitalists.

The Corporate Capitalist wants to carve your spirit out
Of your bricks and mortar. They're ruthless. They want everything,
Even the Orchids in your Glasshouses.
He wants the land on which you were born, the people who love you
To march on his wheel to keep it turning. He wants Big Brother
To move in and live with us. He wants to eat the bones
Of this city in his gluttony.
If not then what, packing shelves in Iceland or perhaps Farmfoods
To pay for his robes of gold?
Glasgow stand for your people.
Glasgow you are what you have made me.
Glasgow am I right?
I must leave you now.
It's true I don't want to touch the Devil's cloth
Or serve customers in a sandwich bar, I'm hopeless
And too psychotic by far.
Glasgow I'm finally turning my blind eye the other way.

Graham Hardie © 2010