Graham Hardie


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