Glasgow West End: Poetry and Writing
Bohemian Chemistry by Stephen Watt
swanks out from the Oran Mor bar
where toy school kids on tightrope walls
try not to fall; plucking air guitars.
The instrument does not seem to matter.
Streetlights spark bonfires
in dying, west end heavens –
a half crescent moon
is fish-hooked on university buildings,
brimming with assiduous students’ laughter.
Traffic cones go missing.
Balconies of beatnik cats hypnotise Byres Road traffic
with pendulum-swinging tails.
Garlic from Kelvingrove park picnics
plays havoc in stomachs filled with cocktails
designed by Ashton Lane artists.
Cigarettes and loose change
slip between cobbles;
morsels for buskers and poets
with fiddles to feed and journals to harvest.
Fliers, posters, leaflets
have a stranglehold on windows.
The ratio of double-drams
equals the pips on dominoes
used by war heroes in the corners of dusty pubs.
As the graffiti is shaded by the gallery obstruction,
an oasis drains into the cyclone
of the underground station.
The west shreds into parcelled, satin ribbons
like a gift ripped open; or a ticket stub.
- David MacLennan
- Maggie Graham
- Brian Hamill
- Paul McCafferty
- Louise Welsh
- Dave Anderson
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- Frankie Gault
- Elaine Reid
- Allan Wilson
- Leela Soma
- John Hamilton May
- Denise Mina
- John Dingwall
- Paul McQuade
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