Thursday, 6 November 2008

Introducing the November 2008 Readers - 4. James W Wood

James W Wood is the author of The Theory of Everything (HappenStance, 2006) and Inextinguishable (Knucker Press, 2008). His long poem about modern Scotland, Song of Scotland, appears in the current issue of Poetry Review. Below is a small excerpt from it.

In the early hours of a new nation we look out
On a la-la-landscape bequeathed by those who said
They knew best, those from the West, whose God and Glasgow
Labour Party would provide. This their mess, this underperformance
Theirs, heirs now to an early death, corruption their
Disease. Ours now what they were. Left
with what? A nation? I’m no’ so sure. No nation without
Representation, but we’re the most over-represented
Non-Nation on Earth. One hundred and twenty-nine numpties sat
On the world’s most expensive wall. Look instead to the North
And East, where the black gold flows and the numbers know
The future lies, away from clich├ęs about poverty
And deep-fried pies, towards culture and prosperity
Born from hard work, not depravity. Take a trip then from the barren
Southern border up through brokerdom in the Lothians
And into Prince Billy’s saintly Kingdom, then on to that
Stem-cell science park once known for its journalism (I
mean Dundee) and on. And on. Into Western Europe’s
Most precious resource, under waves that used to teem
With fish but boil now with regulation: this is where
The money is. Where our future is. Socialism
And Scottish Equity,
.............. ..........what a load of shite:
.................................. ..............the country

That created capitalism, old Adam, couldn’t cut it
Ourselves and had to head, Tam in hand, southwards
For a generation.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Introducing the Novemver 2008 Readers - 3. Patricia Ace

Patricia Ace was born in Cleethorpes at the end of the Sixties of Welsh-West Indian parentage. Brought up in England, the Middle East and Canada, she studied English and Drama at the Universities of London and Glasgow before settling in rural Perthshire in 1993 to bring up a family. A stay-at-home Mum when her kids were small, she qualified as a yoga teacher in 2002 and currently teaches both yoga and creative writing to adults in the community and to young people in schools. Patricia Ace’s chapbook of poems, First Blood, is published by HappenStance Press. She won 3rd Prize in the Mslexia 2008 Women’s Poetry Competition. She has recently completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University for which she was awarded a Distinction. She lives in Crieff with her partner and two teenagers.

Ruby Turning Thirteen

She comes home from school smelling of rubbers
and Tippex and, faintly, of sweat.
She cradles her cat like a baby,
carries him around like a doll.
She slops milk into a glass, grabs a piece of bread.
She’s in a play about the seven deadly sins.
I’m this girl who’s dead full of herself – y’know, flirty…
I’m playing Lust.

She shoves a pink magazine in my face.
Who d’ you think is the fittest out of these guys?
She flicks the pages, playing it cool.
Her belt spells ROCK in silver studs.
Cookie Monster grins, ironically, from her t-shirt.
A guinea pig fidgets in the pocket of her hoody.
I study Shane and Jesse, Justin and Johnny.
He is soooo fit, she says. He’s got a six-pack. Look.

She pretends to be a dog, down on all fours,
tongue lolling out, hunting for hidden treats.
Good doggy I say, patting her head, playing the game.
(She wants a dog more than anything.)
She lies on my lap, pretends to be a baby.
Her braces knock against the lip of her sucky cup.
I’m not ready for a boyfriend yet, she tells me
I’m playing the field.