PERICEE by Don Paterson

from Nil Nil (Faber £5.95)

Freak alignments. I am the best man,

she, the bridesmaid. John, the resident MC. once our playground quarry, does not complain

when we corner him. frisking for his master key.

Our affair was stripped of all the usual padding - just a flat joke about not getting ‘committed‘ and a serviceable number by Joan Armatrading

I )( )-\\"

Ill/{N )\

but we honed the ruse de guerre that first outwittcd.

then destroyed our partners. I‘d do sentry duty. she the dangerous stuff who wouldn’t trust her?

Posted at the door. I watch her spike

the marriage bed with handfuls of confetti. discreet as fallout. Smiling. she swings back towards me again, a natural disaster.

Note: Perigce the point of the moon’s orbit at which it is nearest the earth. Opposite of ‘apogeefi


from Talkies (Chatto £5.99)

You hear an old man scratching himself Before he gets up at Kinlochmoidart. You tune into a woman in Lima. yawning.

You listen to what hasn't happened yet. the shout That is stilljust an intake of breath;

Straining so hard. your imagination

Becomes a microphone for the future.

A new voice starts to .. »_2 come unjammed - Against a rout of white-noise. Floddens. Cullodens. nostalgias that rhyme.

When kilties went roaring over the grass.

Rebel Inc. - the literary magazine with E tor Attitude

Fell on it. let it grow through them.

You pick up words moving towards or away? Reaction times quicken. is that it? Listen Not to dour centuries of trudging.

Marching. and taking orders:

Today I have heard the feet of my country Breaking into a run.


. . . and much of the poetry, alas, ls lost In translation. . .

by Carol Ann Duffy

from Dream State: The New Scottish Poets ( Polygon £9. 95 )

ll'elcome to my country! We have here Edwina Currie

and The Sun newspaper Much excitement. Also the weather has been most improving even in February. Dafflnlils. (Wordsworth. Up North.) Ifyou like

ShakeSpeare or even Opera we have too the Black Market.

For two hundred quids we are talking Les Miserables,

nods being as good as winks. Don’t eat the

e I gs. Wheel-clamp. Dogs. Vagrants. A tour of our wonderful

capital city is not to be missed. The Fergie, The Princess Di and the football hooligan, truly you will

like it here. Squire. Also we can be talking

r ', ;/.II/3t4'-.I.g 3;, 1’

Edwin Morgan: the most consistent Influence on the new generation at Scottish poets.

crack, smack

and Carling Black Label if we are so inclined. Don ’1

drink the HI). All very proud we now have

a green Prime Minister: What colour yours? Binbags.

You will be knowing ofC/zarles Dickens and Terry Wogan

and Scotland. All this can be arranger/for cash no questions.

Ireland not on. Fish and chips and the Official Secrets Act

second to none. Here we go. We are liking

a smashing good time like estate agents and Neiglzlmurs,

also Brooksirlefor we are allowed four Channels.

How many you have? Last night of Proms. Andrew

Lloyd-Webbe): Jelfrey Archer Plenty culture you will be agreeing.

Also history and buildings. The Houses of Lords. Docklands.

Many thrills and high interest ratesfor own good. Muggers.

Much lead in petrol. Filth. Rule Britannia and cltild abuse.

Electronic tagging. Boss. ten pints and plenty rape. Queen Mum.

Channel Tnnmzl. You get herefast no problem to my country

my country my country welcome welcome it'elcotne.

The List l7 December l993~~l3 January l99415