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it starts small


one minute there are big coloured globs

you don't have words for,

squatting in this Kodacolor slideshow

caused by a rush of blood

& then you work out how to walk

which is mostly a series of unforced errors

& suddenly it's the 1970s

& you need to know

what Mike Nesmith's favourite breakfast was

with some urgency

next you're being asked to name

5 blue objects in the room

on the back of a bad divorce,

crawling along below the tree line

changing names like cheap tyres

then you fall out of the cherry tree for good

so you take up meditation

in the hope of god knows what

& you're lying on a beach towel

in your own back yard

listening to the dog fight under your skin

watching clouds

& seeing them as they are

without imagining faces



Su Scotting  2017





longing for winter



there's less having

pining, wanting

the sky is dull

the earth is mud

the trees are fucked

you're on your own

with tins of tuna

& the afternoon play

about bipolar explorers

and the loneliness of the subarctic substation

you wish we really were overcrowded

you wish you could smell

a man's sweat in the kitchen

but only sometimes.

the days are mercifully short

you turn the mirrors round.

they all think you're doing nothing in there

but can't they hear your heart is hammering

every molten minute

til it's all over

& you're treasure,

finally beaten into some kind of shape?



Su Scotting  2017





local radio is like memory foam

you forget you're listening

you forget that you're frying that egg

& believe you've won something

which means you won't even

have to clean your own teeth anymore

or set the alarm

& function in the early morning

among the bowls & knives,

the creeping nerve gas

of Fleetwood Mac, jingles

& the quiz that got you out of it



Su Scotting 2017





what i thought about


T.Rex, sweets

posters, water

dancing, long hair

The Inch War

The Pink Floyd, The Pill

The Bomb, love

stretching the rent

festivals, grades

failure, The Planet

god, non-being

The Mortgage, sugar

The Moment, The Void

vitamins, death

more water



Su Scotting  2017





you better find somebody to love


collar someone on the street

grab their nose

shove milk chocolate

down their unsuspecting throat,

rip their shirt off

apply adequate pressure

to their main meridians

frogmarch them to a restaurant

& get them so pissed

they spill their dysfunctional beans

into your well trained

well meaning ears.


they never knew they were lonely

until they met you,

now they're down at the end of lonely street

by the bus terminus

with the club foot pigeons

& the boy who is constantly bowing,

their grip is slipping

their throat is hoarse from screaming

they are surrounded by tigers

with telltale strawberry juice on their chins

& now you say you're satisfied,

visbly perked up, frisky, leaving.



Su Scotting  2017





The man in my father's ward

says he's had enough of this bloody play,

delivers it like Gielgud,

arms flung out for full effect.

Unfortunately my dad hasn't,

he's still up for encores

but his body & mind are having

artistic differences.

He thinks his washbowl's a unicorn,

that my mother is sweet sixteen.

He is taking his leave in stages,

singing to himself, contented

rockabilly rockabilly yip yip.

He's done with jabs & paper pyjamas,

sits up in bed and cries

"Bring on the Saxon Army!"

actually putting his dukes up.

His race memory

stretches that far back,

before men were men

& women were women,

back to his Original etch-a-sketch Face,

a grey blank like the fog

that's always tenderly swallowing

the Sound



Su Scotting  2017





The musician will see you now


(written after watching Bill Callahan's performance at

End of the Road Festival  September 2017)


between you runs a line of sweat

between your nervous system

& those fingers

fine tuning

a dark dance

that crushes puppets

spits out epithets

drives a horn clear through your back

& hangs you out,

a skin flag in the wind.



Su Scotting 2017





my winter face

is made of snow

has been here

since before the first

bird's arrow footprint

ever pointed south



Su Scotting  2017


we all came out of the fire together

some of us are still alight

some of us have shiny skin like candles

and no eyebrows


some of us ran straight back in

and you can hear us singing



Su Scotting 2018







water finds us

the storm is a long, long way behind

i had a teacher & a bell

you were throwing sticks to tell the weather

next thing we knew

there was a long silver ditch

that couldn't do anything but shine

so we drank & swam in mercury

& now we're speeded up clouds

racing across the faces of red rocks

this isn't personal


these are pure & simple times



Su Scotting 2018




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