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

sometimes it's like having

an omelette for a face -

the eyes are moving,

the teeth are going on and on

about stuff

but you've wandered out

to the back kitchen of your brain

remembering you left the pan on there,

decide to light

a quiet cigarette

while it's still legal,

watch blue pariah blossoms

climb the air



Su Scotting 2018





man with egg



man with egg


icon violence

hairwash spoon race

hen theft sculpture

science dinner

bachelor prayer



Su Scotting 2018





Tomato House


rain down the glass roof

& i'm inside

inside everything

finally inside

cared for by the air

and by the floor

druggy fug of late September's

sacred hearts and tumblers

my scorched thumb's

the only proof that i was there

at the creation of the sun


Su Scotting 2019







a long line

of meat gods

at the place of

no words



Su Scotting 2019





Two Lakes


Up on Two Lakes

under a ton of stars

we sat

smoke dwindled

just hearts

beating on rock

synching with rock

& we were all

smoke, star, insect

speaking the night

no faces, no hands

bare wires

so alive our skin split

& we were left with nothing

but the field of the cloth of gold



Su Scotting 2019




she's number 3 and she's my lift

today we went to the cemetery

& did the long walk

for the thousandth time

she never married

but she knows the drill

a string bag in one hand

and a shovel in the other

she was a monitor at school

but she let herself go

the bag is full of cleaning products

that knock against her blue thigh

an easterly lifts her hair

so gold hoops get a rare chance to shine

she has knobs for knuckles

but today the fight's gone out of her

it's more of a shuffle

we are getting closer

to the big day

she is curious

& sniffs the bitter wind



Su Scotting 2020






Dustbowl Valentine

(for Captain Beefheart)



felt hat

felt that

you say go

california uber alles

ice cream for crow



savin all my love for you

beat that

back beat

million miles of blue


sump oil

gum boil

how all do you do?

camel wore a lampshade

made a monkey out of you


welcome mister

crystallizin eyes

electricity shop

feel that be-bop

in them thighs


send me out to

the boneyard of the wolf

i'll pick out some fur for you

honey, see I don't


peaches, peaches

all up in one tree

vulture stake me out

if I take 2

then he take 3


high mojave

only way to go

arrow pointing

halfway down

the highway of the soul


Captain O Captain

sing me up a storm

make it a tornado

keep your baby sister warm


take that long note

bend it out of shape

send it to the pawn shop

break its jaw

see it ain't fake


float on, float on

river rafting high

all roads lead to roam

& this is why

oh me oh my


big eyed boy

with a fingerlickin stare

conjure me some cousins

cos I'm awful lonely here


don't make no sense

this here puzzle map

til I hear you singing

through that old

bear skin top hat



Dustbowl Valentine

dirty rotten cotton candy

tried so hard to find



Su Scotting







the wind is in the cherry tree

the cherries are green

this is the first test

pass this

and they'll find their way

into the blackbird's beak



Su Scotting 2020




cherry orchard


the knights rode round the corner

& the sky was throwing confetti at them

for the marriage of Spring & Summer

& it got in their eyes

& annoyed them

& it got in their hair

& intrigued them

& it got on their lips

& sold them

so they got off their horses

& took off their armour

& lay down in it

& were boys again

when fights were squalls

with wooden swords


the grass was sweet

the sun was warm

the hares were frankly curious

the bees lulled them

the blossoms buried them


they woke up sometime later

soft & wondering

they had lost their horses

& their muscle tone

but there were plenty of cherries

things had moved on

the pickers were in

demanding explanations

but they had all forgotten

why they were chasing

a rusted cup

in the first place




Su Scotting 2020








sometimes it's like

walking in a snowfield

there is no one

              no one

a flag if you're lucky



stories you tell yourself

as if you were a child

hope - a little whale oil lamp

guttering in a gale

you don't even know

where forward is

but it looks like over there

the same whichever way

you turn it

you may or may not reach camp

& just because you did last time

there are no guarantees

your mittens are not up to it

you lost touch with your face

you have questionable wiring

& a mechanism primed for on


others are dressing for dinner

or putting on cat fur slippers

easing themselves into or out of

pools & cars

none of which helps here

because you have

a snowglobe with a slow leak

on your shoulders

one day you will just be a pile of

artifical white crap

& a plastic base

left out with a note on -


& that is so

you were broken awful careful

not smashed but subtle

a tap here, a slight rift





you could almost say




Su Scotting   2020






noli me tangere



no one is rising this morning

we're staying in the cave

some woman came knocking earlier

but we didn't let her in

we had our little virgin lamps on

til the oil ran out

now we're squatting in the dark

among the chicken bones & rat shit

waiting for we're not exactly sure what


next cave over got noisy this a.m

some guy getting precious

about being touched

we could hear the woman's passive aggression

hitting like hailstones -

anyhow she went

& he went soon after

"Suck it up, Princess!"

we shouted

but we were a long ways back

so he probably didn't hear


got to talking to himself a lot that one

& to someone else who wasn't even there

say some people just can't handle the darkness


they just can't handle the dark



Su Scotting 2020





Caped Crusader


i will be trawling through

photos of cats & dinners

fanagrams & memes

& BAM!

some comment hooks me

like a stunned dab

& i am twirling round

in the phonebox

of my own body

knickers outside my tights

The Caped Crusader

ready to take on universes

know & unknown

with aching fingers

attached to an ageing brain


i have forgotten how the world works

i think it's 1973

but so much has changed

saying stuff

is of no consequence

all i do

is build another Punch & Judy


the world is going to fall into the sun

Galileo & Einstein

are white smeeches on a buckled screen

as Earth logs off

to that annoying Microsoft tune

Hell hath no fury like a planet scorned


so i can twirl all i want

in the stew of my own juices

march, sign

haruspicate & scry

there's only a girl

sitting in a buttercup field

that smells of crayons

they tell her she likes butter

but she's vegan now

she can't play Batman

just by putting a tea towel round her shoulders

& running too fast downhill

it's life Jim

but not as she knows it

the world has changed so much


& it has not changed



Su Scotting 2020





apples & time



the bell keeps ringing

i can't find my face

the boy falls off his brand new bike

we go sliding downhill

in a cardboard box

half inched from the corner shop

there's a brick wall at the bottom

so we know how this ends

but still we climb in

to burn up the green

to burn up the blue

we don't have jobs

we have knees

& the skin off them


no agendas

just apples & time



Su Scotting 15/10/20






am one of those

heavy eyed dolls

pink metal lids

slam shut

& open all surprised

turn her this way

& she wets herself

this way

& her legs open


cries real tears


rusty litle voice box

gave up saying mama

a long long time ago



Su Scotting  24/10/20