Read Raw Ltd

 

Promoting Creative Writing in Scotland

 

Featured Poet

 

Eddie Gibbons

 

 

 

 

Eddie Gibbons openly admits to being more Ryanair than debonair, as witnessed here-

http://scallyg.blogspot.com/

Growing up on a council estate in Huyton, Liverpool, he didn’t have neighbours, he had witnesses. Being a Scouser, he had to learn English as a Foreign Language, which made his readings inadvertently entertaining due to his weird pronunciation of werds such as bewk,

kewk and kewkbewk. In order to correct his speech defect, he defected to Aberdeen in 1980.

This did the trick – he spiks affa fine nou, ken.

Eddie works as a Draughtsman in a factory near Dyce airport, for a quick getaway.

 

 

STUFF-

 

What They Say About You shortlisted for the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year, 2011.

One-man Poetry Cabaret at StAnza International Poetry Festival, 2009.

Prize winner in the Inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Competition, 2008.

Participant in ‘The Hundred Poets Gathering.’ StAnza, 2007.

 

 

BOOKS -

 

What They Say About You  

Leamington Books, Edinburgh.  Editors: Peter Burnett and Arlene Addison. 2010.

http://www.leamingtonbooks.co.uk/ 

 

“I was delighted by Eddie’s performance of his poems.

 The changes from sad to happy, from downbeat to zappy, all one enriching tapestry.”

JOHN HEGLEY

 

 

 

DEATH SHALL HAVE NO DIM ONION

 

Shopping by woods this snowy eve,

I wonder why each word I read

gets muddled up, goes quite mad.

How did my eyesight get so bad?

 

Did Robert Browsing’s Duchess go

not Gentile Into That Good Night?

Was Robert Frosty in the snow?

Is ‘Tyger Tyger burping’ right?

 

Poor Percy Shelley’s really Pysshe

and Homer wrote the Ilibad.

Could Morgenstern recite his Fish?

Are Vasco Popadoms a fad?

 

Once Allen Ginseng’s primal Owl

drowned out the waving Stevie Sniff

but Hiya Watha! makes me scowl

like Ruddy Kipling’s iffy If.

 

Of all the joys of Muddle Age

myopia must head the queue.

I have to squint to read this page –

The Raver (Edgar Allen Poo)

 

 

 

INDELIBLE

 

Weeks after the wake,

my first dream of you.

You’re standing at the rails of a ship

on a clear blue day, sailing aboard that huge

Cunarder we used to watch from the Pier

Head; decked out for a breezy jamboree,

floating towards an improbable country.

 

From your stillness you turn to me,

say nothing, but your eyes speak

of fair weather and calm waters.

As the eighth bell tolls I leave you there

and swim back to wakefulness, viewing your

vast indelible smile from my far impossible shore.

 

 

 

 

 

Why She Flew to Barcelona

(Pamphlet). Calder Wood Press, Dunbar. Editor, Colin Will. 2010.

http://www.calderwoodpress.co.uk/  

“...If you want poetry that resonates with humanity, comedy and true sentiment, this is the poet to read.

If more poets wrote poems like this more people would read poetry.”

KEVIN CADWALLENDER

 

 

 

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORELDRAW

 

Once I would have laid a rosebud at your feet,

sent a scented missive in an envelope delivered

by a go-between; stood beneath your window

in a blizzard of snowdrops, hoping for a glimpse

of your shadow in the moonlight.

 

But times have altered the language of the heart.

The lexicon of longing is no longer written longhand,

with soaring serifs scribed in ink on beds of vellum,

but by illuminated texts on Ericssons and Vodafones,

and new-millennium lovers go Blackberry picking

down lanes of pay-and-go, past Oranges and Apple phones.

 

Once keystrokes onto paper kept the rhythm of romance:

ribbons bled red streams of yearning, or keys rapped

out the stuttering sentiments of nervous suitors onto

scented sheets of lavender, which they sent, post-haste

to beloveds in lanes and streets and avenues.

 

These days my words to you are more mobile

and predictable: more to the pointer, more pithy,

more reducible, and so, my love, I offer you these tokens

on my part- my dingbats, my emoticons, my clip-art heart.

 

 

 

VINNOCENCE

 

Is it Van Goff, Van Gock or Van Go?

How do you say his name?

 

Do you cough it, do you choke it,

Does it set your throat aflame?

 

I simply call him Vincent,

like that song by Don McLean.

 

Vincent the innocent,

patron saint of paint and pain.

 

 

 

 

 

Game On! 

Thirsty Books, Edinburgh. Editor: Sean Bradley. 2006.

Poems from this collection were featured in two editions of  ‘Soccer AM’ on Sky Sports TV.

 

 

 

 

 

HALF TIME HAIKU

 

nil nil at the break

each team missed a penalty

empty nets both ends

 

ten thousand lighters

pass their flames to cigarettes

a terrace inhales

 

pie and bovril time

volcanic temperatures

scald our lips and tongues

 

the trannie’s whisper

translates into whoops and shouts

rivals are losing

 

toilets overflow

bursting punters face the wall

thirty waterfalls

 

zipped up trousers turn

scampering towards their seats

teams take to the pitch

 

 

 

 

 

The Republic of Ted 

Thirsty Books, Edinburgh. Editor: Sean Bradley. 2003.

“...It is rare for such unpretentious poetry to be so subtle and complex, and equally rare for an elegy to evoke the person and their absence so convincingly. An articulate, powerful book.”

THE SCOTSMAN

 

 

 

VERNACULAR

 

What you notice first

about my father

is his spectacular

vernacular:

 

the way he rounds

his diphthongs is sound

as a pound. His diction is

guttural with a nasal twang.

 

That night he sang

Please Release Me

at the Labour Club

is karaoke folklore,

though at the time

he called it doing a turn.

 

He'll drop his aitches

at the drop of a hat,

knock his vowels stone

cold flat and build

a sentence with syllabic

slabs as thick as doorsteps

on a Toxteth terrace.

 

His accent is one third Irish,

one third English

and one third catarrh;

his speech sounds like

an untuned guitar.

 

It's hard to avoid his

adenoidal lingo

when he's ordering 

bevvies down at the Bingo

or telling me jokes

whenever I phone.

 

His voice sounds like laughter.

His voice sounds like home.

 

 

DIRE MORPHINE (i)

 

I phone the hospital and speak to the Ward Sister.

 

He’s had a bad night but he’s comfortable now.

 

I’m thinking of flying down again tomorrow.

 

Yes, you should do that, but due to the drugs

He probably won’t know who you are.

 

Maybe not, but I know who he is.

 

  

DON’T PHONE FROM WORK

 

Don’t dial nine for an outside line

to ask the Ward Sister if he’s any better.

 

The only words she will utter

are prostate, cancer and pneumonia.

 

Then a quiet insistence to scoop you hollow –

fly down today, don’t wait for tomorrow.

 

Show your new face to the factory floor –

set in a grimace; wild, bewildered, raw.

 

  

DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY

 

Wearied by the bedside vigils,

we decided one night

to push the boat out –

to celebrate

instead of pre-mourn you.

 

We played your favourite

music, sang the old songs

and danced until

night became day

 

while the boat of your bed

drifted slowly away.

 

 

 

 

Stations of the Heart 

Thirsty Books, Edinburgh. Editor: Sean Bradley. 1999.

“A vivid human achievement... I’m moved by the [poet’s] loyalties to people and places...

Portrait of Ana Dali is one of the best British poems of recent times. A masterpiece.”

LES MURRAY

 

 

 

 

PORTRAIT OF ANA DALI

 

Ana Dali, Salvador’s sister,

shown here in an ominous frock,

eloped with an amorous easel

to the melting apartment block.

She waves through a hole in a mirror

sewn into her brother’s smock.

As she drinks the breeze from the Pyrenees,

Time drips from the village clock.

 

Her pigtails stretch from her window

to Cadaques and the port of Bilbao.

Over sun-speltered Andalucia,

through measureless meadows of cows.

Her lemonade has developed amnesia.

Her maraccas engage in a row.

Her Mercedes Benz is ablaze at both ends.

She is wearing a watch that says NOW!

 

An orangepeel twist forms her fingers,

her mouth is a door left ajar.

The Atlantic cascades from her shoulders

where Cervantes tilts at the stars.

Her nose is the shape of the town of Cadiz.

Her cheeks form the base of a vase.

Her hair is coiffured in a whirlwind of birds.

Her eyes are Flamenco guitars.

 

Acrylic skies frame her figure,

painted with luminous grace.

She gazes at astral horizons

in the infinite sadness of space.

She sits in a gilded garden,

a paranoid, marigold place.

She is humming a tune

to the Catalan moon

through a veil of vermilion lace.

 

 

 

 

Three-Way Street

(With Gerard Rochford and Douglas W Gray)

 Koo Press, Aberdeen.  Editor: Douglas W Gray. 2004.

 

 

 

COUNTDOWN

 

You were five, ten years ago.

I held your hand up all the stairs,

counting every step to sleep.

 

I read you rhymes and Fairy Tales,

told you lies about the dark,

counting every step to sleep.

 

I numbered all the stars for you

but hid those numbers hard and true,

counting every step to sleep:

 

for every Prince a thousand toads,

for every smile a thousand tears,

counting every step to sleep.

 

I turned around and went back down,

counting my remaining years,

counting every step to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zugzwang

(Pamphlet with Robert Guzder)

Koo Press, Aberdeen.  Editor: Douglas W Gray. 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DOWNSIDE OF KNOWING A POET

 

Don’t write.

Don’t phone.

Don’t wait

outside my door in the rain.

 

Yes, I adore you.

I’d do anything for you,

 

except ever see you again.

 

Your sorrow

is so tangible

I can taste it,

 

but our last parting

was so perfect

it would be a shame to waste it.

 

 

All poems on this page are the copyright © of Eddie Gibbons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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