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Graham Fulton  (email)

 

About the Poet:

Graham currently lives in Paisley in Scotland.  He has been writing and performing poetry for 20 years.  His publishing credits include Ambit, Orbis, Chapman, Edinburgh Review, The North, Envoi, Poetry Super Highway, Concho River Review, Amarillo Bay, Children, Churches and Daddies, Iron, Other Poetry, Poetry Nottingham, Dream State: the New Scottish Poets, Scottish Literature in the 20th Century, California Quarterly, Poetry Wales, Nthposition, Illya's Honey, The Salmon, Blood Lotus and Scottish Poetry Library Best 20 Scottish Poems of 2006.

 

 

The Remarkable Love of Doctor McCallum

 

Doc McCallum had black hair

black-rimmed glasses      taught biology

       instructed us

in the way of the reproductive system

           the script of the Christian religion

belted everyone

at least once

on the palms of their hands

for talking in class     ignoring

homework 

                       loved to see

our eyes

as he pulled the tawse

    from under his cape

                   loved to scare

the lambs

by smashing it down

on a stick of chalk

        at the edge of his desk

                 for orgasmic effect

 

as we

watched the pieces

        exploding away

like the bang of a new universe

                                  he was

a god

      of wrath

                         loved

to tell us

those who didnít believe

should be rounded up

               loved

to tell us

people from housing schemes

should be put to sleep

                in his spare time

loved to touch little boys

in the playground and bushes

until he was sent to prison

                        we all cheered

            the school was demolished

 

 

 

The Peter Lorre Remote Control Crawling Hand

 

You give me a beast with five fingers

                 Made in China      green flesh

            Madeline Usher nails

          a hole in the stump

to place six expensive batteries

          a hand set

in the shape of a gouged eyeball

to make it jerk      very

slowly     across the endless steppe

of crumpled Christmas paper carpet

 

                           watch it

clutching round and

round on the draining board

until it falls in the sink      knows

I am laughing at it      enjoy

the buzz of control      make it play

in an existential game of football

with santa      angel     nurse

on one side

miniature blow up doll      plastic fly

                 on the other

until I get bored

switch it off    

                      leap

from my skin           as it gives

a series of twitches     residue impulse

 

goes for a walk

when Iím fast asleep     hoping

to find its box in the bin

the place it was made      reason itís here

 

 

 

Crusaders

 

A responsibly-sideparted

precinct evangelist

is anchored to his patch

                      ready to slap

a tambourine

with all the love

he can gather in his heart

for the Hieronymous Bosch

Glasgow Saturday rabble

as he crucifies The Boxer

by Simon      Garfunkel

                                  changes

the line about

whores on Seventh Avenue

to something concerning

the son of God

                       someone else

                 unconnected

collects the signatures

of Mickey Mouse      Hitler

to help put an end to hunting

or oppression or the war in Iraq

 

 

 

American Icarus

Grand Canyon, Arizona

 

No-one would see if I tictactoed

along this tapering outcrop of rock     a jaggy jut

to look down through

the layers of the Earth      history cake

mineral tidemarks    playing it cool

believing that itís easy as pie

momís apple pie      salt in the eyes

just one step to      go for it go for it over

the rim      flapping down past

the micro-climates      scene by scene

down to the snaky ribbon below

the Galaxy chocolate dazzling deeps

the Colorado river of schemes

and streaks of vermilion       pinks and mauves

campers astride their holiday mules

eating their beans amongst the dancing

ghosts of the West       rolling rolling

faster and faster       queuing before me

heathen salvation        railroads and derricks

staggering alcoholic Comanches

ideal way to start the day

fill the hollow feeling inside with

sunnyside eggs and coffee in pots

all over the all-American brekkie

spit or swallow    all for nothing

plummeting upwards    layers of the Earth

middens and mountains of buffalo skulls

over and over       fatter then fatter

feeding the vein of Vegas casinos

Reverend Presley chapels of love

succour for suckers       cars on the freeway

coming to pray       way on down

tidy and soundless        crunch on the rocks

unseen by all       remembered by none

not even a barely registered plop     a pair

of flailing Brueghel legs     drowning

into the edge of a painting

 

 

 

Iíd Like to Thank Bela Lugosi

 

for saying Listen to them     children of the night

as he stood on his cobwebby steps

while undead armadillos

scuttled among the coffins and droppings

 

and Lon Chaney for wearing a sixty pound hump

and dying of cancer in time for the talkies

 

and Dwight Frye for swallowing flies

and Dwight Frye for dying in poverty

while trying to feed his family

and Bela Lugosi for skinning Karloff alive

and William Henry Pratt for being Boris Karloff

and Boris Karloff for saying We belong dead

after getting a knockback from his girl

 

and Elsa Lanchester for hissing like a cat

and Conrad Veidt for somnambulating

across impossible Weimar rooftops

with black rings under his eyes

and Max Schreck for having a baldy head

and John Barrymore for having a pointy head

and King Kong for tickling Fay Wrayís tum

as her dress conveniently fell apart

 

and Lon Chaney junior

for having a hairy terrier face

as he stalked the dry-ice woods

in his workie shirt and baggy breeks

 

and Claude Rains for whacking him on the napper

with a silver-tipped cane and who can blame him

and Boris Karloff for saying Goood!

and Boris Karloff for saying Friend?

and good old Bela for saying To die

to be really dead     that must be      glorious

 

for being buried in his cape

for showing us there is more than being in colour

for showing us itís perfectly fine from behind the sofa

THE END is nowhere to be afraid of