Thursday, 25 June 2020

Poets from the Backroom 102: Scott Redmond

I mentioned Thomas the Rhymer yesterday aka Thomas of Ercildoun or ‘True Thomas’ a real person who died on 1298 and to whom has been attributed many prophecies and adventures, including several visits to Fairyland. His reputation exceeded Merlin’s in early medieval Scottish literature, the most interesting reason being that Merlin was seen as a bit of a stinking unionist with his prophecy about a single island kingdom ruled by one King, a mythology used by the imperialist English in the 14th century, whereas True Thomas foretold the disasters that would follow Alexander 111’s death and Edinburgh outshining York and London. These tales, in Scott's words, "corrupted by the oral tradition" (enhanced, surely, Watty?) thrived for hundreds of years in Scotland in various tellings.

In one legend Thomas is given the gift of prophecy by the Queen of Fairyland, in another he has it anyway “in his blood” which have led some to establish links with the ancient border Romani families who were famous for their second sight and under the special protection of the Scottish crown and the Roslyn family until the reign of that bigoted nutter James V1.

All of which brings me to another gifted tale-teller, today’s guest, Scotland’s best known - and best dressed- Romani poet, Scott Redmond, inhabiting that lively area between written word, slam and stand-up.  He has performed in six countries over three continents, and has taken his solo shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Glasgow International Comedy Festival. As a poet, he has won slams, including the Inky Fingers ‘Bad Boy’ slam, and competed in the Scottish National Poetry Slam. His work has been published in a number of places, including 'Laldy Magazine', 'The Writer’s Cafe', and 'Bonnie’s Crew', and he was previously a writer in residence at Bedlam Theatre.

Here he is telling us about the 'Poet's Cook Book' and 'A Loving Threat':

Scott's official page:

Poet’s Cook Book

Take it, hold it to yourself,
deep inhale, and smell home.

Roll it around in your fingers,
so smooth, so pure,
you feel it like morning’s warmth,
it is an extension of yourself.

Look deeply, and longingly,
in days to come, you will want to remember
every precious blemished inch,
the photos will never capture how it makes
you feel.

It is so small in the palm of your hand,
so vulnerable, yet so safe.
Wipe away the specks with the gentle touch
of your pinkie finger.
Hold it to your ear, and hear your own past,
know soon your own future.

Place it down on a bed of withering roses,
and crush it beneath your heel.

This is an incorrect way
to boil an egg.

A Loving Threat

As the sun gently caressed
our yawning 3pm skin,
she took my hands, and
gently, ever so gently kissed them,
and said
'I will never not love you.'

Never until that moment
had I felt such a wave of complete
beautiful and overwhelming

Because that is some stalker talk,
a loving threat,
I mean who knows all the twists and
turns that life can take.
What if I stop loving her, leave her,
cheat with her mother, step on her cat,
move to Bermuda with a nun and a vengeance,
what if I just don't want to be loved by her anymore.
Why would she want to keep loving me? 

Always have an out.

I lay there,
my post-coital nap fading,
her head on my chest,
holding down my breathing,
suddenly I felt so claustrophobic,
the future flashing before my eyes.

She chases me down the romantic boulevard,
always at least one like on Tinder,
having to warn my children about the strange lady who says they'll be their new mummy,
the sheer weight of recycling an annual Valentine's card would cause,
not to mention birthdays, Christmases, Easter, so much waste,
'If anyone should know of any reason these two should not be wed, speak now or….'
maybe she wasn't joking about the couples tattoo.

on the plus side,
always an option on the rebound.

The tendrils of her unhealthy obsession,
slink into my every moment,
worried I will wake up to her,
ten years and a family from now,
stood at the bottom of my bed,
head tilted, holding an axe and a grudge,
'I will never not love you.'

She asks
'are you okay, you've started sweating?'

Maybe my therapist was right
when they said I had issues
with commitment.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant pieces here, look forward to seeing more