and held. She took my coat, she winked and grinned
in sitting rooms which flicker in the mind.
She became, became, became. Love crawls
below us, does it not? Success unwheels
above, above, snowlike. Supposed random,
as she tilts from the someone to the seldom.
Buying Shoes for Alex Chilton
So he needs them and we head towards the centre
of whichever city. He is shaky and it is years
since he bought shoes. I have problems too,
buying shoes; not in my nature. And haircuts.
And he says yes, me too; I am touchy in his company.
I plan to die after him but to recall him at my end.
We’re gonna get born. And Cuban heels are what
I fancy for the little man from Memphis. The lady
smells him, and I’m little better. Then he points,
as on the back cover of Radio City at bad skis,
at ropey footwear. Nico never looked twice at him.
But he wrote ‘Stroke It Noel’ and life is rich, rich.
Yet we have the issue with these shoes; his boots
are reeking, there are rumours of some espadrilles
in a cupboard where a goldfish swims, some song
sweet sung. Wedges, poor sir, platforms, we can do
something for you. Chilton, you need your shoes.
Stand outside and I will buy for you. This corner
is where you will try them, solemn. This and that
is the way you will try them, but they will ﬁt.
I know the way. This is why I am with you. We’re
gonna get born. Let’s catch that last train, you
turning your feet one way and another, telling me,
bad choice, buddy, I do not know why I started
to talk to you. How the hell do I even know you?
To John Graham Mellor, in the hope he is still alive.
Not all lives are buns and not all buns are frosted.
Times there are two of us, umpteen of us, caging
that we are not the doppelganger, which the real?
Stuart Goddard. Self-exported imitations. Vain
coincidences. The real as freakish. The double
as shrug or wide eye – you’re me too? Oh, hell.
Who were you? Oh, I was all too busy being me.
I refused to be me, though some sweetheart
wrote it once, bored in an exam, and ringed it
with a biro heart. Someone spilled the gossip.
The wind ploughed on. Roberta Joan Anderson.
How many Jane Smiths walk the boroughs,
clicking the eyes of Paul Joneses. Afterwards,
it may matter less. James Newell Osterberg Jr.
You take the name as if you take a punishment.
Most are wrong named and they sense the treat
they might have been. They try on the tilted hats
of names, Romulus, Roscoe, Magenta Ruthie.
Some cross the line, the only name in the race:
Mungo Penfold I recall, or Gilford Mentiply,
my second cousin. Hello Martha Sprackland.
Attorney N’chunga N’chunga who sent me poems.
Collect your sash. The double will not seek you
or friend you or grim when they self-Google.
Eleanora Fagan Gough. Steady, Roddy, I am
getting round to you. Do you want this yum yum?
Name is not policy. It’s rumour been superglued.
I’ve heard of you, a stranger says. Another flicks
the directory and ﬁgures, number blocked. Y name,
Z name, name numbed to extinction by sick history.
A phone rings and we all answer it. Yes, I am he.
I am not he. Wrong number. Władziu Lee Valentino.
Roddy Lumsden, maybe watching Breaking Bad,
box set, in Alexandria, you, my only namesake,
we should never meet. How dare you, we would say,
the quirk of our link gone quick. I couldn’t like you.
Christine Anne Perfect. I telephone my mother,
Mrs Lumsden, née Miss Lumsden. My one demand
is my real name. But she is not taking this call.
Till It Runs Clear
12 Simone’s Cookie
15 Brandade de Morue
16 Against Fucking
17 Rescuing Schrödinger’s Cat
20 With a Cold Snap Clutching
21 So Glad I’m Me
22 Passing Pond Road
23 Kissing Edwin Morgan
24 Halfway Through the Year of the Horse
27 Shelleyan Orphan Trio
27 Century Flower
28 Lily of the Valley
29 Union Mild Etch
31 Caliban Upon Settee / Dawn at Nikita’s
32 Nikita’s Wedding Dress
33 Our Children
34 Roddy Lumsden
36 Simone’s Carouself
A Soft Leviathan
38 Jim Steinman / Jonesy
39 Coldplay / Foreplay
40 Willie Dixon / Safe
42 ‘F Troop’ / Brotherhood
43 ‘Romeo and Juliet Are Drowning’ / Beware Greeks
44 Back-up Flats
With All of Your Might
46 ‘The Night Has a Thousand Eyes’ / Wader Swarm
47 Agnetha Fältskog in 1976 / Butterscotch
49 ‘Straight to Hell’ / ‘Thou art inclin’d to sleep’
50 A Band With Only Ten Good Songs
52 ‘I Wanna Testify’ / Michael Donaghy
53 On the Death of Cilla Black
54 June Tabor Moving Room to Room
55 Alan Vega Brooding, Hotel Chelsea
56 Buying Shoes for Alex Chilton
57 Elvis Presley
58 In Bath with Madonna
59 Ghost Giraffes / Nico
60 Robin Holcomb Writes ‘Like I Care’
61 ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ / Maybe
62 ‘Even If My Mind Can’t Tell You’ / Jupitus Wakes
63 Remember To Kick It Over
65 Rock Chicks / Double Decker
66 So Much Synth (Mix Tape, Slight Return)
68 ‘Tender Object’ / Cats on Windowsill
Kippers and Glitter
71 The Hoopoe
72 Bella #16
73 Bella #19
74 The Perfect Kiss
75 Musette / Cilice
76 Simple Dish / Speedboat
77 Caramac / Grand Romance
79 Work Crush
80 Baby’s Cute and Mummy Too
81 False Flags / Khaki
84 My Kleos
85 May ’15 EP
85 Through Vicarage Avenue
87 At The Standard
89 Halfway Through the Year of the Goat
90 Twenty-four Hours of People Saying Nope
92 Time Loop / Wishing Wells
93 Small Calamities
94 Jean Tester / Lionesses
95 Tending to the Reliable
97 Ashna Sarkar, Aged 5
98 Halfway Through the Year of the Monkey
100The End of Fanny
'Not All Honey may not be all sweetness but it’s all a delight to consume. Lumsden typically is tricksy and evasive, juggling, acrobatic. His professional portmanteau full of linguistic surprises. Yet, he has reached a kind of Dantean point in his poetic life which makes him suddenly offer devastating clarities that justify the fireworks.' - Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year judging panel
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