Glasgow Zen by Alan Spence

By Alan Spence

First released in nice Britain in 2002 by way of Canongate Books Ltd

A extraordinary new selection of haiku and different brief poetic types at the subject of Glasgow – its humans, panorama, tradition. As continuously, Spence is uniquely illuminating, witty and pleasant. Incorporating many of the poems which seemed many years in the past within the a lot sought-after choice of a similar identify, Glasgow Zen contains ordinarily new fabric from this hugely well known and beautiful poet.

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Example text

To be hanging in a posture of determined rupture: the lesson in question was for the hands. They will not be beside themselves. Break now, hands. Break now or reach out and be broken. * Were you lying there, were it your breath escaping, visible, wouldn’t you want to be lifted into someone’s snaking arms? * Nothing left to be. The colors were all cold, even as spring limped back. There was such silence in the world and it would not let go. Why should you stay, why should you hold on unless you were waiting all this time to billow back to life?

Sun says open. Bird won’t do it. Chill wind combing, combing through the dead. Sun says linger. Bird isn’t listening. Wings beat harder, harder now to die. Sun sings providence. And the bird says fall. 42 Bat All flesh wants is a little food, a little sleep. It does not want to know what is before it or what it already knows as darkness. To live as flesh is to live on sound for it is, at last, all feeling. So everything ends, and it ends with a precipitous sweep of wings, a singular buffet of wind, and a tiny scream.

There’s no reason to touch it. * How the sky tracks you. How lines connect your stars. * There was a story of how you came back. Slowly, at first, stirring deep in the entrails of the thing and then the dead no longer dead, crawling forth from a slickened gray body first like a slug and then in flight with such vicious, such violent joy. You were always changing. You said nothing was ever so sweet. I could hear the riddle bristling like a miracle. 18 * To be the tree broken by its own heaviness.

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