Poem: Alasdair Gray © 2005



I say I will not be
with the brave decent kindly honest men
who merely tolerate the taste of life.
While my wife sleeps
I sit alone at night and drink cheap wine
and stir the source of what is foul in me.

I know that increase cannot come from good.
Thought shows
(by gilding omens of an endless Not
while decent conduct rots us to a ghost)
how complicated desperation is:
or shows the strong dung that feeds my root the most.

Let pain prepare her to sustain my stain,
crush all not me in her brain:
and yet, when semen smells like rotten weed
I wish I were a grain, a stone, a shell
to lie on the ground and be rubbed away
by the decent movements of earth, and air, and rain.