Two poems by Michael Scott


My Dad painted by Francis Bacon
      Oxford Heart Centre – Critical Care Unit

Someone off stage, drags him
by the hair,
his face smudged upwards –

chin tilted, fish hooked lip,
gumshield and tubes
smeared left to right.

digital blinks
monitor oncoming strokes.

I stare, eyes shut,
open to a ballpoint click
the curator is at my side,

dressed as a nurse,
fob watch and all
‘you can touch him if you want to’

I do,
the paint is still wet,
we wait all night,

for ‘Three Studies
of the Human Head’
to dry back into my Dad.
Holding Richard’s Hand

The queue jumper in the Chinese had a thin skull
Richard had a claw hammer

who carries a hammer in a take-away queue?
not Richard

Richard ran back to his Canning Town flat rejected machete
ball hammer billiard ball in sock thought about it
returned to correct late night etiquette

that’s why he got longer

that’s how he ended up inside with me shaving his head in the sink
shaving mine when we got bored
sharing his recipe for eel liquor

Richard’s foot shook
all the time he was sat down all his dad said
was he fucking deserved it
I said to Richard
‘When we get out let’s go and see a band’
he said                   ‘I’ve never seen a band’

we went to the Astoria he was late      
it was dark inside       full of people        dry ice            bass
wide-eyed Richard gripped my hand

I led him through the crowd
trying not to look at the queue jumpers, elbowing their way to the bar
Michael Scott is a poet and writer from Swindon, co-editor of Domestic Cherry magazine, Chair of BlueGate Poets and a founder of Swindon Festival of Poetry.