Forward and deeper into time
only ever feeling really free
like this: travelling again
with my house on my back
and the clothes I stand up in
crawling at a snail’s pace
(imagine myself from space)
tiny insect against the greater globe
as if possessions and profession
mortgages of the flesh and soul
were only burdens reluctantly borne
a joke, an act of mass hypnosis
psychosis, sleepwalking and talking in suits
for the rest of the year
merely a dream until waking
to find ourselves here, again
where we left off, a trail
across history and language
(the overheard voices at night
after years become the same voice
and places accumulating; resonate, assimilate
until, reconstructing the whole; we know at last
before we sleep the pattern of footsteps
out of time, the draught fills us up
this mulch: the centuries leaves)
when we walk as Europe walks
after the rain, burned blind by the sun
forgetting pain, the many tongues become one
and we wonder, turning on the high plain
who maps our course here under this sky
turned blood: the sun and its century ending
pressed into the teeth of white mountain peaks
the driven snow washed red.
-Salzburg, August 1999.
Read the author’s comments on the poem here.
Douglas Thompson’s latest novel Mechagnosis is out now, and you can buy it for 30% off here. Buy before 26th November, and add coupon code REDEMPTIO at the checkout to claim your discount. Terms and conditions apply. Douglas will be launching his new book at an event with Allen Ashley (read more).
Thursday 20th December, 7pm, CCA Clubroom:
LAUNCHING INTO THE SLIPSTREAM – Douglas Thompson, Glasgow author and SWC director, launching and reading from his fourth and fifth novels Mechagnosis and Entanglement, published by Dog Horn Publishing and Elsewhen Press. Douglas will be introduced by editor and ‘slipstream guru’ Allen Ashley, in the form of a talk on what exactly slipstream fiction is and why its special blend of fantastical and realistic elements make it the perfect contemporary fiction for the 21st century.
Douglas Thompson’s short stories have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, most recently Ambit, Chapman, Albedo One, and New Writing Scotland. He won the Grolsch/Herald Question of Style Award in 1989 and second prize in the Neil Gunn Writing Competition in 2007. His first book, Ultrameta, was published by Eibonvale Press in August 2009, nominated for the Edge Hill Prize, and shortlisted for the BFS Best Newcomer Award.
Non ticketed: This is a FREE event, open to all. Copies of the author’s books will be available for purchase and signing.
SWC members are entitled to a 50% discount on admission to all events, masterclasses and workshops featured in our Programme.
Find out more about Douglas here: http://douglasthompson.wordpress.com/