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Simultaneous Swearing


MacAdam Essays the Epistemics of a Dream

It used to chase me through the dark each night,
though the dark was a crowded beach dizzy with sun
and I was never alone but running with my father
and it was two men dressed in dark suits
who were agents of HM secret services,
though how this was known to me I couldn’t tell
and why we were the quarry I could never say
nor whether we had any chance
or where my mother and siblings had been left
on the the jam-packed beach and whether they
were safe or held by others dressed in dark suits
and why no one on the baking sands
ever seemed perturbed to see two suited men
chase a small boy and his father
among picnic bags and sandcastles,
windbreaks, beachtowels and changing room queues
to what end or ending none could ever state.

This is the first poem I’ve posted on the blog for a long time. I don’t usually post poems up on this bit of the site any more, prefering to direct you all here, but this is my contribution to the simultaneous poetry blogging experiment initiated by Mairi Sharratt, in which the bloggers listed below respond in whatever fashion they wished to the theme swear. As you can see, I’ve chosen to interpret the theme as “attest to the truth or accuracy of a statement” and slightly obliquely at that.

MacAdam has been reappearing in a number of poems lately, but this is the first time any poem featuring him has been in the first person. He is not to be confused with the author, being an altogether more slippery and complex character than such an equation would indicate. However, this is the closest he’s ever come to being me, as the poem is based around a recurring childhood dream of mine.

There is always some oneric quality to MacAdam and the situations he finds himself in. That, perhaps, means there’s a degree of irony in this being a contribution to the blogging project, as a dream world is often one in which you can’t swear to anything being … well, anything, really. In fact, this isn’t what I had in mind at all for the project, but I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

The other bloggers in the experiment are:

Mairi Sharratt – A lump in the Throat

Caroline Mary Crew – Flotsam

Colin Will – Sunny Dunny

Sally Evans – desktopsallye

Kevin Cadwallender – Cadwallender

Claire Askew – One Nights Stanzas

Russell Jones – Russell Jones

Alastair Cook – Written in my hand

Martaerre Sobrecueva – de la poesia y otras disciplinas en palabras

Tony Williams – Tony Williams’s Poetry Blog

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 17/07/2010 10:46

    I like this poem in itself, Andrew, its flow reminds me strongly of other poets, Frost and Tennyson particularly. I think the language is fabulous . Attesting to the truth of a dream is interesting indeed. I remember dreams being defined as compulsive speaking in a philosophy class. I cant remember whose authority that was on but it has always stuck with me, the compulsiveness.

    Sally Evans

    • Andrew Philip permalink
      17/07/2010 10:52

      Thank you, Sally. Glad you like it. That’s a very interesting definition of dreams. It would do quite well as a definition of poetry too, don’t you think?

  2. 17/07/2010 12:22

    Enjoyed the poem very much, it has a great sense of dreaminess, pace and obscurity to it


  1. Poetry Beyond Text « Website and blog of the Scottish poet Andrew Philip

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