Introducing the November 2008 Readers – 4. James W Wood

James W Wood is the author of The Theory of Everything (HappenStance, 2006) and Inextinguishable (Knucker Press, 2008). His long poem about modern Scotland, Song of Scotland, appears in the current issue of Poetry Review. Below is a small excerpt from it.

In the early hours of a new nation we look out
On a la-la-landscape bequeathed by those who said
They knew best, those from the West, whose God and Glasgow
Labour Party would provide. This their mess, this underperformance
Theirs, heirs now to an early death, corruption their
Disease. Ours
…………….is now what they were. Left
with what? A nation? I’m no’ so sure. No nation without
Representation, but we’re the most over-represented
Non-Nation on Earth. One hundred and twenty-nine numpties sat
On the world’s most expensive wall. Look instead to the North
And East, where the black gold flows and the numbers know
The future lies, away from clichés about poverty
And deep-fried pies, towards culture and prosperity
Born from hard work, not depravity. Take a trip then from the barren
Southern border up through brokerdom in the Lothians
And into Prince Billy’s saintly Kingdom, then on to that
Stem-cell science park once known for its journalism (I
mean Dundee) and on. And on. Into Western Europe’s
Most precious resource, under waves that used to teem
With fish but boil now with regulation: this is where
The money is. Where our future is. Socialism
And Scottish Equity,
………….. ……….what a load of shite:
……………………………. …………..the country

That created capitalism, old Adam, couldn’t cut it
Ourselves and had to head, Tam in hand, southwards
For a generation.

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