Unbound 2016: Poetry tasters

Instead of reading to our words, let's listen to theirs. Here's a selection of sentences and stanzas which have come out of the mouths of our 2016 Unbounders.

Article | 28 Jun 2016
  • Dave Hook at UntitledLive
What is it?
Let me explain
It's kind of like a martial art,
fought between your brain
and your mouth and your body
and the spiritual connection.
You can call that God 
or intellectual reflection.
It's a natural selection
of provocative poems.
We're funky word farmers
and we've all been sowing
the seeds for some time,
scribbling away,
trying to write the tight rhymes,
all got something to say.
But we play a little game here,
to entertain you.
We mix the music and the words
when we do Tongue Fu.
– Extract from Fu Man Choo Choo by Chris Redmond
Scottish people can't rap, they just cannae mate
You'd have to be half daft where I'm coming fae
Weans are more concerned wi getting bevied underage
Summer rain, half baked, chappin' doors and run away
They've got the gold watch, gold teeth, gin and juice
I've got the holey socks, cold feet, missing tooth
No diamonds, no swimming pools
Just an endless list of things that I can never do
No boom box or lino on the ground
More like sport socks and lighters for a pound
They've got the low-ride Cadillac hydraulics
I'm tryin' ae find ma bus fare in ma anorak pocket
Look at: dirty nails, cat's deed, bowl cut
No fresh garms, no fam, no gwop
No buzz, hashtag penniless
Spending this twenty quid on a bevy while contemplating ma empty fridge
– Dave Hook (Stanley Odd)

(Continues below)


More on Unbound 2016:

Unbound The relationship between music and poetry

Unbounf From Lewis to Lahore: Highlight Arts Pakistan


I came here all rude
American brass, all
trash can, fanny pack,
Where’s the castle? 

Then Glasgow rolled itself under my tongue,
a grey marble lolling my mouth open
with Os:
Glasgow, Kelvingrove,
going to Tescos,

then thistling my speech
wi sleekit lisps,
wee packets a crisps

– Extract from Outwith by Katie Ailes

“Nice dog, innit-pal? I’ll sell her to ye, for a tenner”
I shook off the price and laughed instead
Jogged past his step in the slog of summer
Looked at my trainers, turned my head 

He maybe had eight Tennents left, box heating in the sun
I’d popped out for a baguette, that makes me look a cunt
“It’s not that bad” - the pit-bull grinned, with a heavy tongue
“my brother he might be a mess, at least he’s not a runt” 

Lead dragging at her feet but she’ll never wander long
“This street’s the fuckin’ bollocks pal, tell ye that for free”
Water bowl in the shade, chasing birds and barking song
“Bites a lot worse when he’s pissed, but all he’s got is me”    

– Thirsty Pooch by Sam Small

I keep meeting writers, 
artists and musicians 
who have given up writing, 
painting or music. 
And we get wasted, 
we smoke and we drink 
and talk of wasted talent, 
and it always ends 
the same way, 
with me insisting 
that the colours and 
the notes and the words 
don’t die, 
sometimes they just get lost.
I tell them 
I couldn’t ever 
quit and walk 
out on writing. 
It’s usually then
they give me that look 
always that look – 
like one day 
I will give up 
they look at me 
like one day I’ll see how 
hard it is to make it work 
they look at me 
like I don’t get it 
like I don’t understand 
and I stop talking 
and I smoke and drink and
think they never did.
–  Don't Feed the Poets by Salena Godden