Bars in Glasgow

Bars in Glasgow

That one he’s a saxophonist
and he carries it in his chest
The story of when he was married
and found a man in his bed
Oh no.
So he challenged the man to a duel
swords and everything
Oh fuck.
And when they stood there
the wife couldn’t choose
but he was ready to kill
I bet.
but they worked it all out
he left her with him
and now he drags it around in his chest
Right there.
Oh yeah.
And see that guy with the shakers?
He played with all the big stars
but he’s got severe mental problems,
and now he just shakes in these bars.
And the guy with the brown-bearded face
Over there?
He nearly got hit by a car.
He walked home one night,
and forgot
where the hell his feet were
Oh shit.
So now he winks and he says hello
with a death in his eyes
he’s ready to go.
Another bar?
Yeah, over there, round the corner,
they play this really sweet jazz
Come on.
Let’s follow the man with the sword fight
and hear his saxophone go.
Yes please.
So that man, he thinks he’s groovy
he talks about heart pumps and jazz.
His feet, see, always moving,
clonking along with the bass.
He’s looking around for his friends,
they were here just a minute ago,
dancing along to the music.
They were here,
weren’t they?
Hey ho.
Somewhere he knows that his friends have moved on,
and he doesn’t blame them for that.
Though they could’ve stopped dying
dropping like flies,
but he doesn’t like to feel sad.
So he smokes the same old cigar
and sticks to the rhythms he kens
and every night he’s grooving
grooving in good old St. Bens.
And turn to me now, you poet,
and hear my story here
The love of my life, we left it
that was twenty years ago
Oh no.
He was the root of my compass
and I,
yeah, I was the moving leg.
I pointed North wherever I wanted
no fixed point in it for me.
I see.
So with tears in my eyes I’ll tell the demise
of the perfect woman he found.
Christ, men.
They still live in that same city,
and they’re covering all our ground
What dicks.
I know.
C’est la vie.
Let’s down our drinks
and go.
Wait, just one more, I promise,
I’ll buy you this really sweet beer
Oh thanks.
And tell of the last time I saw him
fifteen years ago
That’s tough.
We cried, yeah we cried
with each other’s eyes
and said it was time to let go.
But now I’d like him back
He’s my fixed point, my compass,
you see?
And I’ve no time to fall
for others
or that
or her
I don’t know
I don’t know
should I give him a call?
Let’s stop right there for a moment
and laugh at the dog liking jazz
bopping its head to the rhythms
barking at the guitar
looking at all the people
wondering what these humans are
with their tears and their fears
and their eyes full of lives
they lived and re-told in these bars.


Helene Grøn is a poet and playwright from Denmark. She’s spent the last 4 years in Scotland studying, working, putting pen to paper and questioning the meaning of home.


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