Hrabal in Dumbarton

Hrabal in Dumbarton and Ballantyne's

a cinnamon brick amongst the drab

unasked-for grey, a half-drunk figure

facing eternity and death. How like the town

he drives through? How distant now

from the poet who arrived hot-foot from Ireland,

a price upon his head, asking only patronage

for a special gift. The university

has laid on a fancy party and the Czech

will cut his cake, will answer questions.

But back home, he will write

out of the tumble-down scatter of his memory

and daub the town with brush-strokes all his own.

And so we paint. And so we paint.

Each stroke over the last.

Written by Gregor Addison

Published in Gutter: The magazine of new Scottish writing (No.10, Spring 2014

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