About the poet
Writing in his 1990s study of Alasdair Gray’s novels, Stephen Bernstein identifies Gray as “one...
To Andrew, Before One
He holds a spoon, certain of what he holds:
nothing more solid-certain than his spoon:
fat clenching fist and hard thing clenched, the same:
no separation between noun and noun.
He waves the spoon, certain of what he waves:
lost in the rhythm of the waving weight
the small face is remote and yet intent:
to feel, think, dream and do are all the same:
no separation between verb and verb.
He drinks his mother: sweetness is a tree
whose branches swing and feed him:
no separation between noun and verb.
“You shall not” makes him known he is not God,
dividing think from feel and dream from do,
creating adjectives like good and bad,
pronouns like you and me and mine and those,
till home is a place minced into tiny words,
the spoon a perilous thing no longer his
and food the bait of an enormous trap
he hardly will accept as universe.
from Old Negatives: Four Verse Sequences (Cape, 1989), © Alasdair Gray 1989, used by permission of the author
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