Mark Fraser: Day One Hundred and Eighty Eight – Keep Going…

Posted on July 7, 2011 by


Following yesterdays post I feel I should explain something.

Lately I’ve been working pretty hard in an effort to produce some of my best work for a couple of competitions I have been/am entering. In the process of doing this I have, understandably, been writing rather a lot. What’s interesting to me that the first few things I write, no matter how much I refine them, only ever seem to be half way there. The poem I posted yesterday, and the one I’m going to post today, were written quite close together. I’ve spent a good deal of time refining both of them yet no matter what I do they’re still the “run up”, as it were, to the “main” piece.

Today’s poem and yesterday’s poem are related only in the way that they deal with “borders”. I have a better entry now, one that came to be quite quickly and developed in a better, more focused way, so you can consider this another offcut.

Borders, Glasgow

In Between the Borders and Boundaries

The black and baggy clad ways of my youth,
took centre stage on skateboard gray days,
down behind Borders book store.

There, on soggy overcast Saturdays, reckless abandon,
cheap dodgy cider,
and the clatter of wood on concrete,
drew a line under teenage rebellion;
the verge between adulthood and youth.

Royal Exchange Square, first home to Scotland’s royal bank,
became a boundary between Glasgow’s “alternative” youth,
and adolescent thugs in the latest designer gear,
the antithesis of t shirts two sizes two big, skate shoes,
hoodies and jeans. Gothic facepaint, dark panda eyes,
black nails and boots.

Like the mods and the rockers of the 60s,
each a symbol of misguided youth,
two groups aligned in disgust.
One group were anti-tracksuit, fashion and violence,
whilst the other were against our black eyeliner,
gothic nature, and penchant for band merchandise.

Borders bookstore, a slate gray neo-Greek pantheon
was a temple for all kinds of
media, books and newspapers.
It stood like a rustic no man’s land, a demilitarized zone,
not merely for the heretic youth, but for those who wanted respite
from the rain and cold.
More than just a Border in name, but a border in nature,
segregating childhood and adulthood, men from boys,
and cultures like a line in the sand. 

Posted in: Mark Fraser