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OFFSKI

Night, night, sleep tight

Dinnae let the bedbugs bite

Jist squeeze em tight

An’ they’ll no bite anither night

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On Obedience

I used to be so good you know
when I was in my youth
I used to be compliant
and always told the truth. 

I kept myself so spotless
with perfect clothes and hair
and used to smile so nicely
when others weren’t fair. 

Now I am getting older
my patience has worn thin
I swear and curse my colleagues
and drink a lot of gin. 

My sarcasm is boundless
my temper rather frayed
and you will be quite certain
if your welcome’s overstayed. 

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On Primrose Hill

In the summer of ’84 I was 18 and my one close schoolfriend – throwing over family, final exams and an offer from Oxford, explaining nothing, saying goodbye to no one – suddenly escaped the dirty pinched seams of the Welsh valleys for the deeper, richer filth of London. Of course when he called my Aberystwyth University digs from a payphone, almost too drunk to read out his address, the endless traffic of the capital roaring like a stadium in the background, I caught the overnight bus out of sleeping Wales and followed after him.

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On the Rocks

God, I hate her.

Uh, that’s no fair; hate’s a strong word. I mean, she loves me, she feeds me, it’s just, I feel...trapped sometimes.

I wish I could get out of here! Every day, every single day it’s the same. The same food, the same views, the same face staring back at me. She’s not bad, she just doesn’t understand me…understand that I need my freedom.

She thinks I’ve forgotten how things used to be…well she underestimates me. I’ll show her! Who am I kiddin’? I don’t have the guts.

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Ostdeutschland

1980, West Berlin

I was fifteen when my father and I were invited to stay with Claudia in Berlin. Claudia - a veritable smorgasbord of Ayran - was the 3rd mistress of a Sheik, a client of my father's. We arrived by the Sheik’s private jet and were searched by hatchet-faced Berliner women who were certainly born from the frozen ground and not warm flesh.

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Owed to Billy Joe

Oor Billy, ma brither – or to gie him his full name William Joseph Lappin McChord – wis aye contrary. Fur instance, he hid convinced me tae support the Rangers. An me at the tender age ae nine tae. Despite being offert bribes in the form ae Celtic merchandise by ma auntie as a representative ae the rest ae the family, Billy ensured I held firm to ma new allegiance. Probably he wantit to git noticed, and he wis needin a few acolytes.  Luckily, I was turnt back in time tae enjoy watchin Celtic winnin the European Cup and Quizball oan the telly.  

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