His Name is Tom

being a collage of email replies from Tom Leonard in correspondence between 2004-2018


how horrible that word "was" is
laying out structures "from the past"
actually embodied in the present

what is being pointed out
is what is    surrounding
the present reader as they read

The passing of the day
replaces the passing of the page

the new work still filling its own
made space in the world

Gets to the unambiguous
repeated forceful violence
which is what it's at
from on high

they can be pent up in me
as I sense they are in you

you had an encounter with a type
of the described recently
po-faced uptheirownarsical
It’s just a wee jeu d’esprit
as they say in toffland

Hope that aint presumptuous
but I know too
of the dangerous slopes
on dear oul Parnassus

Dear Nicky
Thanks for that email
I very much appreciate your words

Or maybe I wouldn't have loved it
but it would have been real    and necessary
as the real thing is

Been working on other stuff
as well as being procrastinatory
Am still in bed fucked with this virus
thanks for dropping up

As to how I'm doing
I'm tired at this minute
When things get in my diary I limit
what I do each day as I find
I just get tired and want
to have all me energy for
anyone I meet
My oxygen thing is ok
just takes a bit of managing
which I am better at now

Excellent    Nicky
Was thinking of those doings of yours
when sitting in the cafe
facing Kelvingrove Gallery
when out with Sonya for a walk on Monday
Which apparently I would gather
is the reward of coffee

Meeting with yourself reminds me
of the forward grain of things    and
that you are hooked up with Sean Bonney
and others who can respond to your
cast of work and mind is crucial
especially when the government agencies
are so nakedly hostile in so many fronts

it's just hard to imagine
what it is like to be on the dole just now
the combined state and press
gunning for you
it's just fucking horrible

it is the alienation of the relationship
structure that gets to you
there have been times in my life when those
phrases have had force

If you're off the mainstream
you have to use what resources you have
and just stand by your work
No other cunt will    by and large
just sound off to me anytime you feel like
if it gets hard

That's another taboo
I obviously broke
in the Scottish Poetry World

Hi Nicky
Ye’re sure firing on your cylinders spot on
Whaurs yer fuckin mons meg noo

good tuff

they should understand that
a Professor Emeritus means
simply a retired professor
So I am no longer in the fucking institution
Maybe I should try to get
some headed notepaper from
from Stobhill or Woodilee    that's two
other institutions I used to be in
You could say Professor Leonard
is also a retired lunatic

it is a good job
I keep all these references
for folk on my hard disk
otherwise it would have been shit street

I gave you a good puff

Thanks for the vote too
We must open our own wee parliament
with some pompous poems

This from a selfcatering room in the Algarve
Yes        lucky bastard I know
Hope it clears up my lungs a bit
which are giving me shite again

Have been toiling this past few days
very short of breath and with steroids
added to the usual mix
but i should make it ok on Monday
Will be there for 7 I intend

you know the score with me
I don’t like being out much
in the evenings
It looked like a deal of chaos
was coming up when I left
more than an old punter like me
can bear any more
These days I tend not to go out at nights
very rarely at any rate
I seem to be joining the Cocoa Club

Sorry if I should know but
my brain is like a doughnut

Ah that clears it up    the poetry list...

I love the absurdist strain in Dickens
all me life a companion

Oh    fuck
I have never had a shop in Glasgow
that sold my work
I think Borders in Glasgow after much
haggling and rebukes
from customers
for christs sake
actually ordered three
Then they went bust
Ha ha ha
Hope it fucking sank them

Very funny    fucking brilliant
Brilliant        wonderful    and VERY IMPORTANT
To me anyway
in my Great Battle With Life
Which I have easy summat

I hope you're managing
to keep enough bawbees in the pocket
for the chin to remain up
it's a problem with weans and being a poet
I know

Dear Dr Melville

That’s great Nicky
You and Jim Ferguson    Fuck me
I never got to be a doctor     though
was helicoptered to a professorship

These are definitely signs of the Last Days

Keep well and writing sir
that is all that matters
in this regard anyhow

I speak here for humanity    if you will allow

all the best


[nicky melville’s latest book is ABBODIES COLD : SPECTRE (Sad Press); THE IMPERATIVE COMMANDS will be published with Dostoyevsky Wannabe in 2021. He recently started making demos under the name Fuck This: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVvRwpoHwx5R5aPAThlEP4w ]

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