Poetry Showcase from Scott Cumming

photo from unsplash.com

In the Silence  
In the silence
before a ball is kicked 
you think of them 
hunkered in foxholes 
huddled in trenches 
to preserve the privilege 
to call the ref a cunt
  
In the silence 
you wonder about equivalent rainbows 
shining over battlegrounds 
all their final sounds unheard 
underneath torrential downpours 
of ordnance 
Blood payment in order for us to bey 
  
In the silence 
think about what we don’t know 
about dressing rooms and war rooms 
Well laid plans and movements 
don't always come to fruition 
Big difference between verbal volleys 
and literal firing squads 
The cost of three points 
and three million men 
  
In the silence 
Before the game 
you feel the hurt and sadness 
thinking on those 
who never got to be 
overgrown boys 
who never got to lose themselves 
exuding frivolous noise. 

Feelings Dislocated...

...no simple joint 
to lodge them back in place 
The tear on my cheek 
A bittersweet release 
 
The closest I’ve felt to myself in months 
is when I wanted to run off into the night 
 
I see them do as I do 
and not what I say 
Peeling at layers 
Truth or dare 
Name everyone you’ve ever loved 
 
You had me at “fine” 
Arched eyebrow screamed 
You meant it this time. 

Boosted

The dilapidated department store 
Now a vaccination centre 
Fittings and fixtures remain 
You can sort your hair 
in the left behind mirror 
before going back to staring 
at everyone's shoes 
trudging furtively 
as though in a leper colony 
 
The signage covered up 
with children's art 
forced so young 
to understand a health service's worth 
A Marine administers my latest shot 
caught fighting another war 
framed by disinformation 
 
The hollowed-out haberdashery 
now used for recovery 
Another ten minutes 
to doom scroll 
the next supposed 
end of the world. 


We Feast No More

We keep warm 
over the fires 
from leftover hearts 
Quench our thirst 
under a spigot 
of wasted tears 
In this future 
hope, an illusion 
consumers until consumed 
now foraging blindly 
Picking through lint 
and speckled sand 
for mere morsels 
Our souls, ghosts 
of people 
from generations before 
Once fatted calves 
grown gluttonous 
to the point 
we feast no more 
The shadow of the beast 
still reigns supreme 
but like us 
scratches for remains 
Battered and weathered 
we bludgeon one another 
for a derisory taste 
pondering if 
we're the universe's anomaly 
The only dumbass 
intelligent life forms 
arguing our way 
through the cosmos. 


Bio: Scott Cumming unsuspectingly went to see Garden State wearing his Shins tee. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Versification, Mystery Tribune and Shotgun Honey. His poem, “Blood on Snow”, was voted the best of Outcast Press Poetry Things We Carry issue and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection, A Chapbook About Nothing, was released in December as part of Close to the Bone's First Cut series.
Twitter: @tummidge Website: https://scottcummingwriter.wordpress.com/



New Poems by Scott Cumming

Ewok in the Window

Walking home

the way I would

years before

searching for your face

in every window

can’t remember

which house was yours

I’m not being morose

just walking through time

don’t need 88 miles an hour

to look back

to when these streets

appeared to be ours

backs straighter

vodka chasers

laughing louder

at things only we’d find funny

until the present jars me

an Ewok in the window

and all the usual regrets

you’re reduced to a few lines

as I wander in and out of time.

I always thought you played together again

It’s the ones who live
that get to tell the tales
Truth rarely comes into it

I always thought you played again
even after the last one
turns out it was sadly, but appropriately named

Hard to tear my eyes away
from all the photos
Each one of them mesmerising in their own way

It’s tough to judge
‘cause you did right by yourself
while ripping away the number one thing they had

Does the weight of that keep you up at night?
Every great band is an extraordinary story
but there’s not one quite like The Band.


Shameless

Once met Andrew W.K.
who looked bewildered
at my Zippy from Rainbow tee
He signed my ticket
 “SHAMELESS”

And here I am shamelessly
namedropping a dude due to marry a movie star
seeing him now on IG
he's like Thor and Loki rolled into one
and you know they party hard
down in ol’ Asgard

Not sure this is the one
to grant me iconic cult status
but I’ll keep trying
brick by brick to the face.

Lovesick Dope

She left me behind
accident or on purpose
I don’t know
The dope took her
but it brings her back too
don't have the strength
or the weakness
to myself back to you

Cord Change Gaze

Spongebob played in the background
when you told me you didn’t love me
Well, that’s not what you said
just wasn’t my name that burst from your lips
Not me that made you quiver and crumple
I’m merely your Patrick Star
Not the face you see at the chord change
The progression that sends your gaze skyward
filled with a snifter of lost hope
It leaves me staring into the middle distance
wondering when next I’ll hear it
and have the strength not to mope.


Bio: Scott Cumming unsuspectingly went to see Garden State wearing his Shins tee. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Versification, Mystery Tribune and Shotgun Honey. His poem, “Blood on Snow”, was voted the best of Outcast Press Poetry Things We Carry issue and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection, A Chapbook About Nothing, was released in December as part of Close to the Bone's First Cut series.
Twitter: @tummidge Website: https://scottcummingwriter.wordpress.com/




A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Scott Cumming

with Scott Cumming:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Scott: My first writings would have been in my teen years with what I called lyrics, but since I’ve never been able to play an instrument it might be more accurate to call them poems with choruses.

I was influenced by the music I listened to through the years starting with Oasis and the Manic Street Preachers before getting more lovelorn and aping the likes of Weezer, Ed Harcourt and Ash.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Scott: Shawn Berman is the other as he has taught me to embrace my light, silly side in my writing through his work and his site, The Daily Drunk. I’ve had a lot of stuff published there throughout this year and I’ve had an immense amount of fun doing it.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Scott: I grew up in the Bridge of Don in Aberdeen, which has the distinction of being the largest suburb in Europe. We lived on the outer edges of it and there was room to explore the surrounding countryside.

Subconsciously it is there in my writing as when I think of places the image will often come from a place I remember from when I was young. The place truly was a collision of rural and urban spaces.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Scott:

LCD are Sitting Next to Us at the After-Party (dailydrunkmag.com)

This poem is about a great night I had with a friend who has recently passed. I’ve written a few others that will appear in my forthcoming chapbook. 

Poetry has helped me to process my feelings about his death and made me confident enough to reach out to people I hadn’t spoken to in some time and clear the air about things either real or imagined.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Scott: There really isn’t. 

I was never someone who had the confidence before and always thought I wasn’t good enough to write or create. You see all sorts of people with their PhDs and MFAs and I’m just a guy who didn’t realise the value of education until too late.

Now I have the confidence, if not the belief, that I can write whatever I want and even if it only finds an audience of one, it’s the doing it that matters.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Scott: Recently I’ve been playing the Nintendo Switch we got for our seven year old’s birthday a lot to destress.

As well as that I obviously love to read and have been keeping up to date with the latest stuff from B F Jones, James Lilley and Andrew Davie among others.

In the past few months, I’ve taken to filming myself reading poems that have particularly impressed me and posting them on Twitter.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Scott: My chapbook, “A Chapbook About Nothing”, will be released on the last day of 2021. It is so called because of its complete lack of theme and the duelling, possibly jarring nature of my crime/dark poems against my light, pop culture fare.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?

Scott:

“I remember when we had nothing, but

allergy medicine spiked into each of our legs
licking the drip of epinephrene blood from your thigh”

This line is from a poem I had published at The Five-Two (The Five-Two: Scott Cumming (poemsoncrime.blogspot.com)), which is among the favourite things I’ve written thus far and perhaps the darkest thing I’ve written.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Scott: Stephen J. Golds, B F Jones, Max Thrax, James Lilley are probably the main ones. They’ve each taught me something that has become integral to how I continue to write. It can sometimes be a lonely furrow and I’ve been able to rely on them to pull me through at times.

Links:

New Poem by Scott Cumming : Magical Realism vs Middle Earth

2 poems by Scott Cumming : “The Layer Between Us” & “Ear Worn”

Poetry by Scott Cumming : the Daily Battle & To Be Written Upon Waking

Twitter: @tummidge

https://punknoirmagazine.com/2021/04/22/3-poems-by-scott-cumming/

https://punknoirmagazine.com/2021/06/30/something-broken-by-scott-cumming/

https://dailydrunkmag.com/2021/03/30/two-poems-by-scott-cumming/

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2021/02/21/poetry-by-scott-cumming-the-daily-battle-to-be-written-upon-waking/

Bio: Scott Cumming unsuspectingly went to see Garden State wearing his Shins tee. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Versification, Mystery Tribune and Shotgun Honey. His poem, “Blood on Snow”, was voted the best of Outcast Press Poetry Things We Carry issue and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection, A Chapbook About Nothing, was released in December as part of Close to the Bone’s First Cut series. Twitter: @tummidge Website: https://scottcummingwriter.wordpress.com/

New Poem by Scott Cumming : Magical Realism vs Middle Earth

Light, Forest, Away, Path, Trees, Autumn

Magical Realism vs. Middle Age

This beach is more frightening
The waves drag the stones
The collisions adding up
To a furious cacophony
Turn my hearing aid down
Then it gets freakier
The noise quietened
To a bag of bones

Used to love magical realism
Until it all became too real
Younger me
Would hope for the jellyfish cadavers
To rise upon their tentacles
And tell me I’m the one
Before opening the waves
To a Miyazaki city
Full of the unexplainable
And nonsensical

Now I just run away
Because I’m pretty sure one of the suckers moved.

Bio: Scott Cumming unsuspectingly went to see Garden State wearing his Shins tee. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Versification, Mystery Tribune and Shotgun Honey. His poem, “Blood on Snow”, was voted the best of Outcast Press Poetry Things We Carry issue and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection, A Chapbook About Nothing, was released in December as part of Close to the Bone’s First Cut series. Twitter: @tummidge Website: https://scottcummingwriter.wordpress.com/

2 poems by Scott Cumming : “The Layer Between Us” & “Ear Worn”

The Layer Between Us

You answer the door
in just a shirt
not long out the bath

Eyes fixed to yours
All I can think of
is the simple layer
Separating our intimacy

My feelings remain the same
not in that way
Frayed, creased
Stretched and stressed
like the shirt you’ve thrown on

Knowing my mind
is the difference
Between shouting and screaming
and revealing my doubts and fears

More chance of me
Looking down
Initiating
than ever explaining.

Ear Worn

Blocked up
Suez Canal style
Underwater hearing
Sound drowned

Hearing aid
Sends submarine transmissions
Hard to distinguish
Noises fighting for attention

Laying beneath the shallows
Feel the glinting of the sun
Upon stinging eyes
Choked up throat
Choosing to drown
When it would be easier
to reach out
and pull myself up

Hard enough
to deal with damaged thoughts
Crap scientist chemistry
Let alone
being blocked like an old sink

Faulty plumbing
Throbbing
Behind the eyes
Until the blood vessels evaporate
And the aura appears
With an armada of pain not far behind.

Bio: Scott Cumming unsuspectingly went to see Garden State wearing his Shins tee. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Versification, Mystery Tribune and Shotgun Honey. His poem, “Blood on Snow”, was voted the best of Outcast Press Poetry Things We Carry issue and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection, A Chapbook About Nothing, was released in December as part of Close to the Bone’s First Cut series. Twitter: @tummidge Website: https://scottcummingwriter.wordpress.com/