Fall/Winter 2014

Stuart A. Paterson


What have I done to deserve you?

Well, 150 miles south in a taxi
At 12 on a Friday night
Quoting Burns relentlessly under
Dreary Mancunian lamplight
Bringing no clean underwear
On a six or seven day stay
Lying in your bed hungover till you ring
From your work at midday
Getting stoned & eating all the Belgian
Chocolates while you were sleeping
Trawling your ouzo & brandy & all
The other good booze you were keeping
Pestering your nice pals with roared
Opinions of shites & middle-class bastards
Turning up two hours late for your
Dinner parties, plastered
Trying to tidy your place & breaking
Expensive foreign ornaments
Forgetting you're a veggie &
Continually talking mince
Borrowing twenty quid at the bus stop
Just before I've went
Forgetting, next time I visit, the other
Fifty quid you lent
Preferring the Scotland-Latvia game
To a quiet few hours with you
Smoking all your baccy, & feigning sleep
When you really wanted to

What have you done to deserve me?

Remembering those dragon pendants in
A Dumfries curiosities shop
Watching you open the box two days later
& seeing your lip drop
Reach over before you get to the handle
& raise your car door lock
Helping your back arch frantically
Hours after the music's stopped
'Phoning you drunk at all hours then
Forgetting what you've said
'Phoning you from the phone that doesn’t work
Beside my bed

What have I done to deserve you?

Stuart A. Paterson was born in 1966 & brought up in Ayrshire, Scotland. He received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 1992 and a Scottish Arts Council Writer’s Bursary in 1993, and was Dumfries & Galloway Writer-in-Residence 1996-98. He founded and edited the international poetry & prose review Spectrum, from 1989 to 1996. Stuart’s first collection, Saving Graces, was published by Diehard (Poetry Scotland) in 1997 & nominated for a Saltire Society ‘First Book’ award.



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