Saturday 10 December 2011

A Wee Guest Poem: Jim Murdoch

The Things We Knew
He didn’t hide the bottles
it is true but then neither
did he leave them on display.

He drank to help himself sleep;
that is what he told himself
and us, his conscience and God.

God knew different and so
did we. I don’t know what his
conscience knew or thought it did.

I can’t stand the stuff myself,
whisky I mean, although I’m
not fond of the truth either

if I’m totally honest.

*     *     *

Jim Murdoch lives just outside Glasgow. His poetry has appeared in small press magazines on both sides of the Atlantic for nearly forty years and now, of course, his most recent work can be found online. He has recently published a collection of poetry entitled This Is Not About What You Think in addition to two novels. A third, Milligan and Murphy, an expression of his love of the works of Samuel Beckett, has just been published. You can read more about him on his blog and website.


  1. I've been enjoying reading Jim's poetry for quite a while now. Love the understated impact of the ending to this poem, very typical of Jim's style.

  2. Thanks for that, Marion. This, of course, is one you’ll have read before. I wrote about it on my blog post I have nothing to say. In fact I wrote it during the post itself which was a first. But you’re right, this is a typical me poem. I liked how Andrew promoted the piece on Facebook—“ Ever been slapped across the face by a poem?”—that’s the kind of effect I am for although I usually talk about a poem kicking the feet from under a person which, for some reason, I find preferable to slapping someone across the face. Odd that since they’re both aggressive acts and yet I’m one of the least aggressive people you are ever likely to meet.