Issue 24: Nicky Melville

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.

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