PETER MANSON lives in Glasgow.  His books include Poems of Frank Rupture (Sancho Panza Press), English in Mallarmé (Blart Books), For the Good of Liars and Adjunct: an Undigest (both from Barque) and Between Cup and Lip (Miami University Press, Ohio).  Miami UP also publish his book of translations, Stéphane Mallarmé: The Poems in Verse. His website is


The salt companion, or,
Dedicated to you but you weren’t listening

The florid esters of distinction
armadas of dispraise inwardly
harass the mind to a tin teardrop
Christ like pissholes in eternal rice
and as the virtual is real space
for our lot you are never quite gone
from my livelong empathy belly
erased night outcome out to parlay
an each-way bet better not to know

which of us two is the look-back bore
in the shot gun civil partnership
weskit and trews bore witness falsely
with socks to an angel of delight
butterscotch tapeworm diet pill freak
lunges for free lunch bean counter sunk
on a five-year mission to return
you safe from another culture’s hell
I work as a detector of time

if at all costs more than life itself
so spend it wisely brackets giggle
at colons a scat emoticon
sung wordlessly my vicious night song
I am seldom with double fanny
often with stupid in the ball pool
that is actual pain at all times
life by chocolate sister act too
let your wind go / free the windows nine

and I would wank five hundred mules and
I would wank five hundred more sterile
beyond hope of issue or release
just to be the cis male who wanked a
thousand mules and never left the house
this does almost no good in the world
but surely some and I cling to that
hope like the hope of a second life
whoops butterfingers and down I go

salted Haribo keens in the pod
for our difference ending in peas
the white rings of my future sweat-ghost
define the amnesiac body
as spirits of hartshorn arouse me
from a Glasgow symptomless coma
to the one true myoclonic jerk
I would be if the cursèd double touch
could turn single / arm dead under me

much ado in the infinite deep
dream windows of star death remembered
through the lossy compressed artefact
I am Now and it’s all you can take
blind to my surroundings I forget
the circling raptors outside Now
but my book pleads for me with the flies
and I am waved on through the green door
I first leave you then find you inside

I rage in a lemon shirt at a
brown desk with a gashed knee and a beard
and probably couldn’t lift you now
but the thought still counts sheep in dense fog
and the sleep of reason produces
Sadness dolls for my middle-aged shelf
never heard it called that before dawn
you are sound in your second asleep
with real work done in the dark boutique

bonobo don’t mess with my peep peeps
they ain’t no finite human resource
there is no future in any gland
streaming vasectomy insect pin
badger parade gonna break my face
in gently through the out door toilet
dooking for shit every Halloween
the ripe taste of cheese improves with age
editors edit it’s what they do

with asafoetida and beerlight
the victor lures a prominent moth
to the sheet you burn after reading
my involuntary Womble dance
guiding the hive to the poetry
on which nothing feeds pipe quack or toot
no drone metal spybot am I you
debug my mind like you’ll never know
for in front of that door there is ___


If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Peter Manson Poem

All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet.


  1. […] have a new poem, “The salt companion, or, Dedicated to you but you weren’t listening“, on the Glasgow Review of Books website.  Thanks to the […]

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is a review journal publishing short and long reviews, review essays and interviews, as well as translations, fiction, poetry, and visual art. We are interested in all forms of cultural practice and seek to incorporate more marginal, peripheral or neglected forms into our debates and discussions. We aim to foster discussion of work from small and specialised publishers and practitioners, and to maintain a focus on issues in and about translation. The review has a determinedly international approach, but is also a proud resident of Glasgow.

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