Pac Manâ€™s Last Stand - Andrew Philip
21st July 2015
Pac Manâ€™s Last Stand
We funt him dossin in a piss-scented close
oot the back o a defunct arcade,
his canary coupon dulled fae dool and stour
tae say naething o the bargain booze he swallied
fae a bottle happed in a broun paper poke.
He telt us his wife had run aff wi Super Mario.
Noo, he wis dinin on the dustbins, dwinin awa
for want o a pouer pill and a braw sheenie cherry;
in a constant, feartie, blootered dwam
o Inky, Binky, Pinky and even Clyde closin in
for the kill. Haurdly a shaddae o his auld sel.
The worst o it wis, every time he yawned
his gub wid gant that wee tait wider till it seemed
heâ€™d fauld in on hissel and the air aroun him growe
shairp wi they twa wirds ilka gamer dreids.
Naiturally, we taen him hame wiâ€™s and fed him up
on spare fou stops, Morellos and tartrazine.
Man, ye shuid hae seen thon appetite!
The trouble stairted wi a toattie bite taen out
the sofa. Afore lang, the living room was a guddle
o sawdust, torn swatches and chowed wires. Iâ€™m gey feart
heâ€™ll soon hae eaten us oot o hous and hauld.
And thatâ€™s whaur youse come in. A puckle wee ghosties
dinnae fleg me, but yon yellae golachâ€™s anither story.
The doors and windaes is aw locked. Heâ€™ll no suspect a thing.
This poem by Andrew Philip appears in Red Squirrelâ€™s themed anthology Double Bill: poems inspired by popular culture. Nearly 200 of the most active poets in Scotland and throughout the UK were included. Andrew Philipâ€™s poem is the only one in the anthology in Scots.
It is satisfying to see a poem in Scots treated as an equal in a book full of English poems, and to know that it will be read throughout the larger country. The poems were paired by name sounds, and this one is paired with a poem about Jeremy Paxman. You could hardly get a bigger contrast, and the juxtaposition itself makes a sly dig at the TV impresario. The poem is also an example of widening the subject matter of poetry in Scots, something I have always felt is very valuable to the language.
A hilarious narrative, whether or not the game of Pac Man has ever taken hold on a computer near you.