May 30, 2022

But Up Near The Trees

Derek Mcluckie | Iain Mutch , 54

videoBut Up Near The Trees, 20221080p

“But Up Near The Trees” returns a man to childhood memory and a past guilt that haunts his psyche. How many of us have childhood memories that haunt us? How many of us suffer the secret pangs of guilt? Melancholy chords accompany the man as he crosses a bridge (that most liminal of symbols). He is on a journey, a pilgrimage. Will he drop that shoe box in the river? Will he drop himself in the river? Could guilt sink like a stone? ‘Alison Cameron did a jobby in her pants’. This, delivered in a west of Scotland working class voice, contrasts with the Caliban chimes and verdant backdrop; the voice locates us in Glasgow. Kids shit themselves for attention. Where are the parents? No adults are on hand to guide or care – ‘there was nobody in’. Lush Glaswegian greenery and plump May clouds play hide and seek with a stream of consciousness that grabs at a high flat, latchkey kids’ voice. The influence of Kelman and Leonard might be heard in the many ‘buts’ of the piece? A deliberate choice of word which conveys both authenticity and intensity, like Manley Hopkins’ Margaret, the boy/ man of but up.