Draping poetry over the queue barriers – Day 6 MON July 28th

At the Tollcross International Swimming Pool, in Glasgow, a very relaxed atmosphere in the adjacent rose garden despite the almighty snaking queue system complete with shiny new barriers glinting in the sun.

THE SUN!!!???? again, here in Glasgow we have had sun.

Our permissions as roving poets limited us to the areas OUTSIDE of the queue barriers where folk lined up for security, so we found ourselves looking in at those waiting and draping ourselves over a queue barrier. Not the most ideal situation for a non-intrusive dialogue – but smiles still surfaced. 

One gentleman on a bench told me he hated poets, they are all “smart” – but after granting me permission, and smiling at mine, he shared his own few lines he’d learnt by heart.

Another in-security queue cluster had told me about a situation where someone had to leave a long distance, Sydney-based relationship – and I shared the poem, “Rushcutters Bay, or I Can’t Decide” and the line

“Moored like these yachts

in obedient patience

I consider our trembling marriage”

It made me think of the few precious platitudes from Dr Seuss I cling to:

“When things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew

Just go right along, you’ll start happening too…”

And speaking of queue clusters, it is an odd thing to be doing a funded project aimed at reducing queue-induced stress where Glasgow2014 doesn’t want us working within the most obvious long line-ups: the security bag and tag airport-style queues.

We’ve done porta-loo queues, Box Office at St George’s square queues, queues at tube stations, queues that curl around a park, queues that reach critical mass at SECC before flowing in en masse, queues that stretch the streets… there are no shortage of options, but the organisers in Glasgow have been very efficient with their queues, bless ’em – most people are on the move!

The Kelpies opening – the line moves when you’re not looking

In queue @ the HOME event

as part of the opening of  The Kelpies @ the Helix:

Andy Scott's 30m high sculpture at Grangemouth / Falkirk, beside a motorway...impressive

30m-high sculpture at Falkirk, Scotland, beside a motorway…impressive.. lit from within on opening

– worked with queues of more than 750 per line, and on site over 5,500 per night. Simply gifting a poem to those who were waiting to be let in to the park, to be escorted to the start of their 90-minute stroll through artist’s installations and the light show at the Kelpies. We loved it when the line moved when we weren’t looking, listening had lifted the weight of waiting, surprise sending everyone off to their destination: KELPIE heads straining above a motorway, mountain fierce freedom. 

Poet @ the Commonwealth Games Glasgow!

Q-POETICS is funded by Creative Scotland through the Cultural Programme 2014

Q-POETICS is funded by Creative Scotland through the Cultural Programme 2014


100 DAYS TO GO!!! Q-POETICS is now part of the Cultural Programme 2014 and will work to reduce queue-induced stress at the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014. Can’t wait to work with those lining up to pay, purchase or pass at sporting and cultural events. To begin with, as a poet-in-training (flexing the imagination and toning my best attempts), are the video poems I WON (in response to the concept of winning) & CONTRAST II (in response to the fact that there is so rarely a Common Wealth)…Q-free viewing while you wait! ha!

The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a national celebration. Culture 2014 will showcase dance, theatre, music, visual arts, comedy and much more in the run up to and after the Commonwealth Games, with Festival 2014 transforming the Host City at Games time. The Cultural Programme is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life, and Creative Scotland through National Lottery funding.

Line up, line up – Q-poetics works with Sydney Writers Festival queues 2013

What are you waiting for?  – Q-POETICS puts the poet in line for you who queue at the Sydney Writers Festival – arousing curiosity and offering literary relief to loiterers and lovers of fine word hanging out for the next big session.

Some beautiful work held in hand and in mind to be shared by these incredible q-poets

presenting partner

presenting partner

Sydney Writers Festival Sydney Writers Festival