Stephen Watt

Stephen Watt is the author of the poetry collections Spit (Bonacia, 2012) and Optograms (Wild Word Press, 2016). Stephen’s noir-style resulted in his selection as crime-writing festival Bloody Scotland’s first crime poet, supporting Chris Brookmyre and Mark Billingham at Stirling’s Albert Halls. Appointed as Dumbarton Football Club’s poet in residence at the start of this season, Stephen has had work published in several countries over the past few years, and a gothic spoken word/music EP under the moniker of ‘Neon Poltergeist’ was released by Different Circle Records last Hallowe’en. Stephen is a former winner of the StAnza Digital Poetry Slam, the Poetry Rivals Slam, the Hughie Healy Memorial Trophy, and the Tartan Treasures award.

Photo: Eddie McEleney


Poetry Café: Katherine McMahon, Stephen Watt »

Lunch and spoken word from the pick of the Scottish scene

Thu 2 March | 13:00 - 13:50 | £6.50/£5.00 - Book Tickets | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre



Jewellery trees flicker silver fruits
as a finger of moon
kindles the gloomy woods
in plated disco lights; the ashen
videotapes of childhood.

She is unlicensed.
Ribbon sleeves scatter rainbow dust
over licking flames, lusting
after oxygen and prophesised rain,
the gusts of wind cleansing flesh –

the remains of something
          smouldering afresh upon a stone.

Hands are turned upright like the antlers
crowning her head
while rain crystals dab the capillary bed
of her long tongue,
trapped like insects in a salivated cobweb.

A neon-red Mohawk
spikes from behind the nearby mountains.
She dismisses her council of librarians,
teachers and accountants
to douse the wood smoke
in urine the colour of Jerusalem thorns.

Resurrection rabbits could well dig up those bones
then some mongrel will howl for its master
who never returned.


Stephen Watt

From Optograms (Wild Word Press, 2016)