Rodney Relax

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THE MUMBLE : Hi Rodney, so you are one of the stalwarts of the Edinburgh poetry scene – are you from the city

RODNEY : I was born in the university town of St.Andrews.  Also famous for the old course, of which many opens have been staged on its hallowed turf.  I was actually raised for most of my childhood in the Fife town of Dunfermline.  When I eventually settled in Edinburgh which would be  around 1992, Rebel Inc would already be taking off and the whole poetry scene was really thriving with writers like Paul Reekie, Sandie Craigie and Barry Graham. 

THE MUMBLE :  What first got you into poetry in the first place
RODNEY : Believe it or not it might have been the early works of Spike Milligan! a friend of mine used to recite ‘dreams of a scorpion’ off by heart. this would be when we were both 16-17.  Of course, later on it would be Sylvia Plath, E.E Cummings and William Carlos Williams.  The way these writers approached the artform was deeply inspiring to a young poet like me.  


they had to

accept the unbelievable

beyond terror outside

of the massacre

inside of it

in existential nihilism

crept killers stalked

victims in churches

up on the hills and

finally the marshes


THE MUMBLE :  Which poets inspired you then & which inspire you now

RODNEY : All the writers I’ve just mentioned and Milan Kundera’s books shift the gears for me one way or the other.  Current writers operating in Scotland would be Nick E Melville, J.L Williams, Jim Ferguson to name only a few.  These poets truly stand out for me at the moment. I like writing to be brave and push the boundaries; all three have the talent and intelligence to do just that.

THE MUMBLE :  When it comes to performance poetry, you seem keen adding musical soundscapes, why is this?

RODNEY : I used to be in punk band called Alternative back in the 70’s & 80’s, so composing music for the poems was just a natural progression for me.  Also working with Nick E Melville in Shellsuit Massacre showed us both the potential for putting soundscapes to performance poetry. It doesn’t always work mind, I’ve heard some pretty diabolical so-called musical interpretations of poetry; believe me! I remember reading a quote a while back about Dylan Thomas poems being put to music, it didn’t work out as he had his own inner noing on.  Just love that.



we note that on

sunday’s televised debate on

religion that the majority

of the participants were

of certain faiths

so in order to

insert some semblance

of balance to the

proceedings a few aetheists

and agnostics were allowed

into the circle none

were especially helpful except

the woman who proposed

cumulative process in

opposition to irreducible complexity

at no point

was there a

general consensus that

when we die

this is the end

instead they offered

up that if

you believe in

(a)god then

you could expect

to walk into

the gates of


as they arrived

at the station

one of the

woman asked

where are we?

she was shot

when her children

were found

there was no great

rapture that would

take away their

suffering or the

genocidical actions that

took place here

is there



the answer is

debatable usually rhetorical

with sinister motivations

towards eliminationism:they

thought that they

were going into

red cross ambulances

instead they were

being taken away

from their families

to death in

numbers that would

haunt the world

so it was

in our hymns

of faith that

we heard the

sirens when the

destruction was complete


THE MUMBLE :  You are a father of wee twin girls, do these inspire your writing or just keep you on your toes
RODNEY : Well, they both certainly keep me on my toes, that’s for sure, and og course they’re very inspiring. If anything,their arrival in 2010 has me writing even  more intensely than ever before. The race against time perhaps.  Everyday is full of surprise and delight with those two around.


lovers under the

black willow sweetly

unknowingly of the

war in europe


THE MUMBLE :  What are your thoughts on the current Scottish poetry scene
RODNEY : The Scottish poetry scene appears to be pretty damn healthy these days. – lots of new events been set up as well as more established nights like Caesura in Edinburgh. There seems to be more collaborations going on too, with lots of small presses springing up all the time. 


to their wives

and their daughters

men placed guns

in the fields

of corn and

rape the yellow

colour of harvest


THE MUMBLE :  What is the poetical future for Rodney Relax

RODNEY : Poetical future for Rodney Relax?  Just keep writing, keep performing. There’s the small matter of Second Space poetry events, like to do one in  Glasgow this year and keep adding more poets on to our YouTube channel. There’s also our FB page which could certainly do with more contributions i.e., poems, videos, audios & adding to our picture gallery.  I‘m also recording  a spoken word LP this year with various musicians – cut a few tracks all ready – lots of work still to be done though, it’ll be an interesting journey for sure.



One thought on “Rodney Relax

    acidted said:
    January 25, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Brilliant stuff Rodney, your an inspiration to us all sir 🙂

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