Depicting Glasgows fleeting monuments in collaboration with a sculptor, textile artist and architect.

A response to Robert Smithson’s Monuments of Passaic. Inspired by the works of Hilary Harris, Goldon Matta Clarck & Daniel Arsham.

spending 2.30 on bread

I began down Sauchiehall street 

the doorstep of a boarded shop 

A bearded man in tattered parker sat and read

Workmen leaned on their scaffolding

A bus passed 

I thought if I was cold n tired, I’d like a smoke 

I lit a cigarette 

Got spotted by a tired looking man, also sat on doorstep

He asked for a cigarette 

So, I sat with him 

He told me of Mass and the amazing grace 

How he was afraid of needles and that money wasn’t everything

recited the lord’s prayer after telling me of his family’s murder

I gave him some change and told him to get food 

Apparently, he hadn’t eaten for eight days 

I believed everything he said and still would,

even if I knew it was a lie

I left and carried on

the first monument to Glasgow west 

I forgot to get his name 

The end of the street

I looked up to the first tenements, West 

A flight of pigeons circled

As woman waved her sheet out the window 

They shared the same flap of the wing 

Blown by the wind.

A fleeting monument, to the complete present

Never again.

I began to follow the A804

Alongside the tangle of roads

Through concrete pillars Holding the rush of commuter frenzy 

Passed St Patricks Primary school 

where the kids howled in play

a manic hum as the passing traffic

Past the highbrow stones of university 

And its hollow steeple

Flocks of bingeing academics.

Heading to Great Western 

The straight dash through the city’s map

A Romany man sits on a crate

playing his Stroh violin, to folk passing

tapping of foot.    

A cacophony builds, all sudden sounds of the street

collide in an overwhelming gust

I slip back on to bank street 

Where the sound clears to a hum

Another monument to the senses, captured in passing. 

only great western.

To the botanic garden glasshouse 

A monument to a Victorian colonial decadence.  

I never went in just through the park. 

Running under the pristine lawn 

And leaf blown paths

Lay the disused tracks of the Caledonian railway.

The remains of the botanic station

under moss.

overheard men reminiscing of times playing tig in the tunnels 

now a nostalgic memorial to childhood

marked with a blockade of barbed wire  

it’s those lost places…

The cranes of Hillhead

metal structures framing the last of a view

The red brick held from falling 

Down past the abandoned lot 

where dried buddleia had broken through,

a concrete field, cracked

full of weeds 

on my way to the Clyde.

Got to the Clyde, 

the flowing monument that cut Glasgow in half. 

all the water heading west, 

to the mouth.

there were no boats,

just gatherings of bottles n sticks by the bank

crossed the bridge  


took a right at quick-fix tyre services

arrived at Govan Dry Docks

it stood as a derelict headstone to the Clyde ships 

Glasgow’s own.

All rusted steel bent upwards, the abandoned bow. 

Three basins layed sombre in disused melancholy

A baron pier 

sounds of roosting cormorants cut through the moaning city

the standing shell of the pumping house

I entered through a hole in the fence 

Roofless with    


The fleeting land of the everchanging 

I entered through a hole in the fence  

There lay a fading photo of the man

polarising opinions and dead dogs 

Monumental vacancies that define without trying 

the memory traced of an abandoned set of futures

An enid blyton book we were in 

Climbing steep spires, stepping down into the dock's depths wherein 

Lie the (floating waste) common to us all, 

A familiar monument in an unfamiliar territory 

Where all the world was one big playground  

A child running around with creativity roofless 

just like the pumping house 

soon to be broken down 

soon to be revived by rebellion 

A trail of yellow paint lead me round the pacific quay  

A cyclist and his glaswegian ways  

Poem by Jack, Sculpture by Nilanjana and Maia