Art with Words: 'Singing Your Heart Out in a Silent Film'

by Gavin Reid




Singing Your Heart Out in a Silent Film



Are you dead?

Are you dead, 'my friend'?

if you're alive

I wouldn't say congratulations.


You've been so unfair.

You're totally unaware.

Do you need to be wound up with a tiny little key?

London is your town, all the bread for the ducks.

You'd walked beside me,

Winked eyes in alma mater

Leave my body to the dogs.

What are you making?

What are you fixing?

What are you thinking?

Watch me sleeping in a burning house.

So low, but let me kiss you.

Lonely little rooms, reading something by Edgar Allan Poe.

Two-way streets

When it rains, it rains in this poor old town.

It's my life now

You don't know I've had fifteen, maybe fifty girlfriends.

So much has changed

The city council have changed their logo.

There have been two presidents since we last spoke.

Do you remember that time we were dancing at a house party and your morning alarm went off on your phone?

Do you still have a beard?

Did your Sister finally paint her bedroom?

Do you still have an earring?

Do you still hate your Italian uncle?

I'm sorry that I got you to argue with the bouncer at the busy building, so that you can go back into the club and get my jacket when it drunkenly folded up nicely in my bag, but hey, we laughed about it later.

I applied for a job at Uni-QLO and the Tate Gallery.

I now like my eggs over fried.

I've still not read Dianetics.

I finally watched Satantango on my day off.


I love you

I loved you

Where the fuck are you?

Where have you been for three years?

Leave a Hickey on my neck.

Hey man, you're my best friend.

Hey man, you're my best… 'friend.'

Hey man, you’re my best fiend

You saw me in my red Harrington jacket across the street.

You didn't know my name then.

I was swishing my hair on Scott St, feeling like Van Dyck probably looking like Chaplin with his bendy cane.

Long-limbed, English with Arsenal pivoted heel at the union.

We were strangers that walked on by

You don't know I went here and there.

You don't know I've drunk Fanta Grape and looked up at the Andalusia sky.

You've been a lousy friend, and it hurts because I love you.

When I was sad, you were there to say, 'It's not that bad.

What's the last book you read?

Remember when we talked in a shitty little nightclub at the bar about Jack Kerouac?


Too long, I've ached, ached inside.

Did you die when Wotan, the war machine, destroyed the world?

Did you struggle to your feet from the rubble?

What's your address to your hole in the ground?


You're my best friend, but you're singing songs that don't exist.

Why does America spells ‘favourite’ differently?

What are the songs you're singing today?

I feel like sixteen-year-old chewing her sleeve, not knowing how to use a cash register.

The sex lives of balloons on strings that are floating in the sky

The food was good, but I need a bigger portion.

Cactus growing in the middle of your bed

You're my best friend

You're my worst friend

we're not singing in the same choir.


Cycling down Peckham drunk, we were free, and it felt like we were flying

You listened to me blabber on about not loving my girlfriend anymore who I dragged from Melbourne,

with the champs Elysees in the distance smiling back at us like a film restoration released on 4K Blu-ray

I would've done anything for you

We stopped Caitlin from getting mugged that night too,

I pointed and shouted 'Stop thief', and you repeated it in French to the pickpocket.


But Paris is long gone, and I'm in a mood, and you haven't a clue.

How can you see the pain and walk away?

Where did you go, and how do you know?

You annoy me because I love

You drive me wild like a girl with big hoop earrings.

I hate you because I love you.

You make me swoon like drinking Cherry Cola-Cola and watching a newly found lost Doctor Who episode.

I'm mad at you because I miss us.

Standing on a hill, I fall through like a fish gill.

I wanted a friend, not a penpal.

I think I'm going crazy because James Joyce got on my bus today.

Caring about you is like singing your heart out in a silent film.




About the Artist/Writer



Gavin Reid is a Glasgow based artist/writer who studied Sculpture and Environmental Art at The

Glasgow School of Art. Their artwork and writing are often dark, humorous, idiosyncratically, and autobiographical. They also do stand up comedy and make short films.



You can find more information on their website here.



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