DAY NINETEEN – W. N. Herbert

Explaining Irn Bru to the English


As the jaws of Scotland swing at the Swing 

like a creaky pub-sign in a Jekyllish wind; 

as Scottish Labour attempt to hide Big Smurfo in 

the hot raspberry that he sprang frae;


as phantasmal immigration by Walterish lefties 

to Beanotown compels Surgin’ Sturgeon to rename it 

Greater Pieopolis, the oatless ask us:

what is Irn Bru, really? Is it safe, really?


Is it Presbyterian perspiration? Is it liquid rust?

Is it produced by an irony brewery, really?

How do you girder a loin? How do you

guard your enamel or your porcelain?


It is the sippoleth, slipping down like sandpaper; 

it tastes of mechanically retrieved bubblegum 

the dog consumed, producing a Montgolfier arse balloon.

The glass slipper version ate through the sole.


It’s difference in a tumbler. It’s indifference in a tumbler.

The carbonated faddomer of all hangovers, electoral 

and other. Too teuch for orthography, it is an elixir 

that would tak the lacquer aff the truth.


Drink this, it says: the transmogrifier of English 

intae pish, and thirst nae mair for thistle milk 

or Islington. This is the Aperol of the North, 

the Harpic of the Glens. Oor A&E is your A&E.

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