David Ross Linklater
Standing on the balcony of the sixth floor
contemplating absolutely nothing
and it was all everything the morning peeling
orange flakes everyone asleep windows blue in the cheeks
some voice spoke saying go over go further I did
and it was all everything
traffic barely there one or two I didn’t even smoke
no just stood there toes in their shoes and me
six in the morning sun coming up
South and was waking up the next day over and over for years
beside bedside lamps cups of water broken laces
‘Good luck with your endeavours’ —letters
things like that: cigarettes baths toothbrushes
soul-red font from the council sore hands but
couldn’t complain mostly everything was alright
to the point real straight good spirits and all
leaves went from green to pale yellow
and rats slept behind flower pots then
stepping down, back from the ledge
all of the realities LIT the rest of the world LIVE
and it was all everything perfect
in its trying so hard
to be so.
There isn’t much doing.
Just this stripped down thing
worrying itself to death in a bedroom.
Over rent and where the home will appear.
Over the fat pointing finger,
rejection slips and gaps in the print-outs,
the sheer weaponry of the small hours.
The nonphysical plays cards with
the physical and wins.
I have made an idiot
of my body, asked questions of it
with a willing naivety. I’ve packed it full
and swung it round, I’ve danced and danced.
I was untouchable, too young to care.
So I kept packing and packing
and packing it full and I smoked
and smoked and smoked and people
would say ‘Hey, you sure do smoke a lot’
and I’d say ‘yeah’.
Not bad, but not good results
from the blood tests, going to have to rein it in.
Many aspects of my life will need to change
if I am to stay out of the doctor’s books.
So there it is. The heart is human after all.
Not just love and strings but blood and skin and fat.
Sitting here at the table in the living room of the flat
I have eight days to leave, mortal as fuck.
David Ross Linklater is a poet from the Highlands. He holds an MLitt in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, is the recipient of a Dewar Arts Award and was shortlisted for a New Writers Award in 2015. His pamphlet Black Box was published in February by Speculative Books. He lives and writes in Glasgow. Twitter: @DavidRossLinkla