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David Ross Linklater 

One Morning


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.

Blood Tests


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

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