Poems: Alex MacDonald

No Clipping

Last week I was a private detective and handcuffed all the corpses
for an Easter egg. This made me feel important, but it was my birthday.
A boy at school told me there’s a way to access all levels: ice planet,
abandoned Valentine’s Day warehouse, the President’s car. Yesterday
I was stuck in the haunted hospital and I’m supposed to collect something.
I’ve looked under the children’s pillows, spoken to my dying grandmother
ten times, but nothing. Sometimes I get tired and cheat. There is a way
I can walk through walls and see each room: kitchen, fake bathroom,
secret air vent. The object of the game is to get through the day
without being seen. But the army saw me and I died three times.
In another life I built my dream house, fortress-like, filled with art
and photos of my husband. I discussed muffins with my neighbour
as our cooker burned everything and shaded my lover a red hue.
Did we have a baby? I couldn’t save it. Today I’m being shot at
in the space prison, the pig policeman has good aim. I helped out
a prostitute inmate by running over her deadbeat customer.
She gave me the mansion’s greenhouse key. When I inspect it closely
there is blood in the ridges. Knowing this has changed my ending.

An Appreciation of Real Life

When I looked out the crazy window
I saw the world as it ought to be
and bought an ice cream in the shape
of Halloween eyeballs. I didn’t check
the season. Old friends jousted
with outstretched hands, mortally
wounding each other with stories
and the discarded wigs dried out
on the bus stop roof. You can tell a lot
about someone from their recycling
but there’s a sorting code, put this box
next to these beer cans, it’s practically
a computer, it’s basically anything.
By this point of my journey, I thought
of all the email addresses I’ve occupied,
sitting on them like a glamorous toad,
each a shaving of my totally original
toad personality. All the bins have wheels
and the roads have that memory haze
making soapy lovers of us all. We are all
capable of great things.
Alex MacDonald lives and works in London. His poetry has been published in Best British Poetry 2015, Poetry London, The Quietus and is forthcoming in Ambit. He was recently shortlisted for the Faber New Poets scheme. He is one of the editors of the online poetry magazine Poems in Which.

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