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FOUR Poems

Poem From a Niedecker Line

As one somnambulist to another,
we share our taste in decorative horrors,
our nocturnal bruises. It’s like a man
has crawled from under our house,
haunting our fruit bowl, disrupting
our private mirrors. We know the pace
that a brain can jump a hurdle, a time
before we were stone people, before
the slime leaked into our lives. We can’t
sleep in: delicious mornings await.

Garden Remarks

Sweet signal in the leaves that something changed
between an image and a marble house,
where ghosts melt skin and finger pots, arranged.
Sorry to keep you waiting Minnie Mouse,
it is a young tradition I’m afraid
and what the painting said to me is this:
to levitate is love—a colonnade
between floating mystics, gentle abyss,
tadpole palace and gently-rooted weeds.
My head’s a pond of koi anonymous
and I don't want to know what then proceeds.
I'll be naked among economists,
zombies will climb the fence, hot-tub ready.
On the menu: brain-flavoured daiquiri.

It Feels Like You’re Playing with Another Place

My images were cemented when I was twenty-one
A staircase of red gauze
Teeth in a sweet wrapper
Single men unlocking themselves on a bed
Someone rummaging in the reference library
It’s the closest I came to a religion
Everyone alive wants answers
I know nothing just what I think is right
Anyway epiphany is so domestic
Like finding the bathroom light in darkness
You just have to feel for it
Being reflective has only defined my images further
If you can’t see my mirrors I can’t see you
But it feels like you’re playing with another place
Kitchens with electrified floors
The full experience of cat nonchalance
A broom among brooms in a broom closet
That’s why I’ve needed you over the years
I was talking in a voice quiet enough to stroke rocks
But I got my pictures back the other day
So many moments developed from negatives 


there is a morning routine
little noises pitched low
garden birds hopping out of shadow
the sun saying something fresh
and small with its studied corona
I have been dreaming my watch
has teeth again and when
the wind hits the windows
it sounds like children singing
there is a deeper register today
I spill an egg and cats are breathing
this early hour has a fluttering
a movement among the ferns
I require a better knowledge
of what is being strained here
like water becoming coffee
an egg becoming an egg
I have learnt by heart
this dumb shuffling

Alex MACDONALD received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2016. His pamphlet Knowing This Has Changed My Ending was published in 2018 by Offord Road Books (see here).



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Partner to a press called Tenement, Hotel is a publications series for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. 

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