Two Poems - David Ross Linklater

David Ross Linklater | 16 May 2018




Ways to Muse


When asked, why write?


Anne said it’s like masturbation.


Johnny it’s Greta Garbo weeping


but she wants you to watch.


Courtney said it’s your avant


gardener tending the weeds.


Alexis because


The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


said she’d always be unhappy


unless she bought a Moleskine.


The loud one said for immortality.


The quiet, it’s quite therapeutic,


Cal said for fame and head


and everyone laughed but we all knew


the latter would be just fine


if it didn’t take so damn long


to write a decent poem.


Evelyn even said because imagination


is a wolf waiting to part your throat


if not fed, that edits are the muzzle.


Funny no one mentioned the rent


or downgraded internet package.


I think writing is a person


willing to lose at everything


again and again, beautiful and alone,


the perfect loser.






Walk to diagnose the trouble, to explain


strangers moving over the mirror.


It takes time to learn patience


and that’s just a word parents use to stop


their children getting rich before them.


There are too many worried people  


waiting to fill buses that never arrive,


waiting for a fall addressed to the centre


that never comes. It takes years to straighten


the timetable that keeps you stuck


in rotation, to lose the excess routes.


Placidity is temperamental. So trials


of prescription drugs, this big dread


in the corner, educations that educate,


going for walks and being dramatic, losing


the will in shoes with no traction, the good fight


with weaponry of your own making.


There’s keeping curtains drawn


and there’s decorating your own prison.


There’s a lot to inherit and a lot isn’t worth much.


It’s easy to get lost in that, wasted hours


are never made back, that’s just the way of it


or at least that’s how everything moved today.


David Ross Linklater’s pamphlet ‘Black Box’ was published in February 2018 with Speculative Books. Hailing from the Highlands, he lives and writes in Glasgow. You can follow him on twitter at @DavidRossLinkla

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