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.
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