Alex MacDonald has recently had poems published by Poetry London, Best British Poetry 2015, Clinic, The Quietus, The Rialto and Elephant. He ran the reading series Selected Poems at the V&A Reading Rooms and received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2016. He’s a parliamentary speech-writer by profession, and has a particular interest in young people’s mental health. His debut pamphlet Knowing This Has Changed My Ending was published by Offord Road Books in 2018.
What the Darkness Is Doing Is Always the Secondary Issue
New things in the church trees. This time videotape. It knocked a bird’s nest out. It’s bad, definitely demon.
Afternoon and it’s hot, very hot. Dangerous road bend near my house and a bag is tied to a bush. Sudden breeze, then it’s in the air. It waved over to me, then over traffic. On one side the bag said BIG SAVINGS. FURTHER REDUCTIONS on the other.
My dog is a good dog, nice face. I don’t have much to say to him. I got home and he wasn’t there, a hole in the door, dirty boy. Opened the paper, the same children with the pains, cars on fire and then the adverts are there again, recruiting the curious for paranormal research.
Went walking. I saw chocolate, empty box of chocolate, it said ‘Black Magic’. I thought of the past, of the plastic coiled snake outside the farm house. I used to sing there.
We had moved to this place. I thought ‘yes, safe’ but no, the same again, the broken glass in the dirt, the leaves with cut out smiles.
It’s almost winter now, so it’s better. It’s better and it’s just me, sometimes the dog, and the darkness, and the messages under rocks. Every so often the woodlice forming words. The slow voices always.