:: Article

everything is fine, nothing is ruined & other poems

By Alex MacDonald.

Approached with Acres of Dismantled Cars

I am forever approaching a new place
the other day I arrived somewhere
on the TV it was a place of promise
of investment of new houses but it was broken
mixed in with the ground were things
that will not be broken down
what could rise out of this cake mix I wondered
back on the train looking out of the window
I saw a scattering of debris that rose in places
some of which was very considered
a real curatorial commitment I saw people
poking around in the dirt marking off squares
unearthing more items forever evolving
blooming you could say but others wouldn’t

Everything Is Fine, Nothing Is Ruined

I heard about tonight from the advert
you scorched in to my front garden
just today I wrote my thoughts on that
on the primary school entrance sign
I’m more perceptive when outraged or afraid
when a fight breaks out on the way to work
a gun being fired in to the sun sudden blood
a cockroach crawling from my sleeve
I could go on but I have written these
and other thoughts on a priceless masterpiece
the world knows and the streets are filled
with people fitting their mouths together

What I Learned From TV
After Chua

The hills are studded with threadbare horses torn by the wind miles from stackable sugar cubes – in the houses of the dead frayed wires are stripped to clean copper and the camera pans to the buckled nicotine walls above bedsteads – mouldy pears hang unpicked – the underdog is rarely an actual dog but someone whose terrible choices are only just being realised now in this montage – a child is a problem when it balls up bread and urinates in the beige games room – cats are a problem when trying to understand the people who own them and when they are thrown from a passing car – the henchmen of dictators walk best in slow motion surveying the promise of fruitful misery it’s all they ever seem to do – vans housing horse carcasses trace dull blue roads and each mare is hooked like bruised countries which may or may not eat horse – sinkholes are becoming larger their depths are the rich grainy purple of dimly lit brains – there is very little of the planet’s crevice left to explore – mice are often lit by night vision – horses are starting to become a problem – the dog chases the cat in the sitting room of the elderly maid – footballers are captured off camera on camera in front of hundreds of fans all with cameras – cats chase mice into skirting boards – microphones are stuck in the soil to capture the tectonic gossip – everything repeats in the night – mice only want cheese they do not chase anything – where I come from is a place that doesn’t exist

Alex MacDonald lives and works in London. He has had his poetry published in The Quietus, Clinic II and English PEN and was shortlisted for the Poetry School / Pig Hog Poetry Prize. He hosted a series of readings at the V&A Museum on independent poetry publishers and was recently the Poet in Residence for the Poetry School.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, May 29th, 2014.