Al McClimens, Still Lives

Still Lives

It’s an Olympic sunset — the clouds have golden
braid sewn into their silver linings and the trees
are bronzed in the sloping light. The burning sky
invites chariot racing. And Pegasus took his first
wobbly steps when Perseus cut off Medusa’s head,
holding up his mirrored shield, angled for her
the better to admire the neat scissor work.
Going anywhere nice this year? How long have
you had this problem with serpents? Something
for the weekend?

This isn’t about me. So, I carry
your severed head around in a Tesco bag for life.
I show it to the odd schoolkid, some bus drivers,
fat, shaven-headed middle-aged men with tattoos
and attack dogs who park their fourbys in disabled
slots outside the Co-op. Smokers. Tory voters. The
deserving idiocracy, really. But hark at me. No, do.
Midas? Touched in the head. I could have told him.
He wouldn’t listen though. All that glisters, mate.
I leave a trail of statues in my wake. Conversation
pieces, I call them. Still lives, frozen, turned to stone.

Al McClimens is a full-time dosser and serious drain on the economy. He reads a novel a week and writes a poem a day. And look where it’s got him. He will work for food and asks that you please give generously. His debut collection will be published by Pindrop Press this year.

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