Issue 3

Alan Gillis
Two Poems

Ring Road

On a caged bridge above the carriageway
you count cars and coaches going under,
a scalextric track of trucks and trailers,
SUVs, HGVs and MPVs, imagining
if they drive far enough west they’ll end
up coming back at you from the east
like the tide coming in, or looping home
movies, memories made actual,
flesh and blood in metal steering home.
But they wouldn’t. They would end
up in Ayr, or Stranraer, filled with boredom
and sandwich-stink, gut-busters
turned butt-gusters, cranky at black waves
crashing shoreward, spuming hoodlums.

Home Road

As the dead moon opens its hinky eye,
bank towers give the heebie-jeebies
to the city: their glim shadows creep
across the suburbs, like banshees or zombies
with anchovy skin and pistachio eyes
in a child’s recurring dream, or like guilt
in the palling sky’s reminder of debt,
while you skulk on your thrawn home road,
put on your bright mask, before you alight
on the fugged clump of your estate
to crump through crescents of drawn blinds
and hooded glints, returning to your dark
hall, closed bedroom doors, your frightened
child’s murmurs in the pale terraced night.