Algebra

Tramway

Issue 4

Two Poems

by Ross McGregor

The Kingston Bridge 5.30 pm 29.11.11

I approach the turn to darkness
Breaking slow 
Nestled in the driver’s seat
The waiting windscreen tick-tocking
Wet lights blurring
Burning trickling flame

I am one of the exiting workforce
Sheltering from the new economy
And the tides of rainwater 
Crosscutting lanes
With indicators and breaklights
Sinking towards the Clyde

This is an extraction from grey velour
An action of many hands
Of steering wheels disengaging
Crash cutting the barrier
The movement, drowning
Today’s economic wisdom

A new thing

When I was a young boy
my head got stuck in the school railings
I should have got my ears pinned back like Cameron MacKenzie
but I want a new thing now

When I was an old man
I bought all of the Dairy Milk in Presto
and stored it in a cupboard for my grandchildren to eat on Sundays
but I want a new thing now

When I was nineteen 
I had a Peugot 106 with a sticker on the back window
it said Skullfuck in Impact bold caps
but I want a new thing now

When I was a security guard
I stared into the sunset from a building site at the edge of Symington
I wanted it to look like God’s eyeball
but I want a new thing now

When I was a student
I put my foot through a drawing desk at the Central College of Commerce
the gash on my leg became a beautiful scar
but I want a new thing now

When I was still a young man
I got a tumour in my spine
I knew my life was fucked so I stopped taking my medication
but I want a new thing now

When I was sixteen and promiscuous
A johnny split inside me
I went to the clinic and told the nurse I had sex at lunchtime
she said ‘lucky you’
but I want a new thing now

When I was made redundant 
I got an old green van
I painted it and did odd jobs
we barely got by 
but we want a new thing now

Author

Ross won the New Writers Award in 2008. He writes fiction and poetry. His poetry has previously appeared in New Writing Scotland and Gutter. Ross lives and works in Ayrshire.