Neu!Boots DAY THIRTY – Stephen Watt

Polling Station


The old school building entrance
clicks left then opens
with that familiar, unoiled creak
a can of WD-40 could easily heal.
Referendum graffiti
is blotted, sponged into a cartwheel
of vinegar, soapsuds and table salt
suggested by early arrivals
in knitted cardigans and fingerless gloves
                                            in June.

This    is      the     most    power
some people will ever experience.
Spruced office-bearers
turn the colour of a flower political;
red, yellow, blue, green.
Exclamation marks
plucked from the public’s scribbled letters
are splintering gaps between their teeth,
        filing cabinet nourishment
        or recycling bin cuisine.

She’s not sure who to vote for.
Peeled, false lashes on the cistern
and wine spritzers through a penis straw
led her to decide she’s been failed
by the system –
an inefficient liver, murky as an afterthought.
He’s certain, sure as the day is long,
shouts, spouts, blogs, posts,
can’t be argued with, can’t be wrong;
stable as the collapsed wash house
in which his penniless father was born.

Never stand in the booth for too long
or the undertakers
may hatch their lunatic plans
then by brain, and pencil tied on rope,
give hope to your family’s name
and     vote    vote   vote.



Stephen Watt is a poet and performer from Dumbarton whose titles include Spit and Optograms. Over the last few years, Stephen has won the Poetry Rivals slam, the StAnza Digital Poetry Prize, the Tartan Treasures award and a clutch of other competition successes, while continuing to perform across the UK and Ireland.


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