Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY THIRTEEN – Rob A. Mackenzie

The Popular Vote

Before the rush, their stock was dwindling,
disapproval rose to an all-time high, but now
everything is popular again, even the army
of December lawnmowers, even their sheds

and adverts for sheds. This winter, artificial
grasses grow like novellas, and night-moths
butt heads on lamps that buttercups had lit
across the moors. If brightness makes me

feel safe, I’ll remember that oligarchs fall
under public scrutiny only when streetlights
are extinguished or when snowflakes turn
their dark side towards me like moons.

You don’t believe me? The truth is a mist
within the sun’s fixed gaze. What you think
won’t happen will happen. I will be working
off my undeclared debts until, bankrupt, I

become a billionaire. Tax inspectors uncover
billions of miniature cities between Munros
invisible to the naked eye. They exist only
as facts-in-construction until collateral facts

assert otherwise. A semi-educated populace
needs meta-fiction to survive. I’ll find food
on the fly, spend winter under the labellum
of self-deficiency, which sucks! There’s little

goodness in me: a deficit of vitamin, bran,
acumen and brain. As ever, I desire abilities
I can’t retain, like an insect set to liquidize
fine coq au vin with its own spit. I spend

a fortune on implements and neglect them.
Possession implies power, but apathy walks
elections, has the biggest mouth, the most
flatulent hosepipe. By pop vote, I get what

I serve, but I don’t always get that. “Be
afraid!” the houseflies buzz like defective
light bulbs until I fear the might of squidgy
bodies and balloon heads, plans to ban

a free press – rolled-up, laid flat, digital
or two-dimensional – and to champion it
simultaneously. If confused, remember
everything is out there, perfectly clear.


Rob A. Mackenzie lives in Leith, Scotland. His last collection was ‘The Good News’ (Salt, 2013). He is reviews editor of Magma Poetry magazine.

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