Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY TWENTY-THREE -Ross Wilson

A Pint In Plato’s Cave

Sometimes the stories we tell
cast shadows on the wall.
On the big screen, Mel
fought for freedom while
the flesh and blood, warts n’ all
Wallace flayed de Cressingham
to make a scabbard for his sword
out of the treasurers skin.

I remember arguing with a man
who had a badge of Lenin
on his bunnet. We were in a place known
as Little Moscow. He had a pish stain
on his jeans. The colour of his lager
made me imagine his brain
was a catheter his tongue
would drain.

I prefer to get drunk on beer
than ideas filtering down through a bar.
What’s propaganda but hot air?
There’s no left or right to shite –
~stink diffuses far and wide,
and where fuses are short
explosions are inevitable;
even Jesus kicked over a table.

It takes a foot on the ground
to give abstractions a kicking.
It takes a boot rising up
to make cracks in the wall
for light to spill in.
Plaster and paint them as you will,
sometimes the stories we tell
cast shadows over us all.


Ross Wilson has published a pamphlet of poems The Heavy Bag (Calder Wood Press, 2011). A full collection is due via Smokestack Books in 2018. Several of his poems appeared in Aiblins, a 2016 anthology of Scottish political poetry.

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