The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

Andy Jackson: 2 Poems Published

Poems by Andy Jackson (Scotland)

Published in Issue 27

 

Immorality Now!

 

I am heir-apparent to a graceless dynasty,

building my portfolio in landmines, driving

up the price of grain in fourth-world nations,

asset-stripping, selling futures. Trade is thriving.

 

I’ve not been clean since sixteen but the vices

of my past can now be treated as diseases.

It’s great to be straight, but spritzing water

into Bolly was the neatest trick that Jesus

 

ever turned. Did I tell you how I had my way

with mother, daughter and precocious cousin,

all of them within a week, none of them aware

that I had bagged the set? There are dozens

 

of them out there if you know the places

where they go. Once they sniff the stench

of middle age they’re panic-buying petrol

for the fires their husbands cannot quench.

 

I take day-trips to Norfolk, gassing badgers,

sleeping with the locals, spitting in their cider.

In my dreams I’m crouching in a jungle hide,

gun in hand, waiting for the last white tiger.

 

Today I came across a tiny wounded bird,

wings disjointed, heart ballooning in the wreck

of feathers. I smoothed them down, looked

into its trusting eye, and wrung its neck.

 

 

Jimmy James

 

As one young thing is squeezed into the light,

his first breath fortified with all the brightness

of the age, another wheezes in the darkness

till the dark expunges all he knows – the nights

 

delivering the dozen sketches that have made

his name, fresh each time to Regals and Locarnos

in the provinces. Now, there’s just a sad lacuna

where he ought to be, the nights he played

 

and slaughtered them in Birkenhead and York

don’t make footnotes on an empty page. Cigarette

in hand, he lurks downstage, a wraith in silhouette,

fakes the slur and stagger, and yet when he talks

 

you know he is the only sober person in the place.

I watch the grainy twitches of his subtle craft

turn to vinegar, the muscle memory of a laugh

now just a vacant look on Our Eli’s leather face.

Andy Jackson Bio

Andy Jackson was born in 1965 in Salford and moved to Scotland in 1992. In his day job, he is the Medical Librarian at Dundee University. His poems have appeared in Magma, Blackbox Manifold, Trespass and New Writing Scotland, among other publications. He was winner of the National Galleries of Scotland competition in 2008 and the inaugural Baker Prize in 2012. His first collection The Assassination Museum was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2010, and he was editor of Split Screen: poetry inspired by film & television, published in 2012, also by Red Squirrel. He is currently co-editing an anthology of poetry about the city of Dundee with W. N. Herbert, for publication in 2012 by Dundee University Press.

Image: "Cat Catching a Bird" by Pablo Picasso.