Two Poems by Bradley James McElligott

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the circle by the college

the red, red wine has seeped into the carpet,
too deeply to be sucked up now.
no
help is on the way.
we know this like we know the
weight of the moon
on any given night.
we know the Time between the echoes over our crude cave walls,
our murals of stories and days and nights and lives
far from prudent.
this ought to be science and psychology
though it could turn out to be the dichotomy.
it could turn out that
Heart and Mind
are not so hostile.
what we know is that sirens follow the bottles
after we hollow them.
we shatter them for self-replication purposes.
the photo frames lean and lilt,
chandeliers sway that way and this,
and it is all so topsy-turvy that the circus runs, pleads to
join us.
neighbors spectate from the safety of the sidewalk.

oh, honey,
this cannot be good but this cannot
be the end.

health is horror

the vitamin section of the department store is like the butcher shop,
picking and choosing which cuts fit my appetite, my moods, my company.
to walk down that aisle like commitment and fidelity,
to stay even between the shelves
like finding the balance between the vicissitudes of creative mania and the bore of health.
it is all such an expense,
yet the capsules are as colourful as candy
and the dissolvents are rites of passage to good prosperity
like billboards for developing condos.
i read the names of what i am lacking
like the extravagant happenings of weekend nightlife as i go to bed early.
ten and twenty and forbid fifty years from now,
what will i need?
will it be calcium or serotonin,
dope or some all natural dopamine?
will it even matter if the biotene makes my corpse hair and nails gleam?
next week, will i still carry this hunger for clean living
like the tablets in this shopping basket?
the information and all intensive purposes is stifling air to breathe in,
one and the inevitable next,
vitamin C supplement or not,
i forgot to check.
at least there is a semblance of sustenance
to recognize the toll on the organs, the mind and the emotion —
my life as half a dozen pills to swallow whole.
ill-tempered freewheeling through the parking lot as if i stole them.

A recovering alcoholic, bulimic and poet whose work has appeared in Wingless Dreamer and in the upcoming issue of Coffee People Zine, Bradley James McElligott was born and raised in the suburbs of Oshawa Ontario, Canada at the local skateparks and dive bars. To deal with mental illness, insecurity and mistakes made growing up, he now writes about them.


Image: Pixabay, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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