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Six Poets: Rob A Mackenzie


Photo by Gerry Cambridge

Six Poets at the Fruitmarket Gallery is back! This year, we’re on at 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm on 15 August 2013, with Isobel Dixon, Hannah Lowe, Rob A. Mackenzie, Richard Price, Jasmine Donahaye and me. Tickets are £5 from the gallery or on the door.

As in previous years, I’ll be posting a poem from each of the readers over the next several weeks. To kick us off, Rob gives the Athens of the North some Ridley Scott/Philip K Dick treatment:


Tell me once more of your conversion,
your decluttered ambition to mine
a pure theology by candlestub.
Take me to the back street barber
to chop my priestly beard, and then let’s
split up. It’s too late for me to bugger
off to the Episcopalians and become
a bishop, which is all you ever wanted
through the jumble sale years,
when asking ‘What would Descartes do?’
was your answer to everything.
I will save my chin hair in this leather
wallet labelled Relics of a Sinner,
ready made for the bells and smells
of futuristic Edinburgh – cat-calling
choirs rattling pails after closing time
among winged taxis and unfinished
tramlines, like a cut of Bladerunner
directed only by CCTV cameras –
a confusing place to be religious.

from The Good News


9781907773426frcvr.inddRob A. Mackenzie is from Glasgow and lives in Edinburgh. His second full poetry collection, The Good News, was published by Salt in April this year. He is reviews editor of Magma Poetry magazine and blogs at Surroundings.

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