THE MORAL HOTEL
The way the light falls, he can only see the moral
in Balmoral, the great hotel’s glasspainted Bal
deflected by a blinding curve, a trick of sense,
into holy darkness. Fleck enters, contemplates
the infinitely priceless, seasonally rotated menu.
Roaches hiss from skirting-board cracks:
‘Keep your soft belly hidden. Avoid the dusting heel,
the raging stump,’ the dining room’s key icon
Elihjah counting profits in forkfuls of dollars.
Fleck, for the first time in decades, feels
the drag of certainty’s deadweight anchor,
until the light shifts seconds later and bellhops
eject him to Princes Street, where barging shoppers
mingle with Zen masters, serene, giddy, vacant
in non-attachment, though not so as you’d notice.
– Rob Mackenzie
Rob Mackenzie is reading with Isobel Dixon, Tom Chivers, Andrew Philip and Claire Crowther on Wednesday 19 August at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 8-10pm. More details here.