Pardon the Haggis

Stephen Watt


She called it voodoo. A hoodoo.

A jinx accrued
because of an attitude.

Monday morning’s failed job interview
was adjudged to be induced
by an upended horseshoe;
the residue of a saturated umbrella
yawning inside a bathroom.

Walking beneath a ladder of sunlight,
I tread on the silver leaves
of a broken mirror,
leave the windows wide open
for an omen of sparrows to enter
and carry these wishbones
into a tarot card’s prophesied hellfire–


clarity dawns, eclipsing the blot of the sun.

Spitting on my knuckles,
I stuff rosemary into my pillows
so that ravens perched upon soiled rainbows
cannot claim me for their nests.
Bats cry, starved of witch-blood.
All the black cats are at the vets.

Now, I cross my fingers
and reason with the leprechauns.
Flipping mint like Emperors’ heads,
I fill out the application form,

and submit it
like a coin into a fountain.



Stephen Watt is Dumbarton FC’s poet-in-residence. Author of two collections, Spit (2012) and Optograms, Stephen became Scotland’s first crime poet at Bloody Scotland crime writing festival and is one half of the gothic spoken word/music collaboration Neon Poltergeist.