Sunday, December 2, 2007

Poetry by David McLean (Phillip Larkin)

Five Poems by David McLean
Inspired by Phillip Larkn


what piles this burden on my hands
this invisible evening
for which God lit his candle
though no other lights were lit?

this evening that pours your tears
its dry consolation
an arid mile
and which we wrap around ourselves

like a dream.
a childhood he.
and i save all your songs
somewhere in me

lest less deceived.


a drum taps

a drum taps: a wintry drum
though it is summer
and murder.
for today he is the ghost
that bids us touch,
since old ghosts are brave
and remember their words
beyond the untenanted tenement
of the temporary grave;
and he is the ghost that bids us touch
again today,
and not worry that we remember
his unlovable destiny -
the best beloved -
remaindered here though the love is nothing

he bids us touch -
nothing much



i remember too the grass we waded through,
too small for being
our miniscule meanings that drifted
sidewise through time to love's crepuscular now,
games too tiring to join in like that terrible rowing
to God, your parting Aubade from the sod
you lie under, dark lover

and i record your spoor in the silence here,
traced tracks of a god and a man and breasted beast
splaying your birdy feet to meaning’s
adept belief -
your song we sing
(this be me


On Larkin’s Aubade

doctors came to me once like postmen
came like doctors in your poem,
the ambulance on its daily rounds
when my half-drunk was never good enough
but that which hid behind my blind curtains,
deficient as meaning,
dreamed itself the whole way in,
o insistent jovial mortal sin
venial as need,
and even then the deadness
was deemed a being, a thing,

and my omission’s absences yet detailed and obtrusive
protruded through the nightly light like noses
prying tightly into what concerned my me,
deficiency -
the bliss of all these self-dismissive missives -
that that gaping hole, that void,
waited like a feckless kiss on the forehead
from death's slimy lips, and the next reckless caress,
then, was probably death,
and to which lover should we say goodbye,
turn thrice, and die?

and for me that moth-eaten faith seems far brighter now,
its draperies that walled fell churches with decorous silence,
life extinguished, and that eternal anaesthesis genial,
if it be awakening like the stirring after a film,
leaving the cinema as when we re-enter a world
after an operation, or after our births,
to hear the inarticulate love of the immaculate birds
precisely articulated like a lorry driving clouds
over the forgotten night, our dawning mourning,
and death's black is really rather light.

poems should probably rather howl than whine at this now,
but not resist or mourn or withstand
the absent presence that illumines rooms
out of the darkness,
or the childhood's monster that dances
in the faces on the cupboards where the wood
is knotted, for every minute something exists
and lives, though doctors go their quotidian rounds
they are not psychopomps in all their vulgar
pomposity, do not bring me death nor free me
or you, we wait days away and the work waits
this history -
we await what missing God may do.


for Philip Larkin

and the feeling is difficult
as you so justly said,
our persistent improprieties
that drag the jagged ego
forward and throw it before her,
demanding that she care,

but the virtuous bit is easier,
if it exist,
that we sacrifice that same eager ego
appropriately immolated on some bitch's altar,
ropey smoke that hails our superior
some other lover
some an-other

and about him who you said could get stuffed
the one it didn't suit
selfishness disproved,
that sort of bugger gets well and truly fucked
by love, her chilly vengeance

Author bio:

David McLean was born in Wales in 1960, though he's lived in Sweden under protest since 1987. David has been submitting seriously for about a year, and as of October 2007, has around 300 poems in 130 magazines both online and in print. David purports to have considerable experience in the porn field, appearing in “The Violated Priest” as “Gay Devil," although such claims cannot be confirmed. David's chapbook, “A Hunger for Mourning," with 52 poems, is available from Erbacce-press at Lulu. David's blog resides at Mourning Abortion.


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