Friday, June 26, 2009

Five poems by David McLean

by David McLean


words are nostalgia for me
or being,
the need to feel them
like an intimate immortality,

an identity. which makes them whores
and liars. the text
is death inside us
and threatens repetition

never - it is forever and forever
nothing. we are emptier
than the void. nothing does not


memory and murder

memory and murder scent night
like tenuous ectoplasm and terrible orgasms,
like thought that never should have happened
when all my dreamers are devils and dead men
and i am them

memory and murder and terrible tremulous
orgasms, mourning that never should have happened
all my dreams and all the dead men in them

forgotten again, like all the meanings in them,
memorable murders my terrible dreams
and tremulous orgasms are all my reasons
like ectoplasm and dead men and devils
they do not know how to be
and all these dead men are me



my eyes are empty and dead
like the fish from which i stole them,
and they waste their reasons always,
for the light was not kind to them,
just a memory once inside a twisted time
that fell together, a scrimmage
full of angels and devils and sweat

for night was not forgotten yet,
and there is not one true light
inside us, there are several
instead, lights intellectual and lights
sexual, between the slimy thighs
and in the head, fucking memory
tonight, tucked up tidily
in the tiniest time we call
life – it's sometimes basically


fatuous necessity

the fatuous necessity of murdering emptiness
is trying to lay the ghost who is you
and waiting to lie down to die.

though he knows where the grave may be
and you can only guess the place
you die, except by suicide

or being believing and turning off
your mind, hopefully bending over
to love life and the lies

they sell you, tell you
that a man will live forever
but this is only a problem

if you care who has gone,
which most don't, neither grandmothers
nor seriously post-pubertal popes;

but the best way to murder emptiness
is to live minutes and lay aside time,
life out of mind


piles of bones and birds

we are piles of bones and meat
in the skin, and the greedy mind's birds that echo within
us, plucking ideas from the seedy ground,
are hungers and regrets,

posing as memories of death
and before we were born,
when we were not. they like playing
empiricists too, thinking the sun coming up

so dreadfully regularly proves something
about causality, the mantra of mumbling
children. to hell with these birds in us,
the sun is, and its regularity proves, nothing

but that birds and people are creatures of habit,
even these beasts, the crows who pluck pain from us
are certainly coming like pompous psychopomps,
or so they think, sure as the sun comes up;

and who would deny them this?

Author bio:

David McLean is Welsh but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there on an island in the Stockholm archipelago with a woman, five selfish cats and a stupid dog. He has a BA in History from Oxford, and an unconnected MA in philosophy, much later, from Stockholm. Details of his available books, chapbooks, and over 850 poems in or forthcoming at 370 places online or in print over the last couple of years, are at his blog at Mourning Abortion. He never submits by snail mail since he has little money and since he loves, or at least doesn't have anything against, trees. Among things forthcoming is a chapbook called nobody wants to go to heaven but everybody wants to die from Poptritus Press in summer 2009 sometime. Early 2010 an anthology called laughing at funerals will be appearing with Epic Rites Publications, there's also a 50 poem chapbook from Epic Rites called hellbound which is on sale now. For Epic Rites he edits the chapbook series and the e-zines lines written w/ a razor and the thin edge of staring, as well as selecting work for the radio network.and the e-zines lines written w/ a razor and the thin edge of staring, as well as selecting work for the radio network.

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