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Thursday 25 October 2012

David McLean


the soil is waiting for our bodies

like a sweaty obligation,

and the trees and grass

are expecting to assume us shortly

like a guilt, like a cloak of memory

and tattered words we dropped

to stand naked before a god

that never was,

to stand for a world

where words were

as if

it is as if the lake and mountain,

the forest and the stars,
as if the animals and the night itself
were screaming

though only you are screaming,

it is as if this nothing here
were being

memories are made

memories are made of this

imperfection, the drip, drip, drip
of the sun on missing roofs

and saviors falling into puerile

abnegation, like babies
denying that there may be games

to play later. memories are made

of scum and some suffering;
there are far too many faces

with skin on them,

there are far too many hearts
beating in dead men

a sound thrashing

and words give one another a sound thrashing

precisely like love does

words and the massy mouth

whence nothing comes,

where nothing does

body and blood

the body and its blood are free

and never to be sacralized again
to the slightest extent -

only in the secular can memory breathe

and night be its rage in us,
loving and loveless;

beyond the hieratic establishment

of holy or profane families
lies freedom and what bodies need,

blood enough to be

nothing ever returns

nothing ever returns

though it seem the same
bloodless indifference;

and the essence of words

is retention, repetition and failure

literature being nothing -

the gross pale ghost
better than the life itself

that it never bothered to live,

that will never return;
words the impotent corpses

of nothings, of missing things

David McLean is from Wales but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there with partner, dog and cats. In addition to six chapbooks, McLean is the author of three full-length poetry collections: CADAVER’S DANCE (Whistling Shade Press, 2008), PUSHING LEMMINGS (Erbacce Press, 2009), and LAUGHING AT FUNERALS (Epic Rites Press, 2010). His first novel HENRIETTA REMEMBERS is coming shortly. More information about David McLean can be found at his blog

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