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Friday 7 December 2012

David McLean

a slow day

a slow day rises and turns inside
like insanity churning in impatient patients,
devils with restless horns and legs,
a patchwork made of absences
and hope weaving baskets
in a room illuminated slightly
by one ghastly floodlight pylon,
dim as a memory
one might almost discern
on Google Earth;

and a slow day rises here too,
where the boar that haunts us
has never been seen
except in his very evident dozen children
running like novice nightmares, growing tusks
and rooting through mud or dust,
depending on the season,

a slow day rises again,
and churns out more being
to consent to, to say yes to the eternal
return, a slow day
with not only floodlights
to light us
but this animal life that burns,
that takes the earth
and makes it world


empty skull

the empty skull needs nothing to touch it,
candelabra or ashtrays and no imaginable
answers, the skull so dry stuffed full of this wet
a while, waiting patient till we wise up
and finally die, empty dusty dry skull
obliged to be alive


iniquitous heaven

there are words and razors here
in this iniquitous heaven;

there is almost everything here
in heaven but souls and dead men

because these are emptinesses -
no body needs them


innocence is evil

innocence is evil, except in animals,
and the charm of children
is just the raw summit
of human stupidity,

the vulgar scream of need,
the pointless want-to-be
(though there is little Lacanian
about brats – it is a night

that is bleeding, that does not
read.) innocence is obdurate
in its evil, a dream
pretending to be


morning is eyes

and nightmares, the killers that live
under the wings of dead swans
with ghosts in the streets of the village
where the living sleep their anxiety
into sweaty ecstasy,

where all the children are made of paper
and forgetful flesh, where the selves
are fat envelopes stuffed with lies
and profit and time, with one history
inside one life, mourning is eyes

and memory is blind

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 in 2014. More information about David McLean can be found at his blog

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