Four Poems by David McLean

and here the dead god

and here the dead god was presence stopping
the whole bizarre scam, nothing resting
in-itself a dream of absence unfolded
nasty like a petal is, stupid like innocence

wherever the dead god stops to rest;
we have invented him already, morons
and skin and sex

corpses waiting

She could not hold herself in, nor help herself in her trouble. She just staid where she had been put, pale, and scared, and weak, and sick, and sure that she was going to die.
—Gertrude Stein

and this is waiting pitiful
all these deplorable corpses walking
the children we have never been

it is eternity always already
and we are falling

time and lies a broken radio

for we cannot hold them
we cannot stop night happening

and i am broken beside you
at all these enormous distances
and we are never children—

listen, they are bleeding

absences in us

I hope she has her cow. Bidding a wedding, widening received treading, little leading mention nothing.
—Gertrude Stein

and if the change likely is unlikely
we are the certainty of distances and not touching;
there are centuries and a peaceful life to awaken a storm to,
troubled falls midnight, blind as eyes is
and lifetimes;

there was black hair
and the dead woman was talking
past memory and the distraction,
the dead cough into unforgettable leather
and no god in any of these absences,
no gods are dancing

a silence

Elephant beaten with candy and little pops and chews all bolts and reckless reckless rats, this is this.
—Gertrude Stein

and we sit, opposite sides of a madness,
like a mirror we have been where there is darkness

nothing we have noticed much,
no body lonely as a ghost is, nobody hopeless
the steam above the chilling water

is not listening, the smoke over a battlefield
a perfectly ordinary silence, a broken orgasm,
a dead man laughing

David McLean is from Wales but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there with his dog, Oscar, and his computers. In addition to seven chapbooks, McLean is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Cadaver's Dance (Whistling Shade Press, 2008), Pushing Lemmings (Erbacce Press, 2009), Laughing at Funerals (Epic Rites Press, 2010) and Nobody Wants to Go to Heaven But Everybody Wants to Die (Oneiros Books, June 2013). More information about McLean can be found at his blog

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