precious metals


David McLean

the feet of children

we walk with the feet of dead children
in an illusory asylum, where heaven is pinned
to a ceiling of stars by delusive dancers

though we know that only absences are forever,
and most things people talk of are discussed best
via negativa in a different sense, no definitions

of things that do not exist, like gods in boxes
and ghosts in machines. we walk with the feet
of needy children, indeed, if we believe in dreams

but do not want a world where ghosts might be.

“no shame”

the cast sticks say “no shame”
which is what they usually say,
as if they were the augurs
of happily innocent witches
once, full of love and the blood
of wicked children.

we are all trapped forever in a witch's cottage
or in some excruciatingly toothsome
anxiety. pain is all this exquisite
absence; terrors tied together
by flesh and sinews,
though the children were eaten
centuries ago. now witches
are anorexics who gaze into mirrors,
more haunted by the day.

we are all haunted by the purity of the homeliest
psychosis. and this is why children say “i like it
when you die.” the invention
of empathy was clumsily done,
since it assumed magical powers:
though if you walk one mile
in my shoes you will suffer
athlete's foot forever,
Killdozer said - men who knew
heaven better, being, evidently,
well-endowed Texans.

(the book of too few changes
observes that flux is not enough -
because identity is a wicked
mistress, because of dust)

the sun goes down

the sun goes down
because worlds turn
and sleep is always easy
for the guilty victim
of night and time
and life, little animals
with blood under the skin
and absences in them,
this hiatus where history
goes missing, the living
shell, the self, panic
listening, all the dead men
echo within him, drunk
on nothing, awed alive
is loving

under the soil

under the soil the heartland,
under the foot,
in the mud where life beats
like the blood in is.

it wants to be attentive heaven
under the sun, knuckles dragging
fingers after them to touch us,
like a little nothingness

under us the land, a heartland
we stand on forever
men and women,
soil in the blood

here comes

here comes evil,
just a slight fire,
just a regret inside us,
absences traced
as words come undone.
for logic is a forgotten chancel
where religion does not think,
so no gods can creep in
like slugs from the sun
when love undoes us
at least once
as its evil comes,

so here comes evil,
it is an eye on fire
and fingers dissolving
into their conscient wanderings
on skin, here comes evil,
children, warming within.

it is sterility listening
it is everything missing
here comes evil, if you can believe in it
just a little, there is no such thing as sin,
except in the vastness of this absence:
here zombies live

David McLean is Welsh but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives with boat, woman, dogs and cats on an island in the lake Mälaren. He is an atheist, an anarchist, an axiological nihilist, and, thus, generally disgusting. He has a BA in History from Balliol, Oxford, and an MA in philosophy, taken much later and much more seriously studied for, from Stockholm. Up to date details of well over 1100 poems in various zines - both print and online, both degenerate and reputable - over the last three years or so are at his blog at There you will also find details of several currently available books and chapbooks - including three print full lengths, four print chapbooks, and a free electronic chapbook. A new chapbook is due out in spring 2011.

1 comment:

  1. "The Feet of Children": And what do we believe in, David, if we believe in nothing?