ditch,

the poetry that matters

Clay McCann

Clay McCann is co-founder of Nelson, BC's the Mercury. His work has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, The New Quarterly, The Danforth Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Van Gogh's Ear, Grain and other places. Forthcoming poetry in Canadian Literature and filling Station #50. He has performed on CBC Radio and at countless poetry readings throughout the Canadian West. He is currently at work on an MA in anthropology and critical studies at UBC Okanagan.

 

part: the come on


“the number one killer of youth,”
you said,
swallowing my prescription,
“is middle-age,”

2 sets
of twin satellites
scraped chalk
trajectories
down
to
our sunless
seas.

“do you think i’m plain?”

but yer busy reading
the ancient texts
of your torn and bitten nails.

the mp3 murmurs to the drywall,
“true love is not nice.”
 

 
 
 
winter like a wire through the head
 
a thing happened.
probably
a war
suddenly:
bumpercar robot!
flat
sub-divisions
fields of waste
(old war junk)
burning tires
brown schoolyards
graveyards of soldier dads
but:
bumpercar robot!
tin horns
carny men
trapeze monkey
beard & moustache lady
bicycle bear
haunted house (trailer)
rilke panther
camelephantrampolungfishnakecharm
so:
bum      per              car                 o       bot
mermaid
erections
beer
hotdogsoctoberdancehallvomitswunk
fistfightjawbreakambulance
    ?b         u    m         p          e   r          c              a                                r
               bloodsoakstitchnursemorphine
               lumberyardmondayblackeyeslabourpool
               another war.
 
 
 
 
viola                                                                                        
 
 
but by evening the viola had to be put down.
morning must needs be considered:
there’s one’s names and face to recall.
and the alarm:  is it set?  is it?  is it set now?
there’s work to think on:
(what is it?  that one does?)
what’s to be taken?  to be eaten for lunch?
no, the viola must necessarily be cast aside
--set aside, i mean, of course,
because a viola is a delicate instrument.
you hear how it gets in the way
with that brilliant strain in its throat.
ceaseless, rain-soaked breath,
fatherly confidences
beyond the pale arms of motherhood.
you see how the viola might distract
from cars,
the sleepers of this new dawn,
from visualizing oneself at the office,
doing the office dance
from chair to copy machine to water cooler to secretary.
no, the viola is dangerous
if it gets in the way of all this
--don’t you agree?
botticellean curves,
such a gaudi clockwork,
obedient spirit to dr. caligari,
but with a song escaping the silent film
--THE song
of the world
caught mourning in frightful sobs,
eloquent,
of evening.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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