viernes, febrero 16, 2007

Four Poems From David McLean

the bolts (after Hölderlin)

if i could also stand there
like him under god’s grayest thunder-heaven
not only bare-headed but totally naked
as a child born to die again, after
life’s brief morning of pain, and if i
could catch with my bare fingers
the rays and bolts themselves, naked too,
i would indeed wrap them lovingly in song
as he wanted, but not to give the people
as god’s forwarded love,
but humble to lay them under your feet,
for only from your earth
grows my heart’s tree truly green.

Psalm (after Trakl)

god's golden eyes opened so slowly in our skulls
and all the madmen are dead in our lost paradise
where the son's of Pan do not labour
except through the laborious twitching love of panic
that swoops black onto the shoulders
of your suffering, faithful as a dog
and homeless as every resounding sound of glasgow.

and we work together to bury the stranger
with the gaunt giant she chose to lay so close beside her,
and here the old asylum grows ever bleaker
remnants of humanity scarred and scored
by the fishwives of psychiatry
inscribing another's sad stumbling nothing on loving yellow,
the raiment of sudden pain fraying away her hemmed days.

as it were our childhood again
every church gapes ever open
this drugged sunday school that taught a generation
my thousand dead secrets
and love still just dust-balls behind god's fridge
where your truth has found me
still dreaming fragile beauty

and inscribing legends for your blind girl's eyes,
for i am the student who stood behind you on the staircase,
the expressive wrinkles on the night's lonely face
a change of time, a change of place

born a man

(i) was never born a man (i) was born a baby
the man came later with the brackets and the loneliness
and now (i) lives in a gym -
an (i) is always homeless

remembering dismembering

tattered fragments flown as proud as the bravest banners
in self-dismissive missives, our pauper's remittance
where we are all desolate stuffed men, miserly in our misery,
our remembered carapaces leaning together hollow as time,
hollow as the idiot ticking seconds of love's tacky alarm-clock
like a million cockroaches chuckling their way to death's pay day
when the glowing soil shall be rewarded for the roots we grubbed
with our decay's dark love.

another lover's lonely "Aubade" tolls the knell of whining this decaying day
as god's convenient rot subvenes on the only eternal,
that cold diurnal round of complacent complaint
waiting the iterative disdain of another generation of impatient patients
dreaming charity, the distant fingers falling mourning on life's alien shore,
(this girl still, this planet)
and only time travel is in our bloods, the hour's tortoise hosting
shelly courage, each painful pace our path's patent disgrace;

and we prop up our meanings on piles of lies, sifted through the maternal filters
thick as sedge, those viennese wafers of vision he gives us still,
the child's blind eye unseeing everything, the little pitcher's pictures
stamped on our grafted skeins of dying where the cordial seeps
freely through the baby's, always already ageing, withered veins,
and our life is a runaway carriage and some It seems to hold the reins.
It gives, Being gives, and we are never there to witness
and give what we should give, only our testimony, solely truthfully

but still your wisdom grows like dusty wine in some Israel's best vineyard
where words ferment their lament through years instilled suffering
listed in your every word, the ones i whisper at night silent by your side
our lives on pause, unseen, unheard,
and we deem a meaning therein, that foreign soil we suppose
our bodies may, some latter day, having died, laying, lie in,
a time for death in love's black and luscious loam, a time for final truth
for reason's unbelieving eschatology, for only Death says sooth.

and Death shall open his great black book that records the sad and final things,
for Everyman rides forth his thirsty day as life's only known knight at arms
and lives a love alone and palely loitering, for at death's door we loiter all
here in this winsome world where the sedge is still withered on the lake,
still withered drier on love's empty lake, and no birds are heard to sing.

David McLean was born in Wales in 1960. He attended Balliol College in Oxford where he took a BA in history in 1982. After working for a lawyer's firm in Brixton, south London, he moved to Sweden in 1987, having become father to a daughter with a Swedish woman. Leaving her in 1990, he remained in Sweden until the present. He worked for many years in health care with older people, the senile, and cancer patients. After this McLean studied philosophy and history of ideas at Stockholm University, taking an MA in 1999 with practical philosophy (ethics) as major. Phenomenology and existentialism are primary interests in that field. At present he lives with his partner Amanda Boschetto who is half-Italian, though she writes poems in Swedish and sometimes English. They have no children but many kittens. Both suffer from the personality disorder known as borderline, although McLean no longer shows any symptoms.

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