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Michael McLean Jun 2020
monuments to light and sound
that glimmer off a thorny crown
and show us what

everything at
once I was, there was, we were, they had
thoughts and dreams that lit up
leaves of dappled light and what we thought they'd find
under our pillows after losing our teeth

the night creeps
the night creaks
but i'm asleep
Michael McLean May 2020
droplets raked the dirt


pounding the sleep from our eyes

the kind that Netflix and Hollywood send to sets

where the ground is scorched

where we mourn the hads and thens
the eds and the whens
and we dance in the puddles

and the creeks

and wish for sunnier days
Michael McLean Jul 2018
This is your nightmare
In the undocked sandbox of the suburbs
Something inside and out all at once
Part and impartial to the ways and words of your mother
The other you try but can’t seem to forget as you drive there
Because you can’t walk anymore
You barely talk anymore
But you stalk and watch like a monkey who does but doesn’t see
Who they’re being
That they’re dreaming
Michael McLean Jan 2015
head shoved in the bath

open eyes to see the porcelain

in stunning watercolour


one mississippi

two Mississippi

to see the moments passing

against supposedly blurred off-white tub bottom

uncracked egg-shell backdrop of clock faces

tick mississippi tock mississippi

blinking short and long seconds

from twelve to twelve
Michael McLean Dec 2014
I'm glad to be taller

than you

to see your flowing dance

and twisting legs from high

your movements in the matrix between

dance floor and chandelier like blood

from a gashed foot

I stand looking down upon

the dripping dance

pant legs rippling against pebble shoes thrown

as far as they can

to see who's strongest

from down there

you won't see my balding head

the way my eyes wander and wish for bed

in your puddle reflection

in you
Michael McLean Nov 2014
you just died there

on the pine wood floor


between the doorway beams of light and golden paint

engraved with oak leaves and a lighted caption

that read something once

your name maybe

or your Dad's

did you wear a dress or a collared shirt

did a tie make a pendulum swing from thigh to thigh

caught in the gust of a rhythmic left right walk

or did you talk

and talk about the mundane

the nothing

fingers through belt loops

not knowing what to do with your hands

flipped mountain peaks

Kilimanjaro's a spinning top drilling

quaking with depth

digging the mass grave

between the golden rectangle

where you stood


where you left me
Michael McLean Nov 2014
it's burning down

all of it

isn't it

no no no you can't read the fire

or curse it out

blowing out the world's candles

that lit the hidden

showed what sat in front of squeezed-tight lips and eyes

idiots all of them never learning that the end is never

will this all end in clever back and forths empty

or will we move God ****** from that master past

tearing us afar

pearl-filled hearts begging for for forgiveness

in the lacey sweetness of Valentine cards

weeping for their skin

collecting tears in water-bottles

plastic spittoons holding forever

held back words that rot teeth and livers

a cold shiver in the leaving of the light
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