Hello, New Year

It’s one thing to be hopeful and to be full 
of feathers is another and it’s a third to 
conflate the two and do fourth things
even survive being thought of? 
Five fingers on fire close into a metaphor
about how we’ll never, never ever, never ever.
The smoke above the hospital is beautiful.
The smoke above the hospital was beautiful.
Above the hospital, the smoke looked 
and seemed, its seams dissolved 
into memory which is a terrible way 
to tell time in the cold. I misread 
the “Creve Coeur Camera” sign 
of the shop beside the supermarket 
as “Cri De Coeur Camera” like it is my job
to misread signs. Something beautiful arrived
in a helicopter, something beautiful left
forever. Here we go again, against,
aghast. Something in us floats, floated, 
our feet dragging through future ruins.
I know, “something” is an ulcer 
on any reaching, making intelligence
but the ulcer wants what it wants, to be 
something after all. For an awful whale,
a moment tries to beach itself, it does,
I learn Tomaž has died 
then it is a magnet of terrible power 
when I know for certain Tomaž has died. 
I convalesce, selfish as a branch punished
mildly by wind—Tomaž lived! and will,
but it’s only the kind of enough
nothing ever is. I feel I am being 
ironed, and it all only burns. I feel 
the subtraction machine subtracting
my maneuvers. I feel the abacus 
in my brain, that accordion, finally.
Finally licked into char. Five. Now any chair 
I steal into for any length of time 
has three unsteady legs. Cri cri cri, etc.
It would be a swell time to have a handle on
any methodology for rising into the sky, 
a really great time to turn into a bird. 
What a time! the sun is out and it is snowing
and I am as close to being a plastic sword
as I ever have been. How I would love 
some toddler coming into their tongues
or some beloved ancient to sentence me. 
How I will love the sound 
of my own final clatter, but 
only if it comes when I am tossed aside 
to signal the end of hostilities.

More by Marc McKee

Popcorn!

for DL

 

Let us for the new all room make.
You say my schooner is upside down
and I say my umbrella is enviable.
The gigantic punishment the sun
says something about broken glass
making every room sparkle-sashed,
every bright beauty terrifies,
the furious gift the sun mugs
through its Rilke routine with its boots
unzipped. With its Italian leather boots
zipped down. What could be
could be better. Think hard, sail
hard, love hard, in the new there should be
a window through which we come
and go as we please without opening
a vein. Midnight and noon square dancing
on the empty stage should be. The ocean,
because always the ocean. The taxis,
because after this, we will be
in no shape to drive. Let us give thanks
for vehicles imagined into real, for
the wings we think onto things
and isn’t it a disorienting play date,
this breathing business, the seethe
of witness and acting, achtung! and all
variance? Let us lick our glossiest lips
at the varying variance. We now
return you to your original question.
One answer is popcorn.

Related Poems

Hope is the thing with feathers (254)

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

We Build a Barn And Read Reader's Digest

Quick ostrich. Quick ostrich. Quick sand. Quick sand.
Quick lime. Quick grass. The white juice from celeste Aida,
and forgot-to-take-it dries up. The one

trampled by sheep (down below), Grischa and Beatrice
(up above) converse. They'd recognize each other in
a cover, a box, a jacket, a picture, in moss and trampled

dirt. At this angle of the sky
no pictures are allowed. Corpses are wrapped up like
sheaves. Dismiss the footprint. Wipe your eyes.

Stop pilfering. Grapshot gets tangled up.
I go paying visits with my lives.
Here I just romped and touched the rug

with a yellow shoulder. I don't know what a word is.
To cry out moth! when on your white towel you see 
a scorpion? El Alamein! Where is the difference?

Rommel was kissing heaven's dainty hands, and yet
from his airplane above the Sahara, my uncle
Rafko Perhauc still blew him to bits.

Errand Upon Which We Came

          7.113

Gentle Reader, begin anywhere. Skip anything. This text
is framed
fully for the purposes of skipping. Of course,

          7.114

it can
be read straight through, but this is not a better reading,
not a better life. You are being asked

         7.115

to move with great
rapidity. As if it weren’t there. As if you were a frog,
a frog that since it’s disappearing

         7.116

thinks to ask,
for the first time, in which element it really does
belong. Leaping progress

        7.117

will consist
in considering this and closing the book. Anything
else will represent a settled course.

       7.118

Indeed, it is true that much has fallen
through the cracks,
but the most painstaking and willful path

      7.119

will not recover this (recoverable?)
material any better
at all than the soft ziggy sampling butterfly approach.

     7.120

Gentle Reader,
who labors, who tugs up roots to get beyond roots
 —as it were—do roots entwingle

    7.121

space? Where do we mine that knowledge
of what cannot be precipitous, nor yet
delayed?

    7.122

What if the go(o)ds refuse
to go
to market? What then?

    7.123

Will is broken by the trials of all folktales, the Augean stables,
the straw spun. A nail
that fixes the center so the register is true—

    7.124

what the scale hangs on,
not what
the pointer points to.