Wednesday, May 12, 2010

5 Kitten Poems by David McLean

where kittens sing

wherever kittens sing they squeak
easy, sleep hard and twitch
when they dream like maniacs
or children, but staying real
as smoke over a battlefield
or a computer dreaming.
while paws hesitate a second
to wake a mother, memory
becomes an expectant predator
as mourning becomes less electric
and more a matter of forgetting
dead flesh as well as the self.
robbing the tiniest lives,
these unassuming murderers
made out of tooth, blubber
hair, eyes like a lifetime
where time in them burns
an apparent insecurity,
a subtly loving brutality
walking sunshine, killers
dreaming and victims
learning, balls of eyes
and fur and life
that burn here

little kittens

the sun comes up again
full of little kittens
and they are playing,

an exquisite little lady
belly-flopping into litter
and loving it

like her brutal month old brothers.
the sun comes up, these days,
mostly for kittens and other lovers.

my kitten Sylvia

my little kitten Sylvia
is painted fluff and stardust

smelling like water and love.
she lies in the sleeping box

watching me from high security
and i sit, her brothers nuzzling,

one at each bony knee,
and am free and happy an eternity

because, if Sylvia believes in me,
then i must really be


Dante is a little cat now,
not a dead man from Italy

and his purgatory is mom's
shortest absences, her reassuring

excursion to the self-same places
still being themselves, never dead,

because she was a kitten too,
once, she stills smells exactly like love


the speed of a tiny cat
becoming a man is a heart's absence

because i am nothing before animals
and less than dust.

you stare at me uncomprehending,
Charlie, and we both know eternity

and everything, nothing
all at once,

what is lacking me
your tiniest touch

About David McLean:
David McLean is Welsh but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there on an island in the Stockholm archipelago with many cats and one dog. Recently three exceptional kittens were born to his special feline affection. He has a BA in History from Oxford, and an unconnected MA in philosophy, much later, from Stockholm. Up to date details of McLean's publications, over 950 poems in print and online zines over the past three years, and several available books and chapbooks, including three print full lengths, some print chapbooks and a free electronic chapbook are at his blog. His latest full length laughing at funerals from epic rites press is available via Small Press Distribution here.


R.S. Bohn said...

I enjoyed these very much. All put a smile on my face. I especially loved the poem for Sylvia, and these line from the first one: as mourning becomes less electric
and more a matter of forgetting
dead flesh as well as the self

Your use of language is so melodic, I had to say a few lines out loud. Well done!

epic rites poetry reading series said...

MY KITTEN SYLVIA and CHARLIE are brilliant! excellent work madman! everything else here is background noise...

George Anderson said...

I admire how McLean focuses on a mundane domestic issue but is still capable of transporting the reader to a higher plane of consciousness.

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