cleaning what we took to be a field
was really just a fold out bed full of crumbs
the boozy Czechs all gentle friendship and touching
were just further proof this life is a dream
you see I was reading the Complete Poverty of X
in the Accidental Library of Like Total Self Neglect:
all these weird ex-boxers on the backyard couch
and then the weeds go and grow up through everything
the ailanthus stutters over the cracks
and you go and do your “Badger Stomp”
as if we’d ever seen a badger outside of a John Clare poem
but let us stomp together before the underthings of leaves
and after a long day of modeling “life skills” to the poor
under The Poor Aren’t Poor They’re Ignorant Initiative
it’s as if, as it were, I were actually piloting this blood
as the train slides out of the bucketed land
and I swing my gaze over the crumpled land
over the bodies of strangers looking for eyes
it wasn’t me that asked me to come here
but then they drifted off into their symptoms
while I handed out my symptoms
and these years turned into rooms
More Dreams of Waking
Terrible dreams of alcohol. Of canals
of alcohol. Of watery transport. Awful
television dreams. Terrible dreams of children.
Reality Children of
Reality Parents. Awful dreams
of children in rows. Of all of us in the bar
as the sun sets on our faces and the
terrible alcohol burns us.
Terrible dreams of houses.
The clouds rush over the houses.
Each cloud with a secret name.
No one will ever know these names.
There are awful dreams of living food.
Terrible dreams of
the Talking Sickness. Of myself
the transportation. In the
A great bellowing is heard.
Mammalian Howling belies us.
“A bellowing” I say.
I have crossed the parking lot.
I have placed my face
against the building.
I am right here right now.
With terrible dreams of
vehicular clouds, of
bodies locked shut.
But I have come to tell you
of the greater unlocking, of a
type of licking, a type of
licking forth. Of the opening of
eyes, the body of light,
the wind in the trees
and the unnaming of the leaves.
After the Terrible Thought.
After the Dream of the Voice.
After the Death of the Father.
After the Flaming Forth.
I found myself next to a building.
In a kind of parking structure.
There was a great bellowing there.
Was the voice of the city.
The mountains blinked.
The roads lurked.
I was there with you.
After terrible dreams
of the courthouse and law. After the
terrible solemnity of the
robed idiots. After
these dreams we awoke.
We turned off the light.
The fountain slept.
The birds stank.
We sat on a bench.
We died to the world
Like a ghost
and the awkward smell of
It’s a floral
And beneath this world
there is another
And in that world
And beneath that world
there’s a tunnel of bees
A bee tunnel of bees
of bee noise
But meanwhile: the dread
And meanwhile: my toes
And all the lists and all the parts
And all the hopes of every part
And the cohesive ooze of thoughts
on a downhill
all the way down
and up to the hedge
on these leaves
I wiggle and bark
Meanwhile: the haze
Meanwhile: the tongues
The blood and hair singing
It’s a horrible world
and I’m already embarked
And I’m already arrived
I’ve slept here for real
Is there another a more
horrible world than this one?
Here on Mammal Island
and the world
is a house symbol and
25 percent more map than land
on Mammal Island
Where milk stains all the leaves
And the ponds whirl
And when the light
Anthony McCann was born and raised in the Hudson Valley. He is the author of three books of poetry, I Heart Your Fate (forthcoming from Wave Books, April 2011), Moongarden (Wave Books, 2006), and Father of Noise (Fence Books, 2003). Currently he lives in Los Angeles, where he works with Machine Project and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.