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Green Integer Review

No. 10 (Nov-Dec 2007)
Poetry & Fiction, Interviews, Essays & Reviews, Bios, Links
Douglas Messerli, Editor

David McLean [Wales]

stabat mater

motherhood is thus doubly specious for us
lying both in the lies they told you
the children pulled under society’s dirty covers
and Mary’s forgotten forgetful love

where such origins remember Her beauty, fount of love
beneath the tree, eyes that cried their deeper meaning
by a splintering crib with good in still
‘til the dismembering, the crippling that

kills. the most exalted then of virgins
knew the decay that was this burning
worm that turned, the devil in us
that forgets God’s Mary’s forgetful love

for ego-mimesis’ so self-loving mother
that writes the self in the loveless other
and stills a soul ensconced in the wealth
of stolen goods; such a sickly health

the soul-doctors give us thus, these stolen lies
their Michaelmas tiding, reclining on time
when our autumn shortens the text of life
to the last few lines

who would not then have wept to see Her
the mother weeping by tree or crib
her two wooden tortures, the pain of mourning
and the pain of dawning love, the body below Her

the soul above. and we are wounded with her wounds,
the lancing pain the blood silent sounds
when tormented here after a mother’s whoring
thoughtless, Mary shall go Her most thoughtful rounds

from Father to Son where angel’s quires resound
sounding the depths of our plummeting pasts
and when our fingers would have undressed us to hell
we shall meet Her ‘neath the tree, a true mother at last

for unlovable us, Her stars that warm us, Her storms that blast.

she carved

and she carved together words for her father
who was a god for her but not her God,
not forgotten who He was,
not some Aztec head-dress blessing us
with death

but dismembered reminiscences re-membered
thus, this oblivion assembling our disparity,
together in the indifferent forever,
an instant was under Helsingborg’s

that tied us absolute to our absolved histories
that record themselves here, and tear
a day away from feckless childhoods
where cold bits of metal fragmented
their unnameable functions disjunctively

across memories, for a mother is but a sinful box
with hair in, she stutters gross ghosts that work this
dispersal, the Diaspora that makes night
the slimiest setting for father’ star
the apparatus where dreams are

trained, muscular as thighs that pound the night
like lions, so many times together
oblivion. and death stinks from the shoe box, the coffin
coughing decay’s daily flesh away, sloughing off like our histories
bliss, our sins are this, missing

Copyright ©2007 by David McLean

Born in Wales in 1961, David McLean has lived in Sweden since 1987. He has published in numerous journals, including Decanto, The Journal, Poetry Monthly, Poetic Hours, Poet’s Letter, Awen, Sein und Werden, Erbacce, Whistling Shade, and Istanbul Literature.
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