here the dead
here the dead stand,
baffled by zombies and cobwebs,
and without sexualities or telephones
except in a threatening sense.
they are not even standing, exactly,
they are sort of leaning,
and they are not waving or drowning,
just feeling sorry for themselves
almost like a poet might,
unable to find an apposite nightmare
to bore us with, unable instead
to just live.
i do not care about most things very much,
so there is not so very much left
for all these dull dead to forget,
and nothing at all to forgive
the sun starts to burn again
the sun starts to burn again because summer comes
like a memory falling into a letter box
like an unpaid bill,
and the blood runs its ancient fury through night
marked by malnourished zombies
hunting flesh and its excellence
the insignificant nutrition they suck from love
and dust, the dismal goodness
of flies and dry blood
the sun starts to burn again
so the zombies start to fuck, there is always
some shopworn ideology, always love
the evening is long (and boring)
and precisely like the apocalypse
we never expected
so it never happened,
except falling through us, through me,
some ideological unconscious,
where memory is shreds
between a zombie's dentures
and death is a predictable fixture,
like screaming children
murderous and innocent,
fat little zombie dinners
here comes conscience,
it's like a horde of shambling zombies,
but i have an ax:
conscience does not show me how to react;
it would have no answers, presumably,
to the questions i do not bother to ask
old men stumbling
the evening is scented emptiness
and gray old men in tattered clothes
falling through snow and not repining
at any dying lights,
because each snowflake is an electric
candle, a broken heart or a madman;
and thus we stumble like zombies
with only faint memories of music
or drugs, meat between their teeth
to suck on, nothing else to touch;
the old men are falling into no history,
just snow, there are flowers
and toenails, there is nothing
much better than dust
David McLean is from Wales but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there with dogs and cats and computers. In addition to six chapbooks, McLean is the author of three full-length poetry collections: CADAVER’S DANCE (Whistling Shade Press, 2008), PUSHING LEMMINGS (Erbacce Press, 2009), and LAUGHING AT FUNERALS (Epic Rites Press, 2010). His first novel HENRIETTA REMEMBERS is coming in 2014. During 2013 a seventh chapbook SHOUTING AT GHOSTS is forthcoming from Grey Book Press. More information about McLean can be found at his blog David McLean
E.R. Sanchez checks in from Los Angeles, where the zombie infestation has become an epidemic.
Living With Vultures
Like a mother in Auschwitz
slitting her cheeks with a razorblade
because when blood is smoothed out,
it becomes blush,
I have no choice, Mom.
I want to look alive
in a land that tells you,
family wealth, power, and respect, begins illegally.
I can still hear you,
but I know,
I am a drug-vulture.
Red-eyed, THC zombies come in hordes
to the vulture’s nest,
banging on the rocky edge from open to close,
the 45 cap medical cannabis rock.
I feel alive,
a vulture surviving off THC zombies,
no choice but to encourage addiction,
eating 400 carcasses a day keeps me satisfied,
I crave 500,
more carcasses, please!
Food coma covers me,
this time it feels permanent
the other drug-vultures in the nest turn their beaks,
too fat to fight,
I drop off the rocky edge, barely gliding into an attic, hiding,
silent, as the committee of vultures surround and surround,
squawk and squawk,
causing darkness at noon.
I lay still,
as the committee breaks every window, craving me,
the fattest drug-vulture.
As they give up,
steel-vultures hover, their wings make the dust and dirt fly,
don’t sneeze, don’t move, you’re hiding,
I hold my breath.
Superior beings don’t rest,
zombies called these beings, the D.E.A.,
they control all steel-vultures.
The zoo is not an option.
I’m almost dead anyway,
Suddenly, the steel-vultures give up.
My heartbeats echo in my breath.
As my heartbeats normalize,
I peek out of the attic,
Fear holds me back,
but there is no one there,
I walk out of the attic,
my wings are weak.
Sinking into the lake,
water rushes over me,
hydrating my body, my soul, my feathers,
my legs push off the bottom,
propelling me into the sky.
Water dripping off,
I look down.
My feathers are white.
I am a dove;
the drug-vultures always knew;
they must’ve kept me covered in ash,
they were waiting for my death the whole time.
I am a dove,
I am a dove;
you were right the whole time.
My cheeks can finally heal
from the slits of the razorblade.
I am a dove.