Tag Archives: Bruce McRae

Tough Luck

by Bruce McRae


A stone in a shoe.
Porcelain stained with cherry-blood.
Ice-enamel crackling on tree branches.

I’m a little red rocket
but I’m lying down on my side.
I’m a smudged number
and can hear my code cracking.

Like a single mitten.
Like a key on snowy ground.
Like a lost dollar.

I’m an atlas in flames.
I’m the girl you had to leave behind.
A doll with one eye, one sock.
A puzzle-piece, but I’m missing.

My wheels won’t go around around.
I speak in a foreign tongue
and my matches are dampened.
I’m a little red racecar,
the one on fire in the meadow.

Like toast burning.
Like a child’s voice in the storm.
Like a jammed rifle.

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Shedim

by Bruce McRae


Demons down the drizzly rainspout.
Demons turning to lovely fall colours.
Demons in the bridal chamber.

The daemon Az, the daevas Jeh,
demonic ambassadors
at the ass-end of the universe,
who enjoy nothing better
than sniffing the gussets of your love-letters;
Bethphegor, that little hot-headed peckerhead,
that little red-breathed dickens
with a bite out of its garbage-soul;
Agrath bat Mahalath,
and her 10,000 consorts and attendants,
mother of all the motherless,
the darling infection of her acetylene glare;
the demon-lodger, unwatchable monster,
servant of the unseen, souls slashed
by the whiplash of its fiery embraces.

All that’s demonic, which includes the divine.
The demonesque hairband, capstan, herringbone.
The Zen art of demonology.
A malevolent hierarchy
of celestial and spiritual beings.
Satan, the Antagonist, the flies’ god,
and the temples of meat where they pray festering,
their church buzzing and vile.

On A Chair

by Bruce McRae


I’m sitting on a chair made out of tindersticks and time.
I’m sitting alongside a curtainwall of pale water and light.
Sunset is rising like a full glass of red wine.
The stars are wasps rustling their bedclothes
or the sister Fates making sparks by rubbing their thighs.
The moon is a fatherly eye.

I’m sitting inside a circle of crushed beetles’ wings,
translating salt into a palatable sugar,
spinning yarn out of my abdomen,
retracing the patient constellations.

I’m sitting. And I’m thinking.
I’m thinking about sitting and thinking.
About fingers, jawbones, instances.
And where I’ll sleep tonight, I’ve yet to decide;
I’m so taken up with just sitting.
I’m on a throne shaped like a milking stool.
I’m on a lawn chair folded into seven dimensions.
There’s a hot mist around my ankles.
My pulse is tangled in telegraph wire.

I’ve been sitting here for several thousand years
while my stones were whistling in the heat.
The Blue Nile and White Nile are meeting
here, just under my black feet.
There’s interference on nineteen frequencies,
The vibrations are post-apocalyptic.
I sense them with my million fuzzy moth-antennae.
It’s like a message repeating itself into the far distance.
My molars are rattling in sympathy.
My bloodstream jingle-jangles unobtrusively.

Just sitting and sitting . . .
Listening to the underscore of earthly music.
Twisting the dreaded locks in my hair.
Gazing out the window at a mind full of sky,

the years nibbling on the wheels of my chair,
the years forever unsatiated, smoke in their mouths,
our springwater burdened with the tributes of brine,
a new language taking place, time divided by time,
lost love divvying out its smaller portions,
life’s door closing like an eye, like Horus’s eye
lost in battle, his sacrifice symbolic,
the pillar of Osiris rising . . .

Longtime Customer

by Bruce McRae


I ordered blue skies,
but they sent me a sunset.

Two days for the price of one,
claimed the ad,
but by then
all the weekends had been taken.

Just what the hell
is going on over there?
I asked for,
and have yet to receive,
the free month of Sundays
I’m entitled to.
I distinctly recall asking
for early autumn temperatures,
and am returning the enclosed
heat wave and cold snap
they delivered in its stead.

You call this a gentle zephyr?
When the winds all night
almost carried me away.

And today the postman
dropped off
a parcel full of midnight;
which I’ve opened accidentally,
some of it broken,
a good number
of the stars missing.