Dave McNamara

The Pure Passage

(For Paul Violi)

All sounds cease into silence but
ceasing the silence leads to the next second
weep not for me shallow phrase,
but reflect upon the softer year, kept near, explored.
Don't judge me when the tears confuse my mouth, you who no longer hear the pulse in the pause. Endless words made into meaning with the sentence,
like the word in the answering gospel.

The Immaculate pregnancy, before I was, the pregnant pause, the pregnancy trapped
within. Here I am
the gate, the burrowing, the solace of self-burial when the season leaves itself,
and here I am,
gone from my own memory.

Every one's trying to be one again.
That's the word, that's the pure passage.

My habitat is there,
in twigs of dead lilac bushes
There contains my friends, always open to what I have to say.
It's set in fall, it almost fit perfectly,
But what was it:
The spirit of the tradition, That's it.
The ritual, vast windows set against the stained glass sun,
a store dwarf during Christmas, the ritual
of early morning windings through cool swept streets

the newspapers plop on stoops;
those who create the moments most remembered, in the belly,
its own trembling liturgy, are here,
and here.

Happy then.

The death of the words
end in something more
than silence.

Every morning the peril increases,
with every eye-slit, joint-crack, dry mouth, headache.
Today is now.

What if I cross the street and walk on the other side
today? Would it be ok?
Would it be better if I look both ways?
No, the answer is

Fantasy Now Not Close

Soon sleep myself
how calm when thought
Inside arms of soft
and you so very, very
Not violent now
because you make evening

Late far mornings
remember inside
The skilled clench
teeth upon
Jammed seconds
lunged around
The bathroom sink
whence feet spun

Night legato
You salt and brine
the grind completely
Mouth stalled
on sour tips, held

Musty brow mine,
stare start half-open
Close your eyes
is how much
How off-guardedly
good it beneath
Pleasure ripple
of re-sized time

Movements take
your figure eights
Twisting skill in
my memorize you
Long lines skulled
wholly sensate
Down slick necks
ooze and tuned

Half-open soon,
occasional curves
Centrifugal slouch
going fast
Pick the way
out turn
Deep row dipped
in pause majestic
Sensing a mast
very, very about
Rock you tell,
say before with body
Seize crack watch
my deep serrate
Cleaning a fix
oil almost
Cracked egg,
yolk and clear.

As if it happened
As if collected
Fantasy now
not close

Red Rage Comes Easy

I wish you had time to explain it to me:
See me there? A foreigner with thick tongue
The one standing in the tree cold and
The taste in my mouth won’t go away
Compassioned by Mary Magdalene in the parade.
I offer my situation to make a story out of,
Over whiskey in an early morning collision of mouths
You will lose your train of thought and I will have to go
And is it better to go or stay? What will my mouth
Wake up to? I used to sing.
Go back to sleep, I always stay too late.

It’s fall, about to go down into the nothingness
Where everybody is a liar or asleep
Propped up in a chair against a fire
Telling stories, drinking as if nothing happened
The warmth isn’t Love

This is sleep. One more lap around the football field
Then we’re done. I have the cold sweat of ruin in my headband
Brought the smell of it in
My dad, who walked in jogging clothes
And like me seems to laugh when crying.

They keep coming back , the memories of starve-lings,
The blood of summer, the irony of spring that swings
In from unconventional corners
False redemption, a slap of wind, a maxim that favors forgetting.
No happy meal or credit card can cure the missteps of a generation.
Kill with prime time and TV dinners, the next issue’s in the mail,
It’ll change your life.

There’s Nothing More Average / Than the Way I Draw

Crying is a necessary evil.
I’ve got
no more ideas in summer. There’s
nothing worse than pretending to be a gunslinger.
I inhale it all week,
the backward turning spokes,
a Mr. Whiskey Cowboy, the frozen images.
I know what yer thinking: did I
fire five
shots or
I get it.
You have nothing left to
Energy makes me turmoiled makes – oh
what – the horse, my mind not spoken,
a word, one word;
in the beginning was the gunslinger,
and the gunslinger was
with God
and…who then described
appropriation with a horse, a TV show:
My God!
it came then left: hey; haven’t I
met that horse before?
It depends on what you mean
when you say horse: guns and
westerns: Cowboys
and Indians: Cowboy Sam,
obliquely serialized inside the children’s book
Do you mean tall tales?
Draw it.
Draw the future course.
I who what when where
why: there’s yer five paragraphs to touch
when your com padre gallops the period.
Yes, now I’m satisfied.
-Are you, Oblique Horse?
-I don’t know.
-Have you finished?
In the aftermath
the absence of an idea scares me:
Creatus Interruptus
The fog of it all, the elaborate cabaret,
then there’s nothing behind it, there’s no poem.
I have no conception of what I’m writing.
In proximity to me it’s gone, there’s
no motivation, no punctuation,
no longer a child the
Cowboy Mouth of Cowboy Sam shoots a useless degree
in the head.
Horse down, dead drunk, whiskey sour
Congratulations graduates.
Take your hand from my knee and
strum, but drift further
past the guitar into
the hollow hole, make
the resolution resound with the words
Don’t show, just tell.
Decide with an Illinois quarter
into the spinning blunt quarter put all your guns,
now guess what year…..arms, legs, belts,
Guess you horse-face bag.
Don’t plan, no art in anything.
Such heated tension, such
Phenomenology in the difference!
Separated by a ridge
parted by air, grounded
with the sharp eye of I,
you are merely an initial, yes,
just a single I, but the strum that cannot be folded
shuffled me off the podium
that institution now placed so definitively
within a commercial, its brand a bullet image
racing across the sky, a three-part mini-series
about the social investigation of my perversity
Terrifies me, which is why I hid.
In terms of mortality, you can describe it
as wanting to cum all the time,
but I can’t anymore.
Well, who would have thought
when you could, yer scared of it?
Let me be clear;
let me articulate the usual;
I intone this from the heavens,
not from me
the vinyl spun again
but slung differently
What am I.
-What am I.
-Among myselves?
-Go down to the children’s section, Sam.
The shelves are shorter there.
They have that nice shag rug you can sit on.
-But I want the big boy’s section.
-You mean the adult section?
- Oh no, that comes later.
The narrow courage
and then the regularity of shooting bullets
into anything easily cleaned
forever gone. This
gesture though shocking is starting
to register with my enemies,
all those Goliaths, you know, and that pleases me,
those Bathshebas bathing at High Noon pleased me,
but when being pleasured
I couldn’t have been less pleased.
-How about Love?
-Please, it has nothing to do with it.
-But my lineage fortells! the shoot-out ordained! adultery redeemed!
The Gunslinger snuffed his smoke.
-That stuff’s the stuff for the children’s section, Pepe.
Jesus came to ace your hole.
Now Draw.