Nathan McClain: Three Poems


Love Poem: Blackout

Sweet junction box, what stance is mine—

as unlatched as your door after one jagged

crack of lightning zaps my desk lamp


& shushes the refrigerator bulb’s soft hum?

Dear quieted light, should asphalt shock

the light pulse of the moped’s unsocketed head-


light, then I, too, would collapse min-

us the light of an idea after this last

unthreaded & dim constellation.


What use is addressing our house by

its proper name—O where is your porch

light gone—if it cannot be found?  Love, I ask


not on your behalf, but rather, for moths,

blindly rowing themselves across the black-

ness of night, that cannot help but collide.



Love Poem: Hitch-hiker

Every few seconds another car didn’t go by.

—Bob Hicok, “Failures in meditation”


No, this isn’t a recognition

Of all that has passed


Me by, or all that refuses

To pass; this is just to say


That I would never leave

You like this, stranded,


On a dark road,

With nothing, nothing


But this sad slice

Of moon for light.



Love Poem: “FOR SALE”

I don’t hear it often, the word—

Obsolete—but when I do, as


I did, a moment ago, I cannot help

But think of the moving truck


I saw, once, parked on the side

Of the road: how it was up for sale,


And, how, at the time, I must have

Thought either of the poor


Truck, discarded, and its big

Empty bed, or maybe I thought


Who could ever be so content,

To not need such great space


Anymore? I suppose it didn’t matter

What I thought; the truck was


Still left on the side of the road,

Which, though it shouldn’t have


Been, was saddening; it is simply

What happens once someone


Is, finally, finished with you,

After, now empty, you’ve carried



As far as you possibly can.

Nathan McClain


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