Mz N Monster

So how are you
going to commodify
your brain
asks the mulleted wanker
at the first sherry hour
which features no sherry
and lasts a grim three hours
The mind fails
& depression acquires a new note
that will sound
instantly in this
our new concerto.

it seems
has an archive.
What is an archive
It is a place
of dead things
one can rake over
& decide
if they’re still dead.
Mostly they are
or should be.
is a relevant allegory
and sometimes the very picture
of the real
body made up of salvaged sewn bits.
Mz N has a thing
for monsters
or monster movies at least
She is a second-hand
connoisseur after all
those childhood Saturday afternoons
watching Monster Movie Matinee
with the dad
and sometimes the brother.
What’s happening
What’s happening now
Who’s that
the brother asks each time
someone lurches into view
until she tells him
Shut up.
If you can’t learn
to pay attention
you’ll never understand
how things go
This irks
the brother
who is often outflanked
by Mz N’s verbalism
such that he once punched her
wholly deservedly
to shut her up
This was years after
she’d dared him at breakfast
to pour milk over her head
& he did
It wasn’t clear
who was more surprised
The skim milk ran down
a watery stream
from the pitcher
It was a pale fluid
It was not blood
or a toxic slime mad scientists
concocted or The Blob
The small angers
of suburbia
here breeded nothing
murderous yet
the villagers gathered
with pitchforks
as dumbfounded they plotted
over breakfast
their escape





Notationals / Songs of a Season V

three deer under the apple tree
luxe calme et volupté

how a body goes
vibrating in a white dress
what a body knows


fireworking your way—
shoot star shoot!

red-eyed vireo
preaching to the cedars
no conversions


fat bee in the bloom
polyamorous bee
polyfloral honey
sweet to think
it’s all designed






I don’t mind
admitting the daylilies
catch my eye
and sing to me
July July

I don’t mind
traveling to see
a famous garden
in a friend’s book

I don’t mind
remembering the fungus
on a blighted beech

I don’t mind
the moss invading my mind
so soft & wet this nook






[Maureen N. McLane was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. A poet and critic, she is the author of three books of poetry—This Blue (FSG, 2014), World Enough (FSG, 2010), and Same Life (FSG, 2008)—as well as My Poets (FSG, 2012), an experimental hybrid of memoir and criticism, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. Her scholarship has focused on British romanticism and longer histories of poetries in English: she is the author of Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2008, 2011) and Romanticism and the Human Sciences (CUP, 2000, 2006). She has two books of poems forthcoming from FSG: Mz N: the serial (2016) and Some Say (2017). She teaches at New York University.]

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