Two Poems • Bruce McRae

This Word Has No Word For It

This word is unpronounceable.
Translated roughly,
it means a bluster of breath.
Spell it as you wish.

This is the first word in words.
It means love
in any language.
And rhymes with nothing.

This is a dirty word.
Nobody knows what it means.
Class, linguistics
is not an exact science.

The word for blood
actually tastes like blood,
a real jaw-breaker
better left unsaid.

And this word will get you killed.
You spit it at your enemies.
Repeat after me:
This is the word for silence.


Into A Bar

A man walks into a bar.
In his head are visions of amber.
A nail is hammered into his hair.
His hat is in splinters.

A man walks into a bar
and the planets change courses.
Slush and slurry head for the exits.
Gravity tugs on his nethers
while he washes his footsteps in beer.
And like the moon, he tips heavily.

A man walks into a bar.
Which isn’t a bar; it’s a temple
to the goddess of work and worry.
His coins are negatively charged.
His heels are sinking.

Then the waitress climbs from her sleeve.
In her eyes is the great outdoors.
In her heart is an alpine avalanche.
The man stares into his beer,
ignoring her curves and entrances,
his thoughts the size of Australia,
his mouth in drought.

In the time that it takes
to open his hand, nothing happens.
Over and over again, nothing happens.
Somewhere, wind in a meadow,
but the man is riddled with blank,
addled by light’s perspectives.
You can hear his life fading in and out.

He’s slowly coming to his senses.


Originally from Niagara Falls Ontario, Pushcart-nominee Bruce McRae is a musician who has spent much of his life in London and British Columbia. He has been published in hundreds of periodicals and anthologies. His first book, ‘The So-Called Sonnets’ is available from the Silenced Press website or via Amazon books. To hear his music and view more poems visit his website.