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Think of a holiday in outer space

or the dreams of the sleepy dormouse.

Think of a million word long sentence,

but with nothing to tell you.


                 from;  Ground Zero by Bruce McRae




















1 Ė BIOGRAPHY:  Bruce McRae


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, ĎThe So-Called Sonnetsí is available from the Silenced Press website or via Amazon books. To hear his music and view more poems visit his website: www.bpmcrae.com .









You mean the house inside the house.

You mean the mythmakerís lodgings,

with its many doors and million windows.


Which is the sea under the mountains

or a thirteen billion year old light ray.

Which is everywhere, like ancient snow.


Oh, but why didnít you say so?

You mean the house next door to the nothingness,

across the road from the flaming hospital,

by the exploding dancehall.


Where the carbon blobs happily dwell

and midnight barks like a dog.

Where the spectral sailors are knocking.


The house made of bones being broken.

The house of minds snapping.

The house where the World used to live,

until Tragedy stopped by for a while,

until Time spat out its toothpick.


I remember the blinds in the kitchen

coming down hard.

Like a fist on a table

or satellite crashing.

I remember there were walls in the cellar

and an angry lightbulb on all night.

With vast continents

hidden under its floorboards,

Mr. and Mrs. Chemical, long dead now,

rearranging the grassblades,

old toys still in the yard,

bejeweled in the glistening rain,

the roadway passing

filled with the childrenís lost voices:

like a skip-rope-rhyme

in my feverish mind.




 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.





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 thatís 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 fliesí god,

and the temples of meat where they pray festering,

their church buzzing and vile.





The Spider Says



Iím familiar with apprehension,

aware of doubt, sympathetic to terror.

Consider me a patient knot in a thread,

a little stone calling to the dark of the world,

the multi-eyed beast in her sullen quarter;

she who is tethered to a latch or a hair.


The spider says Sweet fly, sweetmeat,

think me the wraith to your gummy end,

my door invitingly ajar, the table always set.

And these are my babies, my thousands,

so curious, so ravenous, nimble copies

of copies, sentient pebbles fleeing hungerís edge.

It is they, era-perfect, who scurry.

I set them loose upon the edible earth.




Twin Silences


Thereís no one in your poem, she said.

Itís an abandoned barracks, I replied.

Itís a prefect vacuum.


Nothing ever happens, she complained.

Thatís because weíre tired, I explained.

Certain circumstances are vying to defeat us.


(Then night crawled out of its leather pouch

and darkness whistled in the shower.)


Another thing Iíve noticed,

she continued, is that thereís never any

mention of your family, about your life.


Be very quiet, I whispered.

Sound travels differently on other planets.

Knowing something doesnít make it right.


(The wind stumbled into a round corner.

Half plastered, the rain struggled.)


And something else I donít like,

she went on to say;

as if it was important that I understand her Ė


(Then blackness pursued other blacknesses.)


Itís the way your poems finish . . .






The weather promises to change

from man to animal.

Todayís forecast is absence,

with a chance of longing.

In the east, flying horses

and a scattering of flowers.

From the west, incursions,

barbarous hordes, black ice.


The weather changes its mind,

abandons its principles,

is forced to choose between

darkness and light.

Theyíre predicting tons

of tons and long cold showers.

They say it might break,

but weíre in for a hard spell.


Todayís weather is being

brought to you by sponsors

whoíd rather you didnít

put their names around.

Listener, the sea is rising

up out of its empty shell.

For all its talk of courage,

the wind is turning.




Ground Zero


In Nothingland, a cloud of horizons

and stars burrowing under the void ground.

In Nothingland is a profound silence

the colour of air; and very low temperatures.


Nothingland, an imaginary supposition,

emphatic obscurity, a geographical trifle.

A place between two other places.

A slight theoretical conundrum.

A construction of paradoxical math.


Think of a holiday in outer space

or the dreams of the sleepy dormouse.

Think of a million word long sentence,

but with nothing to tell you.


Nothingland, next door to Babylon.

Of dubious mass and dimension.

Of debatable purpose and girth,

its preposterous citizenry questioning

reality, asking so much of themselves,

receiving so little in return;

who need to refocus their attentions,

to find a point in the distance and just stare

at the whole of their insignificance;

inconsequential, as it is, featureless,

and all around them.




Through Dale And Glen


The journey starts in a cupboard,

in a plug behind the TV set,

from a shoebox of family photos.


You can tell youíre traveling

by the wind feeling at your neck,

by the dust on Christís sandals,

by the dying birches scratching the moon.


The moonís eye follows you across nightís room.

Youíre the Eternal Hitch-hiker,

the road a river of bitumen,

a parallelogram, a notch on a rifle.

The road is your imagination,

a howl stirred by cocktails and yage.

Itís not a road, itís a line drawn in the sand

or path of personal misgivings.


What matters is how the journey begins.

Marching to Thermopylae.

Swimming the Euphrates.

Kicked like a can.

Because getting there is half your problem Ė

wormhole, dune buggy, dirigible . . .

In a contemplative mood

youíre rehearsing endless departure,

envisioning the journeyís end,

its pretzels and beer and unexceptional Saturdays.


Youíre older now,

and more tired than thought justifiable.

Evening is your constant companion.

Patting the dogís head,

your eyelids flutter then wow.

When you sleep itís a terrible slumber.





 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 isnít a bar; itís 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 lightís perspectives.

You can hear his life fading in and out.


Heís slowly coming to his senses.






It's nights like this I ask myself,

what is a flag? A fluttering

symbol of a nation's amplified

psychosis. A blood-drenched rag

dipped at the passing catafalque.

A handkerchief to wave at the

soldiers marching off to war,

marching against human failure.


Run it up the pole and see who

salutes it. Use it for swaddling,

a bandage after an accident, to

mop the feverish brow of one

unwell. A thing to dry your hands

on after throwing in the towel.



3 - Publishing Histories


Evictee:  The Journal UK   2006  -  The Potomac   2012

The Word Has No Word For It:  The Dalhousie Review 2007 - Hamilton Stone Review   2011

The Spider Says: HawaiíI Pacific Review  2012

Auspicious: Whistling Fire    2012 - The Journal  UK    2011

Through Dale And Glen:  Theodate   2011

Into A Bar:   Sub-Tropics    2010

Flag:   The Journal UK   2006  -  The So-Called Sonnets;  Silenced Press 2010


4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think. 

We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -