Literature Marcus McCann Poetry

Poem for Scott Who Gave Me Conjunctivitis

Marcus McCann


Scrapper, if swollen open lids allow
before the vanity—cramped, lit
like discount grocery—I’ll tilt my skull back,
squint, note this bacterial
shiner, sacré coeur
eye patch. A nightbird
laid a heavy pink shit in my socket.
A camera is a bad eye, my eye
now a bad camera. You cannot see
and also unsee. The microbes
cruising the Jacuzzi of my intra ocular
fluids stormed my fences
under cover of night. I was not attuned
to perimeters, tracing a scrotal
seam to lay my tongue
like a wet dog inside
your sphincter. Espresso
and muskox flank, dried blueberry
gym bag, allspice, tobacco
flower, flange, newel, rained-on
gravel, olive brine. Heavy
sled on ice moan in octave zero. Privacy
is not a thing in this world,
we’re too close. Last night scuppers
naively from me, I am a blown
out photo, flooded motor, my eye
an ecstatic report of a boatman spotting


Marcus McCannMarcus McCann is the author of two books of poems, Soft Where (Chaudiere Books, 2009) and The Hard Return (Insomniac, 2012), and a dozen chapbooks, most recently Shut Up Slow Down Let Go Breathe (Dusie, 2015). His work was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and won the John Newlove Award and the EJ Pratt Medal. Find recent poems in Jacket2, THIS magazine, Matrix, Riddlefence and Best Canadian Poetry 2015. @mmccnn