3 Poems by David John Baer McNicholas

Ice Wage


subzero air, and the set was fixed like concrete until I came to chop it loose
because of the breakage, how many must have starved that winter,
             frozen in low wages, loose

whatever you do, never attempt to mix colors on your paper. you may drop,
you may wipe out, the properties of points, lines, and planes, loose

to stand frost, and handle the burning, all on your hands
I purposely repeat, repeat, paper, palette, possible, let it dry loose

this direct laying on of, not over a plumb line
shown in a piece of aspen, but willow will do, loose

nailed and wired together, because of waste little crimson
will supply you with a dull green, kept on coming loose

staining the snow and flooding the ice, minutes and seconds
each degree is divided into sixty minutes, and each minute is loose

large irregular mound, never forget what it amounted to was work
flat when compared with the first, interest is usually considered money, loose

and of not touching it afterwards to say that transparency, and  charm,
peculiar to out there in that amaze, often with thin gloves or nothing, loose

in the usual sense of the term of brushing an arc is any
irregular or free curve represented in the low of the mouth, loose

find it again in the spring, a tremendous multi-layered sheet
of ice built up on the slough. nothing could be loose

parallel lines make a small ring of deep color a constant
distance apart and never cross, rinse out your brush or seize another–loose

the brown pond water, released from its ice prison, surged up foaming
sometimes the water, contained by a straight line, a tangent line, loose

here is the suitable place to suggest, not far from where I thought
the deepest part ways with the big chisel through six feet of ice
as I stood there, perspiring in the cold, ice clear river water bubbled up in the hole, loose.



Stop the Out


hangs on the wall, snow. a tidal wave,
pages of a blank          text hide the machine.
a dancing projector, hydrated lung foam. the sea
imposing fragments, dredged your still life.
the bowl of vertical feeling, move from one deep vein.
have washed up. so, we are here. what They can, would forever
pin themselves down. come and sit for awhile, ceiling mounted apparition.
up in suburban rigid geometry, pure gold on the surface, things from the star.

name swells rise to the surface.
these shapes both the flow of themselves,
promise, century a crowbar to undermine,
whether whether, by thousands,
forward in support, pestiferous questions, hesitant concerns,
but There will always turn, break open.



Related Acquisitions


The beaker and the vase, the pear of the body.
Mother was a money, they were a neighborhood.
Relates of lions, consists of lions.
Deconstructing the path, concentric circles, abandoned suburb.

Mother was money, together they were a neighborhood.
He was lucky, a raging maniac.
To deconstruct the path of concentric circles, in an abandoned suburb.
They can reign until the dragon splays close. 

A raging lucky maniac,
competition was actually his favorite.
They can reign, only until the dragon splays close.
He slices open countless screens.

Competition actually, was his favored way
to exist in the world, the world outside.
He slices open the skins of countless sinking screens.
Remembers when 22,23,24, he was seething.

The world outside, exists.
It is stated: a floral creeper inscribed.
Remember seething we
may remain, until two winged lions open

the inscription on a floral creeper,
or a large clock.
Two winged lions remain open.
Countless concrete fragments.


A massive clock face looms,
intertwined in the mouth, time was a scream.
Countless concrete fragments surround
a pianist who refused to drive a car,

The scream of time intertwined in his mouth.
Odd listening, understood by buildings.
A pianist who didn’t drive at all.
Paper architecture, cultured without culture.

Odd, hearing understood by buildings.
Skip-stop, point about the faces
cultured without culture, this paper architecture.
Mouth of the vessel, now barely made alliances.

Skip, stop, point, about the face,
intensely playful, of metal
alliances, made bare in the mouth of the vessel,
references to structure, mouth and double. 

Metal, intense and playful,
sunk, rather than lose this kind of marginalization.
Relevance, structure to mouth, and double.
Foliage, the animals’ thick metal bodies, 

these vessels, band of beading foil, gilded mouth.
The pear of the body, beaker, and vase.
Glass in severe, silk sorrow neck,
consisting of lions, mainly relating of lions.



David John Baer McNicholas has been on travel in New Mexico for three years. He is the author of the novel Lemons: In an Orchard. He operates the nascent imprint ghostofamerica ltd co (Anarchy, Abolition, Art) and studies for his BFA in Creative Writing and AA in Native Studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Currently, he is working on an array of projects. His work can be found on poets.org, Bending Genres, Panorama Travel Journal, All Existing Lit Mag, and ghostofamerica.net.