Contemporary Literary Review India | eISSN 2394-6075 | Vol 6, No 3: CLRI August 2019

Andrew McLean


Breath of Senegal,

with whispered voice you

approach the islands,

then a call, a shout-

and holy hell to pay.

Alphabetized incarnations,

your latest metamorphosis

crushing. It is not that you

feel wrath. It is simply your nature.

Your own cathartic scream

drowns out the cries of native tongues.

Just as abruptly,

your post-visit tone becomes

relieved, relaxed, rational

as if nothing ever happened. As if you were

waving to friends leaving a party-

but it is you who leaves, your “goodbye”

barely audible as you turn back in indifference

to the carnage;

quietly wafting away until silent.

Until your next avatar.

Breath of Senegal.
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I Almost Always Cry at Costco

I almost always cry at Costco.

(It is wonderful and too much.)

Lord Costco,

Mayan-sounding King of Consumerism!

Entering your temple, I brush by

competitors and non-congregants

attempting to peek in,

(pay your dues, heathen!)

and tip my membership card

to the usher

as I whisk through your apse

into the cathedral.

I almost always cry at church.

(It is inspirational and disturbing.)

It is salvation and damnation

and too much to bear.

Lord God, heavenly king

of those who purchase

the hope of eternity

with their objectivity,

I linger across the street

with those like-minded.

I seem to have misplaced

my membership card.


Jawbreaker Candy

A bout.

About to find

the place; the place

where I

tell the


the rapist

is no more.


Man’s laughter

will cease.

For the last time,

he has crowed, “The

whore presents

who represents

what I want!”

I will crush

his story.


will reflect my works.

His soul,

just ice.


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Lama, are you the shadow

and the light?

Your prayer wheel and robe,

simple and mysterious,

offer clues.


Monastic garb coloured

renunciation! Yet,

behold, the most

lavish spice on earth.

Dharma is to meaning

as saffron is to flavour.
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They Came to Church

They came to church

smelling of sex and cigarettes,

brazen in confirmation of their infatuation.

Unbrushed hair of netted knots and snarls,

unbrushed teeth sporting tiny fuzzy plaque sweaters

waiting to be washed away like the sins

of the unfamiliar congregants.

(More like waiting to be torn off

like their own dirty vestments

upon return to the motel.)

They came to church;

stabbing at each other’s thighs,

snickering about pew lap dances

and “not renouncing Satan.”

Spitballs at the confessional curtain.

A condom package in the offertory plate.

They came to church

to rub it in their faces.
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Andres McLean is a US based writer.

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