make your eye a nomad,
go up to churches and strange
cathedrals in the midday heat
of a weekday and press your face
against the windows. Act like this
toward every part of your city,
like an infidel, a barbarian,
like someone deliberately lost.
Forget how to speak. Enter
the restaurants and order
the strange names with gestures.
Taste those alien words like fruit,
like the fruits of another planet
on which you are marooned,
these fruits which may bring death,
or visions, or eternal youth.
– from Cities of Rain
Robert McKay is from Burlington, Vermont. His first collection is Cities of Rain (Honeybee Press, 2012). Recent poems appear in Siren, OccuPoetry, Measure, and others, and criticism in Visions of Joanna Newsom (Roan Press, 2009) and The Occupied Oakland Tribune. He is associate editor of The Salon, Honeybee’s letterpress journal, and blogs on poetry, poetics and politics at miniaturized swarm hurricanes.