Robert McKay – To be a tourist in your own city,

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.

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