Kevin McFadden

Two poems from Kevin McFadden’s Wicked Bible

followed by a note on the author


Timelessness is not so common, in fact,
might not exist; or maybe one should write
under that suspicion, time being inadequate and all
one really has to work with.

Language is here, but not for long—or as
a friend says, it’s hard to hold. He holds
each essay is a failure and it’s failure’s
failure that lends us any success.

I remember one time I was talking into
a machine, said ruin, played the voice in reverse
and swore I heard the slow and slurred word
newer. One comes, one goes. All I want is time

to make something newer, a word
like ruin. My private ruin. The rue in ruin. Rue:
two languages at once. In French, a road.
In the tongue I know too well to love, regret.



The Senate

The eternal uses of the Senate Rules.
The leanest ruse.

That emeth above the eyes; you read its theme.
You watch it turn from meth to them.

Sedition takes editions—that’s how we roll
the bones. Malaise, at least, is a meal.

Gas an arm, say the anagrams.
Language: a gun, a leg.

That’s why a sigh for the highways.
Even directions beg discretion.

Washington? Saw nothing.
Ireful bits (filibuster) on the floor.

O Crossly forbearing (O Library of Congress)
each treason in each senator.



Kevin McFadden is the author of Hardscrabble and the chapbook collaboration with illustrator Jeff Pike, City of Dante. He is the recipient the George Garrett Award for poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the Great Lakes College Association’s New Writers Award. His poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Fence, Kenyon Review, Parnassus, Ploughshares, Poetry, and in other publications.