Mexico Seen from the Moving Car 

By Michael McClure b. 1932 Michael McClure

THERE ARE HILLS LIKE SHARKFINS
                                  and clods of mud.
The mind drifts through
in the shape of a museum,
in the guise of a museum
dreaming dead friends:
Jim, Tom, Emmet, Bill.
—Like billboards their huge faces droop
and stretch on the walls,
on the walls of the cliffs out there,
where trees with white trunks
          makes plumes on rock ridges.
 
My mind is fingers holding a pen.
 
Trees with white trunks
             make plumes on rock ridges.
Rivers of sand are memories.
Memories make movies
             on the dust of the desert.
Hawks with pale bellies
             perch on the cactus,
their bodies are portholes
             to other dimensions.
 
This might go on forever.
 
I am a snake and a tiptoe feather
at opposite ends of the scales
as they balance themselves
against each other.
This might go on forever.
 
 

Michael McClure, "Mexico Seen from the Moving Car" from Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2011 by Michael McClure.  Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems (University of California Press, 2011)

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Poet Michael McClure b. 1932

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects Living, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

 Michael  McClure

Biography

Beat poet, playwright, novelist, and documentary filmmaker Michael McClure was born in Marysville, Kansas, and raised there and in Seattle. Educated at the University of Wichita, the University of Arizona, and San Francisco State College—where he studied with poet Robert Duncan—he gave his first poetry reading in 1955 alongside Allen Ginsberg.

McClure’s poetry combines spontaneity, typographical experimentation, Buddhist . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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