White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
David McAleavey
David McAleavey has published poems in many journals over the years, including Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Georgia Review. In recent months his work has appeared in or been accepted by more than 30 journals, including Poetry Northwest, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Stand (U.K.), Medulla Review, DMQ Review, Innisfree, Ascent, Chiron Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and elsewhere. His fifth and most recent book is HUGE HAIKU (Chax Press, Tucson, 2005), and he teaches literature and creative writing at George Washington University.

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David McAleavey

Not So Pacific


Mastering the doublecross deserves no prize, I realize. Still,

crossed in desire by others’ desires, you might well wonder why not.

Disaster may find you, it’s well enough deserved: you’re devious,

lost, selfish, bad, a sink of dirty dishes and disrespect. Still,

innocence is just an ideal, a thing not so much here, then

gone, as a trait in others to manipulate. Never seen pure.

Immense as the world is, you won’t find young people guiltless. Try, still,

Donegal, Cuzco, Crete – or investigate your own hometown. Such

talents as we, no, never mind, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Theme for the day: relativity and its enemies. We still

balance, is the point I’m after, what we want and what we can have.

Dream the impossible, please do; just let me share what you’re having.

Falling for me, are you? I’m not surprised. I said I’m tricky. Still,

calling me whenever you think you need me, that has got to stop.

David McAleavey



Shot-sluiced falling water down to make the mills grind, weave, pound and saw.

Bleeding pine, they called it, because of the sap ooze. Pre-dynamo.

Proceedings, volume 3, The Industrial Revolution. He

got me, there, he crowed about it, feisty bantam, he got me good.

Not what I needed, another reference source. Formerly kings

decreed, that’s what kings did, now we’re post-dynasty, post-waterwheel,

agreed to the terms, signed and sealed, of course we didn’t know the terms,

lottery tickets, bullfights, the death of God whose guide led us to

liberty, or at least the chance to sort out the sparring partners,

Muscovites and Kievians, Kurds and Turks, Broncos fans or Steelers.

Tyranny of the topos, hegemony of Hectors, no one

witnessing the uneventful nothing going on all around.

Well that’s because we don’t know how to access it, and don’t need it,

hell, if you think up a use for it we’ll work out how to make it.

David McAleavey

Just To Say


                                   after William Carlos Williams


Hugh says, and I say, and Lil says and Ron says, and I say,

and Becky says, and Becky says, and Hugh says,

and Chris says, so I say, and Becky says,

and Hugh says, so I say, and Lil says,

and Lil says, then Lil says, and Ron says, then

Ron says Becky said, Becky says no, Ron says oh,

Chris says, I say, and Lil says, and Hugh says, Hugh says,

Ron says but I can’t hear him, and Lil says,

Becky says, then Chris, and I say and I say and Ron

says but I can’t hear him, and then Hugh says

and I can hear him fine and then Ron and Lil both say

and then Becky again who never complains,

and Chris, who does, and Ron, who does, and Lil says,

who’s getting over it, really getting over it by now,

good Lil, and then Becky says, and Hugh says so much

Ron can barely speak and Ron speaks but I can’t

understand him and Chris and I talk for a while

and she’s getting over it, good, and Becky speaks, Becky

speaks, and I say, then Lil who says a lot and then Ron



David McAleavey

who says a lot and Hugh who can be really funny

and Becky who is always good for a laugh

or a bit of the truth and then Chris says and Ron says and I say

and soon Becky says she has to go and she and Chris say yes

so we pay the bill and we go outside and say goodbye

and Chris says goodbye and gives me a hug and Becky

gives me a hug and I Lil a hug and Hugh a hug

and Ron a goodbye shake and sideways glance out of his eyes

twinkling and then Becky and Chris walk with us partway

and then they take off and then Lil and Hugh and I walk

until I have to go and I say goodbye again and they wait

there on the corner for Ron who’d found a bookstore











Copyright © David McAleavey. White Whale Review, issue 3.1

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