Though McCann's poetry can be beautiful, and often is, what is most alluring about it is its' ability to make you want to be around it. His poems are like the kid at the party who knows more than a little magic. The guy everybody wants to hear stories from, even if they've already heard them. There is a pure magnetism to his work that evolves into a hunger.
His language is simple. He's not wanting to wow you with poetic technique, though that's not to say that it isn't there, but his focus, it seems, is more on getting you to see a more whole world by twisting things that exist in it. His poems are constantly reminding me of that painting by Hans Hobein, where the two guys are standing in front of shit, but there is this weird flattened skull floating on the ground, here it is:
With out getting all lit-crit on that ass, this is best I can do to describe McCann's poetry. The only other thing I can do is show you a poem...and here that is:
Miami International Airport Hotel1.
The alarm goes off---I'm still in the airport. Is it impossible to imagine my physical shape? I was dreaming of jobs again and of t-shirts that scream “Chicago!” And then I am absent, suddenly, accepting the fact: it remains impossible to imagine this hotel.
Are we inside the airport or are we clinging to its ribs?
At the elevator bank the walls are locked. The air piped in on rods of dust.
The doors open onto a square of grass.
To my right and to my left: two bright and empty hours.
There, that was pretty sweet, eh? You can this and other poems over at H_NGM_N, books at Wave and FENCE and of course the Machine Project.