You did not see because you did not look. You weren’t as bad as some, perhaps, Yet priceless treasure you forsook. You did not see because you did not look. With Nazi friends, you burned the books, You charred your heart, your chances lapsed. You did not see because you did not look. You weren’t as bad as some? Perhaps . . .
graveyard gargoyle— the doorman waits to receive you
The telephone call from my father reignites a memory from twenty years ago. I’m walking up the tree lined avenue of The Miltown Institute on my way to a lecture. It is mid-May but unusually cold. In an instant, everything changes.
pink cherry blossom
where am I going?
‘Where are you?’, my father asks. He sounds anxious.
‘At home’, I say, just watching television. You okay?’
There is silence as he thinks about what I’ve said. This is his second night in the rehab unit and I am guessing he dozed off for a while and now can’t figure out where he is.
‘I don’t know what’s happening’, he says. ‘What am I supposed to do? I’m lost, I’m lost.’
It’s nearly midnight and I can hear how quiet it is there. ‘It’s the middle of the night’, I say. I tell him to go back to sleep and I’ll talk to him in the morning. But it takes time and a lot of repetition to reassure him. Eventually he tires and goes to sleep.
But I cannot sleep. I ruminate on the fear in his voice when he said: ‘I’m lost, I’m lost.’
in our tin house
rolling over the roof
this ancient wind
My wife and I are strolling through the world, making note of what needs to be fixed. We don’t agree on everything, but we do believe in the necessity of imperfection, without which there’s not much point in hanging around. What would she do without me?
Candyfloss went up the blocks to score some gems and came across Deno and the lads in the alio under Rachel Divers’ flat. She was pissed on her couch with some blueys in her and thinkin’ of shooting up, or maybe chase the dragon.
Someone said to one of Denos’ lads that Candyfloss knew who nicked the powertools outta the Gormans shed. Who the fuck would do that, rob from the fucking Gormans?
Anyway, Candyfloss was all strung out and flashin’ cash at Deno gummin’ to score, but Deno wasn’t havin’ it. He was mad to get in with the Gormans and started diggin’ at The Floss to name the fuckers, but Candyfloss, all uptight, started dissin’ Deno back.
Divers could hear the commotion below. She heard it when Deno smacked Candyfloss’s pink head off the wall. The vibrations went up the concrete and she could feel it through her floor. It was quite a bang, so she thought: whoever that poor fucker is, he’s fuckin’ dead now. She was rattlin’ with shock and went for another bluey to take the edge off it. When she saw her works in the drawer, she went for that instead.
death by overdose –
lying all night in darkness
her crying children
In days of yore, a king and queen
grew sick at heart and longed for more
than wealth can bring. “A girl or boy,”
they both prayed quietly—then rushing
past their joy, inside a witch’s hut,
let tarot cards decide their luck.
Skies grew dark then lightning struck
that aged oak beside the witch’s hut—
for fate falls hard on those who pluck
Pan came without spring, his song a taunt—
Danced with dry leaves, on hoof, with lute—
That hateful tune of rose’s briar—
That dreadful tale in cloven strides—
Bushy limbs nimble to the lyre and gyre.
And the owl’s eyes grew wide with seeing,
weary with seeing, till the spell took root,
and forests conquered kingdom and castle,
and the old wings flapped off to the moon.
crumbing castle . . .
in a closet, in a shoebox,
is an epitaph of the end of him: Always plugged in to something and nothing. Unplugged from the world’s color wheel; a hostile model. His vile diluent seeps into oils, turning all a tepid sepia. Screaming into a rabbit hole, he’s cardboard, two-dimensional. Absent and there, fattened with empty. Sitting like a noble royal, yet under the façade just a rotting portrait in the corner. Dust and pixel gathering, admiring inorganic shapes of violence. Now the world, disposed of this depraved subject, will paint strokes, write, speak of better muses.
Among the poppies we wandered far
till twilight hazed us all in dreams.
We reached the brambles at morning’s gleam
and stopped at forest’s edge to try the fruit—
The taste of sorrow, the tear of thorns—
And now that silver time has cast me all in tears
I long to know, who was that golden soul
I sojourned with? Why came we here?
And did we set it all to right? If not, am I to blame,
or was it fate, man’s wretched plight?
forged from fog . . .