The Geometry of Love Between the Elements by Fióna Bolger

Caught in the Cross Hairs

 
I bury my face in the thickness of your hair
the darkness, the softness, the smell
raw brain sweat, your innermost thoughts
desire become scent
 
beneath the softness
the hard skull skin
a barrier you need
and I want to penetrate
 
to enter see the wiring
observe my image
upside down in the back of your head
then turn and peer through your eyes
 
I’d see the world as you
 

You’ve stolen my tongue

 
I thought I had the power
in dreams I knelt at the chopping board
an awkward sacrificial lamb
I brought the cleaver down
silencing my babble
 
but you held the knife
and while I slept you forced
my lips apart and cut
at the roots
ever the skilled operator
you stitched me up
needling the thread
to connect the severed ends
 
I can still make sounds
some almost words
they think they understand
but my tongue is in your hands
 

'Blue' by Vani Vemparala

‘Blue’ by Vani Vemparala

From The Geometry of Love Between the Elements by Fióna Bolger. A Grimoire published by Poetry Bus Magazine.

cure for a sharp shock

 
it’s that moment
when you trust
let go the balloon
your hope floats
up into the air
it’s beautiful and red
 
it bursts
empty rubber pieces
a shade darker
float to earth
 
I read somewhere
if you take these shreds
put them between broken
pieces of pottery
and blow
they’ll sound beautiful
 
I’m not sure
I read it
somewhere
 

cure poem for the lovelorn

 
a woman sits alone
her eyes are on the swan feathers
dropped by the moon upon the sea
 
she sees no-one on the horizon
but who can walk on water
dance on down
 
by day she weaves her stinging sadness
into nettle shirts, by night she waits
for her lover – the one who needs
 
to wear those painful clothes
to be fully human again
no longer trapped
 
on a cold moon
dropping feathers
on the sea
 
Cure Poems are © Fióna Bolger

bolger

Fiona Bolger’s work has appeared in Headspace, Southword, The Brown Critique, Can Can, Boyne Berries, Poetry Bus, The Chattahoochee Review, Bare Hands Poetry Anthology and others. Her poems first appeared in print on placards tied to lamp posts (UpStart 2011 General Election Campaign). They’ve also been on coffee cups (The Ash Sessions). Her grimoire, The Geometry of Love between the Elements, was published by Poetry Bus Press. She is of Dublin and Chennai and is a member of Dublin Writers’ Forum and Airfield Writers.

 

From Poetry Bus  A Grimoire is a book of magic and what is more magical than poetry? So instead of producing a series of chapbooks we’ve opted to create something a bit more special. Our first poet is Fíona Bolger and her Grimoire is called ‘The Geometry of Love between the Elements’
 
A beautiful book of poems illustrated by Vani Vemparala and featuring translations into Irish, Polish and Tamil by Antain Mac Lochlainn, Aleksandra Kubiak and R.Vatsala respectively.

Signature

Poems from ‘Signature’

 

thistle roll
 
thistle roll
twig sphere
scatters a
 
thicket clump
looks alive, its
red-tipped a
 
blown-feather
bag blown to
 
a bird-corpse let lie
its throat opened out
 
purple the thistle-roll
and hue,
purple the cry
 


tear
 
a field of ewes, their winter wool loose
blown down to the rusted gate.
 
a flower clock banks each moment to the birthing,
their mothering.
 
their rich milk a wellspring. spring now and
a breeze tickles the white cloud
 
their winter coat shed, wind still barbs her cries
they ignore her labouring
 

Thistle Roll and Tear are © C. Murray

Signature is published by Bone Orchard Press, and edited by Michael McAloran. It is my second chapbook, and it can be bought via LULU. If you are into freebies, and not supportive paying for your arts, a sample of my writing, a chapbook called Three Red Things is available here.

ssignatureignature is a beautifully wrought collection of short/ imagistic/ surrealistic-impressionistic poems…ISBN 9781291797046

Copyright Christine Murray

Edition First

Publisher Bone Orchard Press

Published 23 March 2014
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

A Preview of My New Book ‘She’.

she-painting 
The first edition of SHE will be published by Oneiros Books in 2014.

82 Pages

Perfect-bound Paperback.

The cover painting image is © Anastasia Kashian, with great thanks to David Mitchell for design, and to Michael McAloran for accepting the book on behalf of Oneiros Books.

Two poems from The Island Sequence of ‘She’

sea is a womb

sea is a womb
dip and flow the small boat

rock and rock,
rock the black black

gold lace a-glitter
and rocks – the
rocks scrape her timbers

beneath the carved wave
lie monsters clawing at her base


black the inky waves lap to

black the inky waves lap to
and black they suck the shale

and if birds swoop
they are the mere shadows of birds

there are hands there to disembark you
to hold you over the rocky black

those hands that will arc you onto the comfort of stone

this is the sea/
      this inky black

it does not smell of sea

the gap between the boat and the shore is awesome
the wood laps the water dragging it out /
and

bobbing it back again
the chasm at the heel
and one step forward
to land to stone comfort.

Poems from The Island Sequence of ‘She‘ are © C. Murray

black the inky waves lap to was published in The Burning Bush VI

Contents Page

(i) A letter found in the box that contained this narrative, being addressed to the cousin of former patient, Miss Constance Byrne.

(ii) A note attached to the file of Miss Constance Byrne (now deceased).

Part I

Standing Stones
Grove
Lake
Serpentine The Alleyway
A Ruined Church at the Precipice
Burnt Hill
Descent

Part II

The Island
She


Cousin – ,

The narrative that follows here is a faithful rendering of my wanderings from the time of my retirement to the dawn. It is always the same. I do not expect anyone will believe me, but I know that my dreaming life is as real as my waking life.

Indeed, I have learnt not to call these sleeping narratives anything other than a different part of my reality.When I first encountered the entity that appears on the towpath I was afraid for She seemed hardly human to me. I had gone little by little into this dreaming place over the course of twenty years, and I had explored it wholly in her company. I do not know what my encounter with this lady means, I intend to find out. In my exploratory times there I have never yet met another person. Although there were signs of life (or of creaturely habitation).This landscape seemed to me to be ruined by war and by heat. What else could make marble of glass shards?

It is bleak there. At every dawn there occurs a throb of colour and I know that somehow I am back here in this world. I do not believe that my nightly explorations are a dream, for I have found tears upon my slippers, and a rend in the lace of my dress.She wants to show me something. She has indicated for me a bridge. I intend to cross over it, and thereby to continue to explore the geography of its unknown terrain.

I travel now alone. I am unencumbered by family, nor by tradition. I leave to you this letter and some small tokens of my esteem. Know that I am safe, and although I undertake this journey with trepidation, I remain always your,

Constance.

Cover image by Anastasia Kashian

Cover image by Anastasia Kashian. Cover design by David Mitchell at Oneiros Books.

Cup by C. Murray

Cup


nest rests
her cup

(heart, feather)

into wood
winds
capillary

In air (above)
sky is a heart caught
red, its amber spilling

nest stills
her dust
and moss

breathe out 

underground, wet roots stir
the sleeping house up

soften
     the softening rain

my veins answer tree

.

Cup is © C. Murray

.

New Trees,


there are three -
two crows dance 
steel-beaking the mounds round

New Trees is © C. Murray


Image is © Mick McAloran

Image is © Mick McAloran

Regarding the void through the lens of The Zero Eye

 

 

In the realm of suffering, affliction is something apart, specific, and irreducible.’

                                                                                  Simone Weil.


I equate Michael McAloran’s use of imaging in The Zero Eye with the concept of necessity propounded in Weil’s essay on affliction which I have quoted above here. There occurs a layering of image in The Zero Eye which explores at once the dissipation of language and the voidal space wherein a voice explores the themes of perception and the stripping down of conscience. In typical McAloran fashion a structural element is inserted into the book which undermines the preceding text,  in this instance he uses a coda at #10.

#10

the zero eye fails/ cannot/ can or cannot only in/ barren vice of obsolete/ of film upon eye in glimmer tide/ of cataract projectile upon/ itches to be gone in eye of/ absurd of/ zero else of black/ no nothing of/ zero eye not feel/ unblinking black/ gallows none/ razor none/ (+0)/ skeletal as if/ no not infinite/ yes infinite

Weil describes affliction through her construction of the image of a hammer hitting the nail in the exact dead centre of the wood, that the reverberating echo would traverse all space and time. McAloran’s dead-centre is the black lens of the death-eye, over which pass worlds. Eye’s monologue occurs in a space peripheral to where voice’s bodily humanity lies.

#2

crafted in absence of voice/ here or there a nothing of/ claimed yet ever-fading/ yet silenced ever/ still yet/ breakage upon rock of night’s forever distance/ motion of which feeds flame of/ yet ever to rage against/ shift unto/ remnants in midst/ shadowed by final yes/ once absence births/ hands cold/ search through weight of cold/ silhouettes of/ cannot lacks cannot or cannot/ hence proliferation of/ sound upon distance/ and of echoing/ undoing…

The Zero Eye is 24 pages long and it represents a step away from the grief-scape that McAloran created through his recent books, none is closer (or further) from his present  intent than the Lapwing Press published ‘The Non Herein-’. The created space developed in that book has given way to intimate space, be it a shack,  a room, or the artificial space of the stage.

#1

in shed of flame that was never light/ better yes never of it/ bite down upon edge-solace of/ trade anguish for oblivion/ yet naught as ever/ final as/ less or more/ ever was/ remnants of then or nothing left to/ no/ no breaking forth/ no never again/ let it/ decline of/ yes death of/ yet will not/ clings unto/ as if to say/ the zero eye/ un-scattered none/ falls unto or not/ utters without pause for/

McAloran’s instinct as a writer is to bring the reader into the created space, and then to turn their expectation on the head by radically altering the pace of the piece,  which he achieves in his coda.

The major carrying image of this book is the eye/I. The eye/I occurs as symbol throughout McAloran’s work, but in this case it represents a shift in focus from the universal to the particular, or the intimate.

#2

the zero eye will ever be/ shape without form/ density of rind branded by sting of inescapable/ rots through unto/ until/ yet given to silence/ scatters breath of nocturne/ clasp of weight/ says nothing more of I/ clean break/ subtlety of design/ crafted in absence of voice/ here or there a nothing of/ claimed yet ever-fading/ yet silenced ever/ still yet/ breakage upon rock of night’s forever distance

There is a subtextual violence throughout The Zero Eye, which I read as lament. Words occur and re-occur, they voice a violent out-rooting of the sense of moment, spliced, rixt , marrow of spliced, ….translucent carrion ,  density of rind, deformed, empty, shadowless, rupture.

#9

zero black pupil of/ of what/ (question once in text/ believed)/ no matter/ erase/ recommence where there is naught/ raging blindly/ hop-scotch…

Here voice, or voice’s echo is knitting together themes in a manner that prepares the reader for the coda, where a nihilist rejection of the almost sweet lament that occurred in the preceding ten pieces is shot through with a clownish repetition and cut-up technique turning the book onto its head and abruptly ending it.

Coda

(…text no/ this is not a/ this is not/ not this/ is/ a text not/ not this a/ this/ this is not text/ not a text/ text not this is not/ a/ this/ not a/ text no this is a/ not a text this/ this is not a/ this not a text is/ this not a/ not a this a text is not/ not/ not this/ a text/ not a/ text not this is a/ this is not a text this is not a text this is not a text this is not a text this is not a text this is not a text/ text no this is not a/ text no/ a text not this/ not a/ text not this is not a…ad infinitum).

Kicking to the kerb of the subtle beauty of the lament, McAloran forces the reader to remove herself from the hypnosis of the previous text, and address the worthlessness of human-suffering. The Zero Eye represents a culmination point and a watershed in McAloran’s work as a writer. His use of structure and symbol is highly developed in all his recent books, yet inherent in this book is a cool limpidity not heretofore noticed by me.

McAloran’s excavation of his psychic depth in books like All Stepped/Undone and The Non Herein- led to the creation of a huge internal landscape. Here there occurs a reduction of the claustrophobic element of  his previous books, and a movement towards a smaller and more intimate space, wherein voice in the form of soliloquy or monologue is given freer reign.