‘Janus- His Mistress Responds’ and other poems by Peter O’Neill

Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus, by Diego Velasquez (1617-1618)

For Máire Holmes

Through the serving hatch, or silent butler,
The Christ is seen at the moment of revelation,
While the maid, in the foreground, averts her eyes
From the immediate task at hand.

The bowl, which is falling from the table,
Like a globe, and which has just startled her
Is certainly for mixing the ingredients;
As the garlic lying temptingly to her side would testify.

With it, no doubt, the contents of the mortar;
Pepper and the ‘fine spice’ to add to her
Dobladura De Carnero – Hercules being
Mythologised in the toasted hazelnuts.

Circumnavigating the room, bread breaks to thunder clap,
And the bowl erupts at the announcement of the returning of the lamb.

Dies Solis…

An unseen yellow dwarf, over one million KMs
In diameter, transforming 620 million mega tons
Of hydrogen into helium per second, in a process
Of thermo nuclear fusion, generates luminance,
Which is transported upon solar winds,
Taking eight minutes and sixteen seconds to touch
The earth.

Such are the scientific facts behind revelation.

And, such is how a particular convent in Seville
Was illuminated for the painter Diego Velasquez,
When he painted the Moorish model la mulata in his depiction
Of the events at Emmaus, in the early seventeenth century.

Although these astonishing figures only in part explain
The accident which is about to happen.

Janus- His Mistress Responds

“O man magicked Evil with the first pelvic thrusts,
His Juju Daemon damning up my hulls, with bull lust.
And the dawn shall have even more repugnant abominations
To daily chide us our births, beavers flailed and strung
Up alive, all screaming in Pythagorean mode, orchestrated
By Saint Saëns, though handless, on one of Cliquot’s organs-
The lacerated tongues of Siberian Cossack, the voice makers
To windpipe his Te deum. While, in Saint James Gate,
Minos is housed, his dark spirit fermenting, anticipating
The precious imperial measure, when he too will be poured only
To lie like Mercury on the glass floor for the sons and daughters
Fore-score, to raise and cheer before the storm blows out the old year.
And there, in table-breaking, earth momentum pound,
Rupture, shag, break the hell hound’s round.”

And Agamemnon Dead

The ovarian arms is the true embrace of all
Horizontal extension; Fuck elevation –
The systematic bureaucratisation
Of all phallocentric concentration !

Plato is truly the author to be despised,
The cunt of cunts ! I seek to undermine
Your perfect calibration, decode or unravel
The genetic-social cuntstruck.

Around the two burn the Herakleteon fire,
Which we both step into, lost among
The panorama of Ephesus.

Through the equalling stratagem of the walk,
With you, muse, finally off your pedestal,
We can perhaps begin to walk together into our future.

Janus- His Mistress Responds and other poems are © Peter O’Neill from Dublin Gothic (Kilmog Press, 2015)

Peter O’ Neill (1967) was born in Cork where he grew up before moving to live in France in the nineties. He returned to Dublin in 1998, where he has been living ever since. He has been writing poetry since the eighties, and has been published in reviews in Ireland, USA, UK and France. His debut collection Antiope (Stonesthrow Poetry, 2013) was critically acclaimed: ‘certainly a voice to be reckoned with.’ Dr Brigitte Le Juez (Dublin City University). With over six collections behind him, he is currently translating Les Fleurs Du Mal. His second collection ‘The Elm Tree’ was published by Lapwing Press in 2014.

The Elm of the Aeneid and Spadework by Peter O’Neill