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Sample of Five Poems from ‘Transmissions’ by Elaine Cosgrove

ENDLESS

 
We become adult
on roads, on lines,
on grids, on greens,
on grey spaces —
you cannot zoom in.

We become older
with the city as seer,
decibels the scale
from stepping dawn
to engine rattling dusk,

to clinking night
and walk-back light.
Chiaroscuro lives
in metered hope.

We become in spite
of what happens, and
we are here, still here
becoming with care,
and listening ears.

We become no matter
the distortion that hopes
to confuse our hearts,
and break them.

We become electric.
On and off beings flowing
again and again,
endless in this sudden
glittering world of interruptions.
 

SURFING AT STREEDAGH STRAND

 
Site of a Spanish Armada wreckage
 
During sea-salt of winter surf, remembrance
of lineage acts like zinc on the blood that swells
from a creviced nick beside my thumbnail.

Streedagh Strand pulls out her linen towel
and I become warm dough on the sea floor
when their bodies appear blood-strewn bits on grain.

Five hundred wiped-out sailors beat, robbed and stripped
ashore by local savages hungry for wealthy bones
and soaked goods falling like crumbs from their dying.

A good savage attending only to castles and mountains
De Cuellar said of O’Ruairc who gave the Spaniards
fresh-cut reeds to sleep on, rye bread to eat

in the Breffni mountains where they hid.
My soft hands roughen to withstand whip of board,
cold knife in December tide earthing me straight to the skin.
 
Originally published in Issue 3 of The Penny Dreadful

BOG DISCO

 
It should have been the old bloomeries of love
during the slow-set: disco lights like Morse Code baubles
roaming our sequins, skirts and shirts
but some smart aleck two plastic, parish seats away from me
belches and says: “Boom. It’s the erection section.”
So I make tracks swift, double-door into a true breather of a night.
The Plough, dazzling points floating in the sky.
 

HANDWRAPPING

 
Eventually, you learn to wrap the cloth your own way.
First by imitation—online videos by peers, Master’s
and partner’s real-life instructions. What feels assured
is what you come to make yourself
. The snugger the wrap

to experience, the stronger the hand’s form, just before the strike.

 
HOME
from the festival

 	    z
          z
        z
He is Z beside me
a rise and fall 
of ribcage.
 
He is too humble,
too loyal to be 
assigned E-U-S.
 
Nonetheless, 
he is my god
in this scenario.
 
He does not stir 
to my arrival,
which I am a bruised 
peach about—
all acquired ego,
from the poets.
 
I am home, love,
ready to graft 
my way out 
of the talk-shop. 
 
I want to jab his side
with my finger, 
and command 
an alt universe 
for us, 
 
'Rise and fall 
to the woman 
of your dreaming.' 
 
Instead, he smells 
like a brewery 
and I fen, 
a half-naked sliver
                   s
                 s
               s
	     s
of tiredness, 
touch-screening 
white light keys 
of Notepad, 
as it extends 
and shines upon 
his face and arms, 
my face too — 
 
a flickering 
         tap tap 
hold down 
        transform
letter
         suggest 
         autocomplete
flicker 
          tap 
flicker 
          tap
return
          tap 
return  
          tap
return 
          hold
          flicker
lightning 
connect 
socket
          charge
wake up	       scoop up 
my body	        become 
my peering 	point

Sample of Five Poems from ‘Transmissions‘,  Elaine Cosgrove’s forthcoming debut poetry collection. Publication Autumn 2017, Dedalus Press, Ireland.

Elaine Cosgrove was born in Sligo, Ireland in 1985. Her work has been published in The Stinging Fly Magazine, The Penny Dreadful, The Bohemyth, and New Binary Press. Elaine was selected for the 2017 Fifty Best New British & Irish Poets Anthology (Eyewear Publishing), and longlisted for the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize. Transmissions, her debut collection of poetry will be published by Dedalus Press Autumn 2017.
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