All posts filed under: How Words Play

‘The Suitcase’ and other poems by Breda Spaight

Her Cross   When I drink, it is always 1967. The dog lies still on the frozen grass, white blades bowed under blinking crystals; the chain from its neck to the conifer muddied and knotted like a root from which it draws life. I remember it as a pup, like all the pups my father ever brought home when drunk, the milky smell of its vigorous body, fonts of sorrow in sloe-black irises. What do we have here? What is this? He produces the pup from his inside coat pocket carefully as a birth, his face at its most wounded: he could cry, vomit, or even laugh, the pup held high like a boyhood memory beyond his reach yet as close as yesterday, alcohol collapsing time like time in a fairy tale. I am tired of my father; we’re all tired of him – a continuous season of storm upon storm, calm only the calm of the eye. And so the pup ends up tied to a tree, savage; the half-moon it inhabits no larger …

‘Laughing at Funerals’ and other poems by Helen Burke

Laughing at Funerals. Mam said you always should. laugh at funerals, that it was expected, well at least by the Bootle lot. Them being made of sterner stuff and all. And anyways death is only a flesh wound ain’t it? Its life that kills you, does the damage, kicks you in the guts and ups the anti. So, why not laugh? In fact, life falls into two camps, she said – Those who understand laughing at funerals, and those who don’t. So, choose your fellow mourners carefully. Sometimes, hearing the dead described – I cannot say I knew them at all. They are superheroes, saints, but their amazing save the world deeds, I do not always recall. I must have been in a telephone box myself, at the time – donning my save the world tights, and skin tight morals. That will be it. I look in the mirror and see a ghost in preparation. And will it be my finest hour – whose to say? I will bring Catwoman and Superman to my funeral …

‘One Has To Admire His Ability As A Poet’ by Kevin Higgins

One Has To Admire His Ability As A Poet “I was struck by … his courage in speaking out to defend the memory of Charles Haughey” Vincent Woods, RTE website To defend the memory of Boris Yeltsin’s vodka bottle. To take money from both the late Benito Mussolini and, when pragmatism demanded it, those who spat on him when he was safely hanging upside down outside an Esso station. To put in the proper context of realpolitik as practised in parts of County Wexford the late Father Fortune’s harem of boys. To share a Ouija board with President Duvalier while supping rum from the skull of an infant who was always going to come to this because, in the words of W.H.Auden, ‘poetry makes fuck-all difference’. To share a roast leg with General Amin and not mind which of his enemies was being eaten. To recite even his longer poems to a musical accompaniment of Vladimir Putin twanging his jock-strap, like a rude balalaika. To roll around wrapped in the French flag with Marine Le …

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‘ The Wind of the World’ & other poems by Müesser Yeniay

The Wind of the World For my grandmother you are under the earth I am on the earth with your body that is tired of carrying the wind of this world -a stone in the middle of my heart has been rolling without stop- I don’t know where you have gone the only thing which is clear is that you are not here The Phenomenology of Writing Now you are an empty page inviting writing –maybe- because of lust just not ready -your call is on my mind for quite a while- call me call me the flow of ink is a remedy for my wounds Illness You hit me like you were punching the wall woman isn’t your cave in which whenever you like you can lie down you can’t climb over her like a squirrel. not of his nectar but of his pee he lets inside he loves like he shakes a tree manhood is a serious illness Rajm Outside is night inside is separation this must be the last day of the …

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“Trompe L’Oeil” and other poems by Patricia Walsh

Trompe L’Oeil Tidied away, fast disappeared, what’s lost in the house isn’t lost. In a mid-sentence, blasting myths and fairytales I avoid the radiance of your eye. Hidden phallic symbols litter the test crunchy fallen leaves subdue the table reference books stand-offish, yet useful the clock, used to stares, reigns supreme. What escaped thought becomes you? What line unwritten begs attention? The trompe l’oeil of art crumbles a piece of fiction no longer necessary. It would do well to save ink and rest, watch Love/Hate till my eyeballs dissolve, or the TV licence man catches me. Anyway smartphones, smart bombs pave the way. Eyeball to eyeball, keeping in check a double decker bus is crashing into me, foolproof suicide, if you stand next to me, always having money to keep me sweet. Stuck in the village. You’re lost, after all. Winding through people, an avoidance strategy, cold calling my fantasies, standing aloof no eye contact can remedy this. Citrus Refresh Bruised flesh, eaten by spinsters’ cries calling for regional order. Sated for now, tomorrow might …