“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 never arrive.

No one spies without a purpose
fearing for their own safety, paramount
twitching the lens to a heart’s craving.

The scented candle reverberates with intent
for one’s own good, uncomfortable as it is
being beaten or insulted is still normal.

Choosing select friends for me,
the more mature, the better, despite age.
Sinking apples instead of sweets is approved.

Identical dress, though hips not developed
the smallest size bra fits to a tee
knowledge of a curricular activity is key.

Associating with local heroes
falls flat, due to a lack of interest
I am not part of this charade, as ever.

Waiting for this mess to subside,
my own freedom answering to itself
scandal contained in pint glasses and pizza.

Not caring for silent soldiers, speed bumps as such
fattening lectures from betters all the time
scented with envy, cries from another pillow.

Skin on Skin

It rubs me up the wrong way,
this intermittent friction, hard graft
producing nothing, save hard-won tears.

Woken up by solid cold extension,
I slowly realise things could be better,
divorcing circumstance from comfortable creatures.

I am not amused, or inspired
to catch a structure of yours in my arms
embracing a lifestyle already broken.

Outlining separation procedures close to hand
never realising this could be the end
waking up to hubris, fashion condemned.

Bloody finale, a pregnant conclusion
signs away your status, folding a future
declarations of convenience finish the task.

You lie down, beyond reproach, not seen again
until the Armageddon proves you right,
living in pockets too rich to bother you.

They croon in time to your desecration
anal therapy, skin on skin not above their station
serving them right, suburban whores.

Open Wound

A cooked nerve, gaping at nothing
in particular, festers at will.
Suppurates on demand, a carving of a foot
a thorny lesson in kitten heels.

Bespoke man-shoes don’t avoid the issue,
mashed with sticking plaster for some hours
blood, on occasion, washes out the gunk
a moist challenge in another’s footwear.

Dancing in time to excruciating pain,
I can only offer up so much misery
at a time, suffering has its limits
caught in the heel, pouring out its filth.

It will pass, I know. Avoiding gangrene is good,
blood poisoning is the only comfort I know,
respecting my privacy over all other causes
not yelping at will, suffering under umbrage.

Using my head for something, besides bright fantasy,
pick off the scabs on its final journey,
some satisfaction on its ultimate trip
a limit to endurance, a finite walk.

Fine Feathers Do Not Make Fine Birds

By foul means or otherwise, I stake my claim
on a grandmother’s cast-offs
clearing slides, fastening hair, prettified.

Not so much rebellion as assertion
a desired scenario always in my head,
a disco for one person, but where’s the joy in that?

Is my eyeshadow too obvious?
Does this hair cream scream usage?
Or is this lipstick too red for your liking?

Puberty drags its heels, so do I,
take up the slack with cosmetics to go
pound shop treats accumulated on the sly.

My friends can’t figure me out.
Innocence eroding away, but not quite,
doll-faced presentations still ringing true.

Invisible curfews taken as read
cut and dried regulations rest weary heads
a maturity missed, a freedom curtailed.

Trompe L’Oeil and other poems are © Patricia Walsh, Patricia Walsh image © Linda Ibbotson

Image © Linda Ibbotson
Image Linda Ibbotson

Patricia Walsh was born in Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland. She was educated in University College Cork, graduating with an MA in Archaeology in 2000. Previously she has published one collection of poetry, titled Continuity Errors (Lapwing Press, 2010) Her poetry is published in The Fractured Nuance; Revival Magazine; Ink Sweat and Tears; Drunk Monkeys; Hesterglock Press; Linnet’s Wing, Narrator International, and The Evening Echo, a local Cork newspaper with a wide circulation. She was the featured artist for June 2015 in the Rain Party Disaster Journal. In addition, She has also published a novel, titled The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014.

“The Infinite Body of Sensation”; Visual poetry by Salma Caller

Sound is a shell

Sound is a shell
An ear
Curves of sound
Vibrating and condensing air
Echoes in a curved space
An ocean in the shell of sound


Things that stand in for other things

The Witches Pouches

Bags of velvet black
Nets entangling objects
Bones of birds
The insides of shells
Things that stand in for other things

Nets entangling objects

Bones of birds
The insides of shells

Black Lace

Turn this talk into a tale
A small dark textured cloth
Shadows with shades of velvet
Borders and edges tactile
Spaces glittering and ornate
An elaborate intertwining language
Of touching
A complex dance of bodies
Claustrophobic close
Obscure ornate organs
Lying in a dark net of black stuffs
Needles like obsidian beaks
Braiding sound into
A florid calligraphy of sensations
Rose Point
Point de Neige
Gros Point
Punto in aria


Lying in a dark net of black stuffs

Needles like obsidian beaks
Braiding sound into
A florid calligraphy of sensations


Rose coloured lips swirling around a dark spot
Tasting a baroque sound
Inspired by graffiti in Barcelona
On a corrugated shutter
Inside a temple
Incense in the darkness leads you
To the glint of the gold cloth
The curl of the baroque frame and deep blue gaze

A florid calligraphy of sensations

salmacallerSalma Ahmad Caller is an artist and a hybrid of cultures and faiths. She is drawn to hybrid and ornamental forms, and to how the body expresses itself in the mind to create an embodied ‘image’. UK based, she was born in Iraq to an Egyptian father and a British mother and grew up in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. With a background in art history and theory, medicine and pharmacology, and several years teaching cross-cultural ways of seeing via non-Western artefacts at Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, she now works as an independent artist and teacher.

“The Surrealist ” by Csilla Toldy

The Surrealist

– honouring Leonora Carrington –
A young lady,
treated as merchandise.
Society made no sense
for Leonora, and her best friend
the hyena.
She fell in love
with a surrealist painting
and sought out its creator
to take him, too, on a free fall.
Life was real in France,
married to their work of art,
(and his wife)
till the Gestapo took over the city
and Max was arrested –
Leonora broke down, now fully.
She fled to Spain,
But not from family and pain.
(After being sanctioned to electroshock
therapy for three years),
She ran
from the care of an Irish nun
to the Mexican embassy in Lisbon,
where united with Max and their entourage:
his wife, his new lover and saviour,
her own saviour ambassador, stand-in-husband –
they held wake – over the corpse of Love.
Travelling together on the same boat,
towards New York,
in two distinctly different directions,
she found herself in a weird future,
alive and sane, in the company
of livid creatures.
The Surrealist
– honouring Leonora Carrington – is © Csilla Toldy


Photo by Alistair Livingstone
Photo by Alistair Livingstone

Csilla Toldy was born in Budapest. After a long odyssey in Europe she entered the UK with a writer’s visa to work on films and ended up living in Northern Ireland in 1998. Her prose appeared in Southword, Black Mountain Review and anthology, Fortnight, The Incubator Journal, Strictly Writing and Cutalongstory. Her poetry was published online and in print literary magazines, such as Snakeskin and Poetry24, Savitri, Lagan Online, Headstuff, Visible Verse, A New Ulster and in two chapbooks published by Lapwing Belfast: Red Roots – Orange Sky and The Emigrant Woman’s Tale.

Csilla makes videopoems, available on her website: www.csillatoldy.co.uk & https://soundcloud.com/ctoldy

SCA/OPES – by Nicole Peyrafitte



Lake Palourde







Tide Pools

Encinitas, California, October 2013


Re-visiting Encinitas California &
measuring the past: 

“how to measure such distances
how to count such measures” sz PJ


in step with Pacific ocean
memories’ ebb & flow
tide-pools of hardy organisms
cast reflection
but what measure measures the past?
remains? newbies?
Anthopleura elegantissima?
I too stretch
& clone myself
wear a shrapnel
shell camouflage
practice both sexual
& asexual reproduction
temporarily attached to
immersed objects

Pollicipes polymerus?
our peduncle is plump
short edible
attached to a rock
beaten by the waves
coping with flux & reflux
anemones, goose barnacles
pelagic witnesses
symbiotic walk
on provisory bottom
onlookers mirror
life of constant changes
shared illusion with
sardines & mackerel
the alternate rhythmic condition
back & fro movement
decline & renewal 

a mighty fear
a sounded fear
a good fear
in a rare intertidal zone
mussels prey on barnacle larvae

Revoir Encinitas, Californie 
& mesurer le passé:

“comment mesurer de telles distances
 comment compter de telles mesures” dit PJ


dans la foulée du Pacifique
ebbe et jusant des mémoires
flaques résiduelles d’organismes hardis
jètent une réflexion
quelle mesure mesure le passé?
les restes? le neuf?
Anthopleura elegantissima?
moi aussi je m’étire
& me clone
porte un camouflage
d’éclats de coquillages
je pratique les reproductions
sexuées & non-sexuées
attachée temporairement
aux objets immergés

Pollicipes polymerus?
notre pédoncule est charnu
court comestible
fixé à un rocher
battu par les vagues
surmonte flux et reflux
anémones pouces-pied
témoins pélagiques
marche symbiotique
sur fond provisoire
où les
spectateurs reflètent
les changements constants
une illusion partagée avec
sardines & maquereaux
une condition rythmique alternée
avec mouvement avant arrière
déclin & renouveauune

peur puissante
une peur raisonnée
une bonne peur
dans l’estran rare
les moules se gorgent de leur larves

West Wing

In Flight To Seattle, Washington, March 2014



image01 image07

nicole_peyrafitteNicole Peyrafitte is a pluridisciplinary artist born and raised in the Gascony part of the Pyrenees & residing in Brooklyn, N.Y with her husband poet, essayist, translator Pierre Joris. Her texts, voice-work, paintings, videos, films, translations & cooking are displayed in a range of multi lingual & multi-faceted performances. Peyrafitte’s work is informed & characterized by a daily practice — a quest for life in art and art in life between two continents & four languages. 

Latest publication: Bi-Valve: Vulvic Space/Vulvic Knowledge, 17 paintings, 17 multilingual texts, 1 recipe & 1 CD (Stockport Flats, 2013). Forthcoming: Land0Scape (bi-langual texts), éditions Plaine Page, France. Her translations work includes, Nicole Brossard, Yoko Otomo, Gary Hill, Marcela Delpastre, Bernat Manciet.

                                        Images and words are © Nicole Peyrafitte

More info on publications & more: www.nicolepeyrafitte.com

“Blackjack” a bilingual volume of twenty contemporary Irish poets published by Singur Publishing


Blackjack; A Contemporary Volume of Irish Poetry (Singur Publishing, 2016)

Cover painted by Sorin Anca
Coordinated by Dorina Șișu and Viorel Ploeșteanu

The twenty Irish poets translated into Romanian for this volume are: Afric McGlinchey, Billy Ramsell, Breda Wall Ryan, Christine Murray, Damian Smyth, David Butler, Dean Browne, Edward O’Dwyer, Eileen Sheehan, Eleanor Hooker, Eugene O’Connell, John W. Sexton, Leeanne Quinn, Maeve O’Sullivan, Mary O’Donnell, Nessa O’Mahony, Noel Duffy, Paul Casey, and Roisin Kelly.
The Blackjack translators are: Dr. Isabel Lazãr, Maria Liana Chibacu, Margento, Elena Daniela Radu, Mãdãlina Dãncus, Mihaela Ionitã, and Oana Lungu.

I would like to thank Dorina Șișu and Viorel Ploeșteanu for including my poems, Delicate, Pretty Useless Things and Descent From Croagh Patrick in this edition. Thank you for a lovely launch evening, and I would like to expand the Index at Poethead to include more Romanian poets.

The online edition of Blackjack.
Revisita – Itaca