‘modern art’ and other poems by Anamaría Crowe Serrano

the stress clinic

it’s ok	no one need know	only negligible
impending threat 	i’m going to leave you
   let healing happen
i’m turning left into the coffee shop	it’s easy 
	like this		one step	
                 one more
comforting to sit 
   even on seats slashed by spooks	

i can wait	learn patience is learnt on the edge
	other worlds where others wait
for the breath		something that “presents”
    a hiatus between one distress and 
the nest you’re reluctant to leave

it’s ok	the world is out there	still	the density
you love suspended in space	preparing 
the next problem for you to solve 	you’re good
at that		talented		
   are you ok?	me too 		it’s just 
the acid sprung on a tensile in my stomach

❧
at ulica Freta, 16 – before radium or polonium

the wood seeps into your bones
in a room that lives	as if its grain 
& whorls were part of your nervous
system – smooth	marrow – polished 

in your tea one lump, two	meticulous
the molecules contract till they disappear
  optical illusions have their own reality

billowing on the balcony	Poland
is diluted	Prussian Russian 
fission renames a people
  invents a purpose of its own

but you can shut it out	indomitable
in a room that soon is rubble while thunder
splits the summer	partitions your
future	gladioli everywhere 	alert
to your black dress	alive	your luggage
    waltzing in the street

(originally published in Can-Can #2)

❧



modern art

you’re slung 
   rigid
against the wall

boxed in the past

adroit
your mouth apes
bereft of tongue
hoping to emit
a word
a silence, even

something, anything
of the side-tracked route
you had to take
from primitive iron
lodged in some alpine nook
through ism, to prism
to plexiglass

you’re waiting - aren’t you
for me 
to gut you
get the warm feel
of your spasm
   when I tug
on the spinal cord

and watch you
crumple
to the ground
crimson
refusing to be pressed


❧

the stress clinic, at ulica Freta, 16 – before radium or polonium & modern art are © Anamaría Crowe Serrano. Read Jezebel & Taipei (PDF)

Anamaria Crowe Serrano-by RK at 7T

Anamaría Crowe Serrano is a poet and translator born in Ireland to an Irish father and a Spanish mother. She grew up bilingually, straddling cultures, rarely with her nose out of a book. Languages have always fascinated her to the extent that she has never stopped learning or improving her knowledge of them. She enjoys cross-cultural and cross-genre exchanges with artists and poets. Much of her work is the result of such collaborations. With a B.A. (Hons) in Spanish and French from Trinity College Dublin, Anamaría went on to do an M.A. in Translation Studies at Dublin City University. Since then, she has worked in localization (translating hardware and software from English to Spanish), has been a reader for the blind, and occasionally teaches Spanish. For over 15 years she has translated poetry from Spanish and Italian to English. Anamaría is the recipient of two awards from the Arts Council of Ireland to further her writing. Her translations have won many prizes abroad and her own poetry has been anthologised in Census (Seven Towers), Landing Places (Dedalus), Pomeriggio (Leconte) and other publicationsShe is currently Translations editor for Colony Journal: www.colony.ie.

‘modern art’ and other poems by Anamaría Crowe Serrano

‘Nocturne for Voices One and Two’ by Christine Murray

Nocturne for Voices One and Two

 
Voice 1
 
Sea pummels shore, wind and reed knock trees.
Winter trees’ wooded music is not green sapped
 
‘under the Greenwood tree.’
 
But yet, yet but,
and alone,
the moon is all ?
 
Voice 2
 
Moon is not all,
while the restive sea and you separate. Separated.
 
Silence,
quiet.
 
Quiet,
peace !
 
Voice 1
 
And sleep now ?
 
For,
The bird skims dark waters
The bird skims silver streams.
 
Stream encroaches on the bay,
Stream sieves the sand.
 
Voice 2
 
And sleep now ?
 
In silence
or peaceably.
 
The moon is all,
it lights a trail.
 
Voice 1
 
It is with the voice of longing that you speak,
Close your eyes that mock the moon.
 
Close your eyes that tremble on the reed,
Close your eyes that discern the wing.
 
Not distance,
not distance from.
 
Voice 2
Separated,
separating.
 
V1 /V2
 
We do not in our bodies meet.
 
Voice 2
The moon is all, it is an emptiness.
 
The moon is all,
The moon is all.
 
Voice 1
 
And sleep, and dream with ?
Or a wisp of memory to wake a nothing from cold sun,
 
What now, sleep ?
Nor grieve.
 
Voice 2

Quiet !
 
The soul whispers reed (…)
 
Soul troubles the wing
Soul gathers in the dewy
morning, and the heart it ties to.
 
Quiet !
 

Nocturne For Voices One and Two is © Christine Murray (Published in Outburst 15)

Outburst 15 Preamble by Dr. Arthur Broomfield.

.
The age of the triumph of the lowest common denominator is upon us, it seems from the RTE short list of Ireland’s best poetry of the past hundred years, and the so predictable winning choice, Seamus Heaney’s potato peeling sonnet from the ‘Clearances’ series in The Haw Lantern . The majority of the ten named poems indulge the national predisposition to wallow in the sentimental and the anti-intellectual, Derek Mahon’s ‘A Disused Shed in County Wexford’ being the notable exception, though this, we fear, will be misread by a people who shy from poetry that challenges the cerebral. Yeats’ ‘ Easter 1916’ a pre-Beckett poem that in its irreducible essence addresses the relationship of language to perception is included, we fear, as a sop to the vulgar Nationalist agenda that has long sought to hijack the outstanding work for ideological purposes. Eavan Boland, for too long side-lined by a Southern, guilt driven urge to doff the cap to the Northern Ireland block, has written poems that confront the lazy inclination to sentimentalize, but ‘Quarantine’ is not one of them. With a few exceptions the shortlist sits firmly into the death and potatoes tradition and struggles to escape the tired vocabulary of Catholic ritual and the bleeding heart victim. The list, of course, will be lauded by those with vested interests. It’s a bad day for poetry. The few who encourage innovation, those who struggle against the influence of the Heaney sycophants, has been dealt another cruel body blow.

                                                                                                                                                                       

Christine Murray
Christine Murray

Christine Murray   is a Dublin-born poet. Her chapbook, Three Red Things was published by Smithereens Press, Dublin (June 2013). A collection Cycles was published by Lapwing Press (2013). A dark tale The Blind  (Poetry) was published by Oneiros Books (2013). She  a book-length poem was published by Oneiros Books (2014). Signature a chapbook was published by Bone Orchard Press (2014).
Creative Commons License
Nocturne For Voice One and Two by Christine Murray is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://poethead.wordpress.com.

‘Nocturne for Voices One and Two’ by Christine Murray

Slán Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin

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It was with great sadness that I learnt of the death of Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, Senior Lecturer of Early Irish (Sean-Ghaeilge), at the Centre for Irish Cultural Heritage at Maynooth University. Obituaries and remembrances are too formal a way to encapsulate the energies of the person who has passed away. What we may say about her on paper; on her authorship, her survivors, and her activities, pale in comparison to the ball of energy that she was. Muireann had a huge and warmly generous physical presence despite her tiny size. She was quite literally a ball of energy.
 
I first met Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin at the Four Courts, as one did during the campaigns that dominated the Celtic Tiger era. Protestors would be in and out of courts fighting on issues related to the complete destruction of any and all heritage laws by the Fianna Fáil Party who came up with new planning bills even as they tore down and scrapped institutions that were charged with the preservation of our natural and built heritage. News media would jostle to get near the government ministers who thought up new and ingenious ways to fast-track planning laws and ramming their tastelessness into property bubbles, bad housing, dublin satellites, and the ephemera of trash that can only be described as garbage politics. People like Muireann were almost criminalised for objecting to the fact that in the 13 years of political dominance by Fianna Fáil and it’s motley collection of political props, not one of them actually bothered to bring in a single heritage preservation bill. The media never asked why there were no heritage bills, they were busy selling houses for the government.
 
Muireann asked the awkward questions like why Dúchas was abolished by Martin Cullen TD, Why Bertie Ahern was so intent on a leadership that passed endless fast-track and Strategic Infrastructure Bills, and why successive Environment Ministers could not pass The Aarhus Convention into Irish law, they still haven’t. Why above all were we demolishing (‘Preservation by Record’) unique sites at Tara (39 sites were demolished) in the Gabhra Valley to allow for the M3 Toll Road. Decentralisation of protections like the OPW, and the defunding of existent preservation programmes were policies that ensured cheap housing and good profit to companies like the NRA (who also managed to take on the majority of archaeology programmes nationally) The media not alone did not trace these issues but they deliberately ignored or obfuscated them within a sugary silence that disallowed anything negative or challenging to emerge that might effect the status quo. There was no joining of dots, just a lot of quangoes and silence in the Tiger Era.
 
Despite this juggernaut of profiteering and short-termism, Muireann for the most part kept her temper and went into the courts, or she stood out on the Hill Of Tara in all weathers, or she waved orders into the faces of the Gardaí. She never cried in front of me but she witnessed a scarring and vicious tragedy that seems to encapsulate the appalling recklessness and greed of the Tiger Era. It was a devastation that was fuelled by greed and lack of education: bulldoze everything and make some cheap tract housing , extend the Dublin suburbs into Meath and while we are at it make a tidy little profit from unhooking all laws that preserve our unique heritage. Gombeenism is not the word for it.
 
Muireann’s gentler side emerged when she involved herself in cultural events like the Feis Teamhair where poets like Peter Fallon, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Susan McKeown and more came yearly to Tara to raise cultural voice and to sing their protest. It was probably at Feis Teamhair that I last saw her turn back toward someone who grabbed her arm and asked her a question or greeted her warmly.
 
We make public poets, great men and women who are imprisoned in the media glare. We want them to represent all that is good in Ireland, and we consign the irritating questioners to the margins. Muireann was an irritating questioner, a restless and enthusiastic spirit, a friend and colleague of great poets, she defended and embraced our literary and poetic heritage with all her health and drive.
 
She has not lived as long as those she opposed, but her name is inscribed in the history of Tara, a visual sign that people will battle great odds to illuminate truths that politicians and their wordless and grey supporters ignore. Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin has died a respected and feisty woman, unlike the liars she challenged daily and I will miss her big heart.
 
Tara Abú
 
Rest in Peace Muireann x
 
Christine Murray (published at The Bogman’s Cannon )
Slán Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin

‘Birth Partner’ and other poems by Lindsey Bellosa

Becoming a Woman

 
The first time: my underwear,
stained and crumpled, squashed
into our bathroom cupboard and I am paged
to the nurses’ office at school where the nurse
asks in hushed tone if something has happened—
we have watched the videos and been shown
the diagrams, and my mother has called the school,
having found my underwear, asked: voice
full of pride and worry…so I nod as though
I know something the other girls don’t,
that the boys snicker at: still small; squeaking—
and I am so tall and so soft : already in a bra,
sprouting hair; already not a child but still
wanting to be a child, and something so tender
is lost and bleeding in me. Now, there is a secret
I am keeping but I can’t tell what it is—
something to be careful of; something
to be concealed and I am given plastic razors
and perfumes and pads and I am afraid, afraid, afraid
like a child in the dark, not knowing of what.
 

Conception

 
First there is a lush, quiet sky: sea
filled with anticipation. Then something
is released, and time grows fingers.
 
The moon cycles, triggering our cycles
and the cycles of fish, feeding; turtles
emerging to shore
 
egg-laden; heavy as moonlight.
 
Life is mostly waiting: on possibilities,
on hope. There are chances—
shadows that never become.
 
But this is not hope; this is the one,
definite thing, the only thing
that reaches and it is inside of me—
 
sea hovering around the start
of unseen stirrings.
 

Birth Partner

 
I saw what was your world
spin away from you in moments.
It was replaced by a body.
 
The body was yours but also not yours.
It had its own limbs, its own cries
and also your limbs and cries.
 
I saw how the sea opened its mysteries—
slipped gleam of grey curve.
I saw your dreams emerge.
 
When you woke up, you were crying
and laughing. Death had tumbled you;
finally you knew pain.
 
You clasped your new life in your arms,
seeing love for the first time. You murmured:
It was you. It’s you.
 

Motherhood

 
The wild landscape of love,
moon-soaked and ragged plain.
All the edges too clear; animals
ruthless. The barren moon rules,
bald in its light, which illuminates
writhing Earth: swill of fertility,
pain and want. A squall, a mass
of tails: spinning and spinning. Now,
the heart fixes like a hook to a cry.
It is plaintive and true. Nothing
was ever so clear. Like stars
on a winter night, piercing
the uncovered universe black
and white. This is life.
This is how time keeps itself.
 

The Tree of Time

 
(based on Maria Rizzo’s painting of the same title)
 
Time grows in branches,
one moment very like the other:
 
Second son, I have been here before.
This is a dark time; your cries are waves
 
colliding with my dreams. Reality
is twisting into something new,
 
and my life is changing color….
The view of the night sky boxed,
 
like a window. But your eyes
are stars, constant—
 
shining, bright yellow,
at corners of my nights
 
as I wake to feed you:
obsessed with numbers—
 
the ounces you drink, weight.
My face is clouded moonlight:
 
less than slivering light. Little son,
shadows are waves on water.
 

This is a magical time.
We will put down new roots,
 
but not now. Not here. Now the sea
races like a heart, your hand
 
presses my face, in sleep.
Now nights are like days,
 
and every day is a ladder rung
reaching to a brand-new life.
 

Portrait

 
The eyes: hooded sky
the rest of the face hangs from—
little crescent moon.
 
Now you cast them to me:
ask your questions, make pleas,
defy with your white scowl.
 
Your lips are mine, drooping
roses; the pink shape of wonder
and the slope of your cheeks, mine,
 
but whitewashed of flaws; white
and pink, translucent as light
and thin-skinned as an egg.
 
Blue trails beneath the surface,
lines of a map, where eyelashes
linger: catching, giving depth.
 
Every day you grow arms and legs
and more looks, like light—
from me but not mine.
 
Like my mother in an old video—
I see me as I see you in me. She sees herself;
in the mirror, sees her mother.
 
The fourteen-year-old me in the video:
wiggling, excited for something I didn’t know
yet: bursting from my pink swimsuit—
 
My mother knew. Lips stitched into a line:
eyes on the horizon, as mine are now.
The past comes in like the tide—
 
and our faces swallow themselves.
We shrug in and out of them
like a borrowed sweater;
 
like the two imprints, potter’s
thumb slips just under your eyes:
up go the pupils,
 
up knit the eyebrows—
always up and away.
This is the way love travels.
 
© Lindsey Bellosa

 lindseyLindsey Bellosa lives in Syracuse, NY.  She has an MA in Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway and has poems published in both Irish and American journals: most recently The Comstock Review, The Galway Review, IthacaLit, Crannog, Emerge Literary Journal and The Cortland Review.  Her first chapbook, The Hunger, was  published with Willet Press in 2014.

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‘Birth Partner’ and other poems by Lindsey Bellosa

‘Making Monuments’ by Christine Murray

Making Monuments

#1
 
The whole of the waiting stone is beige coloured.
It is hiding its silica, their minutiae. Although I
 
have found dashes of it left as glitter on things,
things like tables, chairs. My own face glitters with it.
 
I gather up the gaudy granite slivers, they flake like
brittle lizard skin mottling in my hand, there.
 
I can hold this smooth round pebble, and warm
it through. It is stone silent not budding from, to
anything,
 
but I can feel it’s waiting.

#2
 
I cannot get into them. Laying the flakes out onto a table,
or holding the fragile layers in my hands, peeling them back
layer from metallic layer.
 
They are big as skin, bigger than. They’re stone cells,
the living and the not living tissue of stone.
 
They are the skin cells of stones. They glitter in the
black muck, the wet and humus muck of my garden.
They decorate the bones of the nestled reed music,
the flares and tubes of the bamboo that was hacked to
death and tied with meat string,
 
and I remember how bamboo’s music changed when the
poison worked down from leaf to root, and still, they
stilled their rushing noise until it bubbled underground,
 
it’s hollowing sound.
 
It is impossible to dig the tubes out, they generate,
make their generations, gardens away.
All round the hurt tubes are glitters of stone cells.
 
Moon caught, or sun, they fight with dew to blade my eyes.
Stone remnants. I lick my index finger and glitter them.

#3
 
Their crystal greys are almost invisible,
littering the paths where colour is,
 
a blue bird is stone dead,
nesting season is vicious. Wind lifts
his blue,
 
minutely investigates the small
corpse and moves on,
 
the blue against the grey
and the crystal beneath,
 
not the sun, not the moon exposes
the glittering of this new fossil’s making.
 
‘Making Monuments’ is © Christine Murray

10455198_1022566231090046_6024540073007849188_n
Brain of Forgetting is a journal for creative work that engages with archaeology, history, and memory. Based in Cork, Ireland, the journal publishes original work by both new and established writers and artists from all over the world, and also takes an interest in the creative work of those who make the past their profession. Issue 1 called for submissions of poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, photography, and artwork on the theme of ‘Stones’. The resulting collection spans geological time in exploring the human relationship with natural stone, prehistoric megaliths, stone objects, and architectural stone, revealing that stone is no more dead nor silent than the powerful voices within these pages. IN THIS ISSUE: POETRY by Karen An-Hwei Lee, Milton Bates, James Bell, Lindsey Bellosa, Martin Bennett, Mark Burgh, Paul Casey, Dawn Corrigan, Caleb Coy, Joseph Dorazio, William Doreski, Chris Murray, Morgan Downie, Paulette Dubé, Keri Finlayson, Siobhán Flynn, Pat Galvin, Richard Hawtree & more

Christine Murray is a graduate of Art History and English Literature (UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4). She is a City and Guilds qualified restoration stonecutter (OPW). Her chapbook Three Red Things was published by Smithereens Press in June 2013. A collection of poems Cycles was published by Lapwing Press in Autumn 2013 . A dark tale The Blind was published by Oneiros Books late in 2013. Her second book length poem She was published in Spring 2014 (Oneiros Books). A chapbook Signature was published in March 2014 by Bone Orchard Press.

‘Making Monuments’ by Christine Murray