“Love & its Edges” and other poems by Anna Walsh

is it

is it ok that i am lying on my bed
not having any useful
or funny thoughts
is it ok that i do this
is it ok that i am lying on my bed
and not replying to anyone
is it ok that i do this
for no grand gesture but just
i can be lazy sometimes
is it ok that
when i don’t have to work
or go, or eat
i like that i don’t have to
is that ok
to just waste
some time blinking

in times of overwhelming panic

it’s sometimes too overwhelming
and sad
to be alive
in the world
and to know
that being alive is overwhelming
and sad
either way
you have to sit down
and be quiet
and think,
fuck, i’m so lucky
i love the people that i love
i’m not a total prick
and i can sleep when i need to

love & its edges

i have decided to start practising
assertiveness, and
telling people how frustrated it makes me
when they don’t wash their plates or
when they make me feel bad about myself.
i don’t know what hurts me more
grinding my teeth almost constantly
or you when i start to say no


i am so bored of
trying to be
good, trying to be good
at trying
why does success have to be measured against something else?
i am trying
not to be the messy girl, the
person who needs people so
they cannot be around her
for more than an evening
i hate realising things
it is like
that moment of
disconcert, when you
squint at your screen in the sun
to check the time
you see your face
and then you can’t see anything else
Love & its Edges and other poems is © Anna Walsh

unnamedAnna Walsh is from Mullingar, and holds an MA in Creative Writing. She has been published in the Bohemyth, Belleville Park Pages, and Headstuff. She co-runs The Gremlin.
Anna Walsh at The HU
The Gremlin homepage

AND AGAMEMNON DEAD : An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry

Thanks to Michael J Whelan for this post on ‘And Agamemnon Dead: An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry’ 

Michael J. Whelan - Writer

And Agamemnon Dead An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry Edited by Peter O'Neill & Walter Ruhlmann And Agamemnon Dead
An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry
Edited by Peter O’Neill & Walter Ruhlmann

Hi everyone, I’m really happy to announce that a brand new anthology of contemporary Irish poetry has been published today (St Patrick’s Day) in Paris and I am also delighted to say that I have five poems included in the collection alongside a number of exciting and interesting new voices coming out of Ireland in the these early years of the 21st Century.

And Agamemnon Dead An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry, Edited by Peter O’Neill & Walter Ruhlmann is published by Muavaise Graine (Paris 2015) –

see https://www.facebook.com/mgversion2datura

and among its 187 pages you will find poetry from

Michael McAloran — Amos Greig — Dylan Brennan — Christine Murray — Arthur Broomfield — Peter O’ Neill — Rosita Sweetman — Michael J. Whelan — Anamaría Crowe Serrano —…

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‘Bees and The Authorities’ by Dave Lordan

Solinus, on the authority of Camden,
incontrovertibly declares that there are no bees in Ireland.
Keating impugns both Camden and Solinus
stating Such is the quantity of bees,
that they are found not only in hives,
but even in the trunks of trees, and in holes in the ground.
Modomnoc the beekeeper, who was with St David in Wales,
was followed to Ireland by an adoring swarm of bees.
Writing in the 8th century, Bede the so-called Venerable
opines Hibernia … et salubritate ac serenitate aerum
… Diues lactis ac mellis insula …
Or, so Google tells us,

Ireland has a fine climate, and is a land rich in milk and honey.
In 1920 Benedictine Brother Adam hybridized the Buckfast Bee.
According to The Economist in 1996 Brother Adam was
unsurpassed as a breeder of bees. He talked to them,
he stroked them. He brought to the hives a calmness that,
according to who saw him work, the sensitive bees responded to

The Buckfast Bee – Brother Adam’s supreme though far
from only achievement as a breeder – is super-productive,
extremely fecund, resistant to disease and disinclined to swarm.
However, it cannot perform miracles.
Good St Bega could. She fled Ireland for Northumbria,
away from enforced marriage to a Norwegian Prince.
There she founded the still-extant Cumbrian coastal village
of St Bees, pop 1,717 according to the census of 2001.
Sometime after, although not too long after, 850AD, St Bega,
to gain the land on which to build her priory
from the goading Lord Egremont, made it snow
three inches deep on Midsummer’s Day. Yes, she made
it snow three inches deep on Midsummer’s Day,
dispossessing Lord Egremont, as well as, presumably,
seriously upsetting the bees as a consequence.
Bees and the Authorities is © Dave Lordan, from Lost Tribe Of The Wicklow Mountains

About Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains

untitled‘It may be said, in truth, that he changed his manner almost for every work that he executed’, Vasari said of Di Cosimo, and in Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains Dave Lordan’s poems embrace a wide range of formal and vocal possibilities. Internationally renowned as one of the most inventive and provocative of Ireland’s contemporary performance poets, Lordan reinforces that position in this new collection. There are also poems here that demand a quieter hearing, however, including a long and powerful elegy for Denis Boothman and an urgent meditation on the scourge of suicide in Irish society. The anger that often characterized the poems of Lordan’s first two collections is transformed in Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains into profound explorations and expressions of loss, love and hope – ‘music as a possible sanctity’.

Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains is Dave Lordan’s 3rd collection of poetry and will be published shortly by Salmon Poetry.

Sequences — (After Francis Bacon) by Michael McAloran

Sequences — (After Francis Bacon)

2…meat unto collapse/ stead lapse/ the lung’s abort in headless barrage the head is/ traces the/ meat’s sarcophagus is the light surrounding/ the forms that bind the subject-object/being in this from onset’s claim/ the stripping down of/ in gradual of irreversible/ meat does not climb it cannot/ it/ blind limit of/ in/ in conflict there its sense fed to the/ nausea all in the face of/ the sunken eye divulged of meat/ the meat that is the figure’s construct/ gallowing from bone/ opulent the sickness-pity for/from unsung/ carved out of/movement through nothing the flesh/ clamouring/ cascading yet inward and then yet none/ the laughter of the meat is silent/ the its’ cajole/ meat’s blood spills out of vacuum presence/ meat is not void the head is void in conflict there the meat devoid of/ un-sound…

3…the piss/ cum/ shit of celebratory nothing/ the ruptured meat weeps from the skin’s bind/ bound upon as if it/ or/ in that/ celebratory excavations before the foot of none/ meat’s saving graces in ejaculative/ voidal/ or the introspect of needle/ cunt penetrate/ rectal/ the mutilation of/ meat is the worst possible beginning-ending/ it/ other than/ the head lopped off sings to the solar anus of the eye’s mind percept/ though of or or/ not from the give or the taking from of flesh/ is it/ the head is bone the body boned yet/ unto the sky there is no end it perceives the flesh null and void/ yet in the meat of the percept/ even the fault of which applies/ the whole is not correct merely because it is of the exist/ it does not burn unless it is set to/ light…

4…object of/ scar tissue silences/ yet/ meat stings of the echo-wound/ the bound devour of in/ meat has forgotten/ the head as object desires the other it/ all stripped/ sung from the broken amulets of memory’s shades of silent wasteland/ yet the meat/ still scarred/ collapses under the weight of/ consumption/ because it be/ it can yet be other/ it cannot be other than without choice/ the meat sings blood and sense yet it does not sing of final/ meat is arbitrary/ it sings in pleasure yet it does not sing aloft/ but in the expulsion of desire/ in which none is known/ terms wishes granted it/ dragging out the carcass of it into the light flaying the spectral knowledge/ the meat suffers/ it is a rabid dog in the midst of silence/ seeking to be annihilate/ yet…


5…fleshed on in-step/ bled from/ what is it/ this/ in this is felt yet no/ not of/ in animus of collective taste/ the bleed of asking yet/ bound to/ the face’s demolition/ the smearing of/ hence it lacking identic/ special all as if reverberating sound in cylindrical/ yet meat’s taste is of the flesh it/ sombre ash in the guts/ in the defecate of that already final/ as for the mock bind of sex the interchange and shift of parameter/ meat still yet entwined in the tint of desire’s persistent edge/ all spun together between the animal and the/ obscenely bound to the nothing that is/ if/ where from yet in grip of marrow beneath the flesh’s desertion in/ else never truly penetrating/ the cock lacking the hyenic bone will/ legs splayed/ a cunt exposed/ a rectum/ skinned the purpose of in the thrust of meat and the beckoning void/ of it…


6…the escape from flesh/ momentarily through flesh the loss of being in/ subtle cataract of none/ escapade of/ the blood coming to the eyes the cum coming to the fore/ blind-sighted/ then/ yes or no/ base flesh and the blood-red passage through night/ in machinate of/over again as if to/ yet never the escape from/ not conscious deliverance nor conscious bite/ having bitten the wick between anguish and desire/ chased by the none of exigency and lack/ of final edge and of/ red raw yet no/ of the blood no unless asked of/ the flayed will reduced to ashen/ scar a long the indent of emblem bitten dredge/ the frenzy of/…/all the while the meat slowly erased/ in definite stead/ the sense of final and over and again/ until/ bled out from circus tint of blood/ bone lack…
Sequences — (After Francis Bacon) is © Michael McAloran

mick1Image is © Michael McAloran
Michael Mc Aloran was Belfast born, (1976). His work has appeared in various zines and magazines, including ditch, Gobbet Magazine, Ygdrasil, Establishment, Unlikely Stories, Stride Magazine, Underground Books, InterPoetry, etc. He has authored a number of chapbooks, including The Gathered Bones, (Calliope Nerve Media), Final Fragments, (Calliope Nerve Media) & Unto Naught, (Erbacce-Press). A full length collection of poems, Attributes, was published by Desperanto in 2011. Lapwing Publications, (Ireland), released a collection of his poems, The Non Herein in 2012. The Knives, Forks & Spoons Press, (U.K), also released an ekphrastic book of text/ art, Machinations & Oneiros Books released In Damage Seasons and All Stepped/ Undone in 2013. A further collection Of Dead Silences, was published by Lapwing Publications. His most recent publications are The Zero Eye and Of the Nothing Of (Oneiros Books). He is  the editor/ creator of Bone Orchard Zine and he edits for Oneiros Books.


‘The House of Altogether Nothing’ & Other poems by Jan Sand

The House of Altogether Nothing

The countryside in which it stands
Is broken with large jagged rocks.
Its trees are dark, from northern lands,
Whose branches scratch the sky; boney bough knocks
One against the other. Cold winds finger through
Odd strands of captured human hair,
Torn newspaper strips look as if they grew
Amongst the leaves to bleakly declare
Of violence and despair. Black groves smell
Of damp decay. They display white fungoid growth
Through which black insects grope, explore a shell
Deserted by a snail that caps its glowing trail. One is loathe
To venture near this place of threats
But winding through dead leaves, broken rubble
Is the path where stumble those, full of regrets,
Replete with fears, burdened with trouble,
Pass to reach the house. Its peaks and walls
Assault the sky like a cataclysmic scream,
Intertwined grotesqueries that captures and enthralls
Those destined to drop into its dream.
The weary travelers approach in single file, one by one,
Trudge to the door which swings open wide.
They know their journey’s almost done.
They tremulously step inside.
Halfway down the long bare hall
Their head is seen to wobble, shake.
Comes now a groan, a gasp. Then the fall.
It thumps and rolls. The arms quake
And drop as well. The torso tumbles,
Then the legs topple like loose lumber.
The parts now chute in sliding jumbles
Through a hole in the floor. Nothing left to encumber
The next traveler. The house re-opens its front door.
The upper stories flicker, luminesce.
Moonlight glistens. Something rises to soar
From out a square chimney – glaucus, incandesce
To dissipate like spectral steam.
Something wakens from a dream.

The House of Altogether Nothing is © Jan Sand

These images are © Jan Sand jan1Death


There are rains that drag fog skirts
Across the country-side in stealthy hiss,
That, gently, in determination
Dampens down the grass with sodden kiss
Of sky to earth as caring as a mother
Calms her resting child.
There are rains of panicked horses’ hooves
That illuminate their stampede
With angry lightning flashing on black roofs
While trees sway and shudder in dismay
And water demons pound on window panes.
But some rains come and merely sit
And drum in steady patient siege,
Work soft hammers on the dents and wrinkles of the day
Smoothing anger and distress to flat peace,
Tempt shy dreams to peek from hidden thoughts
And welcome in safe surrender to sleep’s release

Rains is © Jan Sand

2 Am

The early black
Is still unstirred
By yawning morning.
The ceiling fills
With predatory thoughts,
Like quiet children
Come to play
Their silent games,
Poking sticks into
Dark passages
Of forgotten memories;
Memories like frightened mice
That scurry off in panic.
The sadly moaning bell
Sixty years ago on a lonely buoy
Shrugging its shoulders
In a choppy sea.
A special purple
Strangely found on both
An apron and a stub of clay
In kindergarten.
The round eyed stare
Frozen to my mother’s face
As cancer pain
Prodded her to certain death.
A pet white rat curled in snooze

On my pillow by my cheek.
The falling crescent moon
Smiles in my window
Like my long gone mother
Soothing me
Back to the peace of sleep.

2 am is © Jan Sand

jan2Jan Sand is originally a New Yorker. Currently a resident of Helsinki, Finland. Having read and enjoyed his poetry at Open Salon, I requested some work for Poethead.

Bio: I am a former industrial designer formerly a New Yorker, now retired and living in Helsinki, Finland. I have been writing poetry for several decades but am more or less unpublished except at a couple of web sites run by acquaintances met on the web. I know no other poets but take up my time with graphics and poetry and innovative cooking and baking and learning Finnish and relating to the wild animals in my area.