Is it possible to write poetry during Aleppo? Ceasefires don’t last. An estimated 100,000 children trapped. Less than ten days away from starvation. People call an end to the slaughterhouse. The bombing continues. The world goes on.

sightings

Howth sky. The hem of Apollo’s tutu.

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Howth pier. Lipstick lid. Sun over seaweed-rock and rope.

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Dublin. Dixieland jazz and dry cider cannot console the clown on the wall.

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The National Archeological Museum. Peat-digging machine discovers bog body.

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On route to Culture Night in Limerick.

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Along the Liffey.

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variations on a mottled theme

a tree stands lone
against the sun and with lone leaf stares
from its cracked ground

morning knuckles creak; hill-hide ripples golden
mat of fur about to rise, about to rise and growl

you said, sometimes i think the trees are hairs erumpent
from follicles of some vast beast whose skin we prowl

i said, i cannot watch too long the stars or i would stay
the night in keening

iris-glitter dulls within the memory mausoleum

gone the crevices of your voice
gone the nights our tongues dueled
the old sea beating bitter
threnody

the sand crabs have not vanished nor the tread-trace
upon the shells, sea urchins denuded to pink intricacy

bones too abide in subterranean precincts
the skull shuttered to withstand meaning-gales
as yet, the sky has not been singed

doing the jive with Pierrot Lunaire

i
El Greco chose just the right greys and browns to muddle Christ’s face with quietude and death.
For the blood of cherries is sweet.
And by the rivers of blahblah I sat down and wept.

ii
Somber glowworms lumber in hedgerows.
I could not undo the hopes I had birthed in you.
Dandelions chuckle on suckling fields.
Desiccated leaves scritch scratch moonstabbed sidewalks.
Vast moths curtain the iron sun.
All my cells are thirsty.

iii
Supernal nuts draw squirrels up trees.
Church spirals rife with breeze.
My garden. My grapevines. My house.
Stray radishes fester. Rotting roses float on the purple sea.

iv
The mug was cheap but it had held your wine, felt the innards of your palms, and in this way its existence had taken on legitimacy.
And it was right to chase the dreams of the toads with our fingers.
And it was right to listen to the tarantula path of voices across the skin of the slightly heaving house.
It was right to observe the trajectories of nocturnal rodents.

v
Even the moon is musky.
What a beautiful skull. We’ll all look good. An eater of your dead whoreson body is all water.