Sunday, June 11, 2017

Daggers of the Mind

Coast of Ireland
—Anonymous Photo
—Poems by Eamonn Stewart, Belfast, Ireland


In the mall I sat down, tired of walking
And overheard two young spides talking
About the Wasp Gas Injection Knife
Blows up any shark in a trice.
Xmas music imploded back to the P.A.
The lights were dulled, enough heard
I walked away. 

On still and smoggy nights the gas lamps
Sang, infinitesimally, attenuatedly
Like a choir of angels  on a pin
Moths pulsed around the panes
the lamp like Gysin’s Dream Machine a child’s
passing has spun
To Petit Mal scintillas of the sun
Through park railings as you run.

Devils toiling on a school excursion
Imps awestruck, itching to be like them.
The gasworks men shovelled coal
Oblivious to the Carboniferous Era’s
moulds of ferns and cycads or the flames
That flapped dragonfly wings a final time.

The lamps for me evoked a taste of sherbet
Summer evenings, cribby games, girls skipping
Tinted like some Odilon Redon painting.
The gasometer took its last infernal plunge
long before these youths were born
and were inspired with insouciant scorn
even for their own childish pastimes.
The internet dreamed their dreams
Of a knife so obscene no Aztec priest or rapper
Could have vaticinated it in deliria
Drenched with blood and drugs.
The yobs play Gilles de Rays
To their childhood selves
As the dream knife thrusts
And counterparts explode.

—Anonymous Photo


They say that there’s water on the moon,
And I’ve bought shortbread in Brigadoon…

An African Muslim prostrating in the library.
His backpack and whispered orisons really scared me.
In Linenopolis, I bought a shroud
To pass unnoticed in the crowd.
Who’ll solve the riddle of our history’s Sphinx
And keep the two tribes from the brink?
On the tourist bus they go
To snap the Falls’ outdoor Lascaux.
In Glocca Morra I did roam
And brought some laundered diesel home.

They say there’s water on the moon
And I’ve bought shortcake in Brigadoon…


Mater Infirmorum Hospital

Amongst the capsules, more than one
Osthanic phantasticum:
Cremated human remains
All found on the casualty of a rave.
The anabasis of The Arena Club:
At 4:00 am the coach pulled up.
A girl stopped me on the way to the lab
“A crocodile is eating his back, he says”
“African or Aussie?” I quipped
Swinging the bloods I went on my way.

 W. Belfast at Night
—Photo by Eamonn Stewart


The old, in my infancy
Conflated “scared” with “sacred”
And blessed the streets with holy water
Where shootings had occurred.

But, in primary school essays
I was bereft of descriptors
To frame the absurd—
Having neither readers nor listeners.

Looking through a lens
Seeing everyone as flensed
Like echorche plates:
Not knowing what this portends
And wanting a less vatic state.

Stars are born in dust.
Depression redacts the loveliest poem
For the rest of your life or
Until you die.
In memory’s reliquary
The talismans deflate to filthy husks
And the glum aspersions of stealthiest rain.  



Two girls in our street share one pair of skates.
Divining simple joys, redacting the hopscotch grid
As their lives would be redacted in the future.
Now, the mouse is my planchette.

One woman told me—and I heard her well:
“I only go with fellas who’ve been to jail…”
The shaven heads dazzle their eyes
And the extra gene XYY.
The cup of masculinity overruns,
Bicced* skulls coruscate in the sun.

*from Bic disposable razors


Today’s LittleNip:

When I began to listen to poetry, it's when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.

—Joy Harjo


Our thanks to Ireland’s Eamonn Stewart for today’s poems! Eamonn writes, “I was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1964. I twice won first prize in the Irish Children's National Poetry Competition. I trained to be an advertising photographer. I studied film history at the University of East London. I worked for various arts groups in film and stills. I am currently working on screenplays.” Welcome to the Kitchen, Eamonn, and don’t be a stranger!

—Medusa, reminding you of Lawrence Dinkins’ (NSAA’s) Poet vs. Band Birthday Bash Fundraiser today, 3-6pm at Gold Lion Arts in Sacramento. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.

 Eamonn Stewart
Celebrate poetry—around the world!

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