Anu 50 / A New Ulster

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ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)

Featuring the works of Michela Zanarella, Lorraine McGibney, Maureen Alsop, Mel Waldman, Gary Beck, Sharon Frye, Tess Charnley, Peter O’Neill, Silva Merjanian, Cathy Donelan, Gordon Ferris, John W. Sexton and Michael McAloran. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.

Issue No 50 November 2016

A New Ulster Prose On the Wall Website

Editor: Amos Greig Editor: E V Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden Contents


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Michela Zanarella;

1. Father 2. August’s Glances Lorraine McGibbney; 1. Dublin Bound from Casement 2. Gorse 3. Green Squares Maureen Alsop; 1. Witness 2. Sincerely 3. The Other Way 4. Oculus 5. Sehnuscht 6. Guardian, Blue, Inez Mel Waldman; 1. After Trauma I Lay in Olive Fields 2. If We Were Never To Meet Again 3. A Brooklyn Rendezvous with myself at lily pond while sitting with the beat poets 4. Our Dust Lady of 9/11 5. Falling Man 6. The View From Above Gary Beck; 1. Temporal Dreams 2. Unnatural Existence 3. Hungers 4. Domestic Affair 5. Aftermath 6. Regrets Sharon Frye; 1. In 1973, before Occupation of Wounded Knee 2. Saints and Other Heroes


Tess Charnley; 1. The Greats 2. Therapy 3. Dementia Retreat 4. Floorboards and Doubt Peter O’Neill; 1. Je Suis Charlie! Silva Merjanian; 1. A Blank Page Cathy Donelan; 1. Son 2. Ivy 3. Hundreds and Thousands 4. Heat Gordon Ferris; 1. Sleepers 2. Remember Nice 3. Insomnia 4. Night Sounds 5. Prey 6. Questions 7. Crossroad John W. Sexton: 1. The Poet, Misunderstood, Seeks Reconciliation with His Love 2. The Giantess 3. No Longer Bound 4. One-Way Ticket Please Michael McAloran; 1. At Vacuums Edge extract On The Wall Message from the Alleycats

Round the Back Thomas Brezing by Peter O’Neill


Manuscripts, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 23 High Street, Ballyhalbert BT22 1BL Alternatively e-mail: See page 50 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Digital distribution is via links on our website: Published in Baskerville Oldface & Times New Roman Produced in Belfast & Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 77 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work. ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online) Cover Image “Undiscovered� by Amos Greig


“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. ” Aristotle Onassis. Editorial Welcome to our 50th edition a number that I could only have dreamt off back when I first started this journey and it has been quite a journey. We’ve published two different anthologies this year, provided a platform for work from around the world and this year we managed to reach an audience of 16,000 people worldwide I’m truly humbled by that fact. 50 holds a special meaning for me what with StarTrek having turned 50 this year and now us a monthly platform for poetry, prose and more, we accept work from new and established writers and many of those who have been published by us for the first time have gone onto to even greater heights with their work that is something I’m proud off as a poet myself I am well aware of how hard it was to get published. The social and political aspect of A New Ulster is still of importance to me I believe that poetry unites and brings together people from different walks of life and with the use of new technologies makes the world that much smaller. A New Ulster or ANU as some call it affectionatly has become a global phenomena with readers worldwide as well as submissions. Dads been ill he’s starting to recover however he has had some knocks he has been diagonsed with COPD and he has been continuing to produce new Lapwing poetry and prose books for this year. I’ve seen the list and its impressive to see. We are saddened to see that several publishers have run into difficulties we wish those affected all the best.

Amos Greig Editor.


Biographical Note: Michela Zanarella

Michela Zanarella is the author of poetry, fiction, and plays. Born in Cittadella, Michela lives and works in Rome, where she carries out her work in collaboration with various journals on the web. She has published eight books of poetry, and she has received several national and international awards. Her poetry has been translated into Spanish, Romanian, French, English and Arabic.


Father (Michela Zaranella) Father, I boast of the color and of the sound that, laughing, you pursue across seasons and wombs of light. I say to the skin how much we both sink roots into impulse and cities. You always occupy more depth of my playing at life, that space of warm similarity to the glass cabinets of a dream. In part, in your asphalt of man I seek vapors of everlasting pride, that silence that I know, sailing ship of great warmth. Transled in english by Leanne Hoppe


August’s Glances (Michela Zaranella) You seek me in the glances of August, you throw your blue aboard the edges of my lips. You commit a pulse of muscles and light to eternity, you become electricity where the sweat smells of resin and sea. With your life you invade my life and with the retina call me love.


Biographical Note: :Lorraine McGibbney

Lorraine McGibney from Donegal now resides in Kerry. Her work has featured in The Derry Journal, Vine Leaves, The Honest Ulsterman, The Galway Review, Quailbell, Stanzas Limerick and Proletarian. Her poetry has been included in anthologies. Shortlisted at Listowel Writers Week 2015 in the Originals category for Short Poem, she’s currently working on her first collection.


Dublin Bound From Casement (Lorraine McGibbney)

They got on at Killarney, she with her crumpled Tesco bag as if she'd slept on it, full of sandwiches made the night before in a scullery bellowing with turf smoke, from a down draught. Plunged the bag between them like an insolent boy. Her husband, maybe brother, top to toe in cordoruoy, his safe plaid shirt the little squares, a maths copy hungry grids craving numbers. They traded their reading, The Examiner for a magazine. The luggage racks, vast empty spaces, sporadic cases piled on coats. Her handbag crossed her body sat on her lap, an obedient child, still, silent staring at landscapes left behind. The sandwiches debuted for breakfast after the chink of the trolley passed, trundled through the next carriage,


the thimble of UHT dribbled into their Barry's tea with her tutting.

She stripped back the foil, the silver crumpling mashed in her arthritic hands, plopped into the cavernous bag. Granary slices passed over I envisaged half squares of stodgy white, soggy from seeping tomatoes, weeping over crumbed ham. Dentures crunched lettuce, above the rumble on tracks and bunched conversation. Distracted, the words on the page slunk off, abandoned me and my attempts to read. They hurried to the doors, with five minutes to spare, pushing, rushing afraid of time. Disappeared at Mallow, into a faceless sea of rucksacks and rigid arms pulling trolley cases probably for that cup of proper tea.


Gorse, Furze or Whin Memories (Lorraine McGibbney)

Gorse with jagged spikes, the dainty petals of prickly bush lined our garden, edged the river, swollen, brown after a deluge. Topped with caramel foam complementing the barrel's rust, precarious and flaky with the force of water. Like a whimsical skin that disappeared when we poked through with sticks.

Witches we were, dressed in shorts and sandals balancing on rocks, stirring our spells chanting skug, magasumika our own secrets. I smell the coconut from the velveteen petals, glossy like butter melting in its dish. Sliding from an oblong, sides caving in a tiny piece of Kerrygold wrapper falling with the yellow lava, perfect for toast. There's no Ulex europaeus in my garden now no burst of sunshine from prickly spikes, turning the hedge into a golden bank, perfect against azure skies with fuzzy jet streams.


Green Squares (Lorraine McGibbney)

The flight from Barcelona was early morning. I sat, with the fake fur collar from my Zara coat concealing half my face. Watched the flight board changes flip over, with an hour to spare Noted hurried life, short legs, long legs, in buggies and wheelchairs, others rushing to gates for the last name call. Security guards circled with their awareness tucked into their navy trousers, clipped with radios and batons, shiny and sleek like Brylcreemed hair. I missed all the green, the relentless rain, the wind, the rapid drop in warmth come October like skydivers without chutes. Instead I sat on a beach at Hallowe'en, letting sand fall from the hourglass of my fingers. Waiting for December, sharing my English with children in evenings in tiny classrooms with alphabet squares papering walls. The descent signalled I was home. 13

From the vacuum tight window I gazed as cows lazed on emerald grass in pre Christmas mist. I couldn't count forty, but the shades of hedgerows and patchworked fields made up the landscape, damp and dewy in winter fog. I came back, to you as promised, back home.


Biographical Note: Alan Britt Mureen Alsop

Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of four poetry collections: Mantic, Apparition Wren, Mirror Inside Coffin and Later, Knives & Trees. Her poems have been published widely.


WITNESS (Maureen Alsop)

In the bay they began with candles; mangroves spilled with cranes. Steadying the air. Red bellflowers sang through plankton.

A village across the waters burned all night, gentle figures carried halo’s sheen, and small boats fanned out against star's trajectory northward. Hour crossed hour. On this isthmus larch, your scent of frost and wool, seem associative. Your specter culminates the lake’s druzy agate; dendrites grip one guardian’s lung. Ocean’s name once: river. I sink heat’s sphere against canopies of terns. I linger.


SINCERELY (Maureen Alsop)

The undertaking. A spot hollowed among grassy stirrings. A fracture. A train

washed frame by frame. Bereft dream matter. Inspection point. Ratio

of image to proportion. Diurnal navigation. Sparrows physicality as distraction.

You never went back. Your hand stroked winter’s bleached embroidery. You said this was not

another spell’s repletion, but what did you determine? When you walked thorough the boundary you changed the pronoun.


THE OTHER WAY (Maureen Alsop)

The other way to write an elegy is to recount the day's translucence spread. You borrow the earth, tagged by edifice. Moon streaked oblation. Erasures were cinquefoil stains, birds as ampoules. Clouds still the freeway in conversation rather than convention. Astringent grasses bade vellum plains. Because we were listening. Because each early clairvoyance spoke the body's unused language: magpie, salt. What was the question?


OCULUS (Maureen Alsop)

Were the screens between constellations innumerable at that point you saw yourself? I’ve heard the entrance there is infinite. Whose providence leads you? Grief, or an opposite dusk. —O, ill-educated lover.

— O, penitent sovereign. — Traveler

please investigate the midland. Where the prairie's nitrogen-blue exhaust filled your lungs; where the breezeway departs it’s sky. Spirit after spirit waits. O, necessary one. Finalize your checklists: evaporative particles, theoretical dimensions. You carry an old work, greyed into animal Spector, amenable sheen as in a summary, a river's height, Mariner's noon, an igneous horizon. Mercury's halo somehow struck dumb. You abide the anchoress as now observed in stereoscope. No, You were not invulnerable. You were a slowly shame's slowly-ness turned ghostward.


SEHNUSCHT (Maureen Alsop)

Do what you can, but in case you have need, begin with water. The labradorites under leaf, the shaded eucalypt are approbations. No one will defend you. But you will receive touch point. Wander through grasses and consider. What voice holds the rope tightly? Do what you would to guide a somnambulist. Grief is a careful telling of one’s written name. Love’s clumsy dialogue. Hold no translation. Hold no convention.


GUARDIAN, BLUE, INEZ (Maureen Alsop)

A moment ago he was breathing over a book And yet only the lamp dull light was witness—a fold where papers stuck. A current between mantle piece portraits he did not hear. She only remembered you were at the old house; half way up the oak stairwell she remained thankful. She remembered love, but that love had faded. She waited at water level— illuminate. Counterpart. His lesser glance turns the pages. Where you found the green grass soft faded.





After trauma, I lay in olive fields. In the cold desolation of my psyche,

I lay, covered in death, in the deep snow & the shrill silence of the chill odyssey

through the quiet tempest of shock & unreality, swirling in the stillness of a frozen faraway place.

After trauma, I lay in olive fields. I heard the sharp sounds of shattered crockery

& watched potshards sail & crash & crack inside my broken brain where turquoise butterflies

& peacock feathers turned black & died. In my tomb of olive flesh, I survived,

buried in the deep snow in the cold desolation of my psyche. 23


If we were never to meet again, my quintessence, a sphere of blinding white light adorned with gold and turquoise peacock feathers, would explode, and I would secretly die, for the world of flesh and folly does not see or feel the death of a dazzling spirit.

If we were never to meet again, my veiled soul, an ocean of strange beauty and metamorphosis, would flow away and vanish, shattered by an unbearable loss that lacerates the glowing spirit, and we would never cry or laugh together again or sing the sensuous songs of life once more. Yet the world of earthly beings would not notice my private death, for it does not know the invisible.

If we were never to meet again, my divine sparks, hidden in the Holy Land of my psyche, would cease to soothe and heal my slashed face of broken glass; concealed in my invisible universe, my celestial candles, ghostly dancers of Yesterday whirling and swirling and dancing the sacred dance of life, would 24

no longer penetrate and illuminate my vast darkness, for my divine sparks would be scattered across a windswept wasteland, buried beneath the deep snow and ice, and I would die again and again, each day at dawn, when a thousand shards of sunrise touched my flesh, without you, my dear, by my side, to whisper love, and breathe life into my motionless soul.



By Dr. Mel Waldman

(on reading Gregory Corso’s poem-Hello)

And I return to Lily Pond again to meet myself inside the oval mirror of my mind & say hello once more


in a sweet rendezvous in the sacred garden of

& say hello & say hello by the soothing waters & say hello to the familiar stranger swirling in phantasmagoria & rushing slowly 27

in the mirror of glittering reflections at the center of my chimerical omphalos & here inside the oval mirror I return to Lily Pond & sit with the Beat Poets Corso, Kerouac, & Ginsberg, phantom companions of my inner landscape, a necessary illusion within the flowing opalescence of my brainwaves 28

& suddenly, the rebel-ghost Corso rises & leaps toward Lily Pond & shrieks hello & his raw visionary voice drills a hole in my dream-mind & opens it to metaphysical malaise & I say hello 29

inside the echo chamber of my dreamscape I say hello hello hello

& meet myself again & whisper in sweet susurrations-

Who am I? & shriek soundlessly-

Who am I? inside a dust devil & an unholy silence screams-

Who am I? within my swirling nowhere30

my everlasting existential question-

Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? unending shadow of a shadow of my phantom soul that follows me to Lily Pond where the rebel-ghost Corso peers at his fathomless fragile self,

a wounded deer, & reveals his trauma his truth a bestial shattering here at Lily Pond 31

on the Brooklyn College campus circa summer 1965 & I gaze into the mirror of my mind & touch the broken glass of the merciless shattering of the self & hear shards of my apocalyptic past exploding into my mutilated eyes & I mourn all I have lost all that is gone all who have died I mourn all the death I carry inside & 32

I say hello hello hello at a Brooklyn rendezvous with myself at Lily Pond while sitting with the Beat Poets & I say hello


OUR DUST LADY OF 9/11 By Dr. Mel Waldman Our Dust Lady of 9/11, you look out at us & we look in until we look away, perhaps, but say, we shall remember, shall not forget. & we live our lives, I imagine, & move on through discarded news/throw-away sorrow & buried in daily despair we 34

cross Shakespeare’s tomorrow and tomorrow & creep & crawl through the chaos & cacophony of our days. Such things I ponder. Can’t really speak for us, I confess. Our human ways are diverse, though I believe we are one, linked by cosmic love-threads. Our voices say, we shall remember, shall nor forget. Yet all I really know is thisin the deep snow of my wounded love, I cover you-Dust Ladywith my prayers bless & cover you then fall into the chasm of my private pain only to return to you from time to time Last night, I watched the crimson sun dissolve & the swirling darkness spiral into the deep silence of my divinity & at dawn, I witnessed the glorious star rise again resurrected in a swirl


of gold & in the haunting hour of rebirth, I found you again-rediscovered you in an old pile of wounded worn dusty papers. There you were-/captured inside/the iconic photo/ our Dust Lady of 9/11 anointed with a flood of unholy dust covered & caked in destiny & death born Marcy Borders trapped in a toxic downpour & transmogrified into a haunting horrific symbol Marcy Borders fleeing Hell rushing slowly through death-saturated streets as the south tower imploded plummeted


Marcy Borders trapped in a vast terror-cage of dust but now, you are forever ordained by ferocious fate-forever our Dust Lady, perennial icon of 9/11, now deceased at 42

cause of death-

stomach cancer

& a 9/11 homicide victim? a 9/11 homicide victim? a 9/11 homicide victim? Rest in peace, Dust Lady, this is my memorial prayer

my holy poem

Lie serenely inside these words.

my sacred hymn for you. Be Heaven-bound & free.


FALLING MAN By Dr. Mel Waldman

In my head, I fall with the Falling Man. He’s imprinted in my brain, part of the shattered day in September.

I don’t know why it returns to me, in part or full, in all the seasons of my life, physical or psychological, with some or all my senses, especially the visual, at any time, in any place.

A word or phrase, a sound, odor, or picture; an event, or perhaps, another threat to our way of life summons it; something innocuous or evil triggers shards of that day and the myriad images, a multitude of trauma, and I remember as much as I can bear, or perhaps, too much.

In front of the Bronx community health center where I worked, a healer of the mind, I witnessed a tornado of swirling smoke. Yet I didn’t believe my eyes, for what I saw was surreal and soul-cutting, incomprehensible. Downtown, the towers collapsed. When I visited Union Square, the closest I came to Ground Zero, I smelled a foul odor that stuck to my flesh.

I didn’t see the flood of falling bodies, nor the Falling Man, in particular. But later, I gazed hypnotically at the grotesque TV images and the horrific photos.

The photograph entitled The Falling Man devours my spirit.

Dressed in white, the Falling Man plummets headfirst to Ground Zero. This horrific image stays with me, buried in the caverns of my mind until something resurrects it.


I don’t know why it returns to me. But in my head, I fall with the Falling Man, never reaching the ground, waiting for the smell of evil to leave me.



The view from above the cityscape is vast. It moves and feeds my spirit. Yet my hazel eyes look south

and touch the elongated Void, an unbearable emptiness mixed with metallic dust and human debris, rushing

toward my private mansion like never-ending waves of desert dunes; and soon my house and I will be buried


So I look north, away from Yesterday’s wasteland and the eerie, ineffable images imprinted in my psyche;

I look away. Yet still, I see swirling particles, once human, sailing through the toxic air, plummeting to

earth. I can’t bear to see such evil.

I saunter off on the High Line, a defunct railroad 40

structure resurrected as a celestial park above the

streets of Manhattan.

My journey begins after sunrise on a sultry August morning. I stroll across a walkway surrounded by


From time to time, I stop and reflect. The freight trains used to run here decades ago. Now, a

glorious landscape of greenery replaces the antediluvian rail line. Lost in reverie, I walk for hours and swallow the divine dreamscape. Half-a-day seems

like a lambent flame brushing across my face before vanishing.

I drink effervescence. Time no longer exists. And yet, after meandering through the


labyrinth of my mind and across walkways and promenades, I turn around and head


I stop at the Chelsea Market Passage and sit at a table. It’s almost sunset.

My eyes drift toward the Hudson River. I wait.

I anticipate a glorious sunset. Yet surreptitiously, I gaze at the

Manhattan skyline.

I see what isn’t there. The emptiness eats my spirit.

The view is vast and devastating. Each time I look back,

I die again.


Biographical Note: Gary Beck Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 3 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction(Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways,


Displays Perceptions (Winter Goose Publishing). Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) and Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Acts of Defiance will be published by Dreaming Big Publications. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.


Unnatural Existence (Gary Beck) The sparrows of Bryant Park have a privileged life, no natural predator to threaten them. The migrants, warblers, juncos, chickadees, not as aggressive, do not disrupt the feeding cycle. But one day a homeless man brought two cats on leashes to the safe haven. Ignorant birds never saw a cat before, instincts dormant approached the felines who sprang upon them, biting and scratching feathered dodos, until the homeless man, tired of savage slaughter, took his cats away, surviving sparrows 44

no wiser, nor better prepared to escape predation.


Hungers (Gary Beck) When I was a young man lust possessed me driving me to despair, as I burned to read every book ever written, as I yearned to make love to every beautiful woman I met, appetite swollen past reason by tormenting hungers possessing me with desires beyond my control.


Domestic Affairs (Gary Beck)

After the soirĂŠe is over everyone departs a little the worse for gobbling rich foods, excessive alcohol, pestering notables, demanding quality time with prominent host, too busy to enjoy the few worth talking to.

While the host relaxes servants clean the mess, tiredly go home to outer borough apartments, some fortunate to bring leftover food, a few grateful for employment, most of them angry, resentful


they can't get anything better.

No consolation watching tv, the parade of gleaming cars, luxury items they'll never possess further provokes class hatred, not yet an imminent danger to the complacent wealthy, who forgot the guillotine.


Aftermath (Gary Beck)

Regrets, too often felt after pleasures, crimes, accomplish nothing, not relieving guilt, never exonerating bad deeds, another weakness possessing many, altering few.


Regrets (Gary Beck)

The wrongs I did, faults that reflected me echo through my mind not as guilt, but regret for the harm I caused others that cannot be atoned, because each act was a finality once concluded, irreversible, hopefully, for the sake of others, consequences not significant.


Biographical Note: Sharon Frye

Sharon Frye is a poet from Northern Oklahoma. When not delivering the mail, she likes to make a few noisy scrawls across a page or take her camera and capture a moment.


Saints and Other Heroes (Sharon Frye) Give golden laurels to your heroes That bring home a purple heart. Wrap holy relics of hallowed saints ‘round your neck to grant you peace. Stock-pile saints onto calendars You may worship one-a-dayWith a muffin and some orange juice, You can hold one while you pray. But my hero holds a boom-box Playing hip-hop as she rolls, Purple wheel chair whirls hypnotic Figure-eights to beats that blare. She does an escapade on asphalt, Axle spins and lasso loops. Fancy wheelwork, spinning forward Then goes backward in a spiral. Just a young girl crowned in dread-locks Sit-spins praises from a chair, Scratching toe loops, weaving star lifts In her own sacred prayer.


In 1973, before Occupation of Wounded Knee (Sharon Frye) I served Russell Means a cup of coffeea smiling waitress in a mountain town called Custer, served the brown-skinned leader from AIM and his attorney morning coffee. All eyes focused on the Lakota man in braids, born in Paha Sapa, heart of Mother Earth. I watched his wide lips move as he spoke, scanned his coffee as it grew cold. I’d heard of electricity charging a roomhis presence was like morning thunder, a straight bolt from the blue, striking and splitting space with a fiery hiss. The Coffee Cup Café stood in the same block as the courthouse: a few months earlier 200 Indians broke windows, ripped out a radiator, set courts and Chamber of Commerce ablaze. I noticed not one of the white ranchers blinked at the Chronicle’s headlines, SARAH BAD HEART BULL SENTENCED: 1-5 years for instigating a riot and arson. Mother of a murdered son, shoved into snow, choked and beaten by police served more time


than the white man who murdered her son, Wesley Bad Heart Bull, in the Buffalo Gap Bar. He, who muttered "Gonna get me an Indian" served NO time for his sin of man-slaughter. Yet slaughter he did, knifing Wesley’s brown gutHis lifeblood staining dusty Dakota streets. Sometimes the earth quivers beneath us but the coffee cup shook from my hand when a local man brayed loud enough for all the crowd to hear--"Dirty Indian!"


Before Occupation of Wounded Knee (Sharon Frye)

Russell Means drank a cup of coffeeA smiling waitress in a mountain town served the leader from AIM and his attorney morning brew.

Eyes lingered on the Lakota man in braids tied with leather ribbon watched his wide lips move as he spoke, scanned his coffee as it grew cold.

Undertows ripped through air. His presence was morning thunder, a straight bolt from the blue, splitting space with a fiery hiss.

No customer blinked at the Chronicle’s headlines: “SARAH BAD HEART BULL SENTENCED” Sarah, shoved into February snow, choked, beaten by police served more time

than that white man who murdered her son outside the Buffalo Gap Bar. That guy who muttered "Gonna get me an Indian!" 55

served no time for knifing Wesley’s brown gut.

And the school children made a game finding Wesley in flecks of bloodstained mica and gravel paving the dusty Dakota street.

Sometimes the earth quivers beneath us and coffee cups shake in our hands when local men stand and bray"Dirty Indian, Go back to the Rez!�


Biographical Note: Tess Charnley

Tess Charnley was born in Bristol in 1994 and currently lives and works there. She has just finished studying English and Visual Culture at The University of Exeter and is soon going to begin studying for an MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London.


The Greats (Tess Charnley) Your poems crash over me And I, like a grain of sand, Am eroded by the enormity Of your ocean. Your poems would transform me Into a shard of glass Reflecting your sea-blue brightness And sharp. Ready to dagger into The journals and maybe A book, Were I not so whittled Down into The riptide of lines That slice through my mind, Lines that are not my own. Confessional but never My confessions. Never to crash over Another.


Therapy (Tess Charnley) This is the confessional of a secular state; where guards can be released and the past unpicked, thread by thread. Weeping is encouraged. These walls are shaking in their foundations. Desperate to reveal themselves but trapped by their own mortar. This carpet is peeling back, inch by inch, exposing the solidified sweat of ten trampled years. Out of the squeezebox I manage to force words through spittle sludge, forming a’s, e’s, i’s, o’s, u’s – seeking help Sound by sound.


Dementia Retreat (Tess Charnley) The loss of him was your end. I thought it was mine too. That day when my chest stopped working For the grief That day when we wept over his coffin And you drank wine Because there was nothing else to do. I buried myself In snowy mounds and men To forget the me that you’d forgotten To rework myself into something You wouldn’t want to know If you could. We lost each other That Paris day All sunshine and rotting tears. I haven’t seen you. The only one who won’t. But will you ever know what it meant When you forgot how to wear your clothes And who my mother was. Where are you now?


Floorboards and Doubt (Tess Charnely) I hate this part of the evening, before you get home. When the flat is quiet and there’s no click clack of your impractical shoes on the floor. I ordered us a pizza from Dominoes, half and half and still hot, just. You said you’d be home at six but now it’s seven and I have to wonder are you with those men again?


Biographical Note: Peter O’Neill Peter O' Neill is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Sker (Lapwing, 2016) and Divertimento The Muse is a Dominatrix ( mgv2>publishing, 2016). A translator of Dante and Baudelaire, he has also edited two publications with his publisher, Walter Ruhlmann, in France for mgv2>publishing; An Agamemnon Dead, an anthology of early twenty first century Irish poetry and Transverser, issue 81 of mgv2>datura. The founder of Donkey Shots, a festival of avant garde poetry held in his home-town of Skerries in north county Dublin, and The Gladstone Readings. His background is in philosophy and comparative literature. He was the writer in residence at the Loughshinny Boathouse Project for a three month period at the start of 2016, a position that was awarded to him by Fingal Arts. He is currently working on his first novel.


Je Suis Charlie! (Peter O’Neill)

Thought thinks itself in order for it to be taught. It is almost independent of us, the so -called thinkers. We then but thought's conveyors. Look around, see how thoughtless we in fact truly are, without a real thought to the world!

White had been thinking about The Rocks, considering it as a place for him to live. Someone had mentioned the name of a new apartment complex, which was currently in construction. They had a website, which White had studied. The images of the residence seemed very fine. All the signature features which were in vogue were there. Future proofed PVC Windows and Ultratech front door are fitted to deliver high performance. So the brochure read.

It was typical of the zeitgeist of the times, overtly verbose. But the linguistic patterns were only mimicking the financial markets. It was boom- time, so excess was the rule. Well, actually the boom had officially burst a year previous. White had been one of the lucky ones, he still had a job. But for how long? That was anyone's guess really, but the private school where he worked was still doing exceptionally well. They were implementing one of the basic business models of the day; undercut all of your competitors’ prices. Sell your product, in this case educational courses, at the cheapest rate and sell them in bulk. It was the model that the so called ‘budget’ airlines used. It was brutal. Not very pretty to see. There were no frills. Just the basic service. But, it worked.

White, of course, hated the place. He also couldn't stand most of the people whom he came into contact with. Fortunately, for him, as the head of a department, he didn't have to put up with too much nonsense. At least not yet!

He sat in his office behind his desk on Grand Row, and while other denizens of the Dark Pool sat under the sacred heart of Jesus, White, sat under Étienne Carjat's iconic Portrait of Charles Baudelaire, circa 1862. For, it had special significance for him, placed above his desk there. Most of the other departmental heads spoke to him about Jesus, and the word of god. White couldn't believe it. He was surrounded, on almost every side, by morons who spent the greater part of their working day stabbing each other in the back, short changing their customers, and basically doing everything humanly possible to shaft the person standing in front of them. Yet, when they were sitting down beside you, having a cup of coffee, or


drinking what was meant to be a nice relaxing glass of wine, they would start talking about Jesus and how they had been truly saved!

Hypocrite lecteur, - mon semblabe,- mon frère!

Hence “Charlie!” Normally, White would never be given to such extravagances, but under the circumstances, being provoked every day, as he was, he had no other choice.

Sometimes, White would look up at the great image of the poet. Charles Baudelaire, born 1822, died 1867. White knew the dates by heart. The first copy of Les Fleurs Du Mal having been published in the month of June, 1857. These were very significant dates to White. In a sense having much more meaning and significance to him than, say, Christmas, for example. For, as far as White could see, looking around him, nothing had really changed since the poet’s day. After all, a mere 150 years or so had passed since Charlie boy, as he was known affectionately to White by, had almost singlehandedly launched his Copernican revolution, turning all notions of western Christian morality on their head, and becoming, in T.S. Eliot’s words, the ‘Father of Modernism’ in one foul swoop.

There was a knock on the door. White looked at his watch. It was only a quarter to ten and already someone was coming to bother him.

“Come in!” White called out from behind the deluge of paperwork which was amassing now on the table in front of him. Lesson plans, student reports, catalogues for English language publications, and in amongst all of this detritus a copy of The Paris Review rested. He had just picked it up that week, on a whim. There was an interview with Kazuo Ishiguro and the collages of Louis Armstrong inside, and for both these reasons he had thought it had been worth the money alone.

The figure of Chantal, the Mauritian PA to the Anglo-Saxon CEO, was trying to make herself look small. They had a rather curious relationship. Chantal, while being a hated figure by most of the other members of the school, be they students, teachers or administrative staff… with White she managed to maintain a more than civilised and professional relationship. One of the reasons for this was undoubtedly down to the fact that White accepted the fact that Chantal was a Class A BITCH. Personally, he had no beef with this. It was, according to White, the very specific nature of women, after all. If frère Charlie had thought him anything it was this fundamental lesson, and rather than look upon it as a fault why not see it more as a virtue? It was all part of Charlie Boy’s great moral re- inversion. Rather than seeing the world


as it could, should, or would be, as in the Christian tradition, for example, why not just see and accept the world as it is! Sheer genius, really.

“Tu veut quoi?” White grunt mimicked, as soon as Chantal stuck her head around the door.

White had spent almost a decade living and working in France, and despite the fact that it was almost ten years ago, he still kept his spoken and reading French as active as he possibly could, by reading Uncle Charlie, of course, and conversing with the natives, just as much as he could.

Chantal smiled at him. It made her look like a crocodile, White thought. How keen and beautifully sharp and white her teeth were, in contrast to her darkened skin. She was an utter animal, a predator. He knew it well, and she knew he knew it. This is what held them together, like gel.

“Mary wants to see you, darling.” Chantal made the announcement, as if she were announcing White’s execution. She was very dramatic. The whole school, if the truth were to be told, lived on drama. But then, do not all places of employment? Politics & intrigue. After working for over three years in the company, ludicrously called The Beacon, White had had enough of it. The so called evangelicalism. Hence the name! White even recalled the time, almost three years previous, when he had been held in better favour, and when the C.E.O. used to call him in to her office more often for her little chats. White remembered her reasoning behind the name, symbolising as it did the beacon of hope which she saw the school handing out to the many immigrants who were coming to Ireland’s fair and very green shores. Christ, how the whole bloody hypocrisy of the place made him sick to his stomach. These Gombeens he was surrounded by! The school’s marketing strategy, if one could call it that, was to target very specific and vulnerable groups in various places around the world: single mothers from China, young blue eyed students from Brazil, and desperate students from Mauritius and other parts of Africa, with whom the school had developed ties with, through the context of so called religious organisations, all with a very evangelised feel to them. White, who had been working in the English language sector for over a decade, was well used to seeing schools attaching themselves to very specific markets, and milking them for all they were worth. In one of the last schools he worked in almost the entire student population had been Chinese, the school had been known as ‘the Chinese school’. So the first thing that had struck him about The Beacon was the diverse nature of the student population. In other words, the company seemed to have some sort of foresight, not just putting all their eggs into one basket. This is how the last school had eventually closed, due to the fall in the Chinese market, which had come about with the fall in the property market in Ireland, brought about by the great financial crash of 2008. Here they were still, three years after it, doing business, at least just about, while many of the other top schools had finally hit the wall. The entire industry, along with many others, had been decimated. White didn’t really understand how bad the industry had suffered until one day, about six months previous, while 65

walking around adjacent to Trinity College, his old stomping grounds, he passed the empty shell that had once been The English Language Centre of Ireland. There, once housed in the Georgian splendour of Dublin 2, the veritable flagship of all the language centres around the country, not just inner city Dublin, but the entire country, was no more… White remembered standing there for over fifteen minutes, or so, just letting the information sink in. He remembered looking at the great emerald green door, set in between the two Ionic columns on either side of it. The very portal then, talismanic, of the old city of Dublin, with all of its Joycean and Greek Hellenism. God knows, White had been such a sucker for all of it too. He remembered visiting the place with his former DOS , when White himself was learning the ropes, after their school, which they had both been working in at the time, had just successively passed an industry inspection conducted by the government agency responsible for Quality Assurance within the sector at the time. 1

White could see him now, Francis Maher, a self- described ‘ country boy’, up living in the Big Smoke that was Dublin. Country boy, me ass, White thought. More like cuntry boy! And with an emphasis on the cunt . The French had a great expression, un con. Un con de la tout premier ordre! A cunt of the very highest order! White knew that it was a word that was used with distaste in Ireland, but he had taken back with him the French passion for saying things as they were, as opposed to the more indirect approach of the Irish. Let’s be honest about it, a nation of hypocrites. That is what we are, and it was something which White could never quite get a handle on, which of course is why he had shagged off to France in the first place. But that was all bottled water, well and truly pissed away under Parliament Bridge ( How he missed it?) and there was no point in harping on about it now.

Francis Maher, White thought, shaking his head while staring over at the great Georgian edifice. How he loved this place.

“ You see White,” White could hear him say, “ This is how we should go about things on The Green.”

The Green of course referring to the green space near to where the two men were employed. Maher looked up at the rococo plaster work, which had been recast, set and lovingly handpainted, decorating the whole walls of the hallway, leading up the stairs and eventually spreading right across the ceiling to the ornate chandelier.

White caught the look on Maher’s face, as his eyes followed the plasterwork mouldings. He was almost carried away in a mild delirium. This kind of behaviour, for White, was very concerning. White, being the Operations Manager, had to liaise on a day to day basis with Maher. The Green was a small family business, and as such they liked to be aware of


everything that was going on in their school, and Maher was seen as liability. His behaviour was becoming more and more erratic.

“Keep a close eye on him, White.” Mr. Mac, as he was known as, had told him.

Il portait sur sa face une condemnation ineluctable. White recalled the line from Le Baiser au Lépreux, or The Leper’s Kiss, by the French Catholic novelist Francois Mauriac. He bore upon his face a look of ineluctable condemnation; White had read the book at Maher’s request. It was something that they shared together, a love of French literature, despite the fact that they had very different tastes. Maher had told White that he had strongly identified with the character Jean Péloueyre, in the book. In an effort to understand Maher better, White had read the book. He remembered very early on in the novel a passage where Péloueyre contemplates an aphorism by Nietzsche taken from Beyond Good and Evil, one of White’s favourite books. Aphorism 260, it was, in which Nietzsche discusses two kinds of morality; the morality of the master, and the morality of the slave. In Mauriac’s novel, the character Jean Péloueyre identifies with the morality of the slave. It was written all over his face, White thought, remembering the rest of the sentence, tout son étre était construit pour la défaite;his entire being had been forged for defeat- comme son pére, d’ailleurs, comme son pére. Just like in the novel by Francois Mauriac, it was all because, once again, the cramp of religion. After White had read the book he felt he understood Maher better than anyone in The Green. It had brought him closer to Maher, in many ways, though at the same time it was what had divided them, irredeemably.

“Eh, Monsieur! Monsieur Blanc?”

It was the high pitched voice of Chantal again. She was standing by the door, looking at him with that look of school- girl admiration, which made her look quite attractive, in a sense. White must have dozed off into a kind of reverie. It was happening to him now, more and more. That was age. The truth was that none of them were getting younger. Not he, not Chantal, and certainly not Francis Maher, that was for sure. What ever happened to him? White made a mental note to speak with McCarthy, in Marketing, about him.

As he followed Chantal out of his office, his eyes resting on the flesh of her calves; the almost mesmerising phenomenology of their almost ceaseless movement … eventually, he stopped himself outside of McCarthy’s office door. He knocked, while simultaneously making a signal to Chantal with his hand that he would only be two minutes. As he waited for McCarthy to respond, he caught the silhouette of Chantal’s figure out of the corner of his eye, dressed in her slightly military beige blazer, with one hand cocked upon her hip, while with the other she leaned against the wall of the CEO’S office wall, her legs crossed, and one foot slightly parting ways from her stiletto. They were all, it seemed to White, at moments like 67

these, merely going through the motions of some characters in a game of eternal charades. White sighed and pushed open the door.

He was immediately greeted by the spectacle of McCarthy, the man who had been responsible for head-hunting him in the first place. He was sitting behind his desk, which was covered in bank notes. He looked, with his shirt sleeves rolled up and the noticeable signs of perspiration on his face, like a bank teller, or money launderer. White couldn’t really distinguish the difference between the two occupations, at this stage.

“Are you going for a coffee?” White asked him.

McCarthy nodded enthusiastically, while simultaneously giving White the thumbs up sign with his free hand. It was only then that White noticed that McCarthy was listening very intently into the receiver of his mobile phone, which he was holding under his jaw pressing it against his shoulder, while he went on placing wads of notes into the electronic counting machine which rested before him on his desk. Three Chinese students sat around him, all girls in their early twenties, from the looks of them. There was the odour of sweat and tobacco in the room. White made a show of five with his fingers and left McCarthy to it.

“So Monsieur, are you ready?” Chantal asked, looking White up and down in that predatory way of hers. She was a woman who was intoxicated by all of the trappings of power, Chantal. In this way she was very pure, White thought. As, she was an open book. That is where her loyalty lay, with the seat of power. Wherever it happened to be. That is why she got on so amicably with White, for as a departmental head he, like McCarthy and her, was a figure of power, to a certain degree. Whereas, if he had been a mere teacher, White knew, as he had been for so many years previous, that Chantal wouldn’t even give him the time of day. How many times had he heard one of the teachers in his team refer to her as “that bitch!”

White looked Chantal in the face, as she held the door of the CEO’S office open for him. She had her best smile on. White smiled back at her. Whereupon, she quickly gave him a little sisterly look, as if wishing him well. White kept smiling as he entered the office. Drummond sat behind her desk. In contrast to McCarthy’s and his own, it was flooded with light. She was bent over some documentation, which she appeared to be scrutinising with the utmost attention.

“Take a seat White,” she called to him, without looking up. “I’ll be with you in a minute.”


White took a seat, and after looking briefly around him he tried to imagine why he had been summoned here. It was rare that he was asked to come into her office, so it must be important, White reasoned. In his mind he went over a few things which had happened in his department, and which might have merited his arrival here.

The first name that came into his mind was Sorcha’s, the other Departmental Head who worked in the office adjacent to him. She was a grotesque person; physically repugnant, and mentally as ugly as she looked. What was happening to the world, White thought to himself? Why were people getting more and more ugly, more and more bloody stupid? Obese cunts. They were everywhere! Whereas before he used to have pity of these kind of people, thinking they had no part to play in how they looked but that they were born like this, as he got older and came into contact with more and more of them, now he was coming round to the opinion that these monsters, for that is what they truly were at the end of the day, were not people that one should walk on eggs around, not at all, they were simply greedy fucking cunts who needed to keep their bloody hands in their pockets, instead of scoffing everything thing around them. Bulimic needs. Trying to compensate for some insatiable need. Parental neglect. Lack of love and comfort of some kind, perhaps of the tactile kind. Simply not caressed enough, stroked when young. Could be quite simply that, in the end. Who knows! White looked around Drummond’s office, he tried reading the spines of some of the tomes on the shelves behind her. Anything to make it stop. Instead an image of Sorcha’s cunt flooded his cell, a great big pulsating flower, its labial folds sleeping peacefully under the nylon panties. What size were they? Doesn’t bear thinking about. What are you doing up here? Get out now. Imagine the….No! The reek of unfulfillment. Humanitie’s Cologne!!!!!!!........... Funk dies in a holocaust of Incendiary fire storms.

Drummond looked up at White. She had a severe countenance. Her two beady little eyes squinted out at him from behind the horrendous optics, which she had chosen for her head. Eyewear! That was more of it. Trying to make glasses sexy! Christ, Bill Hicks was right. Marketing had a lot to answer for. “You are probably wondering why I have asked you hear this morning!”

White had stopped wondering, since Chantal wasn’t sitting in as a witness to proceedings it couldn’t be too serious, he had finally concluded.

“ A number of reports have reached me concerning a few issues in the English Department, which I wanted to go over with you first. As that is only fair.”

Here we go, White thought. When people started off on tangents, instead of coming straight to the point, White got very lazy. He could feel it, his whole system, like some space 69

complex, all shutting down. Going into hibernation. He tried to go back to where his mind had been previous, even being up Sorcha’s dress was more preferable to this, he thought. But his mind was beyond flight, having being brought down so atrociously low. There was no chance taking off again at least for another half an hour or so. Flying conditions wouldn’t permit it.

Drummond’s voice, meanwhile, kept droning on from across the other side of the desk. White tried a new approach. He tried focusing with his entire body, and mind, to just concentrate on keeping a straight face while looking at her face on, right between the eyes. God, but she was a horrendous person, also. White thought. The little white enamel nippers flickered as her lips parted quickly, the fork like movements of her tongue spitting out the phonemes; the pursed labial folds…the little beady eyes…mind crouched like a spider inside the hollows between that cranium of hers. All praise to arachnids! What in the name of god was the woman going on about?

“…I am very concerned about these issues.”

She used a kind of corporate parlance, which she had swallowed hook line and sinker. Drummond was an evangelist, twofold. White thought of Max Weber; The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism.

In an effort to get White to fully appreciate the seriousness of her concerns, Drummond was now actually physically extending herself, as much as she possibly could, across the table.

It was no good, White hadn’t been listening to a single word.

“Mary, what are we actually talking about here?” White heard himself ask.

It was a gamble, but when you had no other alternative, sometimes the earnest approach actually worked! The inclusion of the first name, or more ‘evocation’, was of fundamental importance in situations such as this. Its insertion onto the surface of the event horizon was proffered up to the host as a token of his sincerity, and earnestness, to the matter at hand.

“Maguire’s drinking! I have been hearing reports. I am most concerned.” 70

White relaxed. Ah, so this is what it was all about. An invented excuse to get him to come in here and get him thinking. A ploy! It was a ploy as old as the hills themselves. White knew what was really going on here. Drummond was well aware of the real issue at hand. The fact that half of the teaching staff hadn’t been paid in a couple of weeks, by her. All part timers, all non-nationals too. In other words, precarious. All were under contract to her, having obtained visas due to the fact that Drummond, or The Beacon, had vouched for them, while they were in the cuntry. So, they were contractually obliged to her, if they wished to remain. White had been approached by one of his teachers only just that week about the matter, and he had been meaning to speak to her about it, and now here was his chance. How opportune. “Something really has to be done about it, and I want you to give this matter your immediate attention.”

White watched Drummond as she went through the motions of her act. She was really quite convincing, although somewhat lacking in her strength of conviction. The teacher she was talking about was one of McCarthy’s ideas. An old school friend, apparently. He was an atrocious specimen, really. The gombeen par excellence! Maguire was an alcoholic. The second or third whom White had encountered in the industry. The man was beyond all help. He was too far gone. White had given him countless opportunities to change, but without the support of his family and friends he was like a condemned man. White remembered the day McCarthy had come to him to speak about him. It was the only time that he had asked White to consider employing a friend of his as a teacher. He had been very fair about it, in all fairness. McCarthy was very good. Much better than Drummond, in terms of conviction, that is. Sometimes, White got the impression that even McCarthy wasn’t too sure, at times, whether he was acting or not. This is what White liked about McCarthy. He was a child, in this regard, in that he was genuinely confused about reality. Being in the habit of telling so many lies over the years; day after day, week after week, month after month… it was second nature for him, really. Everything was a charade for McCarthy. A huge joke. Nothing could be taken very seriously. And yet, he was probably one of the most serious people that White had ever known. He was a tortured soul, really. As, unlike Maguire, he came from a good family. White had met them once. So, there was support there. Real support. Unlike Maguire. That poor bugger didn’t stand a chance. Which is why McCarthy stood by him. They were a kind of pseudo-couple. McCarthy & Maguire. It had a kind of ring to it. White could see their names painted above some door. But leading where?

“What do you propose to do about it?”

Drummond was looking at him through those thick spectacles of hers, which made her look even meaner than she already was. Her folded face was closed up, all humanity drained from the countenance. It was not a pretty sight. She sat there in her swivel chair staring White down, showing him now that she meant business. The act was over. The beast was now at home. 71

White leaned forward in his chair. He moved very slowly, giving all of his actions, however slight, the most careful deliberation. He too knew how to act. Being a teacher you had to. You couldn’t survive if you didn’t. It was a matter of survival. White tried the old method acting approach. He was a great fan of Marlon Brando. So, in imitation of the Hollywood actor, White somehow became the role. He too could be very convincing. The trick according to White, as with anything, was not to outplay the role. Reserve it for those very specific moments. Such as now.

White used the silence. That was how he approached each performance. Some people couldn’t handle the tension it created, if harnessed in the right manner. It was all about timing, of course. And facial expression, and poise. All of these things working in a kind of sublime harmony. White could feel that the conditions were all right now for him to give a very fine delivery. The tension which he had created in the air, due to his slow and thoughtful build up, were almost at breaking point. As he leaned over, very slowly towards Drummond, his eyes firmly making contact with hers, at all times, he spoke very carefully, weighing each word of his as if his very life depended upon it.

“Mary,” White said, with all of the conviction of Brando being Terry Malloy. “I will give the matter my utmost consideration.” And, then a further pause, before concluding… “ Leave it with me.”

After delivering these two lines, White sat back in his chair, to further punctuate the matter. It was already done. This seemed to be good enough for Drummond. She was about to question him further on his methods, but thought better of it and decided to let the matter lie. Being a reasonably talented actor herself, she knew how far she could push it.

This was the moment that White came in. It was the element of quid pro quo, which accompanied all of his dealings with Drummond. There had to be the appearance of some give and take in all matters, which took place within this room. White had understood that immediately upon entering it, for the first time. Everything was about semblance; charade; seeming to be. This is all that mattered. Vanity and pride were the two building blocks which supported the whole edifice. The egotism was monumental.

“Mary, there is a little matter which I wanted to discuss with you. It concerns the payment of some of the teachers.”


All pretence of an act had completely dropped now from White’s voice, the sudden shift in register caught her unawares. She went from feared denizen to stalked lamb, in a matter of seconds. The mask having totally dropped. But, she recovered her composure soon enough.

“Yes. Some of the teachers have complained to me that they haven’t been paid now in some time. This is an intolerable situation and it can’t go on.”

“No it can’t,” White concurred. “It’s illegal!”

White was staring her down now. All pretence at civility having completely disappeared from his voice. He wasn’t aggressive, but matter of fact. Enough was enough, White thought. The only language people like Drummond understood was judicial. There was a fraction of a second when she just stared at White with an almost deathly glare. She didn’t like this now. Resentment etched into every corner of her face. She was a grotesque spectacle. White had to remind himself that the only reason they were talking at all in the same room is that he was still getting paid to do so. Oh they were very clever. Keep all the management and most of the senior teachers, who happened to be Irish, happy and put the screw on everyone else. Everyone else meaning foreign nationals. All of the poor fuckers whose visa was tied up with the stinking place. The Beacon my ass, White thought. The whole place was nothing less than a sordid little trap to lure unsuspecting students and teachers from every part of the world with promises of a great future, working in the Emerald isle, and the minute that they were in their grasp, far from home, and friends and support…Bam; Cead mile fuck you!

“So, what are you gonna’ do about it? When are they going to get paid, Mary?” White asked now, leaning over in his chair to her. The atmosphere was electric.

“This can’t go on, you understand? I have my best teacher coming to me the other day telling me that he hasn’t eaten in three or four days.”

White had heard about delays in payments to some of his teachers before, but it was always resolved within a matter of hours. But this was different. Ravi, his best teacher, who had just obtained a PHD in French Literature, having written his final thesis on the poetry and songs of Jacques Prevert, had come to him only that week about this particular problem. Ravi was from Mauritius, he came from a very modest background. His father was a small farmer. Ravi was the only member of his family who had been to university. The very first. It was something he felt almost ashamed of, he had explained to White. His brothers worked, like his father, on the land, spending whole days under the sun, working in the fields. Real work, as Ravi explained. White had listened to him for over an hour. He’d had no idea that Ravi had 73

come from such a poor background, as poor was an adjective you simply couldn’t equate with Ravi. He who was so rich in many ways. His students adored him, irrespective of their nationality. Chinese, Brazilian, French, or Spanish…all had nothing but good things to say. The only students who gave him any real trouble were, ironically, his fellow Mauritian. But, before White had given him the job they had both discussed this fact together. It was a wellknown factor within the industry. Students did not like to learn a foreign language from one of their own. It was understandable. Coming all the way from Mauritius to a language school in Ireland to learn English only to be told that your teacher was a fellow Mauritian, it didn’t go down well. White could understand. Only here was the thing, Ravi was simply the best Teacher of English as a Foreign Language that he had ever seen. In the whole ten or so years that he had worked within the industry, he had seen none better! They had spoken about it together. Ravi used to come to White with his lesson plans every day, and they would go through them together. Ravi’s sheer inventiveness and technical ability, matched with a child’s delight in sheer mischief and fun, were a simply intoxicating mix, and his classes, with forty plus students and even upwards attending, were becoming legendary. Ravi taught at night, White was on the day shift so they would meet in the afternoon just before White would clock off when Ravi was clocking in. They had a lot of respect for one another. Ravi had first met White when White had to take a class that Ravi was attending as a student, for visa reasons. Ravi had found himself in a catch 22 situation of ludicrous proportions, due to very strict immigration laws. Because he was a foreign national coming from outside the EU, Ravi, despite the fact that he had perfectly fluent English, (as well as French, Creole, Hindi, Urdu and some Chinese) was obliged to attend English classes, as part of his visa requirements. That night, when they had met for the first time, Ravi had asked to meet up with White after the class. White had been in a hurry home, as he was unused to working at night and had to then get up early in the morning to cover his morning shift, so he had asked Ravi to accompany him while he walked to his train. Ravi spoke all the way about his passion for teaching and languages and literature. They spoke of French poets. When White finally understood the calibre of person whom he was dealing with he told Ravi to go and get his TEFL certificate, and when he got it he would give him a job. To be honest, White didn’t think that he would ever see the man again, but sure enough within a year or so Ravi was back at the school with not only a TEFL certificate, the very best that you could get, but he had also got a distinction! True to his word, White had set up a meeting with Drummond and she had a contract written up which bound his destiny uniquely with the school. Ravi didn’t stand a chance. And now, after only two years, here he was in trouble again.

1 Director of Studies.


Biographical Note: Silva Merjanian

Silva Zanoyan Merjanian is a widely published poet residing in California. Her work is featured in anthologies and international poetry journals and read by Irish actress/narrator Eabha Rose. She has two volumes of poetry, Uncoil a Night (2013) and Rumor (Cold River Press 2015.) Proceeds from both books are entirely donated to refugees. Merjanian recently was the guest speaker at Ohio State University on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. She’s also been invited to read in poetry festivals and poetry societies such as the Austin Poetry Society and the ARPA Institute.
Three of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart award this year, and her 2015 collections of poems Rumor was given Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for best poetry book for fall 2015 by NABE


A BLANK PAGE (Silva Merjanian) October arrives with gift baskets, full of dainty words that fit perfectly in this evening’s blithe glass, toasting auspicious rain.

The soil wet and scented awaits poems, about beauty of leaves losing their grasp on spring’s promise. Or smell of burning wood from a distance, flames from a fireplace watching lovers tangled in post-coital bliss. The air lusting for life flirts with trees, elated limbs undressed and arched reaching for a fall breeze. The crisp breeze, that plays seduction games with my fingers, eager to touch damp skin of virgin words, ready to drool love songs on a keyboard.

But there’s a bloodied river that flows from Aleppo, it flows from Kessab and Damascus, from inflamed pit of pistachio and olive trees, through a country twisted and on its knees. It flows into my cupped hands. I never meant to hold them open for their wounds.

Water gargled from cut throats etches a grimace on this moon’s other face. 76

And there’s that last tear hanging from tip of a continent’s nose, about to drop a bomb of grief that would skin bones and dress limp prayers in black curse. You raise the volume of your life, tap feet harder on back of slaves, you being one... Now you won’t hear the hollow sound of minds flapping against my blank page.

Not a word yet about leaves, nor the kiss of fall on winter’s lips. No measured lines about lovers, not a word yet, not on this page.

I don’t know what you’re reading here. I’m just listening to silence breathing over contrite indifference, trailing bare feet of children bleeding on piles of rubble they call home, their shell-shocked faces between blank lines.


Biographical Note: Cathy Donelam Cathy Donelan is a writer from the West of Ireland, she is currently studying for her degree in Arts with Creative Writing at NUI Galway. Her fiction has appeared in ROPES. Her poetry has appeared in the Galway Review. She has won the December 2015 Poetry Pulse Prize and been commended for her November entry. She has also been highly commended in the 2016 Fool For Poetry International Chapbook Competition.


Son (Cathy Donelan) From slip of hair to toe behind each nail in growing hand I plant a map, on that map I raise a voice crystallising hushed breath to harmony not overbear but listen not shout but reason pull you back when you stumble in lilac hues of heather fields, but with a voice I give you silence patience to, hear those around you but disregard the hate disrespect of men who are not men but boys making child’s – play of women’s hearts blow it away with the silver strands of the dandelion, in your map you’ll trace the world etched on your skin the stars the deep blue sky thin veined paths alike powerful kaleidoscope winged butterfly.


Ivy (Cathy Donelan) Last night we walked miles away from the clubs’ hum in the misty rain under full moons eye swinging from grimy plastic cups full of amber fizz. Followed some boy that was giving me eyes of beautiful brown-lined iris to a house of ivy and stone grazing knees over rusty gate only that boy didn’t know what I meant, when I said no.


Hundreds and Thousands (Cathy Donelan) Sloppy kisses under neon glow between the distant tunes from the village-hall disco, little drops of Huzzar in empty gold cans slipped and sloshed two-part cola, five-part vodka measured on the top of grave stone and spilling on nails coloured in hundreds and thousands glitter polish. Lush arms cling, link for dear life and balance just to get in the door lying numbed lips lathered in pink gloss tears over the boy who locked the car door chancing his arm having to beg for the keys, falling up windows and crawling down hallways giggling at the feet above telling you to get to bed and hush the fuck up.


Heat (Cathy Donelan) Gloopy tar stuck under nails leaving paw prints in hot bubbles on the road as we walk scrubbed in blue basin by mothering hands, grass stains on my toes hay-air crackles, electric in the summer evening sun the fizzy pop stings my tongue as we lie smothered in fresh grass smell, counting elephants and sea-horse in pillow of cloud above a castle and a mansion our future homes sketched in the skies.


Biographical Note: Gordon Ferris

Gordon Ferris , is a 58 year old separated Dublin man living in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal on and off for the past thirty years. He has had poetry published in a Sligo magazine as well as A New Ulster.


Sleepers (Gordon Ferris) There are those among us Look like us Speak just like us React in every way like us. Hidden in plain sight So hard to tell apart. If you look closer, you'll see, A lack of empathy when sad events come's among us, like a mutual loss that brings a giant tug at the heart strings But in their eyes, there's blankness. When we see beauty in nature A colour that lifts us, a scent, or a picture of life painted Or the sound of enchanting music that raises us to newer heights of happiness But there are ones among us Who, if you watch closely, you'll see, there's no reaction, Sad expression, but no tears of sadness Smiles and laughter But no tears of joy. nothing moves them, They mimic us and feign our emotions But, watch closely and you'll see, there already among us, Zombies.


Remember Nice (Gordon Ferris) The red teared dove Fly’s over Nice How did the ten children inflame such hatred. How could any beneficent God condone this. Is this the weather Is this our future Or is this our waking call A blood red dove fly's over Nice And twenty grieving parents Don't know why Is any creed or belief Worth one drop of blood Or the blood of innocents Not one parent’s teardrop should fall On their lifeless child.


Insomnia. (Gordon Ferris) Did it ever occur to you? in these darkened hours When all the colours are stolen bits of red and blue and green for buttons pressed imagined eyes staring out from furtive creatures more afraid of you or not there at all.


Night Sounds. (Gordon Ferris) Picture the forest at night The moon peeping through the canopy. Green scent of foliage Scent does have a colour; The dark green of wet dew grass Or light brown green of tree bark. Water sound from river passing To boil on open fire The unfamiliar sounds of nature So far from the grey concrete mass Of a familiar everyday world An intense darkness Away from artificial light no wonder we imagine All sorts of evil essence coming Out of the shadows Before becoming accustomed To the darkness


Prey. (Grodon Ferris) Will he be there, she repeated to herself, Feet shuffling nervously, Anxiously pushing her sweated hair Will he wait for me, she thought in her stride? Am I too late was I too indecisive. Shouldn’t listen to those Saying he’s evil, Praying on the vulnerably Looking for weakness Swooping in Eagle like to claim its prey. You hide your beauty like it was impure and shield your voice like your words could not endure. You stand in the corner Hoping to dematerialize. You so want to be there But not to be seen. Like the fly on the wall Trying to hide from crushed You think you’re so small If you could just see through my eyes.


Questions. (Gordon Ferris) Her broken English “thank you so much, you enjoy your day sir.” Earnest and heart felt Beauty and joy in her young face. What horrors has she left behind In her homeland To have such joy At the now, just living. Across many treacherous seas And many humiliations, Degradation beyond what any human should endure. Why should the words of any God Warbler? Ever persuade you to kneel for them After what you endured, witnessed in their name. I wonder if a world with no lines dividing Or doctrine guiding us Only being steered by What’s already inside us. And what, by instinct, we already know. Would man still Have to leave their land Leaving behind all they know Would man still Have to live the nightmare Of hearts lost in distant land’s.


Crossroad. (Gordon Ferris) On the way out the door, have the money in the back pocket. The new wrangler jeans on, purchased personally with my hard earned money, saved over several weeks. Bought in O Conner’s in Capel Street, one of the few places they are available in Dublin. School finished now, off to celebrate freedom. Short walk up the street, five doors to be exact, brings me to the Elis household. This is where my compadre Desi Elis resided. We had been best pals now for the previous three years, not a long time really. With me, childhood friends seemed to go their own way once primary school finished, some went to different schools, others just went in opposite directions, some for better some for worse. Some of them thought I was to quiet and not tough enough, others thought I was too rough and a bad influence. If anything I was just the one who was easily led. The faint din of music guided me up the path to the Elis bright sky blue door, a colour that ruined a good mahogany door. Coming from inside, a strange fusion of music, different brass instruments, Piano, acoustic and electric. All playing different tunes, different styles, from the Parlour one playing jazz on a saxophone, another playing god knows what on the electric piano, sounded like scales. From upstairs, came the sound of a saxophone and guitar. Somehow there seemed to be classical music on piano from inside the front door, in the hall. To overcome the musical mayhem inside I had to knock hard on the door, I could see a faint figure scurrying through frosted glass in the door. Opening the door with a genuine good natured smile was Mrs Elis. A four foot nine bundle of energy, a face lined with life worn wrinkles, “Ah me old segosha, how the hell are ya, are ya keeping well, haven’t seen you in an age, is your Mammy keeping well, how’s your da,” all question out there without waiting for an answer. Ushering me in she called Desi name out loud, not realising he was sitting head bent on a piano stool under the stairs where his piano was positioned, the only place available to put it with his three older brothers claiming the parlour and bedroom for their practice, the noise from both places bring testament to this. Mrs Elis went on into the living room leaving both of us on our own, but not before she offered me tea, to which Desi declined for me, dismissing her without looking at her, this made me feel uncomfortable, I wouldn’t dare disrespect my Mother like this. This seemed to be normal in this house. The males were very much the masters in this house, with Mrs Elis running after them nonstop, out to the shops seventy times a day to get thing’s the boys would take a 90

notion for, want something for their dinner, than something different, not in the house for their tea, all normal everyday routine. Degrading as this was, Mrs Elis seemed to thrive on it, her whole life appeared to revolve around her five Men, she could just be about to sit and relax at the end of the day when one of them would want a cup of tea or a clean shirt for going out, for work the next day, and she would gladly do it smiling. It really gave her great joy to do things for her boys. “Well are you ready for tonight, this is the big one, should be a good night.” I said, excited at the prospect of letting my hair down and meeting up with the girlfriend. “I am indeed, and maybe we might get served a few flagons’ of cider in Superguinn.” He replied, rubbing his hands in glee. Quick run upstairs to go to the jax and splash on the Brut, down the stairs in three steps, Desi grabbed his denim jacket and out the door with us, Desi shouting, “I’m going out Ma, see ya later “She came out running to the door, “have you a coat on ya, that weather could change.” “I’m all right Ma, go back in will ya, I’m not twelve years old” He said, waving her away. “Sheed do your head in, making a fuss like that.,” If I spoke to my Ma like that I’d be killed by her, then resurrected by me Da and killed again by, then he would lecture me dead body about how one should worship and obey their Mother, always show her respect, no matter what is said, its only for your own good, you never answer back, under any circumstances” At this we were both startled by Mad Max, the dog guarding the top of the street, appeared from nowhere, growling menacingly at us with barred teeth. Desi just made a run at him shouting, “fuck of ya crazy bastard, frightened the shite out of me.” At which the dog scarpered away to its hiding place behind a hedge in some garden. Walking down Cappagh Road now, approaching the Church of the Annunciation. At this crossroads we turned off to the left, past the row of shops and headed down Mellows Road towards Superguinn. “We could always try the off licence in the Shamrock pub”, I said. “What about walking on down to the Autobahn pub and trying to get served, doesn’t your brother drink down there, he might get us a few pints. Worth a try anyway, what dee ye think” “ “Not a bad idea, save us having to drink in the field at the back of the tech, no need to go there anymore” 91

This is where all the lads went to drink their flagons of cider before they were old enough to get served in pubs. Some of them were a bad bunch and if my parents knew I was anywhere near them, that would be me stuck in the house for the rest of my youth. But at that age you don’t see any danger until it slaps you in the face, the older ones, we emulated and wanted to be like them, and we would copy them, within reason. Those of us who could tell the difference between right and wrong only went so far. One bright spark asked me once in this field what class I had first thing in the morning, like an egit, I told him I had Miss Falcon for Irish in 1A, that was the first class near the main building, at this he finished off his flagon went over to 1A and put the glass bottle through the window, now you have a free class on Monday, you owe me , he said running. Everybody else scarpered in shock. That was Vincent mc Cane, nickname The Mentler, he would later die when he walked in front of a lorry on Berkley Road, off his head on drink. He went through a life time’s damage from alcohol abuse in ten years, from drinking flagons in a field to drinking wine in alley ways. Tragic, senseless waste of life. ANYWAY, soon we ended up approaching the Autobahn Pub. How we ended up there without having decided where we were going, is a mystery. Instead blabbering and jabbering on our journey about trivial stuff. Before we knew it, we were fast approaching the door of the pub, telling each other to walk confidently towards the door, as if we belonged in this environment, pretend we are talking, nothing to fear, as if we belong in here, approaching the two bouncers, expecting to be turned away, we were shocked and amazed when he said, “go on ahead lads.” without even looking at us. In the door we strode like two gunslingers entering a saloon, the smoky atmosphere immediately got me. Causing me to cough and squint my watering eyes to see. Chris the big brother was over just as we were in the door, ushering both of us with a tight grip to the arms into a corner. He scorned “What are you two dozy bollixes doing in here, if your Ma here’s about this, sh-eel blame me, you know she will” “No she won’t, how will she find out, I won’t tell her, I didn’t know you were here anyway. We heard it was easy to get served here so we thought we’d chance our arms, isn’t that right Desi” I said, nudging him. With Desi replying a lame, “Ah no Chris, sure we had no idea, just taking a chance getting a gargle” “OK, go on in there and I’ll get them for ya “Chris said, pointing to the snug at the front of the bar. Inhabiting the snug an elderly couple probably in their seventies, maybe eighties, maybe late sixties, its sometimes very hard to tell. Both happy smiley people, the woman one of those 92

permanent expressive face that always smile, even when negativity knocks on their door, displaying an edge of sadness to their smile. The man eyed us suspiciously, nodded hello back to us, then went back to talking to the women, ignoring our presence. Chris retuned with two pints of Bass which he unceremoniously planted in front of us. How did I know it was bass, it was from the big red letters on the side of glass? Chris didn’t hang about long, he warned us to behave ourselves, saying that this was his pub, so not to make a show of him and away he went back to his buddies at the bar. We sat staring at the two pints of mahogany coloured liquid, and at each other, I picked up my pint and took as big a gulp, as big as I could take without gagging, I put the glass down with a false smile hiding a grimace, Desi followed suit with a sour puss on him as he put the glass down, his own fault for trying to drink more than me. I noticed the elderly couple, the man's arm draped over her shoulder and vanishing down her back, while at the same time looking straight into her eyes whispering things to the women that made her blush. I looked away quick trying not to be noticed looking. From the way Desi looked away quick, started talking about football, I knew he had noticed the same. We couldn’t react or say anything in the close confines of the snug, we just talked keeping straight faces. Secretly I was thinking, how fabulous it was for a couple their age, to have those amorous feelings for each other, hopping that I could meet someone who would be willing to stick with me through thick and thin, who could look into my eyes, the way these two do. I kept these thoughts strictly to myself. Soon the glasses were starting to empty, thoughts of getting more beer entered our heads. Which one of us was going to go up and order the gargle, that was the question. There was a hatch into the snug where the elderly man got up and ordered his two gold labels and glasses of stout, but that would be a bit chancy, the barman being able to clearly see us. So we decided to go into the bar and chance our arm. We left the company of the two elderly lovers and said good night, to which the women replied see ya boys to us, probably relived to see the back of us I’d say. Into the bar we went, being assaulted by a thick cloud of cigarette smoke and noise coming from every direction, the TV blaring Match of the Day, everyone speaking in raised voices, shouting conversations across the bar. To my surprise Chris appeared 93

from the jax(Toilet). “Are you two still here, why didn’t ya stay in the snug” he said, I replied that the dirty old man was nearly riding the women in the snug so we got out after a half an hour of being embarrassed. “Desi was just going to go up and get two more gargles.” I added, hopping Chris would offer to get them for us. Chris replied smiling “Hear, I’ll go and get them for ya, but give me the money, I’m not made of cash, or falling for that one, Smart arse” And up to the bar he went, returning with two pints. Chris didn’t hang around long. We got a spot just outside the snug where we had our first pint. We had a good view all around, without being in to open a place or drawing the attention of the bar staff. We made ourselves at home watching what was left of the football. I was just about to lift the glass to my mouth and take a slug out of the beer when I spotted the elderly women coming out of the snug, she walked past us smiling, and when she was past I nearly choked on my drink with the sight passing me. All I can deduct from the vision before me was, that the dear old lady and her boyfriend must have been having a right canoodling session, the man must have tried dropping the hand, and in the progress left the women with her dress caught inside her black cotton knickers. Desi was taking a mouthful of beer and nearly spit it out when he noticed what had happened. We both looked and each other and when she was in the loo out of earshot we burst out laughing. Lucky enough we were the only ones who noticed and the poor old woman was saved any blushes, I don’t think she even realised what had happened. When she returned, she was tidied up and smiled hello at us as she passed, not the actions of a woman who had just flashed us. We finished the beer and left to head for St Michaels, a special night to be had there this night for the end of another year with exams being over.


Biographical Note: John W Sexton John W. Sexton lives on the south-west coast of Kerry and is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent being Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009) and The Offspring of the Moon (Salmon Poetry 2013). His sixth collection, Futures Pass, is also forthcoming from Salmon. Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons Of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.


The Poet, Misunderstood, Seeks Reconciliation with His Love (John W. Sexton) Shut the gates of Babylon, don’t let me back in; I’m off to court my girlfriend with my lopsided grin. I’ll bring her the seven oceans, powdered, in a tin; and a coat of glistening frogspawn that reaches to her shin. In a carriage drawn by earthworms I’ll journey to her garden, and with a thousand lies of truth I’ll beg her dearest pardon. Shut the gates of Babylon, don’t let me back in; I’m off to court my girlfriend with my lopsided grin.


The Giantess after La Géante by Charles Baudelaire (John W. Sexton)

In that time when Nature’s fecund throes each day conceived fantastical progeny, I would have taken up with a giantess, lolled at her regal feet like a fulsome moggy. Observed her body blossom from her soul, liberated in growth by each fearsome dare; guessed if her heart was a smouldering pool by the fog vortices that glazed her stare; browsed at leisure her magnificent lees; inched down the slopes of those enormous knees; and in summer, when the tumorous sun would force her prone across the meadows, slept spent in the shadow of her bosom, like a peaceful hamlet in a mountain’s shallows.


No Longer Bound (John W. Sexton) telemoths … everything he knows just flitters away sirens of the Liar Station … in the sea somewhere a soft door o boyfriend Death … he touched her heart all the way through snug in amniotic jam … we sleep off the lightyears a house strangely full of pressure … snail effortlessly undoes its horns powered by broken hearts the ship just wallowed in space no longer bound to water the ghost of a whale bulks out the basement wings of mucus … the drearies consecrate the seven-Monday week


One-Way Ticket Please (John W. Sexton) Tiger! Tiger ! smouldering smoke in the forests of no joke loyally royally underfoot the town on the king's verruca he's the egg sponge layer cake man heartless but bleeding jam bomb of eternal youth children's shadows etched in the playground that slimy feckless issue ... a barren couple split the passion fruit pass the digestives ... mum snaps when I say Lincoln biscuits have nipples tessellation ... how a man in a houndstooth blazer erodes your space one-way ticket please ... the fleas board the mouse on their journey to the cat and that cluster of stars we call that The Brain Haemorrhage bartender selects the plane in the bottle pours us a glass of sky


Biographical Note: Michael McAloran Michael Mc Aloran was Belfast born, (1976). He grew up in Co. Clare. He is the author of a number of collections of poetry, prose poetry, poetic aphorisms and prose, most notably 'Attributes', (Desperanto, NY, 2011), 'The Non Herein' & ‘Of Dead Silences’ (Lapwing Publications, 2011/ 2013), 'Of the Nothing Of’, 'The Zero Eye', 'The Bled Sun', 'In Damage Seasons',(Oneiros Books (U.K)-2013/ 14); 'Code #4 Texts', a collaboration with the Dutch poet, Aad de Gids, was also published in 2014 by Oneiros. He was also the editor/ creator of Bone Orchard Poetry, & edited for Oneiros Books (U.K 2013/ 2014). A further collection, 'Un-Sight/ Un-Sound (delirium X.), was published by gnOme books (U.S), and 'EchoNone' & 'Of Dissipating Traces' were also released by Oneiros Books...'breath(en) flux', a chapbook, was recently released by Hesterglock Press. Black Editions Press recently released 'in absentia' & 'In Arena Night', 'bone silences', plus two 'Untitled' projects & 'at vacuum's edge'...


…no never of/ never longing for/ yet somehow chokes stone dust in fathom lung abounding/ restless eye knotted clefts of teeth abortive unto spasm hilt/ locked underwater dredge/ what stun till paradisal winds a closure of redeem ever-lost no not a trace breath skulled unto/ unto winds that break from knowledge passive flung to rabid dogs/ blind blight a lock-held shadowing clasp-knife breathing severance erase not no/ not a trace skulk in or out of sound reductive fallen nothing uttered but for some trace desire for endless stone eclipt/ what pageantry motion unto waste/ to/ echo skin dressage of foreign nothing stripped to bone of rapture solace bled by dark/ closed fist gathered up proximity not a chance nor else given neutral bleed some trace malign etch of cold weight at vacuum’s edge/ some carnage garden where/ skinned beknown given to outcry solace no undoing as it runs further into nowhere left to be some tilt yet heather roll in bleak blind air/ absurdly fleshed/ of yet/ ever-yet/ sudden in outcry traceless becoming heartless stone lapse/ bared teeth eradicated/ in a smear of recollect/ such as is what of/ known of it forgotten not a trace ever of remaining breakage of what chance/ accustomed to some blind soil base rubbed into skin’s reflect dice thrown yet yes yet mentioned ever of before till weight/ belonging lost/ it is stun/ none/ a swarm of flies in stitched mouth no longer gratified by anything other than a skyline evacuation of entity/ a savage dressage/ a birth a burst womb of silenteeism reckless tint of flayed bones wracking in pulseless glory eye unfathoming/ till foreign/ not a/ still yet in of what comes to pass will never arrive no departure from yet exit lights abounding allwhile/ taken by given some lax retort a lax recoil into nowhere having fashioning some breath by which to continue/ nowhere/ effortless recourse to some orchid blood flowing freely from gashed wounds here there from out of never close departed sudden in outcry given more than ever not/ no nothing more some semblance rot of eye rescind closed fetal breath bespoke forgotten blinded by tears that will not/ cannot/ closes in upon closed fist glass shattered breaking out from night/ nothing left to/ it continues/ it retraces/ casts only shadow’s breathing lapse will else dead centre hollow edge gathering up some absolute debris shed by intricacy/ bite derision collapse skull wrench all salve and surface a kiss of bled stone lights no further purpose/ no/ traces on in maddening steel eclipted madly skyline ripped from view by assassin eyes fixed upon less vengeance utters no unto throughout cold breath/ breakage from centre nothing clad with acrid pelts shed in some bitter unbecoming becoming/ in/ of knowledge that must cease on its own terms what once till sound subsides and fades/ it parallax till bite of dawn beneath an amputee skyline of said what said says on not a/ here we a/ eye-bite sullen inwardly some lapse in azure cheer head of dust of sand of blood of/ fleshed abandon here or there from out of which what matter sunk stone head decide it says claims for final/ of final/ bread broken drying away nothing venerable no nothing claimed/ fallen/ as never was/ fallen steps retraced/ fallen steps retraced/ tread dead but once as if never having been other than what season’s drift collision breath unskied as blood’s 101

metallic upon tongue/ given to cry out into some nothing other given having splayed this yet alone tearing pulse from bitten exigency/ shallow dread pierce of eye till lapse forgotten breaking bones in grind of magistrate/ feeling for oceanic in a dark pool’s rupture/ none/ it lapse what bitter sting haven of unstead till clamour dark what sense devoured beyond having breathed less than was necessary in a collision with naught all flesh divided/ nothing more becoming fallen from depth’s height peering out into some cold static abort of none/ it/ we/ eviscerate/ vivisected children rain-drenched some foreign light escaping from some origin upon a frozen hillside skies darkened by lapse death rising up as of winds to shatter all purpose close of door slams shut exposed eye graceless pageantry/ skulled lest of held in an abort of tragedia skinned to precipice denounced/ all lapse here or other/ again/ once again/ some silence then breaking forth/ yet clamour of spinal outstretched in velvet sands flecked with blood (the) ruination of/ where one cannot go/ yet butcher’s laughter yes bellows’ laughter an ancient language of desire vibrating in meat-drenched bones an affluence collectively forgotten/ as pulse white bends in a holocaust of eradicate/ it is/ was is if unto is or of nor broke stone repetition forget forgotten/ flows ever-long/ as if to say that/ cracked knuckles viscous dreaming shadows a breathing else as if to say withstand where there is no longer any point of departure/ whispers collected in jaws agape hyenic laughter fragrant as rotting excrement blessed be some echoing chamber’s lie of whittled bone silences cease to be as it forever says what nocturnes to behold/ collectively taken as far and from forgiving/ a taint of cum/ spittle/ sweat/ dry ice and an opiate syllabus counting out hours in pit illumined skyline as if to/ stylus blackened/ fleshed till dreaming of/ broken doorways an evisceration of walls peeling their papyrus designs in some rotting vagary no less some vacancy of smooth occultish absolute/ it done be in turning over in sleep this sleepless dreaming becoming other than what of it/ from sidelong side broken entity/ clasp weight of fallen taint a-stream in cold arthritic fingers no longer useful from out of some departure a given raise a shattered smile of bloodied teeth/ this scum ill-breath no longer of/ breathes because/ from out of birthed gardenias droves of forgotten prayers seeking shrift from shift promise no longer the or other than what if/ rounding out a naught from glimmer X. abounding in some semblance/ forgotten/ cast off spitting at some stone wind this wilting blood sarcophagus drag of here there or hereafter/ nothing’s claim irreducible ennui pelt hung no/ no other purpose/ wrung knuckles some bruised calm of eye of which till sunlight’s beckoning some further distance/ no/ not a/ burns off trace traceless echoing adrift in mindless vortice nothing ever other than/ stripped carcass of sound blinded by lights escapade/ forgotten/ fall what fallen of…


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It is with great sadness that we must acknowledge the passing ofone of our alleycats. Myrridin was a unique cat one that we helped deliver he’ll be missed. Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone. Thanks again to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. As ever, if you didn’t make it into this edition, don’t despair! Chances are that your submission arrived just too late to be included this time. Check out future editions of “A New Ulster” to see your work showcased “On the Wall”.




We continue to provide a platform for poets and artists around the world we want to offer our thanks to the following for their financial support Richard Halperin, John Grady, P.W. Bridgman, Bridie Breen, John Byrne, Arthur Broomfield, Silva Merjanin, Orla McAlinden, Michael Whelan, Sharon Donnell, Damien Smyth, Arthur Harrier, Maire Morrissey Cummins, Alistair Graham, Strider Marcus Jones Our anthologies


Biographical Note: Peter O’Neill Peter O' Neill is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Sker (Lapwing, 2016) and Divertimento The Muse is a Dominatrix ( mgv2>publishing, 2016). A translator of Dante and Baudelaire, he has also edited two publications with his publisher, Walter Ruhlmann, in France for mgv2>publishing; An Agamemnon Dead, an anthology of early twenty first century Irish poetry and Transverser, issue 81 of mgv2>datura. The founder of Donkey Shots, a festival of avant garde poetry held in his home-town of Skerries in north county Dublin, and The Gladstone Readings. His background is in philosophy and comparative literature. He was the writer in residence at the Loughshinny Boathouse Project for a three month period at the start of 2016, a position that was awarded to him by Fingal Arts. He is currently working on his first novel.


Thomas Brezing – Jonah and the Whale The Molesworth Gallery, 16 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2

Leaving Nineveh ( 200 x 200cm ) is one out of a triptych of paintings interspersed in the gallery, two along- side one another, in which the bunker like architecture of the work of Dublin’s triad of architects: Stephenson, Tallon & Devane are evoked, yet, unlike the ancient city of Babylon, named in the title and which was spared by god, after the ninevites repented before him and so were spared, Brezing’s Nineveh is awash, or swamped by the deluge brought about by the fiscal collapse, biblical in its proportions, and which has us all scrambling to keep afloat. The immediate impression this reviewer had, on seeing these paintings, beautifully presented behind stark white backdrops to enhance their dramatic presence all the more, is that here at last is an artist who is not afraid to tackle head on vital issues which concern us all, such as white-collar-crime, and present them to us in a suitably historical context. Brezing, as the name would suggest, is of German background, and it is easy to see the influence which other German artists, such as the post- WWII painter Anselm Kieffer and Joseph Beuys, have had; the first in relation to the insertion of figurative and historic iconography (Anselm’s paintings of Albert Speer’s New Reich Chancellery, 1982.), the second in respect to Brezing’s use of everyday objects, such as leather G.A.A. footballs, to make art. Yet Brezing, like all artists worthy of the name, knows how to take influences and make them his own. Leaving Nineveh by its scale alone, few artists can fill a canvas of such dimensions and command presence, is the first thing that grabs you. This would appear to be a classic case of form and content perfectly merging; if you are going to do a painting, or triptych, invoking the splendour and decadence of Mesopotamia, while at the same time taking on the biblical excess of wealth squandered by the banks over the last decade alone, one’s scale of composition, one imagines, is pre-determined. The visual impact, so, is immediately felt by the viewer. The great grey slits appearing out of the bunker, also reminiscent of the cold war aesthetic of the greying tower at Wood Quay, remind us instinctively of recent events, and which are ongoing; corruption, cronyism, political compliance, in short – greed! The contemporary face of modern Ireland. And, just for good measure, in amongst the smaller paintings also on display, you can just about make out other figures who appear also on the face of the collective consciousness. The paedophile priest Brendan Smyth. Brezing’s eye is unjudging, he’s just sketching notes from the abyss. 109

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