ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)
Featuring the works of Dr Steve Klepetar, Paul Tobin, Claire Savage, Orla McAlinden, Jax Leck,Patrick Joseph Dorrian, Chris Murray, Kenneth Pobo, Michael Mc Aloran, John Byrne, Martin Burke, Peter Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill, Colin Dardis, Maeve Heneghan Huang, Maire Morrissey-Cummins and more. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.
Issue No 12 September 2013
A New Ulster On the Wall Website
Editor: Amos Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden Contents
Cover Image by Editorial
Amos Greig page 6
Martin Burke Logbook
John Byrne; A Tear For Me Connemara Morning
page 17 page 18 page 19
Colin Dardis; I Am A Whirlpool Insertion Ad Nauseum Reductive Exercise
pages 21-22 page 23 page 24
Patrick Joseph Dorrian; September First Do This (In Memory Of Me)
page 26 page 27
Maeve Heneghan Huang; Heavenly Retribution
Dr Steve Klepetar; Jalopy Enigma Plastic Soul
page 33 page 34 page 35
Jax Leck; An Urban Squatter
Orla McAlinden Carphone, 1992
Michael Mc Aloran; Six Poems
Chris Murray; Brackloon
Peter O‘Neill; O‘Connell Street Blues The Luas On The DART The Spire
pages 55-56 page 57 page 58 pages 59-64
Kenneth Pobo; This Cool Morning Had Wanda WooWoo Been Named Sharon Kelpie Nude, Begonia and Heads The Onlooker
page 66 pages 67-68 page 69 page 70 page 71
Claire Savage; Caught Hello Another Poet Came Into Being Performance Damned Downtown Opium Broken Home
page 73 page 74 page 75 page 76 page 77 page 78 page 79
Paul Tobin; Deception
On The Wall Message from the Alleycats
Maire Morrisey-Cummins; Maire‘s work can be found
Round the Back Heaney Tribute
Manuscripts, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 24 Tyndale Green, Belfast BT14 8HH Alternatively e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org See page 52 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: https://sites.google.com/site/anewulster/
Published in Baskerville Produced in Belfast, 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.
Amos Greig SIAP
Editorial September already? It is hard to believe that we started this creative journey this time last year! A New Ulster is one year old and still finding its place in this world. Last month saw so many positive developments for local culture indeed we were all on a heady buzz of anticipation for the future to such an extent that we held our first public poetry event at the Curious Cat Cafe in Bangor. I have also saw and read from my first collection Lords of the Hill; a collection which took several years to produce. Lapwing Publications will also be celebrating its 25 th anniversary this year. Lapwing‘s initial ethos hasn‘t changed over the years and continues to provide a service for many poets in Ireland. Indeed I‘ve been asked to collate and produce a publication in a similar style to A New Ulster featuring works from the past 25 years. Watch this space for details... We were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Seamus Heaney at the weekend. Undoubtedly his poetry helped to drive many into the arms of a poetic muse. I myself met Heaney several times: once as a boy when he read at Queen‘s University, once at his home town of Bellaghy where I performed for him, and again at a poetry reading a few years later. Heaney‘s work speaks of his connection with the soil of this land and his timeless quality as a writer is humbling. We at A New Ulster send our condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time. Enough pre-amble! Onto the creativity! Amos Greig
Biographical Note: Martin Burke Though born and Ireland poet & playwright Martin Burke lives in Belgium from where he has to date published sixteen books of his work, the latest being BLAKE/LONDON/BLAKE by the Feral Press (USA) & IEPER by Lapwing Press (UK)
LOGBOOK I Turbulence? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s human, and expected But if the red bird claws your guts Then your bones will be battered to powder. Regrets and weeping, Mothers mourning the fate Of those whose mother they are, But even this is not enough To obtain a benign hearing From what according to tradition and habit We call god, Yet here she comes with a swathe of flowers So that when I give myself to her morning joy The mirror of mourning shatters
II Thus in what church but the church of the world Should I kneel in tribute Or limit myself by prudence to sterile patience? The body outlives all prohibitions Receives delight and gives delight Is condemned by judges and every bribed witness But the earth itself – When has it ever sought to cast one human joy From off the rind of the world? Thus even in mud we recover lost Edens Spoken of with nostalgia By jealous angles and devils, And if you won‘t sing one song You will sing the other Until both have the same zeal. Churches are full of brass statues And the galleries little better equipped And so I take this human task to myself. Therefore hail to body‘s endurance and passions Tempered and quickened as they are By that woman‘s quickening hands.
III Yet much that condemns us exalts us You read this in poets from Homer to Hart Crane And see it in Rubens and Pollock (As for those as yet unknown What they will say may be as vital As any knowledge we possess). Rubens: Flesh and indolence stated so loudly It evades itself like air in air or water in water. Leonardo: Depths as deep as mirrors reflecting each other. El Greco: The tangible preceding the abstract Yet abstract enough to allow us to withdraw What we need. Breughel: snow and winter sun Flanders, perpetual eve of birth, shadow-world Occupied by light. Not to speak of Goya – Which we won‘t but easily could, Or trace an icon from conception to veneration. Meanwhile Christ, Prometheus, and Sebastian Hold us to the sacrifice they make on our behalf An issue we cannot avoid, must give an answer to So that the abstract in the mirror assumes a beloved face And in Pollock find that extension which can never be concluded. This suggests we live more in the ‗possible‘ than the ‗achieved‘ Though I am beginning to suspect That the space between them is not wide enough For a painter‘s brush to pass through Yet whatever such knowledge is worth I‘d toss it out the window just to look out the window At Cold Mountain In the company of Han San 10
IV Thus what another calls geography I call an occasion of grace Thus there are Te Deums which cannot be avoided Nor denied. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s as it should be. No good whining in ready-made lamentations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Either you sing or are silent One or the other, not both As in the common landscape of kin and kind I mark those sites which give me of their grace; Where I have laboured with my hands Have loved with my eyes, Essential solitariness the brother I am happy to acknowledge. True, the moon is still addressed But who understands it And what need be understood When ripe fruits are growing in the garden? With my hands, with my eyes I have laboured at this Which is life-long and longer Which is why, in spite of impious laughter I cultivate this rib of strand As if it were a garden Of necessary flowers, To shift rain and blood to a new composition To abate the fears of the wife To find the will, even in snow To do the necessary work. Ah, so you are exhuming graves again! But how can I tell of the necessary solitude Bequeathed by the dead? I have nothing else to say and no other way of saying it 11
Having laboured with my hands and loved with my eyes Like a voyeur or a foundry worker Making a mould to pour the liquid fire into V Things are not what they appear to be Nor are they otherwise Says the Surangama Sutra Thus for every difference there is an equal similarity And even where language causes an obstruction It creates a correspondence In which, like two dancers, Possible and Achieve face each other Curious to know who does the better tango; Which the foundry-worker is called on to judge So as to choose his dancing partner. Devil‘s tango or Papa‘s waltz – Which will you choose When nothing is what it appears to be Nor is it something else? Ars longa, vita brevis – See, in this condition not even my wisdom is original.
VI Origins resurface elsewhere in new histories and syntax Tides and winds have truths we do not There are moments when letting go of the rudder Is less dangerous than holding on to it. A boat leaves a harbour, your heart is on it Though you are on the quay watching it pass The lighthouse Then into those tides absorbing you. Orpheus or Oedipus â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Which is more likely to know where beauty comes from? Conflicting rumours seeks to own you To propagate their claims among your kin Nor will water answer every question. One tide says I kissed Orpheus While another insists I washed Oedipus to his redemption Both enjoying the conundrum Where the tide flows in And the tide flows out And your freedom only answers half the question.
Martin Burke 13
VI Memories, more than my lifetime can account for The dead outnumbering the living. Memories of cities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; One in its heyday Another before the destruction of its library; Carrying them like a mother its child, The way a river carries history, The way a tree requires seven generations Before someone notices it is growing. Not to mention journals of paper and blood, Declarations written in chalk on bridges, Which memory pays a lawful courtship to The mind absorbing them the way the water does my shadow When I lean across the parapet
Martin Burke 14
VII Sailors, protégés of the stars Yet not every seaman is aware a new journey has begun. Consequence strikes the gong of the sea And we are off to destinations (omitted from maps) Which require us. Who now would be Oedipus when he could be Orpheus Or say Antigone‘s cry does not Tingle down the spine of history? Now beyond lighthouse in the cloudless night How will you talk of it with any authenticity? Unless you bring the city with you You will never find the city nor the island Nor ever pass the lighthouse Into the bird‘s shadow beyond. You to yourself, splendid and nude, No scriptures of comfort to rely on Only the sea of your hunger‘s fire For we are not other than what we are – Poet, dreamer, craftsman of love, Women with dreams, children with dreams, Sensible men, prelates Hobos, outcasts and pilgrims, Sailors seeking the yeast of spring With which to clean the winter snow Of imbedded stains.
Martin Burke 15
Biographical Note: John Byrne
John [Jack] Byrne lives in Co. Wicklow ,Ireland he has been writing for almost 6 years mainly poetry Traditional and Japanese short form and has had several pieces published in the UK , USA, Ireland in Anthologies, Magazines ,Ezines /Journals http://john-isleoftheharp.blogspot.ie/
A Tear For Me Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ve gone now from where I stood surrounded by those of my kind felled by man for his own good my beginnings now left behind Once a tall and handsome tree my branches held the sky sheltering creatures of the air I watched them learn to fly Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ve felt the rain upon my leaves when the sunlight made them glow and welcomed the soft summer breeze that rocked them to and fro Alas no more shall I see the sky a goal for all like me and few among the humankind will shed a tear for me
Connemara With a fiery sky off her western shore Connemara lays down to sleep from Kylemore down to Clifden the sun sinks into the deep Upon an ocean of shimmering light a hooker divides the waves Out on the peat bogs a curlewâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s cry may carry to the grave of Queen Maebh Diamond hill its long shadow cast over the village of Letterfrack and red deer steal out to graze while furtively watching their back Now is the time of fox and stoat to roam this picturesque land hunting food to feed their young from Killary to Gerteen strand Her mountain ranges kiss the stars on this Irish moonlit night rivers and lakes all twinkle and glow and Connemaraâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s a heavenly sight
Morning Out of the night comes my soul to seek a new day dawning, for I am loved with living to do at the edge of the woods is morning. Confined to the darkness in my life, your love has been adorning, and now this love guides me home to the edge of the woods and morning. I shall not falter, stumble or fall, for I hear your sweet voice calling, one step at a time out of the night into soft white light and morning. *These next poems are called Tanka poems.* on our journey to the mountains we talk of spring... all this snow that fell in silence
walking through the dark forest wondering... will the bluebells increase this year above this meadow a skylark sings enfolding the sky... we stroll hand in hand through blue asphodels John Byrne 19
Biographical Note: Colin Dardis Born at the tail end of the seventies in Northern Ireland, Colin Dardis lives in Belfast. His work has been previously published in numerous anthologies, journals and zines in Ireland, the UK and the USA. He is the editor of Pen Points Press, and FourXFour, an online journal focusing on poetry from Northern Ireland. http://www.colindardispoet.co.uk/
I Am A Whirlpool
The need to find reason in a Saturday evening: adding weight to lift, continued ringing into the port of existence.
No answer. No one answers. Cares. Too much. Gurgling under expectations. Turning purple. Wanting gold. Ringing. Dead line. Ringing. Out of money.
Monochrome tunnel vision. Who sees. What sees. Dare the mirror. Drab replicant. Really? Unsatisfied. Remembers the colouring pencils of his youth. Paid too much attention to keeping with the lines. Not enough on the rainbow. Servant to the straight edge. The pristine rule. Rule of thumb. Sucking failure. Between Scylla and Charybdis. 21
The city is a sleek mountainside; the people, a vacuum. No purchase. No perch. Without meaning, placement. Island. Afloat on misery. Death for a life raft. Hello, waves.
Dare the beach. No escape from the hut. Ever return. Ouroboros week feeds into itself. Back to the start. Cursed calendar. And the heart. And the heart. And the wretched ringing of a heartbeat. End. This walk. On. Another minute. Lactic acid builds.
Insertion Ad Nauseum Insert maxim. Insert quote. Insert petty gripe. Insert positive note to oneself. Insert non-consequential event. Insert self-promotional web-link. Insert trending hashtag. Insert micropoetry of variable quality. Insert links to other Twitter users in the vague hope they promote you back and help boost your followers. Insert the death of letter writing. Insert the contortion of language into one hundred and forty characters. Insert one hundred and forty characters or less. Insert characters to try and reflect your unique character. Insert characters to suggest that you are quite 'a character'. Insert the seeking of attention. Insert the need for love. Insert the application of your boredom. Insert the filling of a vacuum.
Reductive Exercise An exercise in Found Poetry, using an article concerning Found Poetry as a resource: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2013/aug/09/poster-poems-foundpoetry-cutup-collage One note on the door: looked, noticed writing, something anew. The note became widely discussed, particularly ordinary and controversial, a breakthrough oddity. Fame was found, a newspaper entertaining reimagining poets, historical documents unearthed. Addition of narrative, terse names and numbers published on paper, active remaking of the mind. Explain strangely disjunctive styles: cut-up collage, segments rearranged, new pieces of writing, happy sometimes. We tend inventions found in the works of centuries, basic rules in constructed works This process of writing: existing, formal rules, a discipline, a serious game, a definition for art.
Biographical Note: Patrick Joseph Dorrian Patrick is Belfast born bred and buttered as McDowell would say. He retired from teaching in 2007 after 30 years struggling in west Belfast. Patrick is married to Frances and they have 3 offspring all adults now. He has dabbled with poetry for several decades as a means of escape and last year Patrick had a poem about Palestine published in a magazine in Europe, his first publication.
September First (For teachers in the new term) Rain leaches night from the sky, a slow passage through the monochromes. Chill lingers, hangs like damp and pins the duvet to reluctant limbs. Just a month before, mornings shone. A quick blast of sun could bleach the darkest sky in instances and open eyes flung off the duvet, in an exuberance of rising. But, today the grey lingers. In just an hour we'll sit and listen; the drone factor will zenith and I will drift to beckoning beaches and swim again in healing sunshine, while choppy seas and chilling winds pays tribute to our work in schools.
Joseph Patrick Dorrian 26
Do This (In Memory Of Me) Some preach, the better to hear the emollient words flow or to hear their righteous anger. This feels good. Some preach but never teach, you know, "Do this in memory of me!" You see the wood and how it's shaped, or see the food and how it's shared, or see the ill and see them cured. Some preach. Some hide between their sandwich boards or microphones or scripture bills to litter streets and it feels good, as they see the rejecting souls drop the bills to floor. Some preach but never reach receptive ears or eyes or minds. Their message is just words, no substance. Most preach because they will not do!
Joseph Patrick Dorrian
Biographical Note: Maeve Heneghan Huang
Maeve Heneghan is a native of County Dublin. After a number of years teaching English in China, Maeve returned to Ireland and is now living in the Midlands with her husband and daughter. She has been writing poetry and short stories for a number of years now and has had some of her work published with First Cut, Verse land, Static Poetry and Every Day Poets.
Heavenly Retribution Macker flicked the torchlight on and off a few more times. He was determined to pull this stunt off and wasn‘t going to leave anything to chance. Fair play to Redser for coming up with it. A stroke of bleedin‘ genius, it was. After tonight, Johnno was never going to slag him again. Johnno thought he was able to embarrass the shite out of him any chance he got. But the last straw came on Halloween night when Johnno locked him in the shed in aul Tommy Cuddy‘s place. Everyone in the estate said Tommy was a pervert and was always eyeing up young fellas. Lucky for Macker the door of the shed was ancient and he finally managed to force the rusty bolt open and set himself free. Redser said he‘d be there first to set up the tape. They needed a girl‘s voice, so Redser had asked his older sister to do it. She agreed, in return for his pocket money for a month. They were to wait until after dark and then Macker was to call for Johnno, look scared out of his bleedin‘ mind and tell Johnno that he wanted to show him something deadly over on Heather Hill. All was going to plan so far. Johnno was happy to oblige, not wanting to miss the opportunity to see something that scared the shite out of Macker. Macker, keeping up the act well, panted up the hill towards the grotto that was nestled into a little nook behind the gorse bushes. ―Jaysus, you got me away from me Xbox to come and look at a bleedin‘ statue?‖ Johnno was about to turn back, but Macker stepped up the acting. ―No wait, Johnno. I was up here with Redser earlier messing about and I swear to Jaysus the bleedin‘ thing moved.‖ Johnno looked at Macker with a combination of pity and disbelief. ―You‘ve really gone and lost it now, Macker, ya bleedin‘ gobshite. Ok, let see her do her stuff then.‖ Johnno sat on the grass and Macker knelt beside him. All he had to do now was flash the torch on and off twice as a signal to Redser. Macker gave the signal and as he did so, the beam caught the alabaster skin of 29
the Virgin‘s face as she gazed heavenward with outstretched arms. Macker waited for Redser to do his stuff. Right on cue, the tape came on. ―Do not be afraid, my Children. I come to give you an important message for Mankind. God your Father in Heaven is displeased. He is displeased with all His children, but especially with you, Johnno, and you, too, Macker.‖ Nice touch, Redser, Macker thought. Watching ―Song of Bernadette‖ over and over had really paid off. ―You must tell no one of my appearance here. Return to this spot every night for the next seven nights and I will reveal my messages to you. But first, Redser and Macker, I must reveal my displeasure at your impure deeds. God your Father is not pleased with your overdependence on the unseemly material that you have stashed under your mattresses. You must rid yourselves of such temptation and evil influences. You must cleanse yourselves, so that I may unburden my secrets to you, when your hearts are pure.‖ Jaysus, Redser‘s laying in on a bit thick, Macker said to himself, getting a bit irritated now. His irritation didn‘t last long, as on his right side, he heard a low moaning sound. Johnno was staring fixedly at the statue, his face almost as white as the angelic visage that he looked upon. His moan was followed by a thud as he collapsed out cold on the grass. ―Ok, Johnno, quit pissin‘ about.‖ Macker gave him a shove, but there was no movement. He poked him again. Still nothing. ―Ah Jaysus, Redser, he‘s out bleedin‘ cold!‖ No reply from Redser. ―REDSER!!!‖ Ok, this wasn‘t funny anymore. Leaving Johnno like a prostrating monk on the grass, Macker hurried around to the secret spot behind the statue. He had told Redser not to move until Johnno had fled the scene in a panic. That was how it was supposed to have gone anyway. Macker took out his torch again and shone it around the small out-ofthe-way places. Redser was nowhere to be seen. In a mixture of anger 30
and panic, in his head Macker made a list of all the things he‘d do to the little bollix for fleeing before he was supposed to. Going back to Johnno, who was still white in the face and out of it, he took out his mobile and called Redser. ―Hello?‖ ―Ya little bollix, you went too early.‖ ―I beg your pardon, who is this?!‖ ―Oh, Mrs O‘Malley, I was lookin‘ for Redser, I mean …Dillon.‖ ―Well, Dillon can‘t come to the phone, he‘s had an accident.‖ ―Oh? What happened?‖ ―He went hurrying off on his bike about an hour ago, said he was on the way to the hill. Was just on the end of our street here and he was knocked down by a car.‖ ―Ah Jaysus… I mean, ah God, I‘m sorry to hear that. So he didn‘t make it to the hill then?‖ ―Didn‘t I just say he was knocked down at the end of the street?‖ Mangled his brother‘s tape recorder too, the little pup, but he‘ll live. Just a few scrapes and bruises, thank God.‖ As Redser‘s mother droned on, Maker hung up on her. Johnno was starting to stir. He gave him another poke. ―Johnno, get up, were gonna have to get out of here.‖ As Johnno staggered to his feet, Macker turned and looked into the face of the statue. He wasn‘t sure what it was, queasiness or a trick of the light, but he could have sworn he saw the Virgin Mary wink at him, before he too, hit the grass.
Maeve Heneghan Huang
Biographical Note: Dr Steve Klepetar
Steve Klepetar teaches literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. His work has been published widely in the U.S. and around the world and has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Sweatshoppe Publications has just published his book Speaking to the Field Mice.
Jalopy Sometime words almost disappear, like ―jalopy.‖ We say ―beater‖ now, or ―wreck‖ –―My other car is some expensive bullshit vehicle designed to impress a young woman, who will, no doubt, drape herself over the hood in her desire for a purring engine, as if she weren‘t somebody‘s daughter, as if she had risen from a forest pool in sight of all the lascivious gods.‖ My father had a jalopy, which he started by rolling down a hill, then popping the clutch, jamming it in gear, passenger door strapped on with baling wire and the front bumper juddering loose. Had to be careful where you parked that thing. ―I hated riding in that jalopy,‖ my mother said when he reminisced, a smile melting across his face, eyes gray and lost, like some hazy, half-forgotten word.
Dr Steve Klepetar
Enigma ―You‘re an enigma wrapped in a burrito,‖ she said. ―Enema?‖ ―Don‘t be disgusting,‖ she said, and slapped me on the arm, hard, and handed me the salsa. I could open up, stand on a soapbox in the park and give the kind speech that might get me noticed by whatever media had nothing better to report, or I could walk the gangplank of her eyes. I could report to the border with my goggles on or whisper rainbow sightings to the bees. They say the bees have gone; I saw her counting them in her garden one day last summer, shaking her head and muttering to gardenia and rose, as if those swirls of white and crimson flesh would take her into confidence. And that‘s not all I worry about when the whispers stop. I fear I have gone too far, used more than my allotment of exclamation marks on her Facebook page, or ―liked‖ her lovely face too often to backtrack now. ―You‘re a burrito!‖ I answered, my face a storm of hope. ―Huh,‖ she said, ―If I were, you‘d never get a bite,‖ and held her pinky out for me to kiss as my body vanished in a flood of guacamole, cheese and refried beans, that recipe where all dimensions fold in on themselves and the world as we know it disappears.
Dr Steve Klepetar
Plastic Soul ―I have a plastic soul,‖ she said, ―not that I would admit that to anyone but you‖ as if she believed I would never leave this place to tell her secret to the world ―Of course, that sounds bad, a plastic soul – cheap and fake, inorganic, not like souls made of cotton or steel or wood. But I mean plastic, like something that can be molded, shaped, you know, like Plasticine in an artist‘s hands, slowly warming to flesh and moisture and air. Souls that harden can‘t endure – they get brittle over time, develop nasty cracks or rust, corrode or rot.‖ I asked if I could kiss her and she said ―Maybe later, but for now try this,‖ and she offered me a bite of her wrist. ―Most people think the soul reveals itself in kisses, through lips and tongue, but you get a much clearer sense right here‖ and so I took her hand, warm and fragrant as a peach. ―Don‘t sniff,‖ she said, ―what are you anyway, a dog? Just take a bite‖ and so I did, feeling the crisp crunch, taste of apple, sweet and round in my chastened mouth. Dr Steve Klepetar
Biographical Note: Jax Leck
Jax Leck is relatively new to poetry but is not new to writing, Jax has had one science fantasy book published and another on the way.
An Urban Squatter He sits there on my window sill, mottled brown feathers, black round eyes, bulky as a curling stone. Larger by far than his mother who is sore tried to bring him food enough. to maintain his impressive size Scattered below are the bones of his two siblings who failed to weather the long hot summer, picked clean. He shows no inclination to fly, Why should he? When his needs are daily met by the ever thinning adult gull.
Biographical Note: Orla McAlinden Orla McAlinden is a new writer. Born in Armagh at the height of the ‗Troubles‘, she moved, alone, to Dublin aged eighteen. There she witnessed the unexpected birth, short, dazzling life and sudden, horrifying demise of the Celtic Tiger. She admits to being still a Northern girl at heart, with all the complications and contradictions that entails. Her personal narrative non-fictions have been published in America and on www.writing.ie . ―Control zone‖ was awarded second prize in The Valhalla Press flash memoir competition and ―Drumming our way to the future‖ will be included as an Honorary Mention in the Fish Anthology 2014.
Orla tweets at @orlamcawrites and blogs at
Carphone, 1992 Californian desert scenery flashed past Rory‘s windscreen. Sunbaked agaves and aloe vera shimmered in the slight, cooling breeze. Of all the things he loved most about his job, his new life and his adopted home, the weather ranked in the top three. God! He had been so right to leave Ireland. What a dump. What a hell hole. The unspeakable, dour misery of trudging into County Tyrone‘s sullen rain; head slumped low, scarcely visible between his shoulders. His taciturn father, walking ahead on the dung-spattered path behind the dairy cows; damp soaking through the shoulders of his jacket and dripping, chilly, inside his boots. Then the hostile, disappointed silence inside the milking parlour, punctuated with infrequent, weary complaints: ―Fuck sake Rory, are ye blind, can you not see she has mastitis? The whole fuckin‘ tank contaminated! Jesus Christ, what did I do to be cursed with such a useless shower of bastards?‖ Rory might just possibly have survived as a farmer here- in this land of eternal sunshine, but at home? Never. He had bounded onto the plane, parting from his parents at the security gate with indecent haste. They had not been unduly upset. Both had lost brothers to emigration, in the days when decades separated return visits; the wealthy ―Yanks‖ coming home rarely, to cause upset and resentment among their kin. No, his parents were happy to boast of their son‘s well-paid new job and they knew that, these days, Rory could return often for visits. And he did. He was proud of that. He never let three months elapse without fitting in a fleeting visit to Tyrone, en route to London, Berlin or Paris. He did 39
not enter the shit-smelling parlour on these visits, his slick suits and expensive watch marked him out as above all that now. ―God, this is the life!‖ Rory smirked, stroking the walnut dashboard of the speeding car. He‘d been assigned a sales trip round the rural hinterland of Los Angeles, showing his brochures and scheduling demonstrations for likely purchasers of commercial plant and machinery. Normally, he flew between sales meetings. This month, however, his secretary had spent several terse days, inventing an itinerary which justified the hiring of a luxury sedan and a week‘s driving. The economics of the trip were flying just under the radar of his company‘s stringent expense-account rules. ―What a car! What a fuckin‘ machine!‖ He had never seen or driven anything like it before. A year ago he had been wildly impressed by simple air-conditioning- now he couldn‘t imagine life without it. This sleek, purring, executive sedan held an, as yet unimagined, toy for him. It rested invitingly in his right hand; as large as the sods of turf his parents burnt in the huge, old stove at home. A complicated tangle of cables trailed back to a shoe-box sized apparatus nestled snugly between the front seats. ―A carphone! A fucking, honest-to-God carphone!‖ Here within his reach. ―God bless America.‖ He was Jim Crockett from Miami Vice. He knew he would impress the ladies, in whichever hick town he slept and drank in tonight. They were such slappers here, these pumped-up American girls, giving away for free what any man would happily pay for. Last
night in Fresno he had just offered the best-looking girl in the bar a lift back to her place. ―An expense account, a carphone and an Irish accent, that‘s all it took,‖ he‘d thought, as he flung her long, tanned thighs over his shoulders. ―By the end of the week, I‘ll be talking like Darby O‘Gill and walking like John Wayne.‖ A smug, self-satisfied grin played on his lips, as he thought about picking up a random girl back home in Omagh. It just wouldn‘t happen. Irish girls needed to know your name, your school, your sister‘s best friend‘s brother, all that shit. In his twenty years at home, he had never made it past a ―court‖- a snog and a fumble- what they called here ―second base‖. Casual, confident sex was an important American skill that he had sucked up like a lush malt milkshake. It ranked second on his list, between the weather and the money. ―To Hell with it.‖ He would phone someone in Ireland. The cost would be astronomical, but it would be worth it. Just to mention, ever so casually, his phone and his 100% sure-fire, babe-magnet car. If Rita, back in L.A., couldn‘t find some way to hide the cost of the call among his expenses, he‘d just have to pay it himself. It‘d be worth it. A vision of the phone at home in the farmhouse flashed across his mind. It sat smugly on a faux-mahogany table, tethered tight to the wall, right in the front hall. It was within earshot of every room downstairs and particularly close to his sexless, rigid, rosarybeadworrying mother, in the bustling kitchen. Doors swung open constantly into the hall; labourers, delivery men, bulk-milk-tank drivers, there was no privacy at all. That phone was suitable for only the most chaste of 41
conversations between a teenaged, tightly-trousered Rory and his camogie-playing girlfriend- a card-carrying member of the Legion of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Not that a conversation of any other nature had ever realistically been on the cards, not with her. He would not waste the extravagant call on his parents. He phoned weekly; Sunday was only three days hence. He would call one of the lads. He quickly calculated the time difference. It must be someone who was guaranteed to be free to take the call, but also sure to go out later, to embellish the story to their mutual friends. It must be someone who would not neglect to mention the call - through jealousy, or to bring Rory down a peg or two. It must be an open-spirited fellow, one who would be glad of a friend‘s success and who (crucially) would not fail to dwell upon Rory‘s opportunities for effortless sexual conquest, afforded to him by this cruise-ship on wheels. Slowing down slightly (the road was empty for miles) he punched in the lengthy number. The connection took but seconds. Really, it was astounding- a direct transatlantic call from a moving vehicle. The ringtone was tinny and small in the receiver, but distinct. ―Pick up the phone, pick up the phone‖ he muttered until his old school-friend Mickey answered. The guttural, bog-country accent grated on Rory‘s ear. Mickey sounded so coarse, and dull, compared to the bright, nasal Californians he now dealt with daily. ‗Did I ever sound like that?‘ he wondered, ‗So gauche, so slow?‘ ―Mickey lad, how the hell are ya? It‘s Rory here. You‘re never going to believe where I‘m calling from!‖ ―Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Rory, it‘s good to hear your voice! Thanks for ringing.‖ 42
In retrospect, that was a strange greeting. Mickey‘s voice seemed to thicken further, to blur with some suppressed emotion. Was he crying? ―Listen, boy. I‘m so sorry to hear about your ma. I saw her at Mass on Sunday. I just can‘t believe it.‖ Rory slammed his foot on the brake, swinging the car over to the dusty shoulder. Hot, shaming tears sprang up, taking him by surprise, behind his Aviator shades. It had happened. No, it could not have happened! The call every emigrant dreads, and refuses to prepare for. His mother was only fifty-eight years old, for God‘s sake. He had been on the road two days already, plucking up courage to use his shiny new phone. How long, and how desperately, had his family been seeking him? How many calls had they fruitlessly placed to his apartment, his office, his pub? The funeral arrangements would be made already. Was everyone waiting for him? Why the hell had the office not tracked him down? Would they understand the speed of an Irish funeral- just three days after the death- and the essential nature of his presence at the wake in the farmhouse? By now Auntie Maura would have bedecked the place in white linen, carefully folded and draped. The clocks would have stopped. Neighbour men would be finding their way around the unfamiliar milking machine, things would go amiss, the cows always suffered from the ministration of strangers. He was needed to shoulder the coffin, he would be ‗first lift‘, with his Da and his two teenage brothers. Was it possible that a mother‘s death would not warrant a few days off work, in this career obsessed society?
―Oh my God, Mickey‖. He was fighting for breath. ―What happened? Is she really dead? Phone my Da, tell him I‘ll be straight home. I‘ll be home tomorrow.‖ His friend started to weep on the other end of the satellite connection- long, sobbing breaths. He was incoherent. Eventually he choked out some words, between what Rory suddenly recognised as guffaws of hearty laughter. ―Fuck sake, will y‘ catch yerself on, Rory! Who told you yer Ma was dead? I sure as hell didn‘t!‖ He paused for dramatic effect. ―She‘s not dead, y‘ feckin‘ eegit. She ran off last night with Paddy Buckley, from the accounts department at Cookstown Sausages! They‘ve been at it for years, apparently. I wouldn‘t have thought she had it in her. Like mother, like son, I suppose!‖
Carphone 1992 was first published in issue 4 of www.roadsidefiction.com
Biographical Note: Michael Mc Aloran Michael Mc Aloran was Belfast born, (1976). His work has appeared widely in various print and online zines, including: Unlikely Stories: IV, Stride Magazine, Eratio, Danse Macabre, Ygdrasil, Sein und Werden, ditch, Milk Sugar Literature, Establishment, etc. He is the author of five full-length collections of poetry, including 'Attributes', (Desperanto), 'The Non Herein', (Lapwing Publications), 'In Damage Seasons' & 'All Stepped/ Undone', (Oneiros Books). A sixth collection, 'Of Dead Silences' is forthcoming from Lapwing Publications very soon.. He is currently Poetry Editor with Oneiros Books...
…tissue X., from depth departed, spun alack in spurious of none cut close to bones of arbitrary ashes, till knock of bone or echo of…
….a meat hook vacancy of exorbitant asking, spit upon the drag of timeless abort settling in the gift of absentee, till spasm collapse, a headstruck asking, asking…
…blight dead but once, carrion feathers of the breached pulse staggering, dissipate, bled out unto sunken spun till sunlit slash of breath, the breath unfelt or gathered…
…all stepped/ without/ a foreign shadow‘s escapades, the bleak lack of broken absolute, a death mask cast in black as if to catch a glimpse: it never was, no, not once…
…carving up the split flesh of arbitrary lights, bone wither, the implicate, shale, breakage of silent winds across the cadaver of words without end, a trail of shit…
…dead tongues and the passages of none, such is, from departed, forth, never the else of which it cannot close the wound the wild stray death of depth, sudden as, or…
…„for they know not what they do‘…
…the blistered wounds, stitched across the wrists, the asking of the ruptured veins, the silence of withdrawal…
…one thousand windows at the skull-teeth of the infinite, dark spasm of char, nothing, not a trace…
…(the hand closed over the mouth to silence the scream of penetrative…)
…dead stun of laughter…
…here is the singular hand and the spurious naught, click-clack, the spray of blood against a shattered pane of glass, one step to follow the next, and so it goes…
…or not, retracing, back then till swallow-tide, there is blood smeared across thine eyes…
…smoke in the parched veins, staggering as of…a closed wound torn open, a distance of moonlit beaches, a cleft sky or ocean perhaps, the death of all or nothing, as it comes…
…cigarette smoke, hissing upwardly, as if to splay the carcass kisses of the irredeemable…
…(nothing hence or)…
…laughter of the come to call, asking of the shadow, there upon, subtle as a death knell, the dissipation of that same shadow…
…sinew X., or the bled of which, such was the emptiness of breathing, so much the flame of apertures and silenced breath…
…(the sky extinguished)…
…hence it is known, (till knocked upon/ shredded…)
…caskets forever follow, unlike the breath of the hyenic laughter of what never was or has or of the becoming/ cleft…
…(I laugh because I can)…
…(till drift away)…
…the walls shed the dead skin of laughterlings, breathings, nicotine stains…
…the passing clouds are the scars of our desires…
…the passing flesh breathed unto skylines of obscene lights, guttering the outstretched palms of stigmata landscapes…
…(there is only night and we have children, they elect our dreaming electrify our lessened reproach)…
…colours strangle the tongue lacking the blessed overtures of spent absences/traces to remain…
…(drag/pelt/drag/toothen/bled wind// the eyes obliterated)…
…they remain unsewn/unknown/voices quietened by the poignant fragrance of the beating flesh and blood, the bone X.…
…here then or of the closure of the films of the eyes, drenched in carnivale/a blindness where the teeth are screaming idolatries, skinned redemption lacking the breath to conceal…
…measured/give/trace-non-trace/a dead spasm locks the fingers, no traces to love, no words to follow after/ as if to belong to/ or…
…pare away the eye away the eye/settled dust of foreign dreaming//lilt/irredeemable…
…blind smoke in a winter gallery/ screaming out unto the vacancy/taste of cold blood and the spasm of/swaying meat in a silenced harvest…
…cool light/beacon of benign/ asking of the tryst the colourless shine a deep dark/bled spun alone/ mockery of/ the mockery of this or of the that/aligned…
…no the bled sun/ distances to trace/ carry on as before, yet ruptured, leaking the headless asking of it, breathless it, nothing…
…laughter lung as if to have murmured, still chasm, casket eye, askance, spun lock of dread lest to follow, broken in the night‘s elixir, bleeding in the endlessness /of night…
Michael Mc Aloran 51
Biographical Note: Chris Murray Chris Murray is a City and Guilds Stone-cutter. Her poetry is published in Ropes Magazine, Crannóg Magazine, The Burning Bush Online Revival Meeting (Issue 1), Carty‟s Poetry Journal, Caper Literary Journal , CanCan The Southword Journal (MLC) and the Diversity Blog (PIWWC; PEN International Women Writer‘s Committee). Her poem for three voices, Lament, was performed at the Béal festival in 2012. She has reviewed poetry for Post (Mater dei Institute),Poetry Ireland and Writing.ie. Chris writes a poetry blog called Poethead which is dedicated to the writing, editing and translation of women writers. She is a member of the International PEN Women Writer‘s Committee, and the Social Media coordinator and Web-developer for Irish PEN.
In Memory of Michael McMullin
a spider accomplishes its slow kill on her slow porch
slow the weeds climb to the house slow the web works round his books
all of it so slow, its almost invisible. slow slow slow slow.... stealth slow
the ant is suspended and I watch the threading of this treat into web under
the fake web we suspended halloweâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;en two years ago whilst we waited for his
death, which would not come until new year and we would not be here -
or there. we would wait at the cemetery gate in snow, in ice for his ascent -
C Murray 53
Biographical Note: Peter O’Neill
Peter O’ Neill was born in Cork in 1967. He lived in France for the majority of the nineties and returned to live in Dublin after almost a decade, and has been living there ever since. His debut collection of poems ‗Antiope‘ was published by Stonesthrow Press to critical acclaim in February 2013. ―Certainly a voice to be reckoned with.‖ wrote Brigitte Le Juez (Beckett avant la lettre 2007) . He has had poems published in The Galway Review, A New Ulster- Issues 5 & 8, Abridged 0-29 Primal, The Scum Gentry and Pretty How Town (IRL), Danse Macabre , Poetic Diversity, The Original Van Gogh‟s Ear Anthology (USA), The Tenement Block Review, and Angle (UK). Work is also due to appear in First Literary Review East (USA-NY) after the summer. He holds an Honours degree in Philosophy and English Literature and a Masters in Comparative Literature, both awarded by Dublin City University. He will be presenting ‗Embodying Be-ING – Heraclitus & Samuel Beckett‘ at the Samuel Beckett Conference State of the Nation 2013 at Dublin City University in August.
O’ Connell Street Blues for my father On O‘ Connell Street, high above The Gresham, two sphinxes adjudicate on the allotment of taxis, while you leave behind your sacred heart and Jesus embraces the union.
Moving out onto the island, a deserted army of bicycles makes you think of Amsterdam, out upon the island where the trees bear light bulbs, not leaves.
Pass, a gaping hole of devastation.
The statue of Father Mathew, apostle of temperance, still up there talking to the lamp post.
Now, you could go into Dr. Quirkey‘s Good Time Emporium, that Asian, surrealist haven where in a field of snooker tables animated, human arms hold cues, moving them up and down with the surprising rigidity of crickets, only less musical, yet for more than likely the same reasons.
Pass: The Summer Palace, Beschoffs, Coastal Tours and the floozy still in there wearing her crown of pigeons.
Opposite: The Happy Ring House, where all day the crazed lady danced and where eastern Europeans hatch plans, there is the inevitable poster on display for a missing person.
In the GPO you think of Murphy, not Pearse. And quickly, crossing over to Anne Summers with her whole Rocky Horror Show symphony blasting;
Send all the naughty boys to bed, to bed send all naughty girls and boys , to bed send all! Larkin‘s hands then imploring, “Hey God, what the fuck?” Running now, because you‘re late as it proved that last look to Easons. RING DONUTS, feed yourself at the kiosk, four for a pound!
And finally, there he stands; your appointment. He has been waiting for you all this time with his four attendant angels, Cloaked, looking out over the river, finger in the air, contemplating what?
Whether there is one, single, decent pub in the whole south side that he would be seen dead in?
There it stood on the newly made bed of cobblestones Looking like an apotheosis of transport. The horses bearing their carts hung their heads in dejection, While people stood around it for closer inspection.
It had all the novelty of the new, the sexuality of innocence. People had even dressed up to come out and see it: The sleek, snug, stream-lined, snub-nosed Aristotelian form of the thing.
It snaked passed the Green. And then I saw them! Something almost human Had gotten mixed up in all of the perfect, momentary annihilation.
―There‘re knackers on the Luas!‖ The voice went up, “There‟re knackers on the Luas! Someone get those feckin‟ knackers off the Luas!”
On the DART
Early morning the sun shines like a Christ, And the waves are playing with the residual light. On the train the silence of the library, the commuters Sit with books opened before them like deserts.
This working life is like a sublime fiction When every day is likened to a page, And our respective occupations are but roles we play.
The toilet attendant eats Hamlet for breakfast. The flatulence coming from the latrines comes to him in gusts, While the newsprint on the press sets like rust.
Every day we press up against our fate. Are you happy in your job? And, with the person you live? Or, with whom you share your bed? Or, sometimes, do you simply wish that you were dead?
Dramatic vista. Like a lightening conductor, and Big Jim on Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; Connell is finally charged.
like some Indian rope trick going up through the platonic roof piercing the heavens from which descend, like a bunch of Jacks, the most welcome, army of migrants.
Hegelian figures, impossible unities; John de Bapiste a la Leonardo- finger in the airhermaphroditic creature in furs, all ravisher, ravishing and ravished, contrasting strongly with Larkinâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s imploring relish.
Spire rents the air, the curtain of the divisible, invisibly real.
Mathew, again, with apollonian constraint, embraced by Jesu, a latter day saint.
A being in torment has no repository, no exact place to call their own local; such is Hell.
The Spire rents the horizon revealing the fissures of reality, and there is Daniel, standing before you, Hegelian.
All around him errant figures are being harried or are themselves, giving chase.
Further on, in College Green, Goldsmith reads and Burke observes, while the genesis of the world coolly unfurls. 61
In the trajectory of the Spire, in the trajectory of the absolute, annihilatory centre, the place of total demarcation, the grid and market awash with living potential, capacity to err, or implode, under the pressure of the complete totality of presence of the invisible structure.
This then is the way, this then is the place.
In the trajectory of the Spire, in the trajectory of the absolute, annihilatory centre.
Absolute zero on the grid, our origins as distant, or as closely confused, as those of all possible dreams of future. 62
We thread beneath the Spire close to the approximate holocaust. The General Post Office evokes the Acropolis, just as surely as the primeval forest. And so we are still with the fallen man: Icarus, Eurydice, Orpheus and all of the company of the damned. Here, the pillars become transformed first from pronouns into barley stalks, to papyrus reeds then trees. The concrete which surrounds us is but the petrified leaves on which we all inscribe daily our frail prints. Whether we be obscure Hollywood starlets, or Neolithichunter gatherers, we crush like fruit pips smeared against the slate, this our so expendable, tribal heritage.
Infinity stalks us, its prey.
Extinction chastises us, like a dog with a stick. Abhorrent system of hierarchies by which we live, their funerary, a priori aspect. Exclusivity bred like spores erects prejudice on a phenomenological dimension. Language too makes fools of us, 63
somehow through the prism of five nouns our horizon is sketched. It is monstrous. One must develop cerebral dynamism, cruise through other tongues to find other otherness, perspective, before returning, yet again, to the familiar. Strange forest of domesticity, here mysterious wood nymphs become further transformed into oddly proportioned receptionists, paid to make invoices out to auditors and gynaecologists. Pan into the images produced by ultra-sound. Absolute morphology. Explore the further genesis of even more obscure stars, witness the true advent of the dead.
Biographical Note: Kenneth Pobo
Kenneth Pobo has a new chapbook forthcoming from Eastern Point Press called Placemats. His work has appeared in: Crannog, Orbis, Mudfish, Indiana Review, and elsewhere.
THIS COOL MORNING
while walking and chatting with Du Fu, we stop at a white hibiscus, twenty-two blossoms thanking summer for being
such a fine landlady--Du Fu says, ―Even though I‘m dead, I could still write a poem about these.‖ Why discourage him?
I secretly hope that he will-then maybe I‘ll know that when I die I can still write poems provided I have the right in-
spiration. We walk past the mock orange which had finished blooming two months ago. Du Fu stands before it and bows his head. The wind
strengthens so we move along. I invite him in for tea, but he has other gardens to visit in his busy death.
HAD WANDAWOOWOO BEEN NAMED SHARON
I got my name from a TV commercial for high-heeled shoes: Mom loved Wanda. The shoes
would make guys go woowoo— I never wear heels, prefer to go barefoot even when walking over winter‘s frozen pig carcass. My friends can‘t get why
I never wanted to be stylish— they tip over on avenues, pumps like water towers that lean until they drop on a farm town. My friend Suze
gave me make-up tips. I tried, but looked like a gasoline spill. It takes them an hour to get ready each morning—I dash out 67
to the garden, then to the Kia,
and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;m gone. Some days I have a whole bunch of woowoo. Others, my fizz flops. Had I been named Sharon, would I have entered a beauty pageant?
Or would Sharon be my double, making mudpies, even as adults, that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;d bake on the garage roof?
Try to ride me and I‘ll drown you. Even your kids aren‘t safe. One touched my nose and cut off his own hand to escape. You‘d put me
in a barn or a zoo if you could-I won‘t be tamed. I haunt rivers, lakes and oceans, can even enter a dewdrop. Shape
amuses me. I grow and shrink at the same time.
Come closer. You know you want to. My back is strong—continents easily die on it.
NUDE, BEGONIA AND HEADS
Painting by Odilon Redon
Roots spiral down black holes, make time do strange things. Naked before a red-faced blossom,
we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;t hide. Even in winter, full blooms. Space, a sunny window. Buds flash. Soon weâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;re completely inside,
skin petal-red, bodies stalking.
Painting by Edith Rimmington
A large eyeball stares out from a shell, sees desires to kill or be at peace, to rape or create safety.
I often want to stick a pin in it. What if it grew a new eye? I could smash the shell. No good. It would rebuild in my blood, swim up my heart and kill me.
What to do with an eye that widens and never closes?
Give in. Hope it is merciful.
Kenneth Pobo 71
Biographical Note: Claire Savage Claire Savage is a journalist and creative writer who lives along the north coast of NI. She previously completed a creative writing course led by NI playwright Damian Gorman, as well as various poetry and writing workshops. In April 2013, Claire won second prize in the Blackstaff Press SkyPen Short Story Competition, whilst in August 2012, her blog post ‗Once Upon a Word…‘ was chosen as one of three winning blog entries in the Blackstaff Press Blog Writing Competition. Claire‘s journalism articles have been published in a range of Northern Irish newspapers and magazines and she has written a fantasy children‘s novel for 8-12 year-olds, as yet unpublished, as well as short stories and poetry.
Upon his gaunt and angled frame hung scraps of memories lost She felt a melancholy shame his honour paid the cost There were no words of honeycomb no crystal kiss of hope A bare-branched skeleton crept home his dream a tattered rope
Hello You look a little lost I wonder where you‘ve come from and just how much it cost Your eyes are tinged with sorrow, wrapped up with strings of pain the flecks of hope and love must have burrowed through your brain.
Hello Do your memories flood your mind Have you forgotten all you fought for, have you left it all behind Your brow‘s a little furrowed – lines gouged as if by claws did the tiger grip you tight, did it catch you in its jaws.
Hello I can see a curve of smile Mouth twitches for a second, even though it‘s been a while Your heart it now beats quicker, the shackles they have gone the key to light and life in your darkest parts has shone.
Hello You look like you‘re ok I‘m glad you‘ve put the past behind and held on til today A spark I think is growing, in your heart and mind and soul It‘s the ultimate achievement and I think, that‘s been your goal.
Claire Savage 74
Another Poet Came Into Being
Illusion beguilingly caught her city killed young the kindly kindness, comforting comfort pocketed man later. Taken over blindly, my halo: kept obligingly lax, Allayed nothing, later knifed and massacred her poet.
Claire Savage 75
Peach painted patterns stain the silk she wears it gracefully â&#x20AC;&#x201C; graciously My glass appears half-full of milk I sip it slow â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ostentatiously
Spoiled, spilled light ignites face misshapen with contorted emotion half hidden below brim of murk, misery etched deep, gnawed every sinew taut, tensed to tell-tale smudges in the dark Stirs, cigar drips putrefaction into choking smut of smog-filled alley lingers, the reek of raw unchallenged circumstances Stiletto stab and swivelled neck, shadow steps Snatch of pearl, hint of iron-coifed curls and fragrance poisoned with possession.
Now, as the moonlight flickered onto brick and pane of glass empty headless shadows swirled and whirled and twirled so fast, As wounded weeping clouds so deftly, quickly, moved their mass and dewy milk of tears brought down sweet sustenance at last, To parched and darkened dust and bones and skin as thin as grass the scatterings of the present and the persistence of the past Locked solidly in jigsaw shapes, their muscles intertwined, Elementals and credentials upon which that pale moon dined.
I sit and stare cracked, broken – alone. Where once walls bounced back exuberant cries now only emptiness within me lies Salted, stoney tears streak unseen lost amongst the remnants of memories long crunched underfoot Eyes splintered, clothes torn throat choked in green Pride crumbled, time tumbled in – making sin the state I‘m in. I long to welcome you back
Biographical Note: Paul Tobin Paul is a poet from Somerset, he has a book of poetry published by Lapwing Publications called Blessed by Magpies. Paul also facilitates and performs at a poetry group called Juncture 25
Deception The names of dead babies were allocated to policemen, so they could live undercover, sleep with suspects, investigate certain people. We are told this was in the national interest. To lie in bed in the night and wonder if your son's name has been resurrected, to camouflage a liar, who spies on your neighbour. But they will not tell you. Shape shifting, identity eating, they attend every meeting, always saying the right thing. Offering and helping, inside they are mocking, your dossier compiling. Who were the suspected and exactly what did they do to be worth the attention and budget allocation? Did they really imperil the state? So many questions you will never answer...
If you fancy submitting something but haven’t done so yet, or if you would like to send us some further examples of your work, here are our submission guidelines: SUBMISSIONS NB – All artwork must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Indecent and/or offensive images will not be published, and anyone found to be in breach of this will be reported to the police. Images must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Please include your name, contact details, and a short biography. You are welcome to include a photograph of yourself – this may be in colour or black and white. We cannot be responsible for the loss of or damage to any material that is sent to us, so please send copies as opposed to originals. Images may be resized in order to fit ―On the Wall‖. This is purely for practicality. E-mail all submissions to: email@example.com and title your message as follows: (Type of work here) submitted to ―A New Ulster‖ (name of writer/artist here); or for younger contributors: ―Letters to the Alley Cats‖ (name of contributor/parent or guardian here). Letters, reviews and other communications such as Tweets will be published in ―Round the Back‖. Please note that submissions may be edited. All copyright remains with the original author/artist, and no infringement is intended. These guidelines make sorting through all of our submissions a much simpler task, allowing us to spend more of our time working on getting each new edition out!
SEPTEMBER 2013'S MESSAGE FROM THE ALLEYCATS: Mabon approaches! This month, we again have two pieces of prose, both with a twist in the tail of them. The month itself has started with a twist: the sudden death of Seamus Heaney inspiring a ripple of responses worldwide. Here at A New Ulster, the Editor had a book launch. We feel this is a spelling mistake: surely he means book lunch? It was held in a restaurant after all... 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‖.
Biographical Note: Mรกire Morrissey-Cummins Mรกire is Irish, married with two adult children. She lived abroad for many years, and bides between Wicklow, Ireland and Trier, Germany at present. She loves nature and is a published haiku writer. Mรกire retired early from the Financial Sector and found art and poetry. She is really relishing the experience of getting lost in literature and paint.
Sarah by Maire Morrissey-Cummins
Birdsong and butterflies by Maire Morrissey-Cummins
Cockle picking by Maire Morrissey-Cummins
Dappled green by Maire Morrissey-Cummins
June Heat by Maire Morrissey-Cummins
Seamus Heaney Tribute
Through the red bricked arches of history we both stalked these corridors of knowledge Wordsmith, literary farmer you culled the errant words guided your flock into a semblance of order. As you dug into the classics with pen in hand my father guided me to your words; O levels haunted my night digging for meaning in a salute to the past. Your presence brought silence to hallowed halls even mice waited with baited breath for you to speak, Pearls of wisdom each one I clung to them a precious gift. Silence my tongue cleft to my mouth the words dried, died as I shook your hand in abject awe I grinned like a maniac my copy of Beowulf clasped to my chest. All I ever wanted to say was thank you for the spark which drove my fascination with the past Gone now! Shed this physicality you have become something more a legend for the new age.
Upcoming Events in Northern Ireland (please note this may be subject to change):
September Friday 6th Belfast heat of All-Ireland Poetry Slam, doors 9pm, start 9.30pm, Crescent Arts Centre https://www.facebook.com/events/538658849533979/
September 14th Saturday European Heritage Open Days 12pm-12.45 Hosting ‗Lights, Camera… Poetry!‘, Strand Cinema 2pm-4pm Hosting Purely Poetry free open mic at Crescent Arts Centre
September 15th Sunday European Heritage Open Days 3pm-4pm Creative Tyrone, poetry reading with Geraldine O‘Kane, Carleton‘s Cottage, Clogher http://www.whatsonni.com/event/19665-ehod2013-celebrating-creativetyrone-at-carleton-s-cottage/carleton-s-cottage
September Friday 20th Culture Night Belfast 4pm-4.15pm Speaker's Corner at the corner of Castle Street and Chapel Lane (with Folktown) 89
6pm Reading in Holywood (venue to be confirmed) 8pm-9pm Voica Versa at White‘s Tavern 9pm-10.30pm Hosting ‗The Fred Festival Presents Belfast's first bicycle themed Open Poetry / Spoken Word Slam‘.
October Thursday 3rd BBC Fermanagh Live All Day various workshops and readings, Enniskillen Castle (full details TBA)
October Friday 4th Belly Laughs Comedy Festival 9.30pm-late Hosting Purely Poetry Comedy Slam and Open Mic, Crescent Arts Centre.
LAPWING PUBLICATIONS RECENT and NEW TITLES 978-1-909252-00-4 978-1-909252-01-1 978-1-909252-02-8 978-1-909252-03-5 978-1-909252-04-2 978-1-909252-05-9 978-1-909252-06-6 978-1-909252-07-3 978-1-909252-08-0 978-1-909252-09-7 978-1-909252-10-3 978-1-909252-11-0 978-1-909252-12-7 978-1-909252-13-4 978-1-909252-14-1 978-1-909252-15-8 978-1-909252-16-5 978-1-909252-17-2 978-1-909252-18-9 978-1-909252-19-6 978-1-909252-21-9 978-1-909252-22-6 978-1-909252-23-3 978-1-909252-24-0 978-1-909252-25-7 978-1-909252-26-4 978-1-909252-27-1 978-1-909252-28-8 978-1-909252-29-5 978-1-909252-30-1 978-1-909252-31-8 978-1-909252-32-5 978-1-909252-33-2 978-1-909252-34-9 978-1-909252-35-6 978-1-909252-36-3 978-1-909252-37-0 978-1-909252-38-7 978-1-909252-39-4 978-1-909252-40-0 978-1-909252-41-7 978-1-909252-42-4 978-1-909252-43-1 978-1-909252-44-8 978-1-909252-45-5 978-1-909252-46-2 978-1-909252-47-9 978-1-909252-48-6
Keeper of the Creek x Rosy Wilson ascult? lini?tea vorbind hear silence speaking x PETER SRAGHER Songs of Steelyard Sue x J.S. Watts Paper Patterns x Angela Topping Orion: A Poem Sequence x Rosie Johnston Disclaimer x Tristan Moss Things out of Place x Oliver Mort Human Shores x Byron Beynon The Non Herein - x Michael McAloran Chocolate Spitfires x Sharon Jane Lansbury Will Your Spirit Fly? X Richard Brooks Out of Kilter x George Beddow intro x Jeremy Reed Eruptions x Jefferson Holdridge In the Consciousness of Earth x Rosalin Blue The Wave Rider x Eva Lindroos Martin Incidentally x Gerry McDonnell Streets of Belfast x Alistair Graham Some Light Reading & A Song x John Liddy Threnody: for Four Voices x J.C. Ireson Howl:The Silent Movie x Peter Pegnall Ieper x Martin Burke Occupational Hazard x Aidan Hayes Last Feast x Mira Borghs "Make it Last" x Davide Trame Words Take Me x Ian Harrow Between Time x Jean Folan Maore & England Suite x Walter Ruhlmann Wind Horses x Judy Russell Witness x Seán Body Ice Flowers over Rock x Patrick Early Shouldering Back the Day x Seán Body Rosin-Dust Under The Bridge x Laurence James Call of Nature x Christopher Rice Plaything of the Great God Kafka x Roger Hudson London A Poem in Ten Parts Daniel C. Bristow Clay x Niall McGrath Red Hill x Peter Branson Throats Full of Graves x Gillian Prew Entwined Waters x Jude Mukoro A Long Way to Fall x Andy Humphrey words to a peace lily at the gates of morning x Martin J. Byrne Red Roots - Orange Sky At Last: No More Christmas in London x Bart Sonck Shreds of Pink Lace x Eliza Dear Valentines for Barbara 1943 - 2011 x J.C.Ireson The New Accord x Paul Laughlin Carrigoona Burns x Rosy Wilson The Beginnings of Trees x Geraldine Paine
All titles £10.00 per paper copy or in PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles.