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the pickled body

issue 3.2
 spring 2017
 


egg 



the pickled body


Contents
 
 Editorial

4

Colin Graham Prodigal With Importunate Feeling

5

6

7

Doireann Ní Ghríofa Two Girls, Two Daydreams On The Night That The School Sends Notice Of An Outbreak Of 
 Chemical-Resistant Head Lice Shane Holohan Father’s Day Tommy, 4 a.m.

8 9

Nessa O’Mahony Simple Arithmetic

10

Sophie Lawlor Featured artist

11

Marylyn Tan Nongendered R’Lyehian Erotique

16

Donal Mahoney 
 First Waitress

17

Alice Kinsella Colours in Spain

18

Kevin Graham Life and Death

19

Kaddy Benyon Vulnerable Side Up

20

Allis Hamilton Egg

21

Contributors

22



Editorial There will be no mention of Xenomorph ova in this issue. No reference to Humpty Dumpty. Nothing at all about ostriches, dinosaurs or turtles. 
 
 There will be very little about omelettes. You need to break a few whats to make one? 
 
 As we called for poems on the theme of ‘Egg’ it was no surprise that some of the work that came in was hard-boiled. Some was over easy. Some was scrambled. 
 
 We selected a dozen pieces that do not necessarily fit in the same box, all the better to complement each other.
 
 Thank you to all the poets and to Sophie Lawlor for her delightful art. Together they make this a cracking issue of the Pickled Body. Tuck in.


Colin Graham
 Prodigal With Importunate Feeling You had arrived from Paris At seven in the morning, Thinking that even rocks would have turned – After hearing these hideous discords – Into scrambled eggs. You had a heavy cold. You were tired. The doctor was called and prescribed Glasses of port with egg, in short pauses. I chased after you with the flask. The orchestra found that amusing. I had soft-boiled. You had poached. You thought they had staged it well, And brought me the programme, But said it was better to stay unenlightened: ‘The words are silly, the music diluted.’


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Doireann Ní Ghríofa
 Two Girls, Two Daydreams At fifteen, a girl sits among rows of students on a June afternoon with a plastic bottle of water, three pared pencils, bitten nails. She is writing. By 1850, a million were dead and another million had fled. To give this girl this moment, a stranger endured that time. See her, a young ancestor, fifteen too, waking in a stranger’s dark cabin from a dream where she carried the squirm of a plump hen warm under her oxter through the yard at home. At the edge of her dream-eye, she sensed her mother’s voice calling her in for the luathóg, warm from the embers. In the yolk-yellow half-light of waking, she can almost taste that crumbled spud edged in butter and salt, the mouthful of egg to follow. She can almost hear the baby’s gurgle-laugh echo, but her home dies again as the dream dies with her opening eyes, as the dark dies and her hands appear again, alive in dawn light. Through the gloom she can see the moons under her nails, still dirt-dark where she tried and failed to put the last face away. She is too weak now to lift her head, too weak to seek a stray berry in the brambles outside this stranger’s cabin, too weak to weep, too weak to drag herself up and walk towards the hope of a meal, too weak to find another abandoned cabin for shelter tonight. She tugs the rough blanket over her head, tries to go into her sleep again, but the dream has retreated into the dark and there’s only a faint scratch from the corner now – another mouse too fast to catch, or the claw-echo of her dreamt hen – but still, the sound, until her fingers fumble out, feel under the bed and there, tucked under straw, she finds one warm egg. She cries, then, yes, hot tears scorch her throat, while inside her, a cluster of silver eggs ripen in a pink fist, tiny particles that will bring her daughters, her granddaughters, her great granddaughters, all of us tumbling out of this one moment, from this egg in her fist. One by one, we will come, even, eventually, another girl of fifteen, who will sit in a sun-filled examination hall, daydreaming. the pickled body

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa
 On The Night That The School Sends Notice Of An Outbreak 
 Of Chemical-Resistant Head Lice
 Lather their scalps. Sing a song of crawl and catch to an awful chorus of bawl and scratch. Hold their small heads still, and stroke by stroke, the comb will fill, as such combs always have. In combs lifted from tangled dirt, nits always lurk – ancient fragments of torsos, legs, torn heads, and eggs, always countless eggs, clinging still. How stubbornly these insects keep their hold on us, in ferrous lust, in desire for our honey blood. Tonight, you will search and curse, curse this inescapable itch. How they cling. The children’s heads have become nests, all flickering beginnings, so hold them still; catch them, pinch them, crush them. This is not the first time that you have killed.


 
 
 
 
 


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Shane Holohan Father’s Day
 The pig’s bladder you blagged from Keefe’s Knackers’ yard 
 to kick down old laneways is there (under ‘K’)
 with your stories of Bang-Bang, pitch ’n’ toss, 
 early morning silences shared with your own dad. There’s the drift-wind blowing oceans of grass, sun setting, road cooling, you tanned, dusty, weary. There’s lightning whip-lashing Centre Point Tower And your pay-day sprint with the week’s wages to get to your ma. Each is indexed and placed on a shelf, cross-referenced with your name 
 and your name and your name, for their careful return when you’re done here. Stacked also are frames 
 for moments to come: grandmothers’ shawl christenings, birthday-cake blowings, present-openings, mud-kneed pigeon-chested medal-wieldings: They won’t be needed for the tomorrows that begin with today. There’s a locked room with locked boxes, 
 for your locked boxes and your tied sacks It doesn’t matter what’s in them You, you and you, you will be taking them back. Empty you out, then step through the door Bring only the you from the day you were born. We’ll have your blue- brown- green-eyedyour six-foot- five-foot-ten- six-foot-twoblonde- brown- and red-hairedscholastic- athletic- icelandic- germanic- charismaticdouble helix of cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine: We’ll have your nature, not your nurture, because here at the clinic, it’s always father’s day. 
 
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Shane Holohan Tommy, 4 a.m. 
 Lean forward
 propped up pillows – 
 silhouette 
 by reading light
 strain to
 drag
 from deep below ’thing heavy hauling up on chains bend his back strain breath, wear him to bones Spit in poly styrene cup a hammer nail ing wood He eases back and softly sighs until the hauling starts a gain


 
 
 
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Nessa O’Mahony
 Simple Arithmetic 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Born 
 with two 
 million but the 
 maths are insane.Three 
 quarters are gone by 13; lose 
 1,000 more each month the next 
 40 years until nothing: a huge spheroid 
 blank where posterity used to be. I might look 
 just the same, who the hell is she kidding, don’t walk 
 with a slight limp and I don’t float into air because
 this new weightlessness can’t tether me. I have 
 new tastes: for omelettes, sunny-side ups, for Fabergé, old Hitchcock flicks, exceptional puns don’t start me, for pebbles washed up, 
 edge wavepolished 
 into henry 
 moore.
 


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Sophie Lawlor
 Featured artist
 
 The Egg presents itself to me as an object defined by absurdity; it is simultaneously mundane and mysterious, an object that can be thought of as a vessel for the unexpected and the otherworldly. This absurdist quality was what predominantly influenced the realisation of this collection of drawings, which playfully capture encounters between an array of bizarre creatures and the equally strange Egg.


 
 


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Marylyn Tan
 Nongendered R’Lyehian Erotique it’s a flesh wound, they say, and purse their thick cleaved lips at the prone twitch-yiffing of my wetly gleaming form, which is nearly as masturbatory as wordpress. we are tiny manimals calcite and mineralised in amber monument to the day we came so hard we fossilised ourselves. there is a symmetry to the golden ratio of the nautilus, the cleaved foot of the goat with a thousand young, the raw milky glass-white of translucent anal beads. you fuck my flesh wound with your polydactyl thumb and a horde of sugar gliders bursts out swimming for their lives. I wilt like a corsage, or most hard-ons. it is not just because they are my cosmic progenitor parents that they are called The Elder Ones. we are hatching wordlessly under the earth and still dead cthulhu lies wet dreaming.
 
 


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Donal Mahoney
 First Waitress Outside, the still of crickets. Inside, petals of a cold sore foliate, a boutonniere for full lips. Looking up, I tell her two eggs, basted, hash browns, coffee now. Later on, she says the birthmark I found south of her navel she’s had all her life.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 


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Alice Kinsella Colours in Spain Spain is hot with colour. 
 Oranges hang in every tree 
 on Rue de García Barbón. 
 Perfect orbs, like quickly colouring yolks in a pan,
 quivering with heat until they bubble, pop and still. 
 It is the heat that makes everything orange. 
 I can hear Granddad saying 
 You could fry an egg on that pavement.
 The kind of burning underfoot, singeing of soles,
 reminding you that you too are meat;
 if it were too hot you too would pop, 
 blister like an egg yolk,
 you too would fill the air with the smell of food and luxury.

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Kevin Graham
 Life and Death I’d say no more than half a dozen broken shells in the grass, spotted and fragile as frozen embryos, tufts of black feathers snagged where the coop was stormed, innocence picked clean into the air, scooped as horrible liquid protein and only half-finished, left like bullet casings for the morning sun to illuminate, highlight the injustice done in the dead of night, the product of lovemaking unloved, its belly-warm sky lifted away so fast execration is proved and we resign to setting up traps, little cages a foot or two apart containing a split perch, buttered, which falls through when they hop naively in and we find them the next day stressed and menacing, necks ready to be wrung.

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Kaddy Benyon
 Vulnerable Side Up I’m trying to fry two eggs on the gunwale of a glinting boat rowed widdershins by Maggie. She’s grilling me about what I could bring to the island – me, whose only bigness is physical; me who slowly knows as we come full circle that I have nothing to offer this place but my soft eggs, vulnerable side up and flimsy. I slip them onto a slice of sourdough pulled already toasted from my breast pocket and she looks at me sagely, then nods, takes them in one hand, tucking the oars behind her with the other. She tips them to her lips like shucked oysters, eyes me unbrokenly, swallows.

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Allis Hamilton
 Egg An egg is talkative and never alone, babbling away to a near dozen neighbours – for they’ve a secret language of egg-talk that is silent to the outsider. Putting a special egg-o-scope up to a shell, I hear one mutter: a platypus recalls being a duck, and the walls creep closer with each day.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Contributors
 Colin Graham’s poetry has been published in The SHOp and The Tangerine. He has published fiction and memoir in The Edinburgh Review and The Dublin Review. His books include Deconstructing Ireland and Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography. He is co-editor of The Irish Review and curator of the Illuminations exhibition space at Maynooth University, where he is Professor of English. Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer working both in Irish and English. Among her awards are the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Michael Hartnett Prize, and the Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary. She frequently participates in crossdisciplinary collaborations, fusing poetry with film, dance, music, and visual art. Doireann’s writing has appeared widely and has been translated into many languages, most recently to French, Macedonian, Gujarati, and English. Her fourth book is Oighear (Coiscéim, 2017). Shane Holohan lives in Stoneybatter, Dublin. His poetry has been published in The Stinging Fly and The Pickled Body. Nessa O'Mahony is from Dublin. She has published four books of poems, the most recent being Her Father’s Daughter (Salmon Poetry 2014). She is co-editor with Siobhan Campbell of Eavan Boland: Inside History (Arlen House), which was published in late 2016. She regularly presents the Attic Sessions (http:// theatticsessions.tv).
 
 Sophie Lawlor is an Irish artist born in Dublin. She studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin where she received her BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Visual Culture in 2016. Above all, Lawlor favours detailed line drawings as her métier, which is in part influenced by her experience with copper-plate etching and lino-printing during her time in NCAD. Lawlor is currently based in the Netherlands, where she is completing her Master’s degree in Film and Photographic studies in conjunction with her ongoing art practice. 
 
 Marylyn Tan is interested in addressing the queer feminine body, existence in liminal spaces, the parameters of interaction whether public or personal, and the conditions of alienation and marginalisation in her work, which is informed by her positionality as a queer, Chinese, Singaporean writer. A linguistics major, poet, and artist, she has performed at the Singapore Biennale, SPORE Art Salon, IndigNation SG, the Singapore Writers Festival, SPEAK., and so on. She has also been featured in various print anthologies, such as Rollercoasters & Bedsheets, and the upcoming A Luxury We Must Afford and Inheritance | The Anthology. She has been called an ‘erotic poet’, and writes for your bewilderment.



Donal Mahoney, one of many nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, has had poetry and fiction appear in various publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found at http:// eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html
 
 Alice Kinsella is an Irish writer. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of publications, including Headspace magazine, The Fem literary magazine, Poethead, Icarus, Headstuff, The Galway Review, The Sunday Independent, Skylight47, Boyne Berries, A New Ulster, and The Ofi Press. Her work has been shortlisted for several competitions, the Annual Bangor Poetry Competition 2016, Hungry Hills Wild Atlantic Words Poetry Competition 2016, the Jonathan Swift Awards, and the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition 2016. Her play The Passing debuted during the Liberties Festival 2016, and will return to stage in May 2017 as a part of Little Shadow Theatre's New Irish Playbook. For more information visit aliceekinsella.com Kevin Graham’s poems have appeared in various journals including The Stinging Fly and Poetry Ireland Review. A chapbook has appeared from Smithereens Press. He is working on his first collection. Kaddy Benyon’s first collection, Milk Fever, won the Crashaw Prize and was published by Salt in 2012. She is also a Granta New Poet and has recently completed a residency at the Polar Museum in Cambridge where she wrote and is currently editing her second collection, Call Her Alaska. 


Allis Hamilton grew up in a farming district, in rural Australia, that seemed to be almost swallowed by sky. In Australia, some of her poems live in: Australian Poetry Journal, Southerly, Plumwood Mountain (online), Flightpath, an anthology about migrating birds, forthcoming from Hallowell Press; and in Ireland: The Caterpillar, Skylight 47.


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Since 2013. The Pickled Body is edited, designed and produced by Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman. The poems and artwork featured in this issue are copyright © 2017 by their respective authors and artists, and may not be reproduced without permission. The Pickled Body is © 2017 by the editors. All rights reserved.


The Pickled Body - Issue 3.2 Egg  

There will be no mention of Xenomorph ova in this issue. No reference to Humpty Dumpty. Nothing at all about ostriches, dinosaurs or turtles...

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