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the pickled body issue 3.3
 winter 2017
 


a lot of 
 what I like 
 is trash 



the pickled body issue 3.3


winter 2017


a lot of what I like is trash


Contents
 
 Editorial

4

Margaret O’Brien What do we Burn in Fires?

5

Nicola Jennings Photograph Bishop Street

6
 7

Jeff Gburek ‘he carries an entire Roman/sub-legion draped…’

8

Órla Fay Day One

9

Richard Biddle Three poems

10

Susanna Galbraith CITY (7 DAYS) CITY 2 CITY 3

13 16 17

Featured Artist 
 Martin de Porres Wright

18

Christodoulos Makris Three poems

23

Contributors

26



Editorial issue 3.3
 A Lot of What I Like is Trash… All poetry is experience recycled, not all of it necessarily the poet’s own experience, so we were happy to receive a good deal of transformed work for this issue. Some of it, in part, was made from renewed materials, as in Christodoulos Makris’s poems created out of untreated text from anonymous sources on the internet; and Martin de Porres Wright’s paintings, made using bitumen. Some of the poems in here deal with what might be termed the lives society wishes to ignore, as in pieces by Margaret O’Brien, Nicola Jennings and Órla Fay. Jennings, in addition, sees the beauty and terror in discovering an injured bird in the street. When does a life become detritus? Other pieces responded slant to the theme, including Jeff Gburek’s fine poem, Susanna Galbraith’s wonderful ‘CITY’ trilogy, and Richard Biddle’s intriguing visual poems. Nobody came to us with trash talk, or a trash aesthetic, or ‘white trash’ or a call to ‘trash this joint’, not that we could see; but that’s fine. Trash is always subjective. And while a lot of what we like is trash, we think you’ll agree that the work in this issue of The Pickled Body, is not.


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Margaret O’Brien
 What do we Burn in Fires? i.m. families who burned to death in Carrickmines fire, October 2015


We know what we burn in fires. We hardly remember that you once crafted implements from tin – when we housed you in tin cans. We hardly remember that you once had a baby, baby cousin, named Mary – that we housed in a tin can under a day moon, frozen, in Carrickmines. Your baby, baby cousin, Mary, who, with her still, solemn face, haunts your startled dreams under a day moon, frozen, in Carrickmines. There is a crack in the sky. Your grandfather, grandfather once crafted implements from tin. There is a crack in the sky – You now know what we burn in fires.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Nicola Jennings
 Photograph from Dzhangal by Gideon Mendel, 2017


It was this photograph that most stirred the heart, eighty-three toothbrushes, picked from the ground and laid in rows. Some were worn through (the owners had no way of replacing them) and some were perfect, and you knew, just looking at them, you knew, that there had been no mother telling her son, habibi, brush your teeth. No mother saying habibi, how was school today? or, habibi, how was work? You knew there was no school, and no work. You knew the young boys idled, or played football, or scuffed their heels in the dust, and some even died, trying to cross the sea. You knew, even as you took the photograph, the boys would soon be spread far lost to their mothers lost to each other. All are gone now. The dusty camp is swept bare and habibi is sighing on the breeze in Calais.

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Nicola Jennings
 Bishop Street 


A bird in Bishop Street, pale green, dull brown, perfection on a pavement. For one wild moment I fancied it would fly if I could warm it in my hands. I would watch it swoop and dart among the traffic until it found a place of safety high above the throng. But the wings were stiff and useless, the beak fixed firmly shut, eyes closed, feathers ruffled. It was a fragile thing, feet turned to the sky. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Jeff Gburek
 ‘he carries an entire Roman/sub-legion draped…’ 


he carries an entire Roman sub-legion draped over his arm? i was just looking up the word for door-knob i was just about to… when the wrist clicked off me hand and like a string threaded through every bone in my skeleton were cut shedding a clatter of femurs and mandibles (or mindibles) thereupon the floor (insert a possible line about the 4 horsemen being somewhat less quadrate, less square) and the one eye remnant leapt up atop the heap of dislocated limbs to spy upon the larger hillock (or hay-stack) of tangled words fallen out of the vocabularium opened like a cigar box by the wandering hand of a moment ago

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Órla Fay
 Day One 


In the parking lot they’d gather by the vats where people drop their recycling bottles; clear, brown, blue and green glass and drink cans only, the lure of alcohol and sugar their purest addiction. Every time it is the same intention. The clear-out from drawers, from under the bed and from the shed is a purge of sorts, a way of wiping the slate clean. She comes to end an old life, a decade old and decayed, a smear displayed, a lesson’s pain but the wasps attack the empty beer can aggressively drunk even as they wane.

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Richard Biddle
 Three poems

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Susanna Galbraith
 CITY (7 Days) 


there was a shape like an empty crag like the gap between two people trying to love each other

I

I am unsure whether the detachment belongs to me or to you along with your nature fetishes wrapped-up in plastic and pricetags plants displaying their pots, looking out the window like the way I look out the window to and from commodified abandonment so much fevering occupation and humans hot in the homes of machines


II

my first day in the city was plagued with rain which closes you further inside your own brain hooded in umbrella and wet face and getting lost even more easily I go to the gallery and Bourgeois shows me how a skull hoods a mind and how we love even faceless things but not personally I read Of Being Numerous checking it against what I have been moving through needing something to be true I know too well the bulking weight of my being visible in a strange place to partake in the glories of invisible things to be found in an earnest dissecting of the flower faces of other people

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III

Turn your heart into a puppy and walk it along on a lead picking up its shit in plastic bags when you recognise the need Here is as mine as it is anybody’s if I am to buy in In the big anxiety of bookstores stranded in 8 miles of straightjacket spines I wish I could touch the face of a book and hear a voice sharp and quiet, funnelling into ear and skull but there are only the silent screeches of the unread and unmeaning and dust I can feel only myself Don’t know what year it is, forget to read the news, forget there is any news but the drama of subway 
 glances, forget there is anything beyond the skyscraper playpen of city

IV

You can always see the bones here in the half-ruin-half-plan always changing rearranging A grid is the bare bones to fester in as innumerable human minds eat and eat into the walls I can see to the end of the world turning my head crossing a street

V

I waited for sunlight to open the secret doors that ghost the streets I walked out of a building grinning with the helium of good weather The first thing I saw today was a tiny dead bird Soon I will see another and another and I don’t yet know how they are dying in the night and I don’t find out It is different to see a dead bird on the street than bird bones on a beach

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VI

The streets are covered in tiny birds Soon they will choir a memorial for something I do not know about blown through the window of a Bushwick loft at dawn shared among six (but nobody else is awake and even here I can be alone) and then I will return to the comatose dark of a windowless room go back to sleep changed but not with knowledge only my blood full of a hymn that isn’t mine and says nothing of me

VII

These streets should be drawn in plastic crayon and black smudge, loosened with spit and a deep inclination toward kindness that is crusted over by plast-thetic and aspiration but is still wet in everyone’s eyes Leaves insisting in the grid-work are confirmed by their shadows that are clouds imagined by the flat of the sunlit Brooklyn tarmac licking over cars and other moving things that ignore them for bustle and ice-coffee A leaf falls directly into her hand one day, and we can’t say anything

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Susanna Galbraith
 CITY 2 


The story is 
 of hermit souls at the shore soft leaking seeking homes among the jetsam trash washed 
 up broken from the universe spread out like bits of a broken mirror each a shard with its 
 own shape and own recurring world contained each a tiny knot-world with a hollow where you might be held if you can find the entry hole one each for every spreading soul to coil into for a little while knitting echoes into song 
 that once sung empties itself creatures the unsure shape of holes in things 
 wriggle and seep out again again continuing the leaking seeking eating
 needing / I lie on the bed and recall how underneath flesh is skeletal I feel with mind for the weight of solemn bones under the chatter and moans of flesh and follow them as they link together up from feet to skull under my shut lids I find my eyes are wide as grief and staring under my lips I find my teeth are bared and animal as starving // I carry with me the image of an empty shore It is important to remember here that I have bones I carry with me the image of an empty shore the edge and the end of everything beginning for a heart’s capillary fingers to grip when I’m cast out into the city a gateway for my getting lost in a dose of something more calmly and completely

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Susanna Galbraith
 CITY 3 


the sea could dissolve the city grid like white paint god and forgetting only the sea a sound to make a sky dome in my chest // We build a pillar to god out of the gaps between our faces
 these being mountains, sedimentary, as grown from overlain moments of settling these moments being those of looking or listening, of knowing you truly know another these mountains being mineral as in dead compacting over time under the pressure that comes from changing against will of the other, the dry tangled tap-less roots of lovers 


we made ourselves hard and made rock from our intimacies I can’t see your face anymore but scramble upward on what has piled between us

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Martin de Porres Wright
 Featured artist

1. High Noon
 
 2. Agave
 3. Bldg 98 4. Big Blue
 Medium – all works: Acrylic on Icopal bitumen felt
 


Martin de Porres Wright is an Irish abstract painter and sculptor, and was artist-in-residence at Building 98, Marfa, Texas, for the months of March through May, 2017. His installation Tumbleweed, consisted of work primarily created in Marfa, and was presented in the ballroom of Building 98. These works were inspired by the artist’s surroundings – the intense heat of noon, the colour of the cactus Agave, Building 98 itself, and the vast Texas sky.
 


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Christodoulos Makris
 Three poems 


get ready for strip-search I am not one for tattoo’s but that would make a really nice one just loved those (fade out into an LSD phantasmagorical scene) the Stones Free in Hyde Park joined REM onstage for poetry written incognito in a garden is pretty strange considering Patti Smith headlined the Serpentine Sessions I would like to have been told about the child she gave up for adoption look up the Internet punk the answer to ennui a heady collision mid 60’s nouveau garage rock / the visceral and the poetic / funk and roll see In 1976 I had just left art school and was working as an assistant in a fashion/advertising studio in Covent Garden hip to new developments excited by literary junk masquerading as art that same year an ecstatic review in the NME referenced all my obsessions the Symbolist poets/painters and the fin de siecle French demi monde hypnotised by a grotesque androgynous mix it was a revelation!! how offended an Irish person could be I loathed with a vengeance the truly awful great poet came as huge disappointment / worse self reverential caricatures by my now 28yr old ex art student of the rock musician as tortured poet captures those turbulent times although a minor masterpiece the codified mannerism verging on parody records a late poetics I would beg for my daughter and I discovered that I am suspect at the age of fourteen her love touches another rather than Just Kids it has a timeless style and pose I found attractive in my early twenties


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I’ve been to Holborn tram station for an art ‘installation’. Very interesting, I will certainly buy the book. In the late sixties/early seventies there was a shopping mall underneath Oxford Street which included a dolphinarium. It’s a scandal that people are sleeping rough, of course, but if Paris can transform its ancient disused metro stations into art galleries, nightclubs, restaurants and – yes – homeless shelters, then the homeless would soon come back up and continue begging and sleeping rough! Yes, it is a dystopian nightmare. The real point is why does this stuff have to be secret? I remember buying a Russian camera from the Russian shop that was just on top of the Kingsway telephone exchange. I think the Skyfall and Sherlock scenes were filmed in the disused Jubilee line station at Charing Cross. There are lots of rats down there. Plus people need UV light to stay healthy. As well as several books, television programmes, radio interiews, and multiple websites. In Berlin you can visit a cold war nuclear bunker built underneath one of the city’s busiest shopping streets. It looks like they have removed the original ceramic tiles, benches etc. The river Farset from which Belfast gets its name, is culverted underneath the city. The graffiti in loos? They’re all fascinating, which is far more than can be said of seeing Hootie and the Blowfish live in concert. There is an urge shared by many to follow lesser-known paths, and to explore closed-off spaces. The world around us is becoming ever more proprietary. From public space upon which we cannot ‘protest’, to city green spaces behind locked gates, to this amazing underground world, we are being boxed in and made to pay whenever we want to step out of our ‘productive’ places and roles.

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I’m mighty glad she’s still alive just like the rest of us; flawed as hell if she were a man she’d be a legendary ‘bad boy’ sometimes a change of location is all it takes it’s very flattering to London maybe she hid on an HGV and came in through Dover I like Buzzcocks, but it really is trash tv I liked Buzzcocks when Amstel was hosting

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Contributors
 Richard Biddle aka (bid) has an MA in Performance Writing. His poetry has appeared in many forms online and in print. This is the first time his visual poetry has been published. He tweets as @littledeaths68 and is a member of both the creative collective @chimeragroup0 and the experimental writing collaborative @echovirus12. In 2013 his poem ‘Transparency’ won the @BigBlakeProject poetry prize. He teaches creative writing at Chichester College, UK. 


Órla Fay is the editor of Boyne Berries magazine and is the secretary of Boyne Writers Group. Recently her work has appeared in the Ogham Stone, A New Ulster, the Honest Ulsterman and is forthcoming in the Rose Magazine and Amaryllis. Órla has had poems longlisted in the Fish Poetry Prize 2017 and the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award 2017. She recorded her poem ‘Lau Tzu at the Door’ for Lagan Online’s Poetry Day Ireland Mixtape 2017. Órla keeps a blog at http://orlafay.blogspot.ie/ 


Susanna Galbraith lives in Belfast. Her poetry has been supported by the Arts Council NI Support for the Individual Artist Scheme during 2016 and 2017. Her work has appeared most recently in The Penny Dreadful and Abridged. 


Jeff Gburek escaped from Buffalo, NY in 1985 and studied at New College of California Poetics Program in San Francisco before not finishing until he wanted to study Italian literature which he did in Firenze for another degree that he never is sure he completed with a thesis about Pasolini because he went to Indonesia for one year and then Japan, forgot about all that, and then moved to Berlin for the first time. He is a musician, composer, sound arranger, listener working ‘independently’ in Poland. Here's one of his online joints: http://transparent-abelard.blogspot.com/ 


Nicola Jennings has had poems published in The Plane Tree, Crannóg, the Waterford Review, Burren Meitheal and the Stinging Fly. Her collection of short stories Horse was a finalist in the 2012 Eludia Awards (Hidden River Arts, Philadelphia). Her short story ‘Muscle Memory’ was included in the Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction 2005-2015, New Island Books, 2015. 


Christodoulos Makris has published two books of poetry, and several pamphlets, artists’ books and other poetry objects, most recently if we keep drawing cartoons (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2016). One of Poetry Ireland’s ‘Rising Generation’ poets, in 2017 he was Digital Poet in Residence at StAnza International Poetry Festival in St Andrews, Scotland, and received a joint new project commission from the Irish Museum of Modern Art. He is the poetry editor of gorse journal and Gorse Editions, and co-director and curator of Dublin’s multidisciplinary series of events, Phonica.
 


Margaret O’Brien is co-founder of The Story House Ireland and is a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Waterford Institute of Technology. She curates the annual Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend and runs the monthly open mic, Poetry Plus, as well as her own workshops, Writing Changes Lives, in Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir. She is an affiliate of Amherst Writers & Artists and her work has been published by Southword, the South Circular, RTE/O’Brien Press, Flash Frontier and the Irish Times.

Martin De Porres Wright Since 2013, after a long and successful career in advertising, Wright has focused on establishing his work as an artist, with a studio situated in County Cavan. His media are acrylic and oil on Icopal bitumen felt; his bold use of colour is inspired by his natural surroundings. His sculpture arises from found objects and collected materials of local landscapes. Wright’s first solo show ran from February to March 2016 in the historic City Assembly House, Dublin, home to the Irish Georgian Society, which promotes Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts.


the pickled body
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 Facebook: /ThePickledBody 
 Twitter: @thepickledbody 
 thepickledbody.tumblr.com 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.


Pickled body 3 3 a lot of what i like is trash  

All poetry is experience recycled...

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