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Book Review for And Agamemnon Dead: Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry:

Subterranean Blue Poetry

Volume III Issue XII


After Market Day, Finistere, 1882

By Henry Jones Thaddeus, National Gallery of Ireland.


Though not born of the sea

the eerie sea prepared them.

Its currents and Westerlies,

its spring tides and reflected moons,

stirred in them the promise of reality

and the notion of hunger.

Washed up on the steady sand

and acting on impulse and memory

they trade food on primal stalls

and dream of sex.

Their vision is of an in land,

a gigantic illusion conceived

on this infertile shore.

.

This lush earth-maid values

the five firm leeks lying

in wait in her wicker egg womb

and will not share them

with the plaintiff waif in the blue beret

who will paint the pain in bedsits

In Stockholm and Copenhagen.

So it is - not a cause - a possibility.

The weathered Oracle’s gaze is fixed,

communing with the chalked calm-

beyond the oceanic roar-

that is in her, and in us all.

She approves.

Though she knows those hips

will people the barren earth,

that their stock will create

mathematics and Morris Dancing,

nuclear power and mythology,

she also knows

that taking the chance to explore

love and hurt

is part of the experiment

that must be seen through.




Sympathy for The Sympathetic
after Jagger and Richards

by Kevin Higgins


When you phone to say you’re caught

in the Kyber pass or Kalahari desert,

I won’t ask how you got there.

I’ll be in the ambulance holding

your hot pink hand the day

the parachute jump fails

to cure your fear of heights.

I’ll say “poor you” with my whole face

and mean it, when the affair

with your mother-in-law

ends unpleasantly, or

they won’t let you smoke

cigars in the oncology day ward.

Too busy remembering the whiskeys

I bought George Best

to pass judgement on anything.

Next time you find yourself

with a biker gang in a wooded area

fifty miles north of Moscow and

things take an unexpected turn

for the worse, you’ve got

my number.




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