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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Cork Poetry Conference 1

From:

"L.MacMahon and T.R.Healy" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

L.MacMahon and T.R.Healy

Date:

Sat, 21 Mar 1998 15:01:50 GMT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (96 lines)

On Saturday the 14th of March the second Cork Conference for New and
Experimental Poetry organised by Alex Davis and Matthew Gedden was held.

First on was Trevor Joyce whose latest works, _Syzygy_ and _Hellbox_ were
launched at the conf.  In his introduction to the poem _Chimaera_, he
mentioned that formally it is based on the renga and combines texts by
Richard Lovelace, Aloysius Bertrand and the author and later interpolaters
of the Lieh Tzu.  (In a hostile review in Ireland, the poem was slated as
being too heavily influenced by Paul Muldoon, though not a word of it is
Trevor's own.  The briefest glance at the notes in the book _Stone Floods_,
which was the subject of the "review" would have revealed this.)  The Earth
due to be struck by an asteroid on 26th October 2028, Archbishop Ussher's
dating of creation to 10 am Thursday the 26th of October 6006 bc, and TJ's
own birthday being the 26th of October, the poem is justifiably full of
endings and beginnings.  Also, look up chimaera in a biology dictionary.

more tomorrow

Randolph Healy
 
***************************

Chimaera                           Trevor Joyce
*for Tina Murphy*

Ceres and Bacchus bid good night
sharp frosty fingers all your flowers have topped
and what scythes spared winds shave off quite

a moth bred out of moonlight I disturbed
from the dark folds where it lay hid

     a naked thing that seems no man may cheat
     and love like any jack
     another dressed may prove a beast

that creature fluttered free but voided in my lap
a maggot with a human head monstrous misshapen

such whose white satin upper coat of skin
cut upon velvet rich incarnadin
has yet a body and of flesh within

     whereas anything with six foot of skeleton
     with hands that grip with scalp of hair
     front teetch concealed inside a face
     and which leans forward as it runs
     is called a man with us

the joys of earth and air and thine entire
that with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly

  the sky unrolled its folds of purple and blue to the winds
  and later from these steps I saw on the horizon
  a village torched by soldiers blaze like a comet in the sky

then ah the sickle golden ears are cropped
dropping December shall come weeping in

     the blood of horses become jack o lantern
     the blood of ment become will o the wisp
     kites become sparrow hawks and those hawks cuckoos

  when the sun opened its golden lashes on the chaos of worlds
  and the earth was adrift with its cargo of ashes and bones
  my terrified soul then fled through the grey web of halflight
  but that spawn hung on in this shrill rush
  and spun himself into the full of its white mane

     cuckoos in due course again turn raptor
     swallows become oysters seashells hatch geese

poor verdant fool and now green ice thy joys
large and as lasting as they perch of grass
bid us lay in gainst winter rain and poise

     apes grown of sheep fish that are rotten fruit
     flies born of roe such transformations are

  souls of the dead like mountain oaks uprooted by demons
  souls of the dead like meadow flowers gathered by angels
  sun sky earth man all had begun all gone

I cannot tell who loves the skeleton
of a poor marmoset naught but bone bone


************






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