Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Fights" by Chelsey Minnis

Point of information: What do you know about anything?
I’ll give you extra time to figure it out.

No, I’m not going to cry.

I’m going to smash the geraniums.

Do you mind, darling?

I like it when you shake your fist at a painted portrait.

May I ask why you’re so terrible?

I love you but you want to go to blazes.

Have you ever even tasted my tears?

The empty champagne glasses were waiting beautifully.

Don’t look at me with that sparkle.

I don’t like it.

Everyone shouldn’t ruin everything.

I never win an argument, but there are other things in life.

Does anybody ever get that look out of their eyes?

I’ve had the right attitude once or twice.

I nearly went out of my mind.

What are you? A perfect rat?

I adore rats. Rats are sweet.

Now, let’s have some yelling.

Darling, this is a cylindrical satin sofa cushion.

I’m going to beat you with it.

Now, a lot of people don’t know what I’m talking about.

That’s what’s so wonderful.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to accept that free ticket out of town.

Bulletin: You’re no good.

I don’t care who catches it.

It’s a swell night for a cry.

That’s KO with me.

Let’s have ringside seats.

Bulletin: You’re still no good.

I think you’re the most no-good person I’ve ever known.

And that concludes tonight’s sermon.

I know what you’re thinking.

Maybe we’d get somewhere.

by Chelsey Minnis

For more information about the poet, Chelsey Minnis, see:

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Leaves" by Derek Mahon

The prisoners of infinite choice
Have built their house

In a field below the wood

And are at peace.

It is autumn, and dead leaves

On their way to the river

Scratch like birds at the windows

Or tick on the road.

Somewhere there is an afterlife

Of dead leaves,

A stadium filled with an infinite

Rustling and sighing.

Somewhere in the heaven

Of lost futures

The lives we might have lived

Have found their own fulfilment.

by Derek Mahon

For more information about the poet, Derek Mahon, see:

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Black Moon" by Matthew Sweeney

For white he used toothpaste, 
for red, blood – but only his own 

that he hijacked just enough of each day. 

For green he crushed basil in a little 

olive oil. His yellow was egg yolk, 

his black, coal dust dampened with water. 

He tried several routes to blue 

before stopping at the intersection 

of bilberry juice and pounded bluebells. 

His brown was his own, too, applied 

last thing in the day before the first 

Laphraoig, and the stone jug of ale. 

He used no other colours, but his tone 

was praised by Prince Haisal, no less, 

which got him a rake of commissions 

and a residency-offer in Kuwait 

which he turned down. At home 

the Royal Family was less generous 

so he painted them all, in a series 

that came to be called his brown period, 

though this was strictly incorrect. 

He never exhibited with other painters, 

never drank with them, spoke of them – 

never even spat at their work. 

A cave in the Orkneys was his last dwelling 

and he rode a horse to his studio. 

There were no people in these paintings, 

which were found piled up on one another 

inside the cave, with no sign of him, 

and on top was a depiction of a black moon.

by Matthew Sweeney

For more information about poet, Matthew Sweeney, see:

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Callers" by Christine Evans

It is always a shock when they take off their caps, 
Those neighbouring farmers who call at our house.
They have to, of course, to have something to roll 
Or to press or twist in their blunt, nervous hands; 
But it makes them instantly vulnerable 
With their soft bald spots or thinning forelocks. 
They seem at once smaller, and much more vivid: 
Leaping out of type to personality. 

The smell of their beasts comes in with them, 
Faint as the breath of growing things in summer, 
Rich, as the days draw in, with cake and hay and dung. 
They are ill at ease in the house: 
One feels they would like to stamp and snort, 
Looking sideways, but have been trained out of it – 
As with leaving mucky boots beside the door. 

Only small, swarthy men with the friendly smell on them; 
Yet walls press close and the room seems cluttered. 
I am glad to go and make obligatory tea 
As their voices sway, slow with the seasons, 
And, ponderously, come to the point.

by Christine Evans

For more information on poet, Christine Evans, see: