12 February 2010

Evening Cigarette (or, Thank You, Marlboro Lights)

the lace that startles, white
above the yellow glow of the
security light--motion activated
it flicks on, sudden-like

as he passes below her window, where he knows
she sleeps, long under the covers as
the paper/tobacco tip of his cigarette
crackles, drawing in that first

lovely infusion of smoke to the lungs
(and, exhale) conscious of the
stage directions governing them both.

her face in the window, in summer framed
by straw, smile a blur of pink,
moving, wordless, behind the single

now pressed to the pillow, tumbler
of water easy to hand

the hand that holds, clasping,

Eggs for Sale (or, Flesh and Commerce)

those ovoid shapes she held in
her hand, awkward pearls to

offer--better to string them on
a chain, hang them on a

white wall, list them in a
black-and-white print advertisement

marshalled, with a scalpel, until
they say--what--

the riot of lost language, the
eyes unseeing, the ears closed

off from birdsong, bleating, callow
entreaties, apologies, songs of love,

songs of loss, innocence and
experience colluding into a whole

that turns a corner and draws
a hand over the bricks,

smooth, rough, smooth, rough,
one brick upon another makes a wall,

one cell upon another, my sweetness

05 February 2010

West of Ireland........

McCarra/Poetry Broadcast Number Two Video by MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick - MySpace Video

McCarra/Poetry Broadcast Number Two Video by MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick - MySpace Video

To be sure.....

to be sure, it was a wrench, the
loss of his talk, the hands
round her waist, love coming in
at the eyes

then the long years, marked by
telegraph posts passing the windows,
thrip, thrip, thrip, regular as

plating food and pouring drinks, and
repeat as the needle hits the
grooves of the vinyl and the
scratchpop cannot hide that
old song, replete with corn syrup

we lulled ourselves to sleep with,
familiar snatches of melody to
weave into a quilt to
cover ourselves, warmth in winter

after the long hot summer and
sweet bird of youth had flown......


coppery skins fall to the lino,
brittle to the touch, as
another scream starts, then arcs

and falls away to silence.
they cause no tears, these
onions, as she keeps calm

and carries on, the booklet of stamps in
her apron pocket chafing the tips
of her fingers as she touches them,

for a moment only giving those nerves
sway, then raises the volume on
the radio, following each note....

in the mood, casting her mind back
to those cold pavements in grey November
before the fires of bleak December

throwing the bone into the fire, the
whitened hulk aloft for a fine moment
before it falls to the flames

she inclines, and inclines again, slicing
the onions fine, swaying so slightly, stockings askew

01 February 2010


This is the most recent poetry reading...originally broadcast over USTREAM.TV.....featuring the series of poems on the Seven Deadly Sins.



Upstairs Room

after a quarter century
after all the mornings, evenings,
cups of coffee drained to the
bitter end, after the orange
rinds tossed into the trash,
after all the sitting in waiting
rooms, over-bright, the furthest
from soothing the shattered soul,
with their tattered periodicals
and chain-hotel decor, the gray
plastic table, hard-edged as
the knives slicing your inner organs
for a late supper

still, after a quarter century,
watching the light come, after
the dark, searching out the
moon we both see

after all has been said and
done, and done to death and
approached from every tired
angle, ever finding new
geometries to fit those passions,
ungoverned, that plague one,
even so--there can be some
rest in the eyes of others, the
sure-handed repetition of
domestic tasks

after twenty-five turnings of the
summer into fall, after the
strands have turned to silver,
the movement of Christmas to
Easter, the self-sacrifice, too,
love lost (or folded into a tiny
paper square, hidden away in
an upstairs room)

and those so many lives she
thinks on, breakfasting, squabbling,
merging and diverging, the
addition and multiplication
self-taught, no less important
than those numbers, learned
by rote
we chanted out as sun streamed through the
woodframed squares of windowpane

and she will sing a new
song, and again, a new
song, before the day
is done

Dream on a Castro Convertible Sofa

slicing the bread and
scratching out the bills, passing
this time whilst I wait

and cartooned forms caper in
technicolor, the demarcations of
their inky lines melting as she
drifts into sleep

rows of frocks, flowered, striped,
the dark hallway of doors, metal-heavy,
pushed open to reveal a snowy
scene, a road forked, and,
beyond it, a graveyard, the
stones like so many grey teeth
upended, growing up from the earth

and he, and she, are without
their coats in this cold, confused now,
searching for the lost child
run far afield from them, he is young,
and fast, the spring in his step
the sweetest mechanism you'll see
in a month of Sundays

she lies, now, on the floral
plain of a Castro convertible
wondering, wondering, where her boy
may be

then wakes, to the blackdawn and
another day