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LEANNE O'SULLIVAN

 

 

Leanne O'SullivanLeanne O'Sullivan comes from the Beara Peninsula in West Cork and was educated at University College Cork. She has published two collections, both from Bloodaxe Books, Waiting for My Clothes (2004) and Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009). She has been anthologised in collections such as The New Irish Poets (ed. Selina Guinness) and Best Irish Poetry (ed. Matthew Sweeney). In 2010 she received the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, which is administered by the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing based at Trinity School of English. Residencies and festival readings have taken her to France, India and China, amongst other locations.

 

 

 

Photo ©Donal O'Sullivan

 

Neighbour

 

Steady as moles her eyes drag nightly
across the road into the lit houses,
one from one direction, one from another
until her nose is like a dark fruit pressed
against the glass, and her ears flick the air.

All evening the bloodied liquors, the fornications
suck at her breath, knife against knife.
In the morning her voice in the slight air rolls
them out over her gate, measured by her small hands
and fingers that show us all the ways.

She knows me so well now;
I would happily feed her the sweet mouthfuls
here in my bright kitchen, and bury her there.
My smile would crack across the glass.
I would know she was honest, the night clear

and star-lit and the diaphanous nets
of her window gathering its reflections—
barking dogs, a glitter of faces,
and the mist of her breath washing over them,
stuffing her mouth with its own whiteness.

 

©2010 Leanne O'Sullivan

 

 

Author Links

 

Leanne O'Sullivan at Poetry International Web

O'Sullivan in Best Irish Poetry 2010

O'Sullivan at Bloodaxe Books

 

 

 

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