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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

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ELISABETH MURAWSKI

 

 

 

Elisabeth Murawski
Author of Zorba’s Daughter, winner of the 2010 May Swenson Poetry Award, Moon and Mercury, and two chapbooks: Troubled by an Angel and Out-patients. Hawthornden fellow, 2008. In her heart, she has never left the “city of the big shoulders” where she was born and raised.

 

 



      Photo © Janette Ogle

 

 

______

 

 

Crack-up

Late at Night at the Dollmaker's

Thin, Dead Doors

 

______

 

 

Crack-up

 

 

I break into a million stars.

They scatter

like diamonds spilled

from a pouch

on black velvet.

These are not fish

or butterflies

to be caught with a net.

They roll

and roll, seeking

a galaxy to be

at home in. How long

have I carried

this dying light? My

heart’s in my ear.

My breath’s on the mirror.

My eyes flare, mind

in the grip

of a telescope

observing this stunning

diaspora.

 

 

 

*

 

Late at Night at the Dollmaker's

 

 

The dwarf overturns

pots of paint,

bins of wigs

 

and buttons. Shreds

rolls of silk

and ribbons

 

for chapeaus.

Shatters heads

and torsos,

 

miscellaneous

extremities.

Smashes a row

 

of imitation babies

with shifty eyes.

Astride a heap

 

of body parts,

the dwarf howls

amid the desert

 

he has made

of the workshop

with its black-

 

wreathed door.

Did his beloved master

take him in

 

out of pity?

It hurts to wonder.

To ask what now.

 

 

 

*

 

Thin, Dead Doors

 

 

We’ve arranged to meet. In his car,

olfactory memory: coils of leather

 

belting in a truck. It’s like a fall

down stairs. Tickets for a play.

 

Julius Caesar. Bad seats, on the side.

After, watch him chew a burger,

 

sputter, guzzle beer. Nattering

chitchat. My ears. The onslaught

 

of vertigo. Let’s go! The longest

wait at the curb. Streetlights

 

runny as he drives. There! My red

Corolla. I’ll be fine. Don’t

 

follow me. Eyes front. Who stole

the horizon line? Et tu, Brute?

 

 

 

 

©2016 Elisabeth Murawski

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Winning poem in Mudfish Competition (Judge: Charles Simic) by Elisabeth Murawski

'Dirge': poem in Virginia Quarterly Review

'Hardy's Fiddle': audio of a poem by Elisabeth Murawski at RHINO

“Iconic Photo: Lee Miller in Munich, April, 1945”: first prize in
the 2015 University of Canberra’s International Poetry Prize

 

 

 

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