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ONLINE BOOKSTORE FEATURED TITLES

 

Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Editor: Matthew Sweeney

 

 

Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan

 

 

Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition

 

 

Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes

 

 

 

 

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DAVID O'MEARA

 

 

 

David O'Meara

David O’Meara lives in Ottawa, Canada. He is the author of four collections of poetry, shortlisted for the ReLit Prize, the K. M. Hunter Award, the Trillium Book Award, a National Magazine Award and is a three-time winner of the Archibald Lampman Prize. He was the founding Artistic Director for VERSeFest (Canada’s International Poetry Festival) and was a jurist for the 2012 Griffin International Poetry Prize. His most recent book, A Pretty Sight (Coach House Books, 2013), won the 2014 Ottawa Book Award.

 

 

 

 

______

 

 

I Invite Bad Luck and Ruin

I Enter the Derelict Mansions

 

______

 

 

I Invite Bad Luck and Ruin

 

 

A god is in the porch.

 

Glimpsed in the balustrade,

dislodged by lawn chairs,

 

unbowed by the saturated stomp

of the downpour.

 

_______

 

It rappels down strands

tensile as catgut, horse

hair and Egyptian reeds,

 

leg over leg,

 

poised, modeling

its profile for Nasca,

an ancestor’s rictus pickled in amber,

 

like a miser’s tie-pin,

a crone’s broach,

 

I lift and admire, with a jeweller’s tact.

 

_______

 

I trap it in plastic, some takeout container,

an offence.

I’m plotting to ogle it.

I didn’t read the signs

that hang on a breeze,

though the portents

 

have told me that touching anything

would mean

I’d become part of it.

 

_______

 

It skulks the chafed lid, notes

dimensions, a mastermind

clanging its cup on the cage,

testing noon’s perimeter.

 

I leave it for hours

under the sun’s white pinwheel.

 

_______

 

Forgotten, the husk lies puckered,

a false eyelash, weightless,

pinched

at the dry

aorta,

curled around itself, 

saving its death-mask for Paradise.

 

And the vacated web, found in a joist-bay:

 

silk threads now slack

as batten, frizzed hub and radii

collapsed and clinging

like a ghost combed by wind shear.

 

 

 

 

*

 

 

I Enter the Derelict Mansions

 

 

The money doesn’t matter now,

not the money, nor the name.

Not when the walls are stippled with mould,

moss smearing

the staircase, a cluster

of pigeon bones

below the Georgian frames.

 

Nothing

to own;

these abandoned boltholes,

 

stained Carrara barred

like braces on a smile,

anti-climb paint on a perimeter wall

safeguarding the weeds

 

while the Riesling goes to vinegar in the panic room.

 

_______

 

Rain flays a crumbled, extravagant foyer:

paint flakes, ceiling debris,

 

the time-lapse ornate

collapse.

 

_______


Smug realtors rate each mirage

and price the oxygen around it.

What exited with the luggage

is squandered for heirlooms

 

while friends of the regime

mourn privilege

by the padlocks, the past

a burning sun,

 

the future like the shadow of a shark.

 

_______

 

Choked drain in the claw-foot—

 

the oligarch’s coffers of rust—

 

the looted, baking atrium—

 

bent, bare wires where the dictator’s oils hung—

 

rococo stucco splashed by graffiti throw-ups—

 

rotted rafters of a collapsed ceiling—

 

rancid splash on the fallopian staircase—

 

moldings torn down for makeshift bonfires—

 

birds’ nests in alcoves—

 

decapitated newel-posts—

 

books pulped by rainfall—

 

the worthless busts of forebears—

 

baseboards heaped in plaster—

 

the sashes draped in ash—

 

_______

 

When I broke into the darkened hall,

the corners scurried.

When I leave, dust will disguise the trail.

 

 

 

 

©2016 David O'Meara

 

 

Author Links

 

David O'Meara at Coach House Books

Poetry by David O'Meara featured at 'Best American Poetry' website

Poetry reading by David O'Meara, with music by Mike Dubue & Adam Saikaley (Vimeo)

David O'Meara discusses the Griffin Prize with Ottawa Magazine

 

 

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