Memory has become an uncomfortable lump in my consciousness.

poetry_of_memory

It quivers
constantly and endlessly
ripens into new peculiar
shapes.

Needless to say
it increases weight
every minute,
often requiring immense
exertion to fit it in a corner
so it does not overshadow
the timid appearance of
the present.

It branches out
like a gluttonous tree
in all directions,
wavering disparate aspects
of itself without logic
or internal organization.

A primeval adolescent kiss,
a manure fight in the fields,
a quote from Montaigne
the location of masking tape
in a storage room, all mingle
shamelessly like an orgy
of bacteria in the Petri dish
of my mind.

Language is forced to perform
extreme feats of lucidity
to convey the peculiar manifestations
with which memory
fuddles the intellect.

I imagine a day
when consciousness of the present
will be completely drowned
by the swelling tsunami of memory,
leaving the brittle instant of now
floating like débris
on a flood of lifelong reminiscence.

 

Contemporary Poetry

here of time (a translation)

poetry of time

here
in this stone
not one two sounds
rain neither in the air
or light giving echo in its shores
here
was quiet
and very slow
in this blue-ceiling stone
there was no yesterday it was beautiful
without clothes and open nudity
dripping between the legs
of day and night of glass
without stars or questions
all transparent
without language
asleep with names
like shadows in the
shell here of time.

 

(a translation of http://nihilisticpoetry.com/2013/09/29/aqui-del-tiempo/)

Contemporary Poetry

I’m not a nihilist

Nihilist_poet

What happens at city
when blank is a building
and the corner is brutish
and the road ahead pale
like something at the end of time
see nihilism is a tentative position
an aggressive form of modesty
because below the blue sky
a head is incapable of understanding
the many things that are absurdly naked
in the world;
of all words
we select a crown
to place that holy concept
over our heads like laurel
to impress the wavering leaves of trees
see nihilism is nothing about thought
but about feeling what thought cannot attain
at the light you stop and feel the beast
the wise thunder of blood
and what happens when city
is trembling and being chased
by whiteness or a hot drunkenness
you pick a word
and make claim that it will save you
under the streetlamp
like a natural haze
at that common street
you remember like an ascetic
that this flesh will be forgotten

 

Contemporary Poetry

A noun is a thing that serves as a vehicle for the quality of its adjective

2013_poem

In the sky
whiteness
travels like a passenger
inside the cloud
I have seen it journey
across the blue
until it reaches the golden
arc of horizon
where it suffers
through a whim of fate
a mutation
from pure whiteness
to the brightness
of the gold;
but abruptly
as a bullet
entering a vein of blood
the vehicle cloud
turns red
in the throb or throe of twilight
and whiteness dies like a sigh
in the expanding gloom
of purple tinge.

 

 

Contemporary Poetry

a bibliography

poetry_of_death

People breathe. Struggle. Write.
Talk. Read. Write. Publish.
Die.

While most will never even
know his name.

And will die as well.

Poetry: main collections
1966: Death of a Naturalist, Faber & Faber
1969: Door into the Dark, Faber & Faber
1972: Wintering Out, Faber & Faber
1975: Stations, Ulsterman
1975: North, Faber & Faber
1979: Field Work, Faber & Faber
1984: Station Island, Faber & Faber
1987: The Haw Lantern, Faber & Faber
1991: Seeing Things, Faber & Faber
1996: The Spirit Level, Faber & Faber
2001: Electric Light, Faber & Faber
2006: District and Circle, Faber & Faber
2010: Human Chain, Faber & Faber

Poetry: collected editions

1980: Selected Poems 1965-1975, Faber & Faber
1990: New Selected Poems 1966-1987, Faber & Faber
1998: Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996, Faber & Faber

Prose: main collections
1980: Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968–1978, Faber & Faber
1988: The Government of the Tongue, Faber & Faber
1995: The Redress of Poetry: Oxford Lectures, Faber & Faber
2002: Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971–2001, Faber & Faber

Plays
1990: The Cure at Troy A version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, Field Day
2004: The Burial at Thebes A version of Sophocles’ Antigone, Faber & Faber

Translations
1983: Sweeney Astray: A version from the Irish, Field Day
1992: Sweeney’s Flight (with Rachel Giese, photographer), Faber & Faber
1993: The Midnight Verdict: Translations from the Irish of Brian Merriman and from the Metamorphoses of Ovid, Gallery Press
1995: Laments, a cycle of Polish Renaissance elegies by Jan Kochanowski, translated with Stanisław Barańczak, Faber & Faber
1999: Beowulf, Faber & Faber
1999: Diary of One Who Vanished, a song cycle by Leoš Janáček of poems by Ozef Kalda, Faber & Faber
2002: Hallaig, Sorley MacLean Trust
2002: Arion, a poem by Alexander Pushkin, translated from the Russian, with a note by Olga Carlisle, Arion Press
2004: The Testament of Cresseid, Enitharmon Press
2004: Columcille The Scribe, The Royal Irish Academy
2009: The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables, Faber & Faber

Limited editions and booklets (poetry and prose)
1965: Eleven Poems, Queen’s University
1968: The Island People, BBC
1968: Room to Rhyme, Arts Council N.I.
1969: A Lough Neagh Sequence, Phoenix
1970: Night Drive, Gilbertson
1970: A Boy Driving His Father to Confession, Sceptre Press
1973: Explorations, BBC
1975: Stations, Ulsterman Publications
1975: Bog Poems, Rainbow Press
1975: The Fire i’ the Flint, Oxford University Press
1976: Four Poems, Crannog Press
1977: Glanmore Sonnets, Editions Monika Beck
1977: In Their Element, Arts Council N.I.
1978: Robert Lowell: A Memorial Address and an Elegy, Faber & Faber
1978: The Makings of a Music, University of Liverpool
1978: After Summer, Gallery Press
1979: Hedge School, Janus Press
1979: Ugolino, Carpenter Press
1979: Gravities, Charlotte Press
1979: A Family Album, Byron Press
1980: Toome, National College of Art and Design
1981: Sweeney Praises the Trees, Henry Pearson
1982: A Personal Selection, Ulster Museum
1982: Poems and a Memoir, Limited Editions Club
1983: An Open Letter, Field Day
1983: Among Schoolchildren, Queen’s University
1984: Verses for a Fordham Commencement, Nadja Press
1984: Hailstones, Gallery Press
1985: From the Republic of Conscience, Amnesty International
1985: Place and Displacement, Dove Cottage
1985: Towards a Collaboration, Arts Council N.I.
1986: Clearances, Cornamona Press
1988: Readings in Contemporary Poetry, DIA Art Foundation
1988: The Sounds of Rain, Emory University
1989: An Upstairs Outlook, Linen Hall Library
1989: The Place of Writing, Emory University
1990: The Tree Clock, Linen Hall Library
1991: Squarings, Hieroglyph Editions
1992: Dylan the Durable, Bennington College
1992: The Gravel Walks, Lenoir Rhyne College
1992: The Golden Bough, Bonnefant Press
1993: Keeping Going, Bow and Arrow Press
1993: Joy or Night, University of Swansea
1994: Extending the Alphabet, Memorial University of Newfoundland
1994: Speranza in Reading, University of Tasmania
1995: Oscar Wilde Dedication, Westminster Abbey
1995: Charles Montgomery Monteith, All Souls College
1995: Crediting Poetry: The Nobel Lecture, Gallery Press
1997: Poet to Blacksmith, Pim Witteveen
1998: Commencement Address, UNC Chapel Hill
1998: Audenesque, Maeght
1999: The Light of the Leaves, Bonnefant Press
2001: Something to Write Home About, Flying Fox
2002: Hope and History, Rhodes University
2002: Ecologues in Extremis, Royal Irish Academy
2002: A Keen for the Coins, Lenoir Rhyne College
2003: Squarings, Arion Press
2003: Singing School / Poems 1966 – 2002, Rudomino, Moscow
2004: Anything can Happen, Town House Publishers
2005: The Door Stands Open, Irish Writers Centre
2005: A Shiver, Clutag Press
2007: The Riverbank Field, Gallery Press
2008: Articulations, Royal Irish Academy
2008: One on a Side, Robert Frost Foundation
2009: Spelling It Out, Gallery Press
2010: “Writer & Righter”, Irish Human Rights Commission

 

 

21st century Poetry

the art of definition

the art of definition

There is no method for definition: to learn how to define. Definition is a consequence of imitation, its foundation so deeply grounded in our perceptual models of reality that any reform would only be an aberration of the original fortuity. We learnt to use a system of language through imitation and even the precision of mathematics remains illusory as a result of being an imposed code of rules embedded in the ambiguous amalgam of imitative language.

I would live,
dedicate my entire life
to defining a single word
properly – justly. 
That word would be:
	melancholy
I do have other candidates,
perhaps I would define another
still stranger word: mysterious.

What is mysterious?

That which cannot be grasped intellectually.
That which is still unknown, unexplained,
perhaps the truly mysterious is
that which can never be explained by thought,
that which is intrinsically unknowable. 

Here I am defining a word with other words. 
But I would not stop there. 
I would access zones of intuition,
a series of instruments predating language,
like an amulet that contains an entire cosmology
or a monolith that served as genesis to historical memory.
I would anchor my word to other unreliable words,
vague words that by their very nature would
serve as examples of the intangibility 
of my definition for mysterious.  

I would, for example, make mysterious 
synonymous with Life, Happiness, Nirvana, etc 

ect.

Contemporary Poetry