Four poems by John W. Sexton

John W. Sexton is the author of four poetry collections, the two most recent of which are Vortex (Doghouse, 2005) and Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009). He also created and wrote The Ivory Tower for RTÉ radio, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episodes from 1999 to 2002. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry. His fifth collection, The Offspring of the Moon, is due from Salmon Poetry in spring 2013.

Four poems by John W. Sexton

 

Dr Eel’s Thinking Machine

disembodied shadow

of a horse … rode upon it standing

till dusk

 

fogfinches

flutter into the nearly here …

our minds bleed grey

 

Dr Eel’s thinking machine

a ball of twine …

its core the universe

 

crease-proof, flawless

not a single seam

in his suit of mercury

 

truths formed on its

edges … a lie so big

so profound

 

the cheesecloth spaceship

filters Jupiter … no one thought

it would work

 

picking apricoals

from the fire … we began

to suspect a change

 

the living memory …

he wore an elegant

elephant-hide suit

 

raging mind …

Sodor’s sentient train has ideas

above its station

 

In No Time at All

idling in the engine

of the saint-train …

a smouldering death camp

 

a foul-up

at the misery works …

the anthrax dolls get well

 

the rose from

Venus Harlem … her thorns

go heart deep

 

the teleporting house …

anything to shake those

parasites within

 

the icy brine stiffens …

walrus-moths

haul the islands south

 

cabbage-flavoured

ice cream … all the rage

since the fruit plague

 

harnessing the fractions

of starlight … to the stars

in no time at all

 

mastering the tightrope

between clouds …

we enter Impossitown

 

 

Say Again

anchor-stones tied

to his ankles … the suicide

broaches depth

 

inside the nail …

with a single scouring-pad

she scores a way ahead

 

previously lived aeons

as grass … knotted the world

in its place

 

pauper princess

in her newsprint dress … his hands

stained black at her breast

 

what big feet, granddad!

his crocodile slippers

chew the fat

 

beige desert melts itself

a bottle-house of glass …

a steam djinn makes home

 

in his own words …

the ventriloquist’s dummy

talks for the hand

 

with a pointed key

she unlocks the sky –

deluge of grailstones

 

Hiroshima –

tall fence edges their godpath

Shūson’s cats stepped ever

 

say again …

songs by songbirds made of rain

dash upon my windowpane

 

 

Deep in the Rain

lightning bug lantern

Issa latches a gate

in the cloud

 

deep in the rain falling into rain yellow irises

 

pinhole tunnel of light

into the moon …

Heaven downloads an angel

 

click the heels

of your concrete shoes

down riverbed to Oz

 

to Banbury Deeps

by conga eel steed …

merrows dressed in seaweed

 

mollusc spawn

so fathom deep

barnacle stars on her skin

 

Stubbs astride

the skinned mare … wrote it all down

in a book of muscle

 

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