Sunday 30 January 2022

Five Fascinating Poems by Imelda O'Reilly



I want to be in on the hoax.  I associate it with progression.  Thought that leads somewhere.  Fill drops of milk, a puddle or saucer.  I lick and become part of the state that drips, drops deeper into hoax.  I want to be part of matter in sound.  I had an eye for it, for the closings everywhere.  Not just closings but openings under discussion, all in submission.  The thread of the smallest thing is where the hoax bubbled.  I bumped around and worried, associated with losses and boundaries, borders on the hop.  Associated these with leaving mother.  But there is no such thing, only camping out, keeping out gypsies who rob the milk.  Then there is a row, in the notion of boundary.  I don’t live in such closings.  They are absurd, those clothes.  Here it is the blind who chase down the hoax, sit in deep space, creep through what spills round the crooked tooth corners clenched, poking out of the batter of hot cross buns.  Buns are ghosts.  I am not a woman.  Is this another boundary?  Chasing the hoax that tripped me up in the first place.  No relation.  Wait for the walls to absorb me.  Plantation creep the mind I sit here temporarily.  Initiation bundle.  In frost and snow, coverage from the hoax climbing up a tree, see everything up here.  The car with the key (now a clock) time to move on, au go-go where?  Skipping back and forth, rolling down the road.  Lie still with pokey eyes in the grass.  Reality is a kick but I am in my mother’s arms.


Pomegranate and plums 

If the boy on the street kicks his ball onto my terrace, can I eat?  No food today it’s Ramadan. A pomegranate a plum, to break the fast, If-tar assembles a star filled sky.  Is eating or not eating a relevant coming together, to shape a moon, to build a sky, to move apart all streets closing.

I am the plum scuttling in yogurt, a white liquid that fills my skin deep beyond a fasting dream, do words come together in my bowl, wish secrets upon a littered street.  Descend further, go or take down a quiet wooden door, speak a noiseless hum, a medina cat scurries across feet, do the steps stop?

I creep silent in plum trees outward hidden in sky. A plum dream, a sky bursts out a hunger deep, inhabit my song, raise the sleeping dead. Do we fast to give the dead food?  Bright orange thunder dips awake in rain stopping, water trickles down inside my house, a mushkill (Arabic for problem) tumbles onto a crooked street, umbrellas rise and bundle past raw hanging meat.

Dare I poke the carcass shifting light between crevices, the plum pops, a seed rolls down an abandoned street without purpose but rolling. 


Gas Bottles to the Soul

Stepping foot inside the medina is walking into a womb. Walls speak a medieval fairy tale.  Fez, a flame amidst Jalaba shadows crash against upside-down calves dead.  Rows of raw meat reach flawlessly to the sky, Sheep’s heads hang above carosas, realism inhabits poetry so deep there is no separation. 

A call to prayer sings a collective cultural unconscious sky cry… do Sun and Moon letters in the Arabic script transform and separate new sounds new meaning? The moon is different here, it moves from right to left. 

Beneath the arch of the Bab Boujloud, butchers ride on white horses, children hide and crush damp secrets in a crumbling medina brick. The lost medieval city bumps against a hanging camel head stretching to kaleidoscopic focus.  A child chases a stick to the Zelig Sky.  Carpets loose their loom as string unfurls the dark night explodes.  Children inhabit cracks, homes a meandering cobble, marbles crash a cardboard football as donkey hooves hover, horses overloaded with bricks, beds and Sheep’s heads as they travel down the gas bottle to the soul. 



          I sit still in the vision past that precludes all names, there you lie in the frost so bare tickled by the ice cold shiver that travels from the center of the earth and back, is this enough sense to seethe through all thoughts and dreams that communicate the cold that breathes it breath upon the tiny faces of children looking in bewildered, they stand less afraid than the adults lavished in pandemonium, a nonsense they understand between the skin of fruits the whisper exists in a breath to expound the flesh of all human, is this man’s alienation from the truth that stands beneath the feet of all patter, where are we now among those visions of the restless dead who speak their tongue about to others, do they all stand still or swallow perninicuous scowl under the forest that hides the moon, here now, stand in close, for there is no other than now, the bite lies close but the hump mediates upon itself before the valley pushes down to create a hum in the threads of all men there, where they lie among the lilacs sold atop the mountain where they are free, overlooking all the imperfections touching out, up, down until there is no sorrow there, fare thee well in the wanton wish as I never break the blood that drips down, it is a waterfall to wash the name I scrape in the bark of the tree, a childhood wish that vanishes on sight, I will go now to that tree to carve an eye out to see the world through and rest there in my peace where all beauty buried will rise.



See them in their curl, one I have not seen before runs deep, is there a name for it?  I happen in space fruity light, dance extravaganza, bend plenty pinching, all that has gone before.  Is there nuance, does it burn a new name on the arm, betray the one familiar eyebrow? Pipe the nag down, the squash of light encounter asunder silver.  Elvis in the Hound Dog.  Chair in the air catch her, her eye, they will commune, their secret so deep it has no hole, curls again in space.  Other than this I know not




Imelda O’Reilly is a native of Kildare, Ireland. She is a poet, playwright and filmmaker. Her book of poems titled I Wake In Half Dream was published by Lapwing Press. She was a commissioned writer for Mabou Mines on Song For New York. Her plays were produced in downtown Manhattan this included Emilita and the Fairy Glen and Faz In Ate. Her feature screenplays include We’re the Kids in America, and Beneath the Boy’s Cry. Her short films to date include, Suspicious Minds, Tumbling Towards Home, Bricks, Beds and Sheep’s Heads, The Seamonster and the Milk Thistle, Hot Cross Buns, Lily in the Woods and S.O.C.K.S. Her short fiction Stovepipe appears in Shenanigans. She graduated from Columbia University with honors and has an MFA in film. She is an Associate Professor at James Madison University. Prior to JMU she taught for New York University’s Graduate Film Program in Singapore. She had a Fulbright scholarship to Morocco in 2007. She is a resident of the Westbeth in Manhattan.







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