Ingrid Casey is a poet, short fiction writer, and visual artist. She writes about Ireland, parenting, family, and art, often with a visceral, visual and surreal take on the world. Her work is informed by literature, philosophy, and painting. Her debut collection, Mandible, is forthcoming in spring 2018 with The Onslaught Press.
sits on a wire, waiting for
Irish swallows to fly in. The Lusophone
woman passes him, not tricked. He drops
demons down, silently into her open pockets;
eyes flash lemon, ochre, roll as boulders do.
She has met a man from Lodz, sang later swallows.
They have a Jewel, trilingual leaves susurrate the
garden the Lego. Dublin is safe, the man brings the
Firebird and bears in stories; hides mirrors. The demons
have jumped ship, jumped ship. Legba turns, twisting,
looks for new tricks.
Leixlip benches sit alone on a grass triangle,
red, yellow, green; your national flag. Still
covering, stomping, yo-yoing over the same
terrain; buses to the city take me fore and aft; metal
structures, skylines bring my eyes to those birds’s
nests atop everything, the Russian trains, the rinks.
The would-be wedding venue, where they showed
us cold bedrooms. This is a weeping song, the ear
buds tell me. Past thatch from on high; fishmonger
fills troughs, sloughs clean ice in mounds. I’d stick
my face right into that cool to blanch the colours,
I’d leap like the salmon into the river under
the wheels, under the bridge, upstream away from
the traumas, the damp, the slippage of words
from sight to memory, concentric plates, old now.
A Belgian town
Skirts the diamond capital, but almost all here go without
work. A man is released. Approaches the media, lace windows
will bleed long after the media scrum. My brothers were acting
normally, he says. Mother is devastated, we are peaceful people.
He burns, shame flaming, pin-pricking down to the
moons at his fingertips. Another time, it’s the emerald
place, wartime. Teenage son and two comrades, caught.
A bomb on a bike, propped at the wall of a garda station.
A detective on his way to work flings the
danger into the river. Hard labour, refusing
to recognize the State. Imaginable tragedy.
Avoided at the eleventh hour. An Irish city
during the Emergency. An almost-man, imprisoned
with Thomas Aquinas, repentant, alive.
Judy Blume Is Psychic
For weeks those words met
me at bus stops, on clothes
rails in shops, soap opera
credits rolled them out to me.
Fog, a bovine ornament sat
at my temples, stubborn.
The surely-male baby rolled
in my deep, disappointing,
satisfying Ma with his surely-brown eyes.
A week before nature conferred,
Fog deferred, brain to belly, readying. Words
unfurled, Eastern, Yiddish. Sheyn meydele.
Brain flowers commanded a girl child,
Oval basalt orbs, perfect
cognizance, she knew
Ma a thousand, a million.