Born in Northern Ireland but living in S. Wales, Mike McNamara has had a collection of poetry ‘Overhearing The Incoherent’ published by Grevatt and Grevatt in 1997. Mike is lead singer with Big Mac’s Wholly Soul Band. His poetry has been published in Envoi, Orbis, Tears in the Fence, New Welsh Review, Acumen, etc. Mike also had a selection of poems published in The Pterodactyl’s Wing (Parthian, 2003).
Shot him right in the amygdala
At the hotel of thoughts
That astronaut of inner space
A citrusless bitch
A scurvy dog.
A thin woman with cracked cigarette lips
And tattoos is singing.
And I hear a wonderful endlessness in your breathing.
Who are you in your black diesel proof shoes
Smelling of pipe tobacco?
The only movement is the curtains.
You will not awaken.
Moon. Forest. Star. Mountain.
River. Cave. Sun. Rain.
The water burns our hands yet still we splash it on to our faces.
I can taste a distant star in your kisses.
People who drank Turkish coffee with ginger,
who smoked Gitane cigarettes
(though monks will douse themselves in flame)
and watched the late night show alone
wearing cravats and chewing liquorice
(though men kill men in some god’s name)
or those who prayed to the moon and sang to the dawn,
adding milk and egg to their mashed potato
(though poets starve at the rich man’s gate)
and walked in the springtime through southern fields
of maize and corn with static hair aglow
(and sisters of mercy are drowned in a black fugue state).
Who had their own time,
who, their own tale would tell.
Unchanged. All changed.
Time will tell.
I will steal another man’s face
and speak with my mouth his truth.
Unkissed lips and unkempt hair,
cursed to bear the sand of two deserts,
bewitched and wandering
the wastelands of an unlived life.
Going out into the field does not
mean going out into the field.
Nothing is as it seems.
At the Hotel Astoria there is still the
whiff of plot and subterfuge. Lost
hours like gulls tossed upon the
storm of shared misgivings. Bells
tolling chords unfathomed lie
the Nevka River. Your work here will
not be affected.
Each life yet adds a tiny dab of
colour to the palette.
Welcome to this great estate beneath the stars; neither of which
exist. In St. Petersburg
the whisperers have scrubbed the
pattern from the carpet.
You sail in a different direction,
beneath those same fantastic stars.
The boat is not missed.
I’m contemplating how to send an email via the bath plug hole
in the ether, in cyberspace,
in the dirty water.
This transmission may virtually bind
the psyche and dark sparse beards of the Chinese, the Spanish Mexicans, the Native Americans, Siberians and Inuit.
It gurgles a message.
There are things much worse than death. Than loss. This pseudo bond
of life and gain.
Some things were written for
‘It’s more about what she represented than who she actually was’ he said.
‘Was that Yoko, Cleopatra or The Magdalene?’ I asked.
Sometimes, around 3.28am
it gets so lonely.
That’s the price we pay
for days unseen.
You know what I mean.
Is it about honesty or effect?
What is it— what is it you seek?
What is it— what is it you need?