Mícheál is a student in the Queen’s University Belfast, between the School of English and the Heaney Centre for Poetry. Enamoured with queer art & American visual culture, among other things (foggy mornings, dogs, etc.).
A Birthday Card
Documenting June 23rd – September 20th
He gave me Birthday Card in June.
Not my birthday. The only thing he had lying about.
By bedside for summer, a scroll to promise sailor’s safe return.
No birthday, more of a goodbye-for-now.
In a month my faithful Birthday Card had companions – Postcards.
The colourful portraits and tattered ends were subject
to wear and tear and re-wear and re-reading.
I remember the photo he sent of a beach-fire
Benched in pearly Samoan sand, dusky waves, stars in the sky.
It was those little goodnights, little crosses that helped.
The time he visited Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave
and sent me a verse because he knew I would like it:
“Home is the sailor home from the sea”, something like that…
Seeds planted in my Birthday Card,
blooming in my Postcards like lemongrass.
He wished I was there, he promised it wasn’t the same.
Months later, ephemera is grasped.
This is realised at a round fire, much like his Pacific one,
except mine is set in reliable, rocky Irish muck.
The Postcards are dropping into the fire
One by one by one by one;
Samoa, Argentina, Peru, Arizona.
Watching the elusive places and landscapes scorch and scream
like Earth is burning up; gnashing of copper and bloody teeth.
In and up, fire and ash.
Its 6pm in the kitchen or
maybe time is gone but
the rosy sun
white gauze curtains &
plastic & glass rosary
off the heating dial
above her head &
the wind sneaking
in the white back door
makes them ring
like wind-chimes &
they clack &
they chime &
they sing &
we sit together &
sip the last
cup of tea
in the most
Scenes from an Automat
After Edward Hopper’s ‘Automat’
Her quiet, thoughtful face
brought back in the surface
of brown, smelly coffee.
Is the coffee warm
or cold? For how long
has it been so still?
Bawdy white light fixtures;
only one glove to hand;
less heat from the heater;
less warmth from her white cup;
she doesn’t seem to notice,
a night shift
does not end.
A female body
A person who is tired,
and doesn’t care for thinking,
just wants a fucking
cup of coffee
Wiegenleid for the Sleepless
I asked you to describe
to me what you were seeing
through the phone.
You said just
a white candle,
burning in the dark
to the right
of your bed,
and a futon.
The flickers of a candle
against a futon
in the dark
Rang through the rustley static
of wires and electricity
from you to me