Denise O’Hagan reads ‘Before The Party’ from her upcoming collection, ‘The Beating Heart’

Denise was born in Rome and lives in Sydney. She has a background in commercial book publishing, manages Black Quill Press, and is Poetry Editor for Australia/New Zealand for The Blue Nib. Her poetry is widely published and awarded. Her poetry collection The Beating Heart will be published by Ginninderra Press in 2020.

Before the party

It must have just stopped raining

When we arrived. The road, licked for hours

By the quiet slap of countless passing tyres,

Gleamed blackly under the streetlamps

Like wet liquorice. We sat for a moment

Watching the mist descend

Cobwebbing the edges of trees and hedges,

The silver turning of a leaf in the damp air,

And the tenting of the telegraph wires

Carrying beads of water like fairy lights

Backlit by the moon.

Feeling privileged to witness

This heady scene, we realised

(as car doors slammed and gravel crunched)

That our reason for having driven here

Was, for a moment, quite forgotten.

Published in Literary Yard, 22 August 2018

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The Blue Nib believes in the power of the written word, the well-structured sentence and the crafted poetic phrase. Since 2016 we have published, supported and promoted the work of both established and emerging voices in poetry, fiction, essay and journalism. Times are difficult for publishers, and The Blue Nib is no exception. It survives on subscription income only. If you also believe in the power of the written word, then please consider supporting The Blue Nib and our contributors by subscribing to either our print or digital issue.


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