She wanted to ride on the back of the world and here
was her creature.
No dung-shoed hooves or tangled fur, no hay-baked breath.
She had read her Joyce and O’Brien, and latched.
Here she had food without oven smells. McDonalds was Mecca
for cheapened protein; coins glugged in the tidal drive
of theatre, clubs, Indian skirts and beer.
She snuffled and picked up a whiff of direction. The end of a corridor
shimmered ahead. Steel or water? Portal or foil?
Picking a thread on O’Connell Street, she followed the clue.
Followed it badly, confounded by mazes internal, stuttering
genes or history’s hidden bombs. Held herself
bound by no rule or reason, untied to career definition.
Here was the head in a stupor, making legends of drunken romances,
giving credence where nothing was due, currying virtue.
Believed herself god when spouting her parroted wisdom.
And plans were made. And marriages. And better jobs.
While she, trawling the streets for miracles,
became the consciousness zombie –
body moving, comprehension nil.
This poem is from my latest book, Pagan to the Core, an enhanced edition of my first book, with 18 new poems that are a kind of redaction, the newer self looking back on "her". Selves, selves and more selves. Lyric eyes.
Savage Solitude: Reflections of a Reluctant Loner, explores the lone state in a series of colloquys, aphorisms and fragments. It has three internal voices, one of which consists of quotations, and I hope its references and bibliography can be something of a resource.
I’m known as a performance poet, which at this point means that I usually recite rather than read, and deliver the poems somewhat dramatically. The performance arose, I think, because I had done some acting, and being on stage seemed to invite a dramatic approach. One’s own text can be harder to recite initially; one has no protection. But it also feels good, and gives scope for expression. There are varying views on poetry performance. Me, I enjoy living in the words without the page in front of me. I also feel better connected to the meaning when I apply dramatic method. I must engage my body in order to understand, must act upon the matter, dance with it. Not all my poetry is so easy to speak or sing, but generally I give it a go, though I love to read silently too. For more thoughts on this, see my Blogs, particularly: ’Score’, ’Present and Unaccounted For’ and ’The Embodied Text’.
My three-volume story for children, The Jimmy Meridian Story, is about the power and effects of thought, and is a fantasy.
Máighréad MedbhBuy Savage Solitude: at the Dedalus Press website, or at Syracuse University Press