The Appearance

Each breath concedes a half-inch of you.
I let you go from the long moaning place in me,
drugged out of hurt but still clenching each available
motion like a steersman about to dock.
You rock and rock until you come loose.
The circular stem inside me splits
and the curtain in the confession booth


parts its lips, so mindful,
pinch-small parts of scalp
come to where the water dries:
the blood already crusting
sees the thing sprawl: as if we’ve
had a long conversation and
this is what we’ve decided upon.


soft thing demolishing my insides,
through the dilation comes everywhere dawn.
You are stupendous things, varying things,
Cloacal filly, mealy beast,
whatever is breaking and being broke
upon my shore in unending din
the hush and hum of the hospital


mercy) is sputtering to an end, like a short film.
And then the animal bleating faults me
from numbness, and where you weren’t
you suddenly are, the breadth of a footprint.  
And then the offal huddle, the wetness in my belly,
Your future a current of electricity
of my own dark consequence.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens