Shortlisted for the Pigott Prize, 2017
‘In the beginning was the closed eye, and so it will be in the end. In here happens all that will happen. In here all things are made that are made’.
– from The Lore of the Ancestors
‘There is time’, says Giant to Daughter. ‘You can stop and look’.
‘But there are so many places, and so much to be done’, says Daughter, wild with her endless compulsions.
‘There is time’, Giant says, sucking a Daughter-eye from its matrix and placing it at the centre of a hollow cube within her own incalculable mass.
The walls of the cube are black at first, then become silver screens. The eye understands that there is about to be a show, but an eye does not decipher, only relays.
White, slush thick, silver glints, green spots, a red tint.
Traces of ore and settled gold, dints of crystalline spikes.
Slumps of gray, streal of icy droplets, flinty sleet hails.
But a unitary feel. A halted, vast, conspiratorial mash.
It’s a stomach, a full bowl. Stake your fork and cling.
Nothing pulls. Opposites collapse. Undescription.
History spread so thin it covers everything. Challenge. Frustration. You sigh and go under. Should
you sleep, ruminate, or shovel to sheds the drippings,
the million blunted swords? You forget grass,
mountain, open sky, all that’s radical in rock,
resign to hope. Miss the sudden scatter, that instant
when you first view Agelast, city of slate, designing
your fall to its order, tonguing you to its hard core.
Dense white cloud above; below, four-square gloam.
Pagan to the Core , published in 2013, is 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