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Mickey J. Corrigan

Poesie der Jahreszeit

Slit Wrists After Reading

If you are a catastrologist
like me
you look at the moon each night
the stars in their bright nests
your bones still warm
from the city pyres
and you weep
for the many shadows

Like me, you inhale brine
the black rot of weed in wet sand
footprints erased by a slapping tide
asking what lies underneath
your failed will, your mute ways
the wispy purr of your lips
the tip-tap of your sharp teeth
your vulnerability and regret
unspoken, a chokehold

And you look to the sky
the sea, like me
you make a death mask
a let-me-live mask
a self-obsession
shady motel mask
a blank coverall
for a face that lies
when it tells the truth
when you know you
are in trouble and
last year's veils won't do

If you are a catastrologist like me
you howl on the holidays
never have too many
hollowing moons
dark stars of grief
black tides, shadowed
masks or wrists
razor ready


Upstream problems, downstream disasters


You wake up to a stranger
beside you, I mean inside
you don't close your eyes
or your doors. Lock them
up, friend, it's Xmas. Feel
the caroling chill, blood red
your liver, skin pale green
the extra need, lock that up too.
What I mean to say is
use it like it's all you got

like when the knife's sharp
the pills in pretty heaps
and the icy river beckons, calling
your mother's maiden name.


Nobody's Home


on the sloping

green lawn splotched

by the pill staggered 

the zombie eyed

your mind lagging

the speed limit set

by nobody.


Nothing saunters

sparkling white halls 

sharp with ammonia 

stale piss, velvet 

drapes hiding window bars

fluorescent dining hall coffee 

tepid industrial food

squat rooms 

matching flowered sheets 

matching curtains, badly 

matched roommates.


In the life you dream

the mistakes you make

illustrate your freedom.

Bah! That's nothing, 

old blood


under a rusty bridge.


You are your own deletion

made daily, a mantra.

So what if you just can't

find meaningful order?

The weak never end things

always waiting 

for the lid to crash down.


Filled with electric hunger

your head jolts,

hair a pale fire.

You reach for the imaginary 

double, large bottle

in which a small ship

serves as your home

away from home.



On the Twenty Dollar Bill
—for Alexander Hamilton

She left less than that
for two rib-thin boys
together alone an island
everything she owned
drenched with salt, water loss
a fever, emptied out-ness
fish slivering in moonlight
her man gone, a family
to take them in, raising
caring, sharing the sugar
melons and coconut trees
holiday ornaments, cookies
in scatters she left them
a bed, two simple chests
thirty-four books to read
four dresses, two skirts, a hat
black silk the one boy tucked
under his pillow, the one
boy reading at dusk, dawn
she left them dueling
brothers orphans small
one left the other island
sun filtering past the azure
call of distant horizons
the rain of new light
unborn geography, contours
he would pass down, down
to us now in our darkness

he died by his word
shot to the hip, hand
still pressed to his heart
missing mother's love


Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes Florida noir with a dark humor. Novels include Project XX about a school shooting (Salt Publishing, UK, 2017) and What I Did for Love, a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, 2019). Kelsay Books recently published the poetry chapbook the disappearing self. Grandma Moses Press will publish the poetry chapbook Florida Man later this year. Poems have appeared in many literary journals, online and in print.

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