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Mickey J. Corrigan

Poetry

 

The End of Everything

A roof thatched with blackbirds
wine cellar alluring as the stable
servants' cottage ready for guests
the hills greening, greening
everything has happened.

Baby unhappy, his swarthy face
dark red and ferocious
the little girl playing tea party
under apple trees in bloom
white petals floating down
fat juicy blackberries, raspberries
elegant old elms running slow
to a river flecked with slivery fish.

A watercolor primrose garden
flowers drunk on their own scent
splurging lilacs and nut trees
father plants peaches, plums, pears
she can see from the window
in her private study, writing
at the desk he sanded down
for her one long plank
from a coffin
everything has happened.

A tiny town of farmers
factory workers and housewives
no television or education
just slow sheep, cows grazing
lulling, lulling
in a rippling sea of grass
orange sunsets casting shadows
over the country manor
and the mad dreams she shares
with us still.

 

Everybody's Way of Life

Hunched at the typewriter in the clinic
on the same dingy gray hall
of the very same psych ward
where she once sat frozen, lost
electrodes sparking her skull,
she looks up only to speak
to women in torn housedresses
hags without teeth, pimpled youth
doing the Thorazine shuffle and she feels
better in such community, less alone
her moods adrift as ever, moon tidal.

All night she plays chess with their bones
seated at a typewriter on Beacon Hill
overlooking the placid brown river
words pouring forth in geysers
splattering metaphors for a lifelong struggle
out of the white straitjacket of society
women like her bound to one thing
when they want everything
and, forced to settle for less,
she erupts with the one-two punch
of a madwoman typhoon.

 

The Double

 

In the old bedroom, full-
length mirrors refracting smiles
and disgust, twin whispers—
demands to sublimate, kneel
before diapers, dishes, desires
the life she's not ready for
the deep voice mocking
traitor sinner imposter
drowning out her own
lyrical honey-do list
of poetics. Not yet.

Escaped through a murder-hole
the second self swims free
fleeing the other's cries
imposter sinner traitor
the menace locked up
the slot glued shut
the island castle left behind
bridge drawn, moat full
until further notice. 

The lunatic blue-black sky
threatens, windy and chill
so she keeps her head down
facing only desk, paper, pen
rhythm and patterns appearing
quicksilver fish in a clear river
flowing though her to the sea.

Distant as she could get
hidden in a winter attic
gloved hands on typewriter keys
she glances often at a Picasso print
yellow chrysanthemums in the sun
or sips hot tea by the fireplace
or wanders with cows in gray mists
that lick at ancient cobblestones
she knows she is safe

from the sour lemon acid
in the veins of her future self

for now she is furiously writing—
poetry
the first and last real love
of her short blazing life.

 

Out of the Glass Caul

 

Under his storm cloud
the black curtain lowers
rough stones roll over her heart
she stands before the iron stove
the same old sourdough
worked over, overcooked again.

When parked in the loading zone
with her confessional peers
dry martinis raised at the Ritz
to suicide
pills and shrinks, laughing
afternoons spent tapping on glass
she felt the crucible crackling.

At the artists' colony, birdsong
acres of pines, blue lakes, walking trails
red rose gardens, lawns of marble
overseen from a private
room of her own,
the lavish meals
drinks by the fireplace
sherried chats
no domestic or academic interruptions
for the first time ever she let go
(always herself, herself)
wresting free of old restraints.

The rancid smell of those years
burning down
an outcast on this cold star
she drifts higher, looks down
at all the shattered glass
scattered in jagged scars.

 

Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes tropical noir with a dark humor. Her poetry has been widely published in literary journals and chapbooks. In 2020, Grandma Moses Press released Florida Man. Her novel The Physics of Grief puts the fun back in funerals while taking a serious look at the process of mourning (QuoScript, UK, 2021).