Paul Bregazzi, In The Undergrowth

Porpoise Corpse

I found it on the Howth rocks
high from water and time

its sheet rubber skin
dull in dryness sleek in wet

its bombhead blown to the world

the water lifted then
the monotone flowered red

and from the charnel of its ossuary head

something reached
and pulled me outside in.


I hex the pallid grave with a rosary
wrought of silver from jackdaws’ eyes

an armour of legbones
scaled, springy and giving

a cloak of ebony wings
against the nightfall

a gorget of arrowed tongues
for the nitpicking

for nib a beak
black blood the ink

Dr Barker

believed there
to be substance
to moonlight, a substance
that might be harnessed to power
the mind, as the moon draws the sea
into waves, so it might be reined, if he could
flip its power for lunacy, the desolation he had
perceived it cause in the rank halls of Bedlam
where human nails were embedded
in the soft mortar, might, he argued,
be equally forceful for a benison —
had not he himself benefitted —
and he would lamp any man
who belied him.

River Call

Autumn morning. A snatched phonecall along the riverbank. Mushing beechmast underfoot as the long argument flows. Willow tresses drag the water. A rat shoots along the far bank. Gone again in the undergrowth. A bass tone where the water hits the submerged rock then makes waves like the river is flowing the wrong way. Out of nowhere, a smack like a body hitting water.

the shed willow limb
drags briefly
till the deep waters take it

Paul Bregazzi’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stony Thursday Book, Southword, Crannóg, The Stinging Fly, Fields Magazine, The French Literary Review, and Magma.

Paul was selected for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series 2015 and won the Cúirt New Writing Prize for Poetry 2017. He is a co-founder of the Dublin monthly poetry group Listeners with Daragh Bradish and a member of Quarterman, a four-man performance collective.

His first collection is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. The haibun River Call appeared in Flare magazine.

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