First published in Icefloe Press https://icefloepress.net/two-poems-david-l-o-nan/
Those Hazels, They Slice Remembering, those memories Before the seclusion To memories of you, Somehow you made it from Limerick to Lane Fork A creek full of snakes They intrigued you to say More snakes than angels here Then you laughed Níos mó nathracha ná aingil anseo In our early twenties with hazels that wondered Remembering, for many months Trying to catch the butterfly To dance with before the thunder bled on us I had you within sight, You were a millennial hippy in bellbottoms on Thursdays By Friday you were vintage chic in a La Mendola dress I’d long for you while hearing Sarah’s song playing in my head Sharon from the Vampire Killers, Your passion was to be Sharon from the Valley of the Dolls And you, you drifted with hazels that sliced Now we are children of 27. You the Irish starlet searching for the dream Stuck with a follower in love, a boy created in the dirt of the Midwest Gravel chaffing your boho chick boots We have to keep moving to keep your mind still From Nashville to Kansas City to Yokohama for a week We bled money from mud caves to gold mines Until we shelved ourselves and began to pity as rats – On the skim of the raising floods of New Orleans The comedy of fools we entered drunk for many years And your hazels lined with red in the castle of your soul Twenties to Thirties, Drinking and falling deeper to the sins In passions you ran away, I lay dire as the lone wolf And still give you chance after chance Dreaming of our rainjackets clashing on Toulouse Wasting away in the downpours, Our shoes getting stuck in sewer grates Where are you now? To new protectors, to new thieves To talent scouts on Magazine Street Your hazels looked to me and you say sorry, no more kisses. I have to say goodbye brón orm, gan póga níos mó. Caithfidh mé slán a fhágáil What a tease as I fall to a prayer Memories aren’t easy in the Big Easy in a lockdown Coltrane’s “Blue Train” is growing more static and hisses I just see those hazels, slice and say goodbye Like your dizzy wake-ups before you drink your first drink This song plays me like a straitjacket And I dream of escaping on a ferry boat and hiding away To one day escape your eyes and fall into the waters that’ll sway – Sway me back to my youth and the worries I did not have. The memories are my seizures To my madman bones melted into your old Mahogany chair Are you in your destiny, Are you in love Are you protected from the diseases, Have the diseases took your identity Has your fashion turned to rags Have your men gone from Polanski to a black & white photo of our past Are you enfolded to someone to cling to in the dying days of sunsets? I’m not sure I can move past those hazels that sliced Not knowing is just as bad as ever having you around. The ashes spit down from the attic. The dust settles down my feet It all becomes a haven for the depression to circulate within me. And I whisper to myself, as if I were talking to the memory of you like a ghost. to live alone, I don’t really know if I can. Without you, can I? le maireachtáil liom féin, níl a fhios agam an féidir liom. Gan tú, an féidir liom? Living in this Toxic Coalmine There are fields that no one wants to breathe There is a reality in which we cannot be I wait for you to heal, as you wither like the sand I wait for your angels to come by and build a temple with your hands You’ve breathed in the blackest of beasts That smother the air within the flow of these demons Within our heart is little shards of twisted quartz The crystals that cut through like minuscule crowns The devil’s wind rips at the brim of my hat I’ve got old souls dancing and trying to read the word to me They know I’m no longer feeling human, I’m becoming a wooden boy Talking like a stranger, fumbling sickly with his oil can toy. Diseases like loves are just the flesh of charred whispers Both feel the burns to the pores. Sunlight can only wave in the hope to our deepest core We’re tired of this burning, these shovels The mouthing rambles of some fake heroes Broken nose old men become experts at living As they work on that same carburetor in that ‘95 Ford Taurus every day. The sunshine has browned the roots of the grasses. The heat has freckled me to the bones. Through a life worth living we’ve all felt the worst grief Some predators and sinners drink in to become their personalities They’ve watched as the women weathered all the pedals Under the icy stares from the devil in their men. The minds that we all see as windows Always think that they are invisible The blackest of beasts may not be a pandemic But the beasts that walk within one’s nerves, flesh & mind. The darkness of the coal-seam fires Leave the purity of what is underground to rise up to murder our hope The mines are vibrating to combustion The little stones quiver around my pulse The pulsating veins quake like that bituminous coal The canary flew in to sit on the wall just to become a wooden body. The self-igniting madness of families severed by the greed A pandemic could have been tamed The spreading of ashes just splintered our breathing, and left us leathering.