Bio: Rachel Coventry lives in Galway. She holds a PhD in Heidegger’s poetics from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her poems have appeared in various journals including The North, The Moth, Poetry Ireland Review, Cyphers, Stand, Southword, The Irish Times, and The SHop. She won the Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust Annual Poetry Competition in 2016 and has been short-listed for many other competitions including The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize. Her debut collection Afternoon Drinking in the Jolly Butchers (2018) is published by Salmon poetry and her second collection is forthcoming in 2022.
We Discuss The End of Our Relationship If love is sustenance, ours was just honey or cream, things you didn’t like the feel of on your fingers, sticky and insubstantial, a summer holiday without end, life without toothpaste or bullies, but still in two aspects, as a dress has an outside and an in, next to the skin, seams blanket-stitched to prevent them fraying. Some fabrics are so fine they are ravaged by existence (your cheek against mine) I miss its sweetness. A New Fire In memory, I still experience the ease with which we connected much as ash holds the shape of paper, even, sometimes, the words in negative but so delicate as to disintegrate at the tip of the poker. Why would I want to read it now? After all, I threw it to the flames. There will be another fire once I’ve cleaned out the grate. What seemed an aberration turned out to be the future; your generation, so much prettier, if only I could believe in them, but the bones of the old dogs are still in their back garden graves. No matter. This future doesn’t involve significant restructuring of existing architecture, but the fact I’ll stay here in Westside will seem strangely miraculous and I will continue to drive from carpark to carpark. Don’t worry about that. But knowing that poems are things we can put on shelves (After Dorothea Lasky) Tonight there’s six hours and one minute of darkness I need to make the best of it tomorrow it will be less but on I blaze relentless. I decide action will save me it’s the usual story, if I do Pilates, declutter bring my books to Charlie Byrne’s where some girl in the future will find them think them plausible, inspiring even. I do not care about you women coming after me, making me a footnote in your theses. It’s too late, I’m burning and I’m making a pyre for you. Young woman you will burn and it won’t matter what you do. Your love poems aren’t true. If there was a man here now I’d hate him, in his absence I hate myself, the dog is downstairs I hate her, the dawn chorus is so feeble these days. Take these birds away. Leave me with a single magpie. Let grey light stretch across me. Let me get on with it. Samo The first thing was a car accident BANG! Memory begins with pain, with sirens with awareness with Gray’s Anatomy he saw his own body and knew he was something that could be, but also be expressed then there are multiple choices tick this one Samo is an ex-pression of spiritual love Do I have to spell it out? (SAMO©) A PIN DROPS LIKE A PUNGENT ODOR SAMO as an alternative GOD SAMO© IS DEAD there are many deaths many things to look at Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro the big city smashed like we dropped a bomb on ourselves he said dreaming of war as boys do. but then money and caviar and Crystal and cocaine bundles of money hidden everywhere. and drugs helped you made your mind free money and drugs like we dropped a bomb on ourselves he said. There was a lot of jealousy and animosity. It was fine when we were all poor. Therapy I peel off explanations as I would cotton or denim; jeans, t shirt, bra, pants layer after layer examined and discarded, each sufficient, but incomplete, especially now they are emptied. Even my final nudity is a deceit, a lie spoken so frequently I believe it. Go on, he says, strip. My New Favourite Another woman may have blushed if you looked at her that way. I simply added you to my collection of beautiful porcelain ambivalences, almost enough to keep me from myself. Oh why do I lie? The gap between me and I is shrinking all the while, even as my shelves fill with pale figurines. You are my new favourite, so serious. A wiser woman would’ve smiled and looked away but I built my home on this empty tension, bricks stacked in running formation, rafters point in opposite ways. A precarious location for fine-boned china. My mother used say I was contrary. Come on, let’s break something. Autumn Poem This poem is more a statement than a poem It’s not open to interpretation I’m so sick of all this interpreting this analysis of symbolism. The only mercy is few will read it; it will lie there inert in the blackness between two closed pages. Maybe it’s time for a stanza break, or turf smoke pressed heavy on a late October evening. How about this for a dichotomy total artistic freedom but no one listening or the secret police knocking down your door? Oh, how we all want someone to listen, even if they get it wrong. A Nettle Patch is an Impenetrable Barrier to a Child She doesn’t have access to gloves and secateurs. She doesn’t have access to strimmer or saw. She doesn’t have access to weed killer. She cannot drive earth-moving equipment. She cannot be trusted with explosives. They will never let her study architecture. She cannot enslave men to build a road. She cannot buy ten thousand tonnes of concrete. She does not have furnaces to make glass. She has no will to confine nature to a park. She does not confuse this place with the map. Though, in time, she’ll find a city black with forgetting on the High Street, a bar with smokers outside. He’ll tell a joke, she’ll flick back her hair and laugh. The End A random acquaintance pays homage to a friend. I click on the blue name land on his page, scroll down through years of tributes, love hearts, sad birthday wishes. I miss you. Gone, but not forgotten all way down to the man himself, waiting for something to happen.