photo of Sharon Tate re-imagined through Pop Art
first published in IceFloe Press
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?
For a copy of “Before the Bridges Fell” by David L O’Nan https://tinyurl.com/yckj66hk
David L O’ Nan’s dreamscapes in Before the Bridges Fell begin and end with a wild incantatory mythic tone: the book opens w/a hitchhiker, an internal monologist-Cassandra, a prophet journeying thru small town America. We enter w/them into a shotgun ride through Hell. With a visionary sensibility that never lets up, whether it’s broken nostalgia, the neon memories of punk or mid-west beats & NYC dreamers, this book is a responsive mix, its pop-inflected ballads, flash-surreal gorgeously stimulating epics pummeling the frontal cortex and the rear-view mirror of the reader’s brain.
O’Nan perfects a highly personal image-repertoire, including the balladic, to entertain dark, indie-infused jagged tales of ecstatic & failed love. Poet & short story writer, publisher, photographer, O’Nan’s work emits a howling phosphorescent, Dylanesque rock-n-roll bardic presence, taking us a step or three further along saturated highways with poetic raconteurs soaked in their pharma-dystopic imaginations.
Vast, jagged, oracular, these are stories-as-song, of a nightmarish-Americana, cold, yet somehow hopeful, the propulsive experiments asking, how is it that a vengeance of truths can capture what it means today to live beyond salvation’s increasing twisted reach.
– Robert Frede Kenter, author of EDEN (Floodlight Editions), publisher & EIC Ice Floe Press, http://www.icefloepress.net.