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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis


We're delighted to bring to your attention a fantastic and experimental new collection by poet Oisin Breen. Oisin is an Irish poet and academic who is widely published and works in the the field of narratological complexity. We love his work and are certain you will be a fan too...
You can find the book here: Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín and Other Poems by Oisín Breen – Beir Bua Press

Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín


All this ends with the hocking of soft skin in loose folds,
A solemn current of spooled ink,
A stuffed portent:
That elegiac parchment of cause and effect,
And rhapsody, where each stroke of the hand
Is delicate enchantment. 

Yet, like stripling vines in stupor, 
We wrest ourselves from a standing start, 
Only so as to glut ourselves, keening in the play of rustling air.

And, like children caught in first blush, 
At rush to gorge our nascent wanting,
We relentlessly feast on the contingencies 
That differentiate stone from stave.

But the salted oceans we pillage render up scant grain,
And illumination is in death, annihilation 
And the hard sense of knowing: 

	Curtain-fall and the committal. 

How I long then for the pure milk of the word;
How I long then for the fine yew of the wood;
A caress, wet with a tongueful of discarded apocryphae.

Though, as I imagine her, the softness and the hardness; 
The headiness and the fineness; 
Her eyes: age, writ in the bark of an unhallowed kindness 
Ground, too, in an Omertà of forgetting;

As I imagine her,
  she who was always the first; 
  she who was poisonous, bearing bright red fruit; 
Ioho, driving her crown unknowing into her wounds;

Ah Christ, 
As I imagine it – cleaved from her – 
This is the loss of plenty. 

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