Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Poetry by Louise McKenna

Puffer Fish

Here we lie abandoned on the beach
like deflated balls,
ugly as toads.

It is a mystery how we got here,
how we oozed from the ocean's heaving lungs,
slippery as phlegm.

You poke at me with your foot
for I am too vile to touch.
There are signs of life: I flip suddenly,

like a foetus in the womb
and my dumb mouth opens
on a lethal bolus of air, staring

with my unblinking bloodshot eye
as if an ember of afterthought floats
in my iris before death.

- Louise McKenna 2013

Rat's Skeleton

I unearth it from the humus beneath my roses:
a chain of vertebrae, exquisite skull,
ribcage like honed shards of porcelain.
I remember him dying, slowly as a martyr
where he lay poisoned
in the cruciform shadow of our garden fence.
He seems so brittle. I could snap his matchstick femurs,
fracture those toy toes. In life he was untenable,
the substance of shade slipping
through interstices between day and night.
And I loathed him. Now through the empty windows
of his eyes there is only darkness;
through the gables of his ribs, only untenanted space.
This is what we are all pared down to.
I feel death scuttle down the stairwell of my spine
before I reassemble him in the soil,
hiding him from the teeth of this antipodean light.
I will no longer dig here.

- Louise McKenna 2013

Louise's first poetry collection, A Lesson in Being Mortal was published by Wakefield Press. She has since co edited Flying Kites, the Friendly Street Poets anthology, also published by Wakefield Press. Her work has appeared in Poetrix, Eureka Street and Mascara Literary Review. In 2012, she was one of the poets who appeared in Light and Glorie, an anthology of South Australian poetry, published by Pantaenus Press.

1 comment:

micheleseminara said...

I loved both these poems. The images were so striking - 'I feel death scuttle down the stairwell of my spine' is one which will just not leave me! Beautiful and disturbing at the same time.