On which foot does consistency begin?
His self-doubling self-doubting shadow
chitters about nothing more than itself,
and can grip each successor-of-zero of his feet
as well I can write the bathtub’s equation.
Reading the spider, the metamathematician
says he’s a metaphor for nostalgia,
a child’s game. Which tiles on the floor
can you step on without disaster?
Think slippery nebulae, the maps
of all the worlds you see in those puddles.
A metaphor for nostalgia for metaphor.
You’d like to see the spider’s feet as points
of a compass rose, but they spin
like a universe without time. And as soon
as you turn he slips down the wall.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 123:
Among the poets offering new work in the final Poetry Ireland Review of 2017 are Orla Martin, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Harry Clifton, Erin Halliday, Alan Titley, and Nan Cohen, while the Featured Poet is Belfast sensation Stephen Sexton. The books reviewed in this issue include new titles from Michael O'Loughlin, the late John Montague, Biddy Jenkinson, Aifric Mac Aodha, Mark Roper, and Colette Bryce's Selected Poems. Also included is editor Eavan Boland's examination of the life and work of the late John Ashbery, and the reasons for his pre-eminence among American poets of his century; and an evocative tribute to the late Gerard Fanning from his friend Gerard Smyth. The artwork for PIR 123 comes from the SO Fine Art Editions gallery, and the issue concludes with nine intriguing questions for Michael Longley, posed by fellow Belfast poets Stephen Connolly and Stephen Sexton – followed, of course, by nine intriguing answers.