The Matter

Paul Batchelor
                 as if heaven cared
                                   – John Wieners
After sleepy time, pain. After sin, self-knowledge.
The world is all we waken to. Let mother
lick a hanky, kneel to rub the matter
from our clogged eyes: there. After an age
of small mercies, the predictable travesty.
After a lifetime of supportable losses,
a woman bibbed in gin & vomit rises
to disavow a prodigal & would-be
righteous anger. Let dormative potions take
effect. Let one he knows, but not to speak to,
smile recognisably. Non è fuggito.
Now be a love for heaven’s sake
and let it go. Who wants to make a scene?
Her least of all, who would & will affect
to misconceive me at my most direct;
knew I meant well, never knows what I mean.
Page 24, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120
Issue 120

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Vona Groarke's final issue as editor is packed with new poems from leading contemporary poets, including Simon Armitage, Sinéad Morrissey, Colette Bryce, Paul Muldoon, Sean O'Brien and Caitríona O'Reilly. Books reviewed include new work from Derek Mahon, Bernard O'Donoghue, Rita Ann Higgins, Martina Evans, Denise Riley and the 2016 Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo. The centrepiece of the issue is an interview with Paul Muldoon in which the Armagh maestro shares his thoughts on subjects as diverse as public surveillance, the economic down-turn, and the exclamation mark. The cover image is by photographer Justyna Kielbowicz, and the issue also contains award-winning artwork from Sven Sandberg, Aoife Dunne, Jane Rainey, and Michelle Hall. Instead of an editorial, Vona herself answers the questionnaire she put to the contributors of Poetry Ireland Review Issue 118: The Rising Generation.