First as Tragedy

It all gets thrown away,
an aside by a lamprey-jawed
soldier comedian on Calvary Road.

Laughter hisses from the can
opening old wounds; some come
to relish the salt that gets
in the cracks on their lips.

Toucans, all such gorgeousnesses,
I would counsel you, sweetly as seraphs
do, avert your eyes from the morning
massacre of strawberries, the profligate sun
scattering diamonds on our canal,
but know your beetle wings as drunkenly
beautiful. The farcical world remains.



Another Edinburgh Tale

Beyond our holy bed, the pigeon-pensioned
city sings from its crotty doocots.
Recovered in your midrash of hair
(dark-edged argosies of sun)
I am a learned man.




[Karl O’Hanlon’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Agenda, PN Review, and Blackbox Manifold. His pamphlet, And Now They Range, is published by Guillemot Press.]

Copyright © 2017 by Karl O'Hanlon, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.