Skip to main content

New Poem by Michael Egan

Eyewear is pleased to feature a new poem by Michael Egan today.  Egan is from Liverpool.  A pamphlet, The River Swam, was published in 2005 by Paula Brown Publishing and a second, Folklores, in 2010 by The Knives Forks and Spoons Press.  His first full length collection Steak & Stations was published by Penned in the Margins in December 2010.  Two further pamphlets are due out in early 2011 (I Went to the Ship, Erbacce; After Stikklestad, The Knives Forks and Spoons Press).  He is currently working on an anthology of poetry in his Motivist form and a second full collection, Monsieur Dassonville and His Duck.

He Never Got To Caen

Pratt was his Norman name and Ramavath his wished for Indian grandmother’s.
His true name he kept hidden in hollows beside rivers or down the crevices of pub couches.
When he was done with raking dunes so they sloped at the right angles down to the Irish Sea
he’d cross flat sprout sprouting fields to Burscough and his corrugated hut, his flotsam bed.
I met him on an old road near Snape Green when I’d been walking since winter
so my feet were as black as the brogues I’d set off in and as hard as tanned leather.
“I never even got to Caen,” he said, draining his mild, pulled out a bitten through rag
and mumbled “my father gave me this pennant, this peace munching dove.”
Repeated it three times like Tolstoy's hermits, but drunk we didn’t feel the high summer heat
anneal our necks and the midges like awls piercing our skin; melted metal, bored out wood.
“I was an ancient son of Scarisbrick,” he said when we reached his hut by a bend in the Alt,
“last of a lost lot, I promised to take this rag to Caen where others like it might flutter still.”
As summer ending rain titter-tattered on his shack’s roof he sucked on the cloth
like he was sucking out the memories of his walking, the flavours of his guilt.
“I slept on a bench in Portsmouth, woke on a ferry to Cherbourg, naked and bruised,
spent that winter raising marquees searching for Mont St Michel but only found giants
living beneath the stones of Carnac, ran from them along a spit of land
then, naked still, let my body fall into Biscay’s Bay and was found by a fisherwoman
near Suazon before she tossed me back, more bruised, with the day’s bad catch
so I was drowned and drowned again until I was pulled into Brest’s bosom
and taken for a myth, a man made from the depths of the sea’s tossing dreams,
given over to a writer who wintered in a villa on the Isle-de-Batz looking south to Roscoff
but all the words of my story had left me and I clung only to my cloth, now torn, now ruined,
so he let me take passage to Rosslare where I fell into a sleep and did not wake
until I’d wandered my way home and saw those ragged dunes, all piled upon and crumbling,
so wiped my brow with the last colours of my cloth, the faded heralding of my name,
and for months I raked the sand, forgot that name and with each reshaped dune
I thought of Caen, her cathedral and stone, her leftover Norman sons, their scalps
no longer harshly shaven, heads hanging in the lessening of memory, wavering, lost to time.”


poem by Michael Egan; published online with permission of the author
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!