Sean J Mahoney

For a moment this afternoon

I am no longer an aspiring poet;

not while the honeysuckle

need untangling and thinning,

not while the thickening citrus

reaches into its sacred heart

and in a raspy tremor unlike

my own, whispers.

I read about my voice once -

the tongue I found -

but that book was eaten

by a quick and dirty dog

and puked out as confetti.

I am no longer a singer;

Lady Day begged me to fold

and chest my young man dreams

while she tied off.

She sirened. Enticed me

to instead embrace numbers,

raw and solid, and a life

of spreadsheets. Rows.


I heard my voice once

but that sound was mistaken

for a sure lifeboat

and dropped overboard

for a distressed damsel.

She drowned anyway

as the wood of the device

argued itself into loose

knots as it sank.

Under the temperance

of the cool night sky

the needles of the moon snake

their way across dark waters

and prop my eyelids while

I'm pissed on -

a shower of brass figurines,

molten innuendo,

and desktops scarred

with ballpoint carvings:

Fags suck good.

Dumb as a hammer.

And irony is delicious.

May the lesser saints

be gloriously painted.

The system is flush with

finger-width loopholes

and cruel invention.

The ink bottle has spilled

and run, run over the palm-sized

photo of my father

who promised me I'd starve

trying to aspire to anything.

Sean J Mahoney © 2013