Issue 18: Karl O'Hanlon

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.