• Moira Egan
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[ a mean gram ]                                                                       


it’s like, you already knew all these,

the list of complaints, black ink, white sheet,


your day completely gone to shit

and then it further hits


the proverbial fan, splatters,

stinks like rats’ pelts


left out in brutal weather.

how to withstand the wear


and tear

of this low-rent, low-rate


existence, as if you haven’t lived

till you’ve cut your deal with the devil?


I did it, gave myself o’er to the fire,

temptation, the life rife


with addictive proclivities,

            epic vitriols,


incalescent lust.

the judgment was pronounced: slut.


Gift means poison in German.

sweet little babe in a manger,


replaced on his day by a jolly fat Santa.

funny how they all wear red. Satan,


minacious, plunging from the skies,

give me your best embrace. kiss


the Daddy’s girl: parental,

all and only is paternal.






[ o, brief de{r}angel ]


today the wind blew in, boreal

and truculent. no comfort, not in fine labor


nor in love. someone very dear

has died: poet, friend, wildely read


—he of silver beard

prodigious, he who bared


psyche, soul, confessional;

spilled the stygian noises, flacon


of the anima, a prised

precision of despair—


cigar smoke wafts on air

bereft.  he’s left us here.


in his death I relive

all those my dearests; revile


the damned, dark dearth.

who is it snips the thread


anyway? the one I’m named after?

myrrh, dark berry, bitter fate.


                                                [ an elegie for dr b ]




[ one mind. tea ]


i’m losing my mind,

she says, her voice grown dim


and slow on the messenger

call.   her, me, geneses:


she taught me to read,

how to adore


her careful letters on the chalkboard.

this is how you keep your mind broad.


now she’s living with my sister: set

the scene (bonjour tristesse)


for greek drama

born of wildchild karma.


what’s that word again, it starts with a D?

her memory a shard, it twists


and turns, turns traitor.

rain. rust. tort,


this brain-change is fuel

for nightmares out of fuseli.


at 3 a.m. she’s afraid:

up surge the old dire sheafs,


hope and nostalgia,

the bleating of a slain goat.


she wakes, makes a cup of tea.

the drip, drip, drip of faucet


left on is not our fear: synapses

brittle as shaky aspens:


not just cranial fog,

we fear the conflagration.


                                                [ on dementia ]