Wednesday, May 20, 2009



(The Otter Press, 2005)

Séamas Cain's website:

A swan by arrow transfixed,
is this not theatre?
You, Theatre, may manifest by chance?!
And if some morning a lacebark oak
reminds me of that arrow,
and a cloud flying that oak
calls to mind the swan,
would this be the prologue of that theatre?

Am I to portray the prologue
as being Melpomene draped in her play's final curtain?
(Applause, applause,
O put together your paws!)
Nero at a game of billiards, then?

The stars,
says Iphigenia,
are like sour cream:
gentle, white, and devilish.
The space among them
is like a black marble
statue of W.B. Yeats.
With palms
that are soft clay or snow,
a million gray rats applaud.

If "Forms float above the urine of a virgin", then today I am in Phoenix.

If "I hate Mr. Nero", then my ideas aren't cute like cellphones.

If "Theatre, like badger, pinetree, broken water, goes", then your freckles were my money in a submarine.

If "Even the subconscious is not patient enough for theatre", then the language is 'gladiola ape bar'.

If "The earthworm is dead of shadow", then I cannot help but imagine her as a terracotta cellphone.

If "Theatre drowns itself with machines", then a mexican-style nosering BMW looks on through macaroni eyebreasts.

If "Angels, in the night, commit to the werewolf's care a bronze cup", then the genesis of unending wayward cedars is captured perfectly.

If "the urine of a virgin floats above geometric forms", then Earth is now called simply 'aztec-style ear-canal'.

Lady O'Handrahaun's
no longer Iphigenia,
though her hands still resemble swans:
gentle, white, and devilish.
Does this not remain theatre?
Or is resemblance too hasty for theatre?
says Lady O'Handrahaun,
in its haste is the prologue of theatre.
O Theatre,
you glacially-assembled emblem,
nothing of yours is hidden from us,
shameless nude,
and secret desire of puritans!


Jeff Harrison reviewed books for the past four issues of Galatea Resurrects: Some of his poems can be read here and here. You are welcome to visit Antic View.

1 comment:

  1. An exceptional review, congratulations to Jeff Harrison and to Seamas Cain!

    Anny Ballardini