The Argotist Online
Patrick Chapman’s poetry collections
are: Jazztown (1991), The New Pornography (1996) and Touchpaper
Star (2004). His fourth collection is expected from Salmon. Chapman won the
story category of the 2003 Cinescape Genre Literary Contest in LA for A
Ghost. He was short listed twice for a Sunday Tribune Hennessy Award (1995
for poetry, 1999 for fiction) and once for an Ian St James Award (1990). His
poems appear in many anthologies, including Poesia Irlandesa Contemporanea (Libros
de Tierra Firma, Buenos Aires), Human Rights Have No Borders: Voices of Irish
Poets, Real Cool: Poems To Grow Up With and Something Beginning
With P (O’Brien Press, Dublin). In 2001, he collaborated with Gemma Tipton
on her acclaimed trilogy of art exhibitions and a related book, The Foot
Series. Burning the Bed, Chapman’s first film script, is adapted
from his own short story, which was published in The Irish Times.
Directed in 2003 by Denis McArdle, the film stars Gina McKee and Aidan Gillen.
It was named Best Narrative Short at the 2004 Dead Center Film Festival in
MOON SEA TIME
Some irregular night hour. The moon, anaemic, low-slung
In the tide of tissue-cumulus soft-circulating upwards
Toward the outer-atmosphere dissolve. I take my
A pair of black binoculars and camera - outdoors to the
sky: a star
Field trip, over to the barrier that breaks the Irish
It’s able to ingest the terraced houses in small
I think of your low white corpuscle count - the doctor
Told you yesterday - while up there hangs the moon,
Not running red, as in some prophecy of death,
But ashen-faced, its craters clear as to an
Astronaut in orbit of its changeless body; smaller,
Though, as fits a man who’s never left the Earth.
They say that when our time is gone, when every human
Being has evolved into some other form, and when
The Earth itself has died, and when the moon
Awaits that final flare of nuclear fire - as the solar
Gasps expiring breath; they say what will remain of us
Are footprints in the lunar dust, without a sea to
WEST WINTER STREET
October cloud dissolving black
Glaucoma night becoming blind.
Behind it, sky was ocean -
Moon became a weathervane,
Tethered to the bed by cables:
Silver, braided moonlight.
Below my tired lover told of
Women, in seclusion, in the
Visitations, debts of passion;
As substantial as a Brave or
soil or buffalo.
Meeting with the redcoats,
Brought visions to the shamen.
Soon she drowsed. The clouds
A violet sky, a cowl for
Moon time in the world. I
Her lips goodnight and slipped
From underneath our eiderdown,
A subtle tang of iron on my
© Patrick Chapman