Apathy – Poems by C. Mc Donnell

Conor Mc Donnell has been previously published in The Montreal Review, The Fiddlehead, The Steel Chisel, and Paul Vermeersch’s Sunrise with Seamonsters project. His first chapbook, “The Book of Retaliations,” was published in Spring 2016 by Anstruther Press and excerpts can be viewed at conormcdonnell.ca.


after Oliver Cromwell’s speech to dissolve parliament in 1653

It is high time I upend the palaces you dishonour with contract virgins

for you who began as simple folk
– feeding on good governance –
now spoil like humid meat
and shill your kin for a month of pork

We who transferred in penal time to ride the savage and whip the steer

must bleach the clots from out our shirts
and loosen ticks from high-brow crowns

You sorry polyps who deviled this sacrifice brandished birthcords to amen victories

tumored lovetext to lumpthroat
and growl anathem into the national orifice
must go Go – in the name of _ –
begone and be better away from here

Acceptance – (In my defense)Kneeling before Zod

after Tim Ryan’s Draft Speech

While dividing opinion this bill nevertheless clarifies destiny:

It does not propose we scan children but the PowerForever Project will
activate anti-offspring hardware and highlight detection grids…

When recon-funds are fed into tally-the-dead algorithms
server-troops may be deployed to better protect your sleep…

Silicon covens will not burn barns nor dystope-start-ups bale our young
but nature no longer prevails and the net must taste us in our slumber:

This bill accepts defeat and maps our pathway toward surrender

Beneath Athens

heedless to advice you return to find the old songs laid out in the street
You pass one roped to a porch-chair set to catch the afternoon sun

the fuel rerouted from hair and flesh still powers the ground of tooth and bone
Unmoved– a cappella, irresistible – you remind yourself this music was born with eyes
only when it dies does it break orbit and tilt into globes

Accelerates toward sun while beggars drawn to the lamplight of woman and child
fall into the furnace of uncrossed legs on the wrongside of windows and every other moment

Sirens descend from deathbed portraits so dust can dance so shoes can walk
to the place beneath the stairs you go to be eaten to squeeze cats into armpits
and scream like a dogwhistle

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