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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."

Poem of the Week: “Crush” by Conor O’Callaghan

In “Crush,” Conor O’Callaghan draws upon the moon and the sun to explore absence versus wholeness, unspoken versus spoken, and stillness versus movement. The juxtaposition of the two highlights the pull of each on our daily sentiments. 


"Crush" by Conor O'Callaghan



It rises, nameless and requited, from the feather of a goose
in grass to the anglepoise’s reflection in the window
still shining after its switch has been pushed to O.
It fills. It thins to whole nights of distraction. It goes. 

A black canvas—when one of us never musters ‘I love you’
until the other leaves the room (as if the only things we mean
get said in parenthesis and are perpetually marooned between
the last quarter of the old and the first quarter of the new).


4.16 am, blissed on midsummer, making the most of a brush
with a velvet dress and the scent of dewberry, I keep my secret
secret like someone else’s change collected from the cigarette
machine and saved for luck. I am too far gone to sleep. Much.

I sing the praises of the strip lights’ glimmer, the twittering land,
the microwave. In kimono, slippers, I set the dial on the timer
and wait as long as it takes. I stand before the sliding door,
hiding a mandarin behind my back. I ask the day, ‘Which hand?’ 

Conor O’Callaghan, from Fiction (2005)

Categories: Conor O'Callaghan, Poem of the WeekTags:

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