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Salmon Poetry


Patrick Chapman

You had driven west to put geography
Between yourself and my bleak humours. I
Was stunned by news, received in solitude:
Cobain had pulled a trigger on himself,
The pills and whiskey incident, a dress rehearsal rag.

Now, his wife and daughter desolate,
His mother had proclaimed her son
A member of that stupid club.

I’d only known his music, but I’d heard
His double-barrelled blow inside my skull
As morning light rays, April-harsh,
Attempted trepanation on my head,
To disperse the airs that seeped into my lobes
And threatened bad-demeanour meningitis.

I announced it to the first poor soul I found,
A shop hand who stared, innocently blank,
His digits probed by the checkout laser beam.

That night, as black-clad teenage acolytes
Congregated at the cross in Phoenix Park,
I kept internal vigil for a love
That, limping, had been put to sleep like some
Lame horse who faced the hypodermic and
The pasture of the dark: a kind of virtual
Euthanasia. We had buried it still breathing.

Suddenly, the world had flattened
Wide without a Rough Guide to the heart,
An atlas of the spinal cord,
A route map of the nervous system.

Copyright © Patrick Chapman 2007

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