John W. Sexton

House of Déjà Vu

the castle's shadow
his real castle ... grass-root ladders
take us down

               in the House of Déjà Vu
               a planchette spells out
               the obvious

clothed in moths
she unzips her flutterdress
a silvering she's gone

               eyes in jars
               the witch's cupboard
               sees in the dark

another mountain
collapses to the north …

               the unknown toy soldier
               ... holds the world down
               with its plinth

snake turban &
chaos shoes ... Dali steps
from the cabbage

Time Moves Forwards with a Backward Motion

Camp X-Ray photos glossy finish

dark olive Christ's thumbprint

Hitler elected in the spermatozoa

womb mind heart mother / twins increasing the spaces inside

spring forest losing its consciousness of snow

human shadow immortal fossil Hiroshima

abacus Khmer Rouge skull hoard

universe ant star / everything is nothing to entropy

opening a page to dust-mites busy on the verses of Rumi

Christ born in sheep shit / dad gone missing

the number drawn at random will always be ordained

Twenty Monostich Poems for the Bodybag

invisible in the bombed nursery / teddybears suppurate love

maggots glitter in the godlight pouring from her son's entrails

strapping toy bombs to his toy soldiers he yearns to be big

all the solemn leaders with their pictures on the money

and the sound of machine guns is Buddha Buddha Buddha

believe o ye righteous / the president's excrement turns to gold

still kicking after our game / the dismembered legs of craneflies

hanging the empty dresses of dead daughters

bits of sons everywhere / but not a bit sent home

U N troops arrive in time to mind the rubble

bigboy Trump presses his capital lock key of mass destruction

paper airplane bomb errs command Christ mess crack errs paper crown

only the bone-meal of our bodies is absolute truth

grossprophetsees sweatshopmothers sewfatiguesfor boysoldiers

Camp X-Rays envision Al-qaeda to see the war through

mute graveyard moss writes itself over the names

inevitably the bomb's silent math will have its say

so grandma made bloodcakes in gingerbread menshapes

monometric stresses of shellthump our poem oh Lebanon

shrapnel became my father’s left eye

John W. Sexton lives in the Republic of Ireland and is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent being The Offspring of the Moon (Salmon Poetry, 2013). Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons Of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.
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