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2 poems by Olga Dermott Bond

Queens of night

They were almost black in the sunlight

as if spring-brightness had darkened them

shaped them to wine glasses, each tulip filled

brimful with her own heady cloak-and-dagger colour,

radiating heat, each petalled bowl tumescent

beneath curls at the top, this frail ferocity curved

like a pelvis. Queens of night stolen by day,

a garden of plummy velvet erotica, their obscene

beauty making me think of nakedness, of desire

of how short a time they will unfurl and undress to nothing.

“Things are getting ready

to happen

out of sight”

This moment, Eavan Boland


I make notes when the lecturer tells me how things

become problematic when we try to define what we are

with just one word. He is right, I think; capturing us is like getting

a pin and pushing it through the middle of a butterfly that’s ready

to flit, its trembling thorax pierced, its own idea muted only to

colour, each immovable wing a one-sided history. Words have to happen

but they muffle our touch like glass, making separate relics out

of tiny electric some-or-other things I can’t unfeel these days, of

the arrowing jolt and deliciousness of maybe, perhaps, just out of sight.


Olga has published two pamphlets: apple, fallen (Against the Grain Press) and A sky full of strange specimens (Nine Pens Press). Her debut full collection Frieze will be published by Nine Arches Press next year. Originally from Northern Ireland, she lives in Warwickshire where she works as a teacher.


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