3 poems by Joe Carrick-Varty


From sky doc



Once upon a time when suicide was the notion that time


is the best healer my dad in the garden


stuffing his body with sky I was sixteen


before anyone told me anything


my dad chased me out the house


in his favourite blue sweater I remember


in the park I bumped into a teacher


where are your shoes she said




Once upon a time when suicide was the butterfly bruise


that happens to the sky


when a nose gets broken the slow lakes


that pool and the four stages of colour


suicide slow dancing with my mum


under spotlight even the fish are impressed


I want very much to make a father


of suicide to climb inside and sleep there




Once upon a time when suicide was the greatest magician


to ever spend a night in my treehouse


in the 90s I wanted to die


before anyone told me about my family’s


mythology my hereditary a procession


of beetles heading for an ocean


for a second I’m Micky Mouse in Fantasia


suicide will be home from work soon



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Joe Carrick-Varty is a British-Irish poet, writer and founding editor of bath magg. His poems have appeared in the New Statesman,The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review and Poetry London. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2022. His debut collection, More Sky, is forthcoming with Carcanet in 2023.