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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


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.


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