Poems by Liam Ferney

Like Murillo fallen from a ladder,
I have tumbled from my dream.
Pierced as surely as Sebastian,
eyes weary as a 7/11 @ 3am.
Then, after the catastrophe,
dawn: a waiter
@ a restaurant you can’t afford,
brings the cheque.



The Oversight Committee

Who was Ferris’ best friend?
The one handcuffed by ennui
while they gladhanded at the Cub's game
& one (or the other) zoning out
at the Chicago Institute of Modern Art
              like a bent copper on speed
cases to clear and the Chief getting jumpy.
That single face promenading
                          on La Grande Jatte
mashed up, superzooming into the Dane’s famous loon.
& so much depends
on just that moment when Dad’s cherry red 250
(clock wound back) jumps the chocks
reversing the wrong way
                          through the wall-to-ceiling glass
of a Frank Lloyd Wright garage.
Mr Speaker, I must interject, we had no oversight!
For the Stendahl syndrome on a sleet filled day
remembering the mad mazurka of a night
as chaotic as the valley Maccas after lockout,
a red sea of blood, booze, piss and blue paint.
& outside the grass is dying in the wind,
falling off a cliff of life
              like Callas’ last desperate hymn.


Gli Ultimi Zombi
                                   for Ezra
What it must be to be buried on an island
                                         of the dead like a character
in some Uwe Boll zombie rave up.
The back alleys stuffed to the ceiling
                                        with overpriced pepperoni pizzas
and the stench of fish soaking damp laundry.
On the Grand Canal the vaporetto lists
                                         a city park drunk stumbling
at every oversubscribed port of call.
Like cattle at the famous Roma sales
                                         the befuddled subjects adoringly
compliant servants to the tyranny of the viewfinder.


Ryanair from Rome
you promised to read dante with four eyes.
was the ascent of woman really
the colours fade but the spillage
of a holiday reminds me:
a poster for fronte del porto
postcards from tuscany gum for the plane.
there were mornings after nights
that i smoked too many cigarettes —
watched a hot air balloon rise over surrey,
              a freshly peeled kaleidoscopic mandarin.
it’s basket bright with dragon breath
above a frost dusted field.
still a child (a high schooler at graduation)
it segued over the horizon
in search of strawberries and champagne.
like breathe on a mirror
it’s departure leaves a question at the desk, asks:
could we really have been contenders?