Literary Yard

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‘White Night’ and other poems by Mickey J. Corrigan

By: Mickey J. Corrigan

White Night

So I drive the van to the interstate
and pull over by an overpass
take the M16
from the back,
stick a flag in the barrel.

Yeah, it’s loaded. I’m loaded
and my eyes are on fire.

Sun’s roaring up
speeding cars
bounce it back to me. Light
afflicts the world around me,
too much hard shine.

Swallows dip and rise. Gulls
too far from the shore.
Wounding me
with their brilliance.
Everything hurts.

Inside my empty belly
cold stone
bitter from wasted years
meds that don’t work, meds
that numb.

Longing for the remote
of another life.
No chance.

They left me, the night shakes

like I’m still face down
in the rough sand
of endless battle.
Gut fear
never goes.

Who’s the enemy now?

Step out, walk to the bridge, sit on the rail.
Bridges are metaphors, right?

Gun in hand.
Gun always in hand.
Is my face strewn with it?
Like scars I wear to show
who hurt,
who got hurt back.

Cars roar past, life continues
passing me by.
I need sleep.
Bridges mean something.

No price too high
to pay
for the right
to own
your own life.
Who said that?

I jump to the soft white bed below,
gun in hand.

The flag dips and rises.



Let’s say nothing
is everywhere,
nothing’s what we fear
when everything we know
is going, going, gone.
Yet even after this
songbirds float above us
singing for the beauty of it
the open sky, so much blue
sea lapping at a quiet shore
sand unruffled by human feet
white moon gleaming down
brighter than it’s been in years.
Let’s say nothing
is more important,
everything’s more relevant.
We still have the earth
everywhere trees, birds, skies
promise us something,
something else.
Let’s say nothing
is staring us
in our masked faces.
We still have music
through windows opened wide
songs everywhere, carrying
Let’s say nothing
will contain this
nothing can contain us
we are multitudes
we hold multitudes
six feet apart.


Glass Life

You are the coin
of the realm, shiny
new face pressed
to the glass of the world.
You look in the crystal ball
clear blue aquarium
while the water takes you
to places you don’t want to go.
You give of yourself
as raw material
for future translation
from straw into gold
on the other side of the glass.
You go global but
have no sovereignty
a pretty silver token
to be traded worldwide
fingered and rubbed dirty
while you float, shop, dream.
Sit back from the glass
that reflects you.
Take a look at your image
reflected in the glass.
Move away from the glass.
They are strip-searching
your entire life.
Flee from the glass now
before it’s too late
they know everything
about you.
Away from the glass
put on your glamourflage
radioactive repellant raincoat
fingerprint protection gloves
anti-facial recognition mask
and the kind of smile
a person wears
when they’re invisible
and ruined.


Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes Florida noir with a dark humor. Novels include Project XX about a school shooting (Salt Publishing, UK, 2017) and What I Did for Love, a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, 2019). Kelsay Books (US) recently published the poetry chapbook the disappearing self

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