“When The Queen Falls In love” and other poems by Ingrid Casey

Jazz in a Northern City

Amidst turmoil, paindragon carried me
for nights, to see the Goth. She was in
Macbeth with the artist,
the room was filling with books, miniature

figures, heated exchanges, we rolled downhill,
to the galleries. I filled her ears
with chocolate, she was beaming. Her black Halloween
curls twined around doorways, illustrated our friendship.
There are silences,
empathy in the space,
in the difference squared

between floor and ceiling.
On this day there was Sun Ra, at perfect pitches, head
phones suspended in a whole constellation.

The child inside could reach a star, listen. It was
soothing, and definitely


The Boxer Reads To Me

Sit here, I dare you, again for
Sakhalin, salon moments, pore

over the Poet, crease of hip cut
before me like diamonds, spine

coilsprung to recite. Talk to me
about la Motta, the animal, warm

bright rocks on me the primal the
literary ones, you are coal walls

lit up, it’s dark, I’m awake with you.


A Sonnet with an added Couplet

My notebooks are like lovers; uncostly, fake, easy
to come by. Harder to convey to, whispering
ideas that come to me while bathing, where water
runs off breasts, past rogue coins greened by children,

pooling into obsidian plughole. I stub my toe there, think
about the scars I wanted to show on the day we met. Look,
wrapping my eyes around your teeth, this water is
spooling down ear lobes ready to catch

your breath. See the ways my skin can fail, yet
hold me. I have been waiting for love these three
cheap years, I let my blood with the moons and now

I plush, pluck, knead my rolls, places and musculature.
Can you hear soft thighs speak, can you hear pink of lip
dun of freckle can you see the letters, the words rushing

like water I am clean, I am clean.
Touch me, touch me I am clean.


Natural Born Producer

You cannot shame the winter politico
he cares not for Loach or tins of beans

or snow or hair falling out in clumps he
is heart, darkened. Instead let us shine

light onto ourselves, let us gather the anger
and the power and hold it up to him in

ritual in film in online petition this is where
we live now let us amass our

faith in change it will take long days of
patience and labour and phonecalls and

meetings and requests and locations and
stunning favours, it will take several

stumbles and cries but hold this bird this
frail thing it is singing look, the buds are

already rolled ready, be obstinate and grumpy
as a season, predictable and miraculous enough

to effect to effect to effect drop like hail, sting,
sing and unfurl soon, soon green will come back,

be autochthonous be brave always, look at the sky.


When the Queen falls in love

the air tastes like bronze. A slow procession
of soft wool ties, red, greet her along the tracks
under Arts et Métiers. Herein lies the entire history
of gold, dancing in her irises. Her mouth teems with flakes,
both Paleolithic caves and Celtic tiger-fish. Some talked about
Havilah and this is where the split occurs; not Eden, but a place
elevated, monetized. Chatham row on Saturdays and episcopal
ceilings seal greed to her mouth like minted sugar, heaven must
be material, engineered. Bodies nor art gifts, but more a form of
showing politics, moving, melodious sabrage release crescendo
diminuendo streams, liquid gold, gaseous arabesque at pianos.

When the queen realises that God is a woman, she is listening to Ariana Grande
and recalling maple tapping on Wisconsin trees as a child, time travelling
with words, books. Penduculate under the sloop and weft of branches, time
bends to desire; it is not a forest, but fields of gold in Tipperary, or years later,
buying quail’s eggs to appease a visiting Russian child. Or Rome, swimming
under orange groves on hills, kissing saxophony from where two oceans meet
with canticles, or again in amber and castles on the crusts of pastries that are the
Crimea-to-Baltic, the route of the palette, the platelets roving.

Even while at war, the queen drinks affogato, bestows pineapples. And this
is breaking the rules, Eden via fat rolls, ovaries. There is nothing linear
about one caesura, one volta.
The queen is oíbnius, gladness. Shibboleths tumble, roll off the queen’s roof.
She puts on Maria Callas, to greet storms; feels just like a chalice, a brooch.
Walking to grocery shops, she is struck down by a sky-falling object.

It’s a torque, straight from Kildare street, wheeling its iridescent way onto her clavicle.
It feels like the invention of blue; the coffeegoers and GAA parents are filled with
wonder. She is a four-month-old fetus, festooned, she is her own cellular life, in the
womb of her grandmother, she is the function and role of plasma, the largest
component of all the blood, the currency in, on, around, over, under the earth.

When The Queen Falls In love and other poems are © Ingrid Casey

Ingrid Casey is a poet, parent, artist and activist. She has been writing poetry since 2015, and some prose, with publications in literary journals from Brooklyn to Kentucky, Dublin to Cardiff. She is a John Hewitt bursary recipient, amongst other accolades. Her debut collection, Mandible (the Onslaught Press, 2018) has been described by poet Jessica Traynor as a ‘vital addition to Irish poetry.

This year she also produced a ground-breaking short documentary on families living in homeless accommodation: http://throughthecracks.ie/

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