Carcass. Poems by Mark Ward, selected by Ron Mohring as Number 10 in Volume 4 of our Editor’s Series.
Publication: May 18, 2020 [100 copies]
Cover by Matthew Bright at Inkspiral Design.
“The brief and putrescible flesh that forms us is the fugitive & mystifying site of devotion & erotic energy in these poems by Mark Ward, ‘the place itself primordial’ wherein we are made solid in a world of light. Exciting, mysterious, seductive, frightening . . . these are poems lit by moonlight & intense curiosity & speculative tomorrows.”
MA R K WA R D is the author of the chapbook, Circumference (Finishing Line Press, 2018) . He was the Poet Laureate for Glitterwolf & his poems have been featured in The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, Boyne Berries, Skylight47, Assaracus, Tincture, Cordite, Softblow & many more, as well as anthologies, the most recent of which is Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman. He was Highly Commended in the 2019 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award & in 2020 he was shortlisted for the Cúirt New Writing Prize. His poem, “Vegas Epithalamion,” was recorded & broadcast for Irish National Broadcaster RTÉ’s Radio 1 show, Arena. He is the founding editor of Impossible Archetype, an international journal of LGBTQ+ poetry, now in its fourth year. A full-length collection, Nightlight, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2022.
A Rent Boy Becomes Yggdrasil
Language-barred, his new tattoo is shorthand;
walks unable to speak the hōgen, he points,
his kanji’d pec earning its cost. He can’t
bear the salaryman working his joints.
He peers out from behind his hands, child-like,
his line of vision a vanishing point
of banished sensation. A flock of shrikes
time-travel to encircle their loot.
He is the gallows deciding to strike
back. The birds orbit his body, their route
pushing the petrified client down past
the tree now growing out from him like fruit.
His branches break through the roof and the glass.
He removes his hands from his eyes, at last.
–Thank you to Louis Flint Ceci for first publishing this poem in the anthology Not Just Another Pretty Face.
- Order Mark’s chapbook here. Thank you for supporting this poet!