Sean Condron, Part One

by: Sean Condron

The dizzying feeling that we are strange and unknowable to ourselves runs throughout Sean Condron’s poetry. These poems evoke a phantasmagoric nostalgia, a constitutive sense of loss not tied to any person, object, or experience: “What the fuck am I today?/Sand and smoke
  Time and rubble.”


What Am I Today 

What the fuck am I today?
Sand and smoke
    Time and rubble
An uncorked bottle of    Uisce beatha, its essence    Mingling with the stale air
Of a disused sitting room
    Motes of sun spotted dust settling
    On the forgotten
    Wallpaper peeling back from stained walls
A panel of stained glass    Cobalt fallen
    The church desanctified
Shivered into splinters    A child drawn to its deep blue
    Cuts himself, his blood
drops    In counterpoint
My brother was the cliffs,    An unsettled sky of mottled gray
Riven by the Irish sun


Poem For The Dying

as I     run, my lungs
       heaving, breath rasping,   arms     swinging, head
bobbing,  past the boneyard,    
I spy the names   on cold marble slabs
    some loved
one (a child?)
       on the unhewn backside
         has painted in bright
   LA LA,
(‘stretched out on a cold white table,   
so sweet, so young, so fair’)
bracing and cheerful:
    my friend      Skittles five year old
boy Shane      happily intoning,
      ‘Fuck the pigs!’
further along (‘we’ll know more about it’),     etched:   Vroom
    and here I
smile        I can’t help        wish Lemmy (‘…Killed by death…’),
  would come motorcycling         out of the grave
(‘…The only time I’m easy is when I’m…’)
quite a few Zuzana’s, the name
        of my young Czech paramour,  
a dancer,
now somebody’s wife – 
  she sent me the wedding picture
          as a final… kiss
off?, I’m not sure –
(‘let her go, let her go God bless her,
   wherever she may be’)
our sex so        clean I can only    remember traced outlines faint   evanescent
perfume of her lean brown body
       so much different
          than her
salt sea spray
of rocky outcroppings
        in the northern seas
       scent, addictive   her
curls of hair damp
        from Ireland’s clammy air
         the old spring bed on
 creaking      in      time
       with      our carnal ministrations
(‘She can roam the whole wide world over
 and never find a sweeter man than me’)
her nipples sweetly    maddening   they would invert and hide
     the more I teased

and so I roll past        marbletown
   (how soon will this sad old world be
a rudely debased Srebrenica charnel house,
of pity, of love,    its monuments and markers?)
    I can’t help but muse
there ain’t no room
in the ground
for me when I go
(‘nine men going to the graveyard
 and only eight of them coming back’)


The Rain She Does Not Know

The rain, she does not know       Where she is needed anymore
      Our demented
   Leaving the bathroom faucet on
   And burning the dinner
   You can’t hide
Scorched pots in the cupboard.
The elements, 
   They are answering
   At first, with indignant fury
Oh, can’t you feel
it in the gale    
Snapping your trees like matchsticks?       Can’t you taste
the poison   
that colors your milk?
   Aren’t you washed away   
In the flood
of drowning refugees
   Looking for asylum in the sea?


Sean Condron was born in Queens, New York to Irish immigrant parents from whom he inherited his unquenchable wanderlust, humor, and artistic ability. For his rebellious nature and anti-authoritarian stance, as well as his his penchant for drink and drugs, he blames the Catholic Church. An accomplished musician and expert in traditional American music, Sean has been on four tours for the U.S. State Department, in Central America, Kuwait, Turkmenistan, and Oman with his group The Hoppin’ John String Band. Sean is recently returned from performing at the Acoustik Festival Bamako in Mali, Africa.

One reply on “Sean Condron, Part One”
  1. says: Arthur Rosch

    The rhythm of a string of firecrackers with one dud…..crack crack crack silence… these poems, Sean. Love the sensations….of the forest fire done burning…..a festival of relief…..ok ok ok. Good stuff.

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