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John W Sexton – The Human Epoch…

John W Sexton LE P&W February 2019

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The Human Epoch – Folktales from the Future, poems by John W Sexton

John W. Sexton was born in 1958 and lives in the Republic of Ireland. He is the author of six poetry collections, the most recent of which is Futures Pass (Salmon Poetry 2018). A chapbook of his surrealist poetry, Inverted Night, is forthcoming from SurVision Books early in 2019. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry. Most recently, his poem “The Snails” was shortlisted for the Irish 2018 An Post / Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year Award.


The Plankton House

the great wall of bone china …
Zao pings a fingernail
off a blue swan

a purse full of flight …
she rubs the moonlight
from a moth’s wings

singing jar of frogspawn …
telepathic tadminds
in a jellypie

let’s try that again …
the footsteps in the regolith
took themselves back

real estate on a new level
… a listless life
in the plankton house

at the light years’ end …
our minds are poured
into jointed-glass bodies

blind cyclops, his tongue
across the gorge … come,
tip-toe through the taste buds

she left an impression …
gossip caught
in the earwax

the fallen angelic minds
of the stars …
nonetheless, our light

Eating Blue

their frolicsome barking
just lights us up …
the electric seals

gods have all the time
for slowness … yes, the chalk horse
will drag the hill

I’ve been walking
around in squares … this is nothing
but a wrecked angle

a rather baroque
brass key … thirty-six tubas
open Jericho

everything bad concerning
all the good luck …
the misfortune cookie

silent underfoot as moss …
those moccasins nevertheless
spoke well

I see a woman
eating blue from the sky …
Is there a Richard here?

your names will be
inscribed on lettuce … the snails
take the salt path

sadly, that marriage
went up the chimney …
his moth-winged wife


Point of Convergence

a flute-mask for the king,
a suit of warbler feathers …
Castle Guano

light that whittles your flesh
air that scalds your eyes
we call this daytime

a point of convergence
in the bulb tunnels … grub twins
christened crocus

no moving parts
in the solid stone clock …
except for time

where horses gallop
right angles … where the king moves
like constipation

last meltwaters of Greenland …
defrosted mermaids flushed
from the mountains

beneath that green scum …
the magic malevolent frog
grants three glitches

radium, platinum
through your brain … Peelingpusskin
is my name

The Human Epoch

haunted for a cuddle …
the stillborn still troubling
the telepaths

yet another
damp suitor … her heart of coal
unlit

life in blames …
liar brigade arrives
to quell the confabulation

the sitters fill
the icosahedral chair …
best worst view in the house

micro farming…
ant androids reactivated
in the soil-turn

our faiths overwhelmed …
on the barren planetoids
a sacred silence

SPACE SAFETY STANDARD …
through the mile-thick window
we glimpse pure nothing

radioactive money
you’ll be spent before
it’s half-spent

wingless beemice agree …
this thin sediment
was the human epoch


On the Other End

wheels screeching larks
from the entrails …
the scream-driven rain engine

Cabbage Scratch Dolls …
eyes ooze with caterpillars,
skin of winged leprosy

my mind is elsewhere …
pierced with shrapnel
from the existential spaceship

backwards through the hedges …
blackbird took us
the long way home

a builder’s plank,
my pretty Fokker … salty
sea air, the witch falters

so bright the captain’s
eczema … a thin limpet bride
holds him under

walking down the food chain …
a crocodile chewing each foot
are his shoes

loneliness is deepest …
the voice on the other end
of the seashell

rendering rooms …
we extract star stuff from you and you,
reseed the night


© John W Sexton