Five Points, Vol. 13 No. 2

Fall 2010

From Glenn Patterson, “I came at the novel by a circuitous route, having attempted, in my early teens and early twenties, short stories, a screenplay, and even –God help me- a bit of poetry.”

Sample Content

Medbh McGuckian
Converted Church

I couldn’t cultivate myself.
This moment has settled in my blood
To return to whatever it locked,
Watchings, lowness and melancholy.

I did manage to bottle the cherries
Despite the bitterness of the honey
And the wilderness between things,
My life from inside out so peculiar.

How could it be a mistake?
How should she not flow black?
And what is a clinging street,
More alive than indoors?

It neither hurt nor didn’t hurt.
The bird-headed sunboat might have tried
To extinguish itself as it left the house,
Left the unchanging farmstead,

The city frozen in its past:
To the sun’s mind, ruthless departure.
And though mimosas steep the bedroom,
No two hands ever forgot themselves

In birdsong like the touch of hands
When our dreams are loosened in us.
My under-the-breath prayer
Has an angel-maker’s church air

Of modesty. Whether the name
Of the illness is lilac,
Radiance is the middle daughter.
Dark is the meadow,

The darkest and most meager
Blue of existence. But the moon
Is ablaze in the rose-light of the sun,
Waiting for the right light.