Van Gogh and other poems

by Christopher Mulrooney

Van Gogh

in a little market town
‘twas on a night like this
when everything is stretched like the heavens
around an empty drumhead
that beats and is beaten upon
like a poor tom-tom for all the world
to gawp and spit at
and say where is his God He certainly
can’t be bothered

many happy returns

the victim there on the hot ashes
come let us eat and give thanks
the rest is a quarrel I should not wonder
without end and without let perhaps
meanwhile let us go incognito

the manufactured past

oh no that is say not so Pozzo
the gimcrank there gives flibbertigibbets
out its maw come sir let’s have ‘em
as ‘e equals M.C. square come on
we can do better than that

boiled beef

it is a strange trencherman
mystificates about his bully
why I’d have his cap off’n him
whippin’ about in the breeze
of the roaring shells before he could sneeze
‘ere ‘ave some more I cooked it in this ‘ere ‘elmet

animal crackers

my solitude conforms to the happy accidents of
birth and breeding in the zoo
this zoo of mine with its proud beasts
that all go in the soup the whatsoever in there
a congeries of the kitchen menagerie


wherefore the geometry forms on the right and the left
it is the Melancholy and we are bestmost bereft
o hunkier male who Domdaniels in the carrying-out of laws
whereby the mail is undelivered to the fertile slot
and we are never born in a work signed Albrecht Dürer

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Christopher Mulrooney is the author of toy balloons (Another New Calligraphy), alarm (Shirt Pocket Press), and Rimbaud (Finishing Line Press). His work has recently appeared in Blue Lotus Review, San Diego Poetry Annual, Black-Listed Magazine, The Quietus, Synecdoche, London Grip, and San Francisco Peace and Hope.

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photo by Kristi Harms


stern backer and other poems

by Christopher Mulrooney
stern backer
back the very sails
with plenteous wind
see the world go round
before your very eyes
shaving cream
a dollop on those cucumbers
in the hot sun oh
upon those eyes
reeling in shade
baker’s boy
…it sings all winter night in the poor bakery, beneath the crumbs of a bread of light.—René Char
he shifts the garden path
between his feet on the way to work
settling the shadows griping the grosbeaks
all in a storm of fine flour till night
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Christopher Mulrooney is the author of symphony (The Moon Publishing & Printing), flotilla (Ood Press), viceroy (Kind of a Hurricane Press), and jamboree (Turf Lane Press, forthcoming).  His work has recently appeared in East Coast Literary Review, California Quarterly, Umbrella Factory, The Southampton Review, J Journal, Offcourse, Kalyna Review, and Lantern Magazine.
photo by Kristi Harms

broker and other poems

by Christopher Mulrooney



they tell me why it doesn’t why tell me eh
of course it could down to this

and then up to here but don’t know

why up to me

it couldn’t never panpipes and all

to a condo in Philadelphia and a farm lot out west
for the private plane and Margaret and the dogs
the worm that bit the apple
on the evolutionary ladder
good old

the propulsive speed at the blanched wilding
speaks courses of reservoirs in the main forests of Central Park
and the long days at the office end in
mirrored bedrooms and solitaires

seen it and forgotten

what a story get it down



I claim them up own
the first days regard me
with an uneven smile
it goes all around
you can see it from the back

the saintly smile

it goes down from the trickling streams on mountainsides
it gives a partial splash of success
in the bourbon
you passed over at the bar
wonderfully so


outrider dance troupe

sad-eyed on the peripheral vision of the director
it’s loopy after the fashion of men trained for the dance
an acceptable conclusion

at the fence you would say peeking about
not liking what it sees


the happy gauntlet is down

and you can believe it
whomp you upside the head
a destroyer toilet
stranded and so on a long change of scene
the world is your oyster cracker
tenuously connected somewhat goes with something
Mabel’s home pie and assorted goodies
right on the menu all you have to do is point
to coin an expression


it’s a rap party

the Jungleland cruise safari
up the wickets down the bowls
everywhere the boaters flying freely
could you the argument please sustain
across the bar doubly syncopated
around the bend into the home stretch
with a stare from hungry children after the war
commercially successful pictures with big eyes



Christopher Mulrooney has written poems in Tulane Review, Compass Rose,  Or, Pacific Review, Mot Dit, Orbis, Weyfarers, and Otoliths.


in this issue_Art by Sheila Lanham

painting by Sheila Lanham