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