OisΓ­n Breen πŸ”ˆ

The Cartographer

The cartographer,
Idly strafing the fields,
Hews the tallest husks,
Watching their tall slenderness snap.

The cartographer, strafing the fields with his bulky two step shuffle, eyes taking in pictures, mental photographs – photographs locked inside his bitter cup of memory, photographs he hoped operated on his own subconscious like a kind of saccharine, you know, some sugar to tempt out demons, to somewhere at last, at least, bleed out black honey – he moves in rhythmic time with countless ghosts, all his own, hews the tallest husks among them, and, with a mechanical glee, watches their tall slenderness snap-ping. They break, and there is no wind.

And it is morning, hot, anything but tender. It is a morning, like all the others have been. You wake up, stand up, and when you open the door, the humid air beats you back, and in perverse juxtaposition, while it drenches you, somehow it also dries you out. The very air here, it licks its chops, looks down on you, a mere mortal, knowing it will outlast you, and it mocks even your hope.
Here, anything beyond the narrow real, anything more than the sum of its parts, doesn't often get the chance to land a returning blow. Knocked out – that's the deal, knocked out on arrival, so everyone is.
This, I guess, makes him different.
He struck out against nature with the tender notes of a piano.

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About the Author

A poet, part-time academic in narratological complexity, and financial journalist, Dublin-born OisΓ­n Breen’s widely reviewed debut collection, Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten was released March 2020. He lives in Scotland.