Stephen Denehan's DAYS OF RISING FLESH AND FALLING MOONS will be out soon

Our Irish poet, Steve Denehan, whose mix of wit and worry is classic, has changed the title of his forthcoming book from Palms Against an Oily Wall to Days of Falling Flesh and Rising Moons.  He's added ten poems about Covid-19 to the mix.  Here are a couple of samples: 


Free Coffee


There are too many hand-wrung poems

too many grief pornographers

too many poems about loneliness

written by the lonely

hunched over pained pages

by lamplight

in search of the cure


there are too many poems crafted

to within half a half-inch

of a merciful death

or a merciless life

poems revised again and again

until whatever meat

has been stripped

and the bones

pared down to pupil-sized points


there are too many poems about nature

the glory of it

the harshness of it

too many poems with words like cicada

and cerulean


and primordial


there are too many poems and poets

full stop

too many preeners and posers

too many poems written

just to be written


far, far too many poems read aloud

theatrically laden

with bizARRE inflecTIONS and unnatural                                                 pauses

to near empty rooms of dutiful neighbours

enablers and loose-enders

glad of the free coffee

and sense of belonging


there are especially

too many poems about love

breathless, stomach leaping, heart fluttering

moon dancing, sun shimmering, aching, soul shaking, heart breaking



this poem

is for you


Into the Third Week


The only thing outside now

is the virus

dying slowly

the attempt of one virus

to kill another

futile, this time


the antidote was simple in the end

inactivity and isolation

which led to my daughter cutting my hair

into a mohawk

followed by nail polish

I chose purple


I chose black


my face was painted

a spider on one cheek

a flower on the other

a red lightning bolt on one temple

blue star on the other

a purple spiral on my forehead


I wear a hoodie emblazoned

with a taco and nacho arguing

"Wanna taco 'bout it?"

"It's nacho business!!"


and Aquaman boot-slippers

from morning ‘til night

these are bad days

these are good days