Dr Arthur Broomfield is a poet and Beckett scholar from County Laois, Ireland. His work has been published in Acumen, Agenda, Orbis, North and in the US, Ireland and India. He has been writing Surrealist poetry for the past two years, inspired by the English surrealist poet Hilda Sheehan and by the writings of Andre Breton.
The Honeymooner’s Holiday
The night was hazel-eyed, odious to the moon that flopped along the horizon –
cheese and marmalade to the honeymooners –
as it simulated a Goya firing squad
limbering up for the black and white minstrel show.
The bed was silk, sunshot with quartz and the undisguised odours
of Louis XIV’s star-chamber:
onions on toast and the dregs of his favourite bodily fluids.
Apologies seemed superfluous, we, late for the naked Nigerian’s ode to enterprise,
made do as the serviced room service, tray on head, slippers on couch,
miraculously calmed his bleeding bunions with kava kava oil
smuggled in a reconditioned U-Boat from the isle of men, goats and shepherds,
short-shanked fisherpeople and beings from Belfast.
It’s better, I thought, half-aloud, in that moment of decision,
To be Pope of Ballyhaunus than Mullah of Maynooth.
I’ve Got a Little List
When these are being numbered and listed
by some auctioneer’s assistant,
a heart that’s been bypassed on a moth-infested Piazza
in the holy city
will emerge from the coal scuttle under
the master’s cuckoo clock.
The murals, delicate to excess,
Hitler in pyjamas, Stalin
inspecting the latest arrivals
at Christchurch Cathedral,
and the frescos, bearing down on the sub-conscious
like oregano tea in swaddling clothes;
the motor bike hero criss-crossing donut buns,
his mouth fuming with TVO, all these
and more or less everything
that falls apart, an angelus bell
on his desk that rings Auld Lang Syne,
a mirror that reflects little green woodlice,
a cat that recites the Te Deum, they’ll sell or give,
to the overfed fans of the fattest gravedigger.
The Turret Stairs
After Hellelil and Hildebrand the meeting on the turret stairs, Frederic William Burton. The National Gallery of Ireland.
In another time, when this is a theme park or the dredged remnant of an orange grove, or the Mars office of the New York stock exchange, a couple will surmise, as they stroll home in a dewy twilight, a cyber rose clasped in her hand, that here had been a coffee shop, once. He might say, those two used to meet here, regular like, you know? Oh! she may say, listening for the hiss of steam from the Costa Express drift across the ethereal, I can smell the cappuccino, it must have been something special.