Arthur Broomfield


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.

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