Poetry from Mickey Corrigan


The Deterministic Necessity

Darkness where the swells pick up,
flatten in white spits of foam.
Underfoot, hard plastic caps
bright blue, red, orange.
We walk the beach
in black homicidal cheer
thinking our own sad thoughts
dead love stories
we heard as kids
the path ahead unfurling
like a hot pink tongue
lapping up our future.

Everything that is necessary
cannot be otherwise.

The night moves, stars traveling
in sync, cold, long dead
while the sea drags its hinges
rusty and old, full of trash
it coughs up on shore.
The sliver moon browses
the shoreline for shells, other
treasures tangled up in detritus,
the dark tumbles around us,
frosts the rich cake of the earth.

Everything that is necessary
cannot be otherwise.

Beside you I want to come loose
of myself I am haunted by that
part of me, the young self that left
all kinds of others
in all kinds of weather.
Flee the rough waves,
let go of deep roots.

But here comes sunrise
a heaping mound of juicy peaches
and your warm hand will lie flat
across my sunken breast.

It cannot be otherwise.

Old Man Wild

He let the farm go
back to the garden,
further than that, back
to when nature revealed itself
not as coping but preference
for the wilderness.

He let it all go
absent the trap of theory,
the limits of observation
wilding the land to a land
before pioneers, plantings
fields of grain or corn
barns of cows, ponies, goats
to the prehistoric lush
of ancient forests

In came the luminosity
salted brine from sea
air, the rush of wind carry
insects and fungus, mushrooms
popping through rich leaf-strewn
dragonflies, butterflies, dizzy bees
drunk on golden pollen

In came songbirds and rats
the hawks, owls, snakes
raccoons, boar, wild deer
moles, voles and mice
creatures large and small
feeding on weeds and vines
the luxurious nameless green
blooming everywhere

He let it all go
like hair, beard, nails
thicken, grow and spread
an elusive transformation
in a striking change
in a long slow glide
a slide toward ruin
like an old man
in decay and overgrowth
aging, wizening
hundreds upon hundreds
of wild, wild years

Points of Entry

“Slaves, let us not curse life.”—Rimbaud

When he enters the port of misery
and clogs the path to victory,
traffic behind his parade stalls
for hours of miles.

On his sleekest horse
he rides high, dead set
on reining all the cities
the weak citizens, the babies
eat only dust, thus
raising him up
like a brilliant banner or trophy.

He escalates up the road
to the castle behind the seawall
where he will dine the rich
write bullied sentences
rage against those who elevate
rage against those who do not.

A civil war within him
sheds darkness on the world.

He is not a prisoner
of reason but of largesse
punishing the herd of lowing cattle
he looks down upon
from his gilded perch.

Under cruel moons, a bitter sun
he sits tall in the saddle
full of his own vagrancies
his ambiguous face a twist
of warping reflection
and in that sad mirror
poor animals
see themselves
the farce we must live

unless a fat blue wave
from a hard-boiling tide
sweeps him out to sea.

Read more of Mickey Corrigan’s work here.


Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes Florida noir with a dark humor. Project XX, a satirical novel about a school shooting, was released in 2017 by Salt Publishing in the UK. Newest release is What I Did for Love, a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books UK, 2019). Her chapbook the disappearing self is due from Kelsay Books in March.

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