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Oisín Breen: Running on Fumes/How to Repent

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 16.1.2022.

Clay Feet

His feet, clay,

Are matron

To shanked

And runny


And like the egg,

That laid the golden goose,

There’s a false melody on his lips,

A repeating pattern

Of growth and decay,

It’s a renaissance of split hairs,

Caterwauling the vacuum’s steady verse,

Ad infinitum,

Valuable, because it is inscrutable,

White noise, jacked to jazz.

And he is empty,

Running on fumes,

The grass,

Crushed between his fingers:

A flayed rococo vigil,

In memory of the dead,

Now part of his skin,

His lucre,

But he has forgotten

How to repent

About the Author: A poet, part-time academic in narratological complexity, and financial journalist, Dublin born Oisín Breen's widely reviewed debut collection, ‘Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten’ was released Mar. 2020.

Breen has been published in a number of journals, including About Place, Door is a Jar, Northern Gravy, The Blue Nib, Books Ireland, The Seattle Star, ZiN Daily, La Piccioletta Barca, The Bosphorus Review of Books, The Kleksograph, In Parentheses, The Madrigal, and Dreich magazine.


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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