Three Poems by Joseph Mulholland

Poetry: Joseph Mulholland

Transmigration, Volume One

Did you recognize the sensation of olive meat hugging its cold pit for warmth? Her blood-belly protrudes over the ruined slipstream—secrets of torn flesh pinpush in the gunshot light. The walls of this open hymnal shine jukebox-pink—she adjusts fingers under the elastic band, glassglued to inconstancy, afflicted. Your morning electric chair shrinking with water. Your last breakfast is continental: microwaved pound cake. Did you realize doom was an infant, shifty at the mother’s splayed rib blubber? Did you balk before packs of stray dogs? Did you hear the sad music from the passing train? The magnolia’s flowers attempting to bloom in the reflection of each blurry window, losing each petal to velocity’s chemotherapy.

Transmigration, Volume Two

The last green coat of happenstance, fattened on sawdust. You crush the origami slave beneath unfolding paper, palmpressed—a half-formed whisper still struggling. Sleep is the vanishing point’s defined stasis. Your wound was a cloister for lust (diesel & friction). Imagine the tornado’s hollow insides, sculpted but fibrous, smooth but grainy. Failure seems to glow with traction of breath. A repentant flush. Needles sing sweetest in the vein.

Transmigration, Volume Three

Why did your heart beat to the north? Our southland pull-up wolf coats fall out of fashion & slouch into a monsoon’s drunken firmament. What a relief to feel the remnants of some other language calling out from pockets inside of pockets inside of pockets. Erosion of thunder prodding numbly against sleet. Blisters. Barnacles. Battlegrounds. Twilight steeped in symbiotic bacteria. Needlework to gutterhawks. The landscape opens its legs—sleep’s cesarean schism. Somehow blood clings to the glossiness of layered leaves. The basest canopy. A torqued mass of moleskin. The I sink, sunk, the lovely no need for beauty in a rife stash of chromosomes. From the bastarding light a motherless firefly. Bone-to-bone reflux.

Joseph Mulholland’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Subliminal Interiors, Anomalous Press, and Rabbit Catastrophe Review. He currently lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he studies comparative literature at the University of Puerto Rico. He works the graveyard shift at a cake-decorating supplies store in Cupey, Puerto Rico.

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