Lauren Ireland: Two Poem Rituals for Haunted Passages

Haunted Passages: Lauren Ireland

Ritual for Becoming Unborn

Become a secret
that turns itself inside out
become the remotest part of yourself
become a snake that becomes a dark boat
slicing through black brackish water
rich mud, crackling dying things
quiet dead things.
The moon cuts the water and
that’s where you fit your body
into the groove of cold light.
The water closes around you.
The water reflects nothing.
Think of all the things you can find
under the mud
the spinning wheel and the candle
the CD player and the candle
the teenager and the candle, where
the candle is red.
A crushed velvet something, a moon on a chain.
A crescent moon is the universal symbol for night.
A snake is a chain of memories.
Get this poem tattooed on your lower back.

Ritual for Bringing Back the Dead

Turn on all the lights.
Turn yourself inside out.
No candles.
Become your own scream.
Your saliva is turning into tears.
Your blood’s salt is tears.
Turn off all the lights.
Take an Oxycodone.
Go lay down.
Your brain is awake.
Your body is asleep.
See how you are not afraid because drugs.
The dead will come while you don’t sleep.
Now darkness turns into a shape.
Name the shape, call its name.
Is it who you wanted to see.
And it’s not going to be.

Lauren Ireland is a graduate of the MFA program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and co-curator of Monorail, a reading series. She is the author of three books: FEELINGS (Trembling Pillow Press), The Arrow (Coconut Books), and Dear Lil Wayne (Magic Helicopter Press) as well as two chapbooks. She lives in Brooklyn. Again.


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