Poetry on Neighbours, intimate strangers, by arts charity Leaveners

Looking back – Curator’s Pick

During the month of May 2016 we will be looking back at Poets’ Corner’s first year, together with our Guest Poetry Curators. They will share their own poetry, experiences as curator and favourite poems from the platform with you.

Guest Poetry Curator Ciarán Hodgers shares his favourite poem from the Poetry for Change collection ‘Neighbours: Intimate Strangers’ from January 2016 with you. Ciaran writes:

‘I’ve picked “New Years Eve” by Jarlath Mulhern. For me, this poem really encapsulates the mood it’s trying to convey- a distant sense of belonging or loss internally falling in on the speaker. A sense of self-disappointment, perhaps. There’s some really lovely lines and imagery “Alone amongst the alone, alonetogether we begin a new year.” really plays on that mood, and the “alonetogether” appearing as one word kind of creates this unique experience that I think we’ve all certainly felt.’

New Years Eve

Redwinekiss of red skied night
hearts aflutter but full, frostbitten of fright
eyes diminished, cold,
confused as a storm
aye, eyes worse than cold, eyes lukewarm.

Here I stand on the precipice of living
watching the sensation slip
hot, wet and red like remember me
down the throat of social alienation.
Hearts, minds, eyes as empty a midnight bus station.

The street is cold
and dry and gold from winter sun and it might be
the coldest day of the year.
I see my old acquaintances, whom
I have forgot
each passing face marked with the same fear.
Alone amongst the alone
alonetogether we begin a new year.

We really must meet for a drink soon
Ach of course of course, soon,

But what of you will not be said of me?

I have amended nothing
I have wrote these poems
I have built these walls.

Jarlath Mulhern

Follow Jarlath on Twitter @JarlathMulhern

Which is your favourite poem from the collection ‘Neighbours: Intimate Strangers‘?