always up to read, listen or think on something new. if you'd like to send your work, gmail: bongbard1309

Sep 17, 2012

Death of Marat - Sleeping - Rope - Mad Man : Brendan Sullivan

Death of Marat

Poor Charlotte,
convent raised,
with no treasures left
to sell
except her skin and
the clothes on her back.
She was clean,
the way assassins
need to be
and sharp
as evening prayers,
and the crowd loved her smile
upturned like a guillotine
under the Paris sun
just the right shade
of angry
to spark hope in kings
as they lay dying.

Did Marat
find her lovely,
battle bright
and so fresh
she broke the morning,
while the bath
ran cold and red
and the papers
slipped from his hand
to make a home
from straw;
and did he feel
the knife slide
with a courtesan's grace
under his flesh -
just the right hue
of martyr
to strip the air of words
as he lay drowning?


He's dying
was all you said
leaving me to fill
in the blanks beneath
how can blood flow up
and not leave a mark
the frail biology
of hope
a tube will do
the breathing for him
his rise and fall
curled fetal in the sheets
the wound will exit
from his chest,
sterile in its waste
and oddly comforting
to us both

Just take his hand
you said
and whisper
that he's sleeping.


He studied the body on the table,
how the hair grew clockwise
and tried to guess her name.
Maybe Linda, like his sister -
still in school and studying
how men dealt
with the end of the world.
Perhaps Jenny,
demure with eyes
that never gazed past her yard
or guessed how much
the sun weighed.
Or Saroya, as exotic
as the indigo blouse
open and gasping at the ceiling.

There is no life
at the end of the rope
he thought,
his hands deftly rearranging
the color of her cheeks
into something almost living.
Just guess work and apologies
and too many hours
left for someone else
to clear away.

Mad Man

I think I lost us
in a glass of scotch -
softly drowning,
going down like
every mad man
I ever envied.
Why did I believe
your lips tasted
so good,
sweet and heathen
like the heather
I laid you in
that last night
I came home?
I had a thing
for damaged women,
and you could drink
your mother's last words
in everything
we wasted.

Brendan Sullivan is a reformed actor turned poet turned beach bum turned dilletante. Or words to that effect. He is interested in the underbelly of life that most people ignore...and surfing.


  1. Thoughtful and sensitive work. Always a relief and (a reward) to be given the sense, in a poem, that the poet has actually lived.


    (And thanks again V for the sharp scouting.)