Philip O’Neil worked as a journalist for 18 years in the UK, France, Belgium, Romania, the US and the former Yugoslavia. He was managing editor for Transition in The Czech Republic and assistant editor for the multi-award winning Institute for War and Peace Reporting based in London. Currently living in Prague he has published his poetry in ‘Wilderness House Literary Journal’, ‘Suisun Valley Review’, ‘Asian Signature Review, ‘Miracle Magazine’, ‘DM du Jour’ and more pending publication. He also was a monthly contributor of short stories for The Prague Review.
This battered virtue cloaked
in the downing sun of its own unease
and so outspoken
yet all I ask of you is why
during these calls you persist
in the suffering
and ask, through these outbursts
by the pint of wine
how can I explore the depairanto
of languages spoken as one
oh hearer of tangle tongues.
I left you because I counted the numbers
of voices pending to the mood and needs
cribbed behind the mercy of their call.
By your term of less held beliefs there is a home
all silent walls call you to bed.
and the town crier is by all shores’
following the iguana in a canyon
escaping a slither of snakes.
I know you rang to buy me back and head
towards with this spring of ask but no, I
will not go into your suffocating ways
I will rush to the city of volcanic ash.
You can read my swamp hand plain
out of symbols.
Back to the slimy commando
lift of muscle and bone.
Soul sleep lost beauty abandoned
waiting for the chorus of harpies
to laugh at our separating bodies
just like galley proofs and slaves
hollow heads exploding with the
cupcake girl-gangs worried about their
figures of eight and pieces of wombs
designed for just the two.
I am now between serpents audacious
but lanquid after swallowed deciding
between both which fille-perdue I
Maybe it’s the time for the news
to entrail them in their moon and black
so it’s time for the jeopardy blasting
on our roof with Requiem
Half forgotten it’s time to feast
I’m between two serpents in the garden
Languid with easy snatches Am I asking
for the snake or its kill?
Like a galley slave chained to his bench
I fight wars not my own And that
Sweat it out sister she’s
already half forgotten
slashing in other towns.
The sun burns a hole through the
sparrow-drab sky filters through
the melting barcode of skewed
greasy blinds .
I gave up on the night when the
pale yellow lights of rush hour
beaters started sliding across the
ceiling and the sound of faulty
after a stuttering piss to a repetitive
soundtrack stung with the
hypochondria of sleep lack
that starts in the liver
and works its way up
to the skull.
Shadowboxing with Peter Pan
would be more useful as
running the same dalliance with
you, the past.
Eyes half open, feel like a
plate of glass splintered by a
BARBED WIRE TONGUE
I have no fear of your
barbed-wire tongue the
way you played when we
Now you call when you’re alone so far
apart like bone and stone you make me
shy, you make me whole we can’t
reprise our loving roles.
Buttressed by another’s kiss
I close my eyes and think your bliss
You were sharp, your lips were thin
I can’t believe I’ll ever win.
You’re a magnet with changing poles
You attract and then repel I want to
think, no let’s scratch that You live alone
So far apart like stone and bone.
The guilt sits hard