Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ancestor Worship now out!

My long-promised collection Ancestor Worship is now officially out. It is available from several outlets, but it would really be great if anyone who wanted to have it ordered from the publisher, Salmon Poetry. Please use the above link to order.

I appreciate everyone’s support.
The book is 72 pp. long — a large collection — and includes six poems in Irish.

Here is the back cover blurb, from James Liddy:

“Unusual routes become strategies. Mike Begnal is Irish-American, he writes in English and Irish, he can invent a hybridisation of style. Ancestor Worship is an extension of this, it can take on a new romancing and deciphering: ‘the warm blood / that flows through to this age, / dangerous and violent in veins...’ Likewise a journey or pilgrimage can be undertaken somewhere, from ‘olive-green felt couch’ to ‘olive sky’. The essential is no one has been quite there before, along the genealogy or amid the furniture.” — James Liddy

And a sample poem to whet the appetitie, which is included on Salmon’s site (see above link), the title poem:

Ancestor Worship

Not like the bones of parents
carried out in procession
from their dark vaginal tombs
among the rocks,
mummified skin stretched
and tanned in mockery of death

it’s not like the imagined
rituals of an old old age
before iron or bronze,
the metal of our mythology,
though the faces look the same
in the rain

but the warm blood that flows through to this age,
dangerous and violent in veins,
hanging heavy like burlap sheets
on a dewy day

the right hook of history,
the slow motion arc of the punch,
the strange figure
on a modern city street
who burrows into your eye
and says, “Who’re you?”

It’s like when Lennon laid
his New York album on you,
and appeared in pictures
in his new image—
sudden Irishman,
like LeRoi Jones’s move to Harlem,
broke with his white friends,
changed his name:

ancestor worship
is the only religion
truly compatible
with the fact
of evolution

12.00 Euro / Paperback / 130 x 204mm / 72 pages / ISBN 1 903392 54 3


Anonymous said...

That's a good poem. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

You handle time and space with an ease reminiscent of Eliot. Euge ! Liam MacSheoinin...