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New poems by Christopher Mulrooney



the price of admission


you kick the sign in your forehead

with your own left foot

it isn't a guarantee by any means

something about your grace when doing so

must win the heart of the machine


a line, (a blue one)


shop 'til you drop


I. Brokeback Market

you check your guns at the door

the lonesome cowboys on the soundtrack

watch your every move

with rustling eyes


II. HQ Super

this is the peaceable kingdom

swans and geese are for sale

pigeons and sweetmeats

fans and automobiles and diapers


III. meat market

the lonely matador leaves his ring

for security at the carniceria

you can fight it at four

and have it on the table by seven


a line, (a blue one)


apologia (Nazim Hikmet)


no steed silvered for saddle I’ve

nor legacy to me

land nor wealth

a honeypot I’ve got

a honeypot



it’s my all my honey is

I keep

my land my wealth

that is to say my honeypot

from every sort of vermin

oh just you wait

with this to me

a pot of honey

there will be bees

from Timbuktu...


a line, (a blue one)




see that he’s met at the door

but let’s not be over-indulgent

get him some coffee or a drink if he wants one

that’s it


how do you do I’m saying

how do you do Mr. Boxsall

do you like my art collection

it’s my favourite this one

it hardly cost me anything

now it’s worth oh millions

but that’s not why I love it


I read your review this morning

and I wondered if we might have a chat

do lunch no I have staff for that believe me

do a meet there are young people who say that

no I just wanted to have a chat


look I respect the freedom of the press

you remember Cary Grant saying an unseen power

or something like that yes

that was a long time ago

look here old man

I don’t want any trouble with you

or with your organization

but what are you saying

we let the free market decide

what’s right and wrong with our product

you can’t buy happiness with love

it takes real money

there’s a capital investment here

that reaps a whirlwind of cash

flowing in and out all the time

think of the payrolls on our units

we have space to burn here

and our time is valuable

valuable so would you mind

do you mind if I don’t see you out

just go back the way you came

don’t ask Dorothy anything at all

just don’t darken my door in future


Dorothy I didn’t think you’d mind if I went

to North Hollywood for a few hours

just to see how things are going for a while

just don’t cancel all my calls

and see to it the gentlemen are entertained


is he gone well that’s a relief

when the boss gets back just say

I was pretending to be someone

it’s part of my acting therapy

who reads the critics anyway


where’d he get that painting did you say

oh it was here when he moved in

there’s something about it but I don’t know what


a line, (a blue one)


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