{By Joey Cunningham}

Photography by Jeroen Mudde. His profile is available in the Art & Photography section.

Black,
Black as all hell
Staring down the barrel of an oblivion horse.
The ragged moth breaths
Of a cluttered mind,
Exalted upon the stale air
Of the box room.


The forked tongue spins, almost nightly
Sewing spider’s silk.
The congested wheezing,
The death-rattle,
Its reason.


The screaming Perpetua
Of overwhelming unwellness
And disinterest.
They can tell.
Stale.


In your nose
And your hair
And your throat,
On your clothes.
Stale.
Stale.
Stale.


Clinging on you,
A clean new-born,
Digging its nails in your back,
Bold and blue.

Still the black,
When you close your eyes,
When you look up,
When you think.
Naught but a few pale lanterns
To paint oil smudges
On the cave paintings,
The outer walls of this hollow shell.


In the end, you sit inside yourself.
Utterly alone,
Caked in coal dust.


Black,
Black as all hell.
A soft plush blanket
That blurs your edges
And softens your features.


The dark is your mother now.

Joey Cunningham

Hello, my name is Joey. I am 18, doing English Film and Drama at UCD. This collection of five poems, inspired by the likes of postmodernist writers such as Sylvia Plath and Charles Bukowski, transcribe my progression through adolescence in the form of a loosely formed, thematic stream of consciousness. These pieces were penned during a transitional period of two months, prior to starting University, during which certain events inspired me, and are displayed chronologically in the attached document. Dealing with the topics of mental illness, misogyny, marriage, and love, in a decidedly dark, gothic style, my intention is to emphasize the human condition as a constantly transforming state of personal progression and provide topical commentary on the society that surrounds me through the intimate device of my own inner monologue.