049.1: Lauren Ireland:: Sorry It’s So Small & I Should Have Killed You in that Field & Fucking Tell Me & In the Ouchita Mountains 049

One of the more memorable scenes from Martin Scorsese's The Departed is when Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) tells Madolyn (Vera Farmiga), a therapist for the Boston Police Depatment, that, "What Freud said about the Irish is: We're the only people who are impervious to psychoanalysis." I'm not sure if Lauren Ireland is Irish, has ever been to Boston, or is even an informant for the FBI. I do know, however, that her work maintains a similar kind of wild imperviousness, where each sentence—declarative or imperative—envelopes a raw emotional and poetic intensity. Take an excerpt from a poem we feature today, "Sorry It's So Small":

     Well    I want to die    but just a little bit    every day.
     I have learned    that everyone has some    great sadness.
     I will let anyone    do anything    to me.        Even the man
     rapping quietly    to himself.        Even lightning.

No expectations are needed on the reader's part because Ireland does not allow for that. This spontaneity and emotional punch is reminiscent of what Carl Jung wrote of in "Psychology and Literature," "...a deep presentment that strives to find expression. It is like a whirlwind that seizes everything within reach and, by carrying it aloft, assumes a visible shape" (229). Big words, for certain, but the emotional and creative energy of Ireland's work always forces me to reckon with my own sudden impression that I am not reading; I am eavesdropping on the musings of the poet's heart and soul. Cody Todd

Sorry It’s So Small


Remember how you went away.        Now Nature hates you.
Well    I want to die    but just a little bit    every day.
I have learned    that everyone has some    great sadness.
I will let anyone    do anything    to me.        Even the man
rapping quietly    to himself.        Even lightning.
All you need to know    is    I love you
even though    I completely forget    what you look like.



I Should Have Killed You in that Field


Would you like me        better if I had brown eyes.
Narcissus or burning plastic.        Wrong day.
Wrong light.        Winter scabs the grass.
Tight grosgrain path        around & around
the splitting wrist.        Wine scabs the glass.
Teeth & knuckles.        Teeth & ribbons.
Honestly I don’t like you        anymore anyway.
I love gravity.        I’m going to live out my life
at the edge of this scummed pond.        I can do right.
Why do people do it        in the graveyard.
I really wanted to delight you        with my collections.



Fucking Tell Me


there is a dove    there is a dove    there is a dove
there is a dove  there is a dove  there is a dove
it’s scary time    I am coming down your street
I am coming for you    through gates of horn
through the window    tell me    why are spiders
why are spiders    drawn to water    at the actual end
of the actual world    you are standing there alone



In the Ouchita Mountains


Love    you were the loveliest Love    I ever loved.
I was not your maiden.
I shot bears & turtles.   I shot bears & turtles.
I shot bobcats.                     I shot the falls