Paul Perry

A Presidential Epigram

          after Mandelstam

we live without feeling
the border between us

and our feet do not touch the ground

listen –
our voices are accent-less
and the echo of money
is like the sound of rigging in the wind

the talk of any small-town is the Áras
and the one who chuckles

shall he ascend  –
his bloodied hands unseen
boots put away
worms rising

his words are like anchors

circled by snivelling and mewling henchmen
he flings decrees like horseshoes –
you get it in the balls
the temple
between eyes

like poisoned berries
he spits each execution from his mouth





Paul Perry was born in Dublin in 1972. He is the author and editor of a number of critically acclaimed books including The Drowning of the Saints, Goldsmith’s Ghost, 108 Moons and The Orchid Keeper. He teaches creative writing for Kingston University, London, and University College Dublin and is Course Director in Poetry for the Faber Academy in Dublin. His most recent collection is The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance, (Dedalus Press, 2010).