Chronotopepublished in Ottawa by above/ground press
I live nine thousand, one hundred and four
miles, or fourteen thousand, six hundred
and fifty-one kilometres away
from my birthplace – I also live
in the present, forty-seven years
and seven months from the moment
of my birth in a country town
crouched above the Southern Ocean,
three thousand miles north of Antarctica.
Twenty-two years and twelve days after
I entered the world with blue eyes
and white hair, received the nickname
Murph the Surf from the nurses, twenty-two
years and twelve days after the local
radio station announced my birth
and played Bowie’s Space Oddity
in my honour, I left my homeland,
lifted off and crossed the sea alone
with one black suitcase full of books
and CDs, another full of clothes.
I carried my possessions with two hands
like my ancestors boarding ships
in Ireland, England, Wales and Portugal,
launched into a distant hemisphere.
I hurtled across time and space, landed
in a new station far above my past.
as part of above/ground press’ thirtieth anniversary
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
Nathanael O’Reilly is an Irish-Australian poet; he teaches creative writing at The University of Texas at Arlington. His nine collections include Selected Poems of Ned Kelly (Beir Bua Press, 2023), Boulevard (Beir Bua Press, 2021), (Un)belonging (Recent Work Press, 2020), BLUE (above/ground press, 2020) and Preparations for Departure (UWAP, 2017). His poetry appears in over one hundred journals and anthologies published in fourteen countries, including Another Chicago Magazine, Anthropocene, Cordite, The Elevation Review, Identity Theory, The Madrigal, New World Writing Quarterly, Trasna, Westerly and Wisconsin Review. He is the poetry editor for Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature.
This is O’Reilly’s second above/ground press chapbook, after BLUE (2020).
To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at rob_mclennan (at) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com