Christopher Crawford was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He studied Mechanical Engineering and has worked on various seismic exploration vessels.
His poetry, fiction and translations have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Evergreen Review, The Cortland Review, Envoi, Rakish Angel, Ekleksographia and the anthology The Return of Král Majáles: Prague's International Literary Renaissance 1990-2010.
He lives in Ho Chi Minh City.
O’Hara at the Beach
at Fire Island, the sun already long gone
down, perhaps he heard the low murmur of lovers laughing
beyond the dunes, the sand muffling the sounds they made, perhaps he lay
down a moment, exhausted suddenly
or exhilarated for some reason, the sky
for example, and scratched his head and found his fingernails
full of smashed and powdered sea shells from his scalp
and laughed one last soft laugh, he was playing hide and seek with himself among
the tall cliffs of the beach and imagined New York skyscrapers
and the boys back there in the bars still sinking
breathing in and out behind the darkness like a jazz singer, her lips
on the mic , the sea out there
like something being torn in half
and the sand
muffling what he couldn’t see coming
through the rippling boulevards of the beach at night
on Fire Island
where the sun had long gone down and the fire
just out of sight, coming toward.
Divorcee Disco Music
“...like a man who has cut himself off from the soil and his roots among the people...“
F. Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground.
An eye at the end of a tunnel,
A green eye with popped pupil,
The black yolk leaks an inky thread
Through the iris.
A flawed eye,
A freckled eye,
A sick eye that guesses.
An eye that chooses
But always chooses wrong.
On the edge of town
A flap of skin and a polyethylene bag
Have a fistfight,
Whirling and punching their way
To hang exhausted from a barbed wire fence.
A red-haired ear weeps in the dirt.
Oily cinders make a soft place for it
By the roadside
While off the coast on a luxury liner
A pig‘s ear sits down to eat bacon
At the breakfast buffet
And in the suburbs
A rigid arm goes out for cigarettes,
Walking on its fingers,
And never comes back,
And is sighted for months after in Melbourne,
Guyana and Istanbul
While the real arm lies
At the bottom of the ocean.
Now the elbow softly bends
With the sway of the kelp.
A blind nostril stuffed with earwax
Listens by a hole, a mine in the earth--
An old gramophone record or
Thunder or something
That sounds like a woman’s laugh
Lives down there.
A Whistling Sound
From the North Sea oil fields
comes a song of fern holes of the sea
and the holes voices singing and what would you
have them sing oh you wouldn‘t
have them sing
you wouldn‘t remember
when you or perhaps it was I or all of us sang
in the halls of the great schools that sank sang in the smallest
voices we had
it was you and I and all of us jumped before we knew we had and sang
as we fell of the great schools of the sea
of the deep blue fern of holes
and of a whistling sound we could take for a voice if we wanted
The silence between
in a car
pedestrians from a distance
by my father
nice from far
but far from
and then on reflection(eyes
in the rearview mirror)says
all the girls are nice
once a man has passed
the girls have got
in their skin
they‘re all beauties
the youth which you have
as I see it now
you‘d better stop that