Christopher Mulrooney

Los Angeles, Calif. 90004


Christopher Mulrooney is the author of toy balloons (Another New Calligraphy) and Rimbaud (Finishing Line Press)  

His work has recently appeared in Law of the Jungle, Three And A Half Point 9, Zoomoozophone Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Communion, and Tipsy Lit.



a broad mind

a flirtation with a pen and ink stand

at the back of the mind a flowing gently O sweet Afton

but in the event dryasdust recalcitrance

stir the pot stir the pot what comes out

but a wretched blot for you to decipher



angels of the mind better view of the city view

out the square windows rectangular glass ovals

circular like portholes the fisheye lens

preŽminence receding on all hands

the ship receding or prow a pinnacle stern less a pinpoint diamond in the industrial view

and thatís what I was coming to the golden apples in the palm of a bangled hand

the rare presbytery the tangled sheep on the meadows

alpacas llamas you know the ropes the fair city above the clouds

at the riverís edge vaunting the sea and so forth

in the middle of the great plain yet not of it

the swear grounds and high minarets of the golf courses magnanimous and miniature

the customs and rituals of the place surmounted by a bullying gang

so the dream restored to fiction fades alas away

they say in the samba centers what do they say

they say discovered in the quondam jungles are lost cities

they say men of other planets built them and will return

to judge the progress of their development

they say this jokingly as men from universities explore

the rich cunningly fabricated exploits of the jungle

that rainy wood you read about in the schools



a toadstool memory

the brilliant escapades they write of

scribes and salamanders of the press

white-hot from the hellbox printing

tens of thousands of copies a minute

in buckling prose that scatters to the devils

or well-constructed stands pristine unguarded

unattended unprized in silence admired or not

retail factor



it was the ball-and-cup game

we had played as our tormentors

allowed us between lays

of the minstrelwork we had mastered

one after another o singing in him her

melody sat as one who had said

in a memory prat

ha that sort of thing

we'd ill meant to have packaged these

butcher's scraps as dog meat

for the stanchions of the great

but it had worked just this way

at least I had remembered this well

whereas the reception was who'd have thunk it?





a tale that is told



parsimonious as they were

in them there days

they uncorked the flask of hard-earned store-bought oil

virgin not extra

and lavished it upon the waves

for our benefit

we the wearying passengers

and freight





bonerattling unto the junkyard

at the request of the same scuttling

boneyard merchants who wheeled

demolition refuse into the park

to exalt the valley

into a dripping heap of gas

to make electricity with

all under the guise of recreation


to help stop the cruisers

furiously circumambulating

and clogging the roads and trails with

happy crumbums

half the roads were closed


fountains and springs

turned off


the plantations were by the board

gleaning the last sheaves of

the nostalgic past

as tourism by the cartload


in the cultural center

great shopping arcades were built

to fend off the city

no new roads were built

the vomitoria choked


whatever the wastrels

lingered in my city



the piebald angler

gives me the fisheye






once each time only

and the circus however rebels

at each thought hard

taken rapidly

spoken my dears look over

my shoulder at my hair

it's still there isn't there

my dears anything does

the royal subject like

like a bowl of jelly


aie she was

a sad thing




down wantons down



partially for as long as such shall live

I forgive for there were such still longueurs in that stall time


frugging at the cantina all day long and in the night bouncing off along the walls

oh it's a grand life




the serinette and the lightning-rod


I had flown in on a dare

to his own house I went

a cub reporter

thatís what I own like 6 T-shirts

and a bag of milk chocolates

but no-one else could

we got along just fine

he served the soup out of my tureen

I mean the one we had grown up with

all the time

his favorite saying was

Iíll be peckered

his favorite thing was an antique


he had rigged up with

electricity from a lightning-rod

he spoke about conductivity

lots of materials he said

just canít stand up to my action

I started in the business he said

twenty years ago I had

lots of people working for me

you couldnít imagine what it was like

a sterile litigious environment

all day long the claims were coming in

I had to stamp each one

with purple ink

anyway you had to

had to get up the stairs

and go to the roof to put the thing up

and run the connectors right the way down

to the bottom

it was a similitude of something


now though when thereís a storm

I have bird music

the house had varying instruments

and pictures

we had soup for about an hour

and then he listened to his serinette

warble in the lightning

I was glad I wasnít going to fly

again until tomorrow





the security lights glow pumpkin

all night long upon the mangled chainlink fence

the walls have been repainted too many times

the painted wrought iron is new

and so is the razorwire

and so is the seismic retrofit

but there is the old brick

and the satellite dish

in a sea of bathroom tiles






the adolescentís bouncing knee

whose chum looks like his mother

the trim of stainless steel secured

with Scotch tape

and the euphemistic thermostat labeled

energy management

he resembles his father at boot camp

the elder nun is silent as the younger

slaps her cup on the bottom to get it all

Mom Ďn Pop

to whom all there is

represents an order

and an insurgent order

stare with eager disregard

a glance askant betrays

the retro couple



sorority girl


home on a couple of mules

she commands respect in public situations

by placing her bag on the counter with a thump

then fishing out her purse

then closing it with a clink

then ruffling out her hair

then fingering her face

then fiddling with some objects on display

then turning around to speak her native tongue

to her mother



San Francisco de Assisi


Lord hear these bells those chapel bells

swaying and swinging

pre-recorded for dissemination

throughout the whole neighborhood

of a Sunday

if you hear them

if you hear those

chapel bells

ringing of a Sunday

swaying and swinging

with a slight buzz of distortion


have mercy on us

have mercy on us

give us peace