James Patterson

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio


Drifting off, the sound of dry thistle

underfoot whitens to a heave off Port

Ercole and the waves become whatever

I need them to be: A prolonged orgasm,

say, or the smack of lips round cider

in a jam-jar.


The same jar where brushes

calloused and disappeared in a swirl of red,

then black, when I fucked somebody paid-for

and her Madonna hung drying on the wall.




Headache Weather


This is the bit where yr a figure

skittering on the wrong side

of the bedroom lamp. The loud wet boast of another branch

against the window—What my Ma calls ‘headache weather.’


Sometimes yr a standby light after I’ve been watching Netflix

and forget to switch out the laptop.

By then it’s like an unwinking eye:

Drafts of shape fretting into view & maybe a spider who crawls

inside my mouth or bites me in my sleep. You know the story.


I might go falling out of bed & throw water in my face;

keep me from thinking about it until it feels

like breaking

through a layer of ice with a mistimed heel.



James Conor Patterson is a 24 year old Irish poet and story writer who has seen his work in a number of publications including: Cyphers; Wordlegs; The Poetry Bus; Southword; The Bohemyth; The Open Ear; The Weary Blues and Bare Hands.

In 2012 he was featured in the Wordlegs ‘30 Under 30’ e-book publication and also in its print anthology which was published in November by Doire Press. In 2013 he won the iYeats ‘Emerging Talent’ award for poetry.

Medbh McGuckian has described his writing as: “A blend of love and piety in subtle similes, creating a Titanic panic in danger, echoing Heaney.”

He currently lives in his home-town of Newry, Co. Down.