Tuesday Poem: A Left Hook, by John O’Connor

A Left Hook

an early experience
of the left hook (admirably

tight if open-handed) came
at the beatific hand of

Monseigneur O’Dea – too
old to be a parish priest – who

about to impart the very
body & blood of Christ found I

was not holding the paten
correctly. a few years later

an equally irascible boxing
coach imparted impeccable

advice on how to throw it,
though he didn’t know the bit

about feinting with Jesus.
when the good monseigneur

had his final photo taken
he bestowed a copy on our family

– old friends should be so blessed –
for a decade it sat on the mantelpiece

between a bunch of plastic grapes
& a glass bowl that snowed if shaken.

This poem is from John O’Connor’s recently published Cornelius & Co: Collected Working-Class Verse 1996-2009 (Post Pressed, Queensland, 2010). I will review this collection in my next blog post.

The NZ distributor is: David & Wendy Ault, Madras Café Books, 165 Madras Street, Otautahi/Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand 8011; Phone 03 365 8585, Fax 03 365 8584, Mobile 021 284 8585, email info (at) madrascafebooks.co.nz

Mary McCallum’s Tuesday Poem initiative now has its own Tuesday Poem blog. Check out the poem posted there, and other Tuesday Poems via the links on the left of this page.

Poetry Reading Series – Christchurch and Dunedin

The autumn poetry reading series in Christchurch is well underway, and fortnightly reading sessions in Dunedin are about to start. Check out this post for the remainder of the Christchurch series, and Kay McKenzie Cooke’s blog for details of the Dunedin series (and a really good SF poem!).