Daniel Roy Connelly



Our discussions regarding the proper disposal of body parts being now concluded
I would like to confirm the following:

Your 	Hair
I will implant next to mine 
two colours two lengths 
to be washed & conditioned once a week
I will bite clean through 
your left eye just to see
the right I will mount 
& encase on a necklace 
in plain view of everyone 
                Collar bones
Lain on a delicate stand
will make fine frames for drums
add skin from your lower back
for life-long music
Be my cold-water luffa 
for every morning shower 
& night-time dab 
                Toe & finger nails
A necklace
Of your veins a scarf I’ll stitch for winter 
that wraps around my neck a full thirty times
Ear phones bound tight with ligament 
piping down through my brain stem 
the archived sound of your sexual ecstasy 
Glue them to a pair of 
bouncing springy eyes 
from the joke shop 
kids love that kind of thing  
Pot-planted in rich earth
will bear golden leaves in the dark 
places along your thoracic curve 
When I wipe your heart down
having ripped it from deep inside you 
it will be the colour of tin foil
& perfectly spherical but beginning 
to bloat so I must make
a brief incision for your eternal love

a crescent which I then peel 
open as if stroking a day-old kitten
& from which will emerge
a thousand exultant butterflies 
that make the sky 
shiver & weep uncontrollably 
as they disappear from view
somewhere over the endless ocean
or is it the rainbow



Inevitable that I should turn to you
for whom the clitoris is a satellite of hell

mutilators is a good word
you can mutilate art or
a good dinner or a doe
if you don’t stab her right

maybe we should call you perfumed ladies
soft-skinned and flushing in your trill desires

everything you fear we’ll call you

every clitoris has a soul
and when you die
your virgins in paradise
will not have clitorises
but scissors for when
you sleep exhausted from
dreaming of your mothers


I pretend to have holes in my palms that I can pass the opposing thumb clean through like pushing madeleine biscuits into nothing. This fantasy of the frontal lobe opens a new portal to strange finger placements and other ways of greeting people. I am liberated. Why did no-one think of this before?

— The man they nailed to a tree 2000 years ago, my priest says to me, more slowly than he usually speaks over the phone, which is hard for me to hold.

— I’m not the type to see crosses everywhere, I reply, this is pretend body modification for self-amusement, a heavy piercing straight through each palm.

— No sacrifice? he asks.

— No sacrifice, no yearning, no prophecy, no allegory, no ever-lasting symbolism, these holes are exclusive to the present tense.

— No re-birth?

— No, father, because the frontal lobe says the point is to be sinless and sinning, no agency, no regency, no word but words, nothing in stone, just two thumbs pushing through holes in my palms.
DANIEL ROY CONNELLY is a theatre director and English and theatre professor at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome. His recent poetry has been widely published by, among others, Magma, Acumen, Ariadne’s Thread, The Alarmist and Nutshell. His essay on directing western theatre in China appears in the current edition of The Istanbul Review. In February 2014 his production of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler premiered at The English Theatre of Rome, where his one-man show, Caffe Macchiato, will open in September 2014. He has recently been named first-prize winner in the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival.

Read more by Daniel Roy Connelly:

Poem in The Missing Slate
Poem in Ink, Sweat & Tears
Poem in Inky Needles