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In Daily Accord
February 2008

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The Night Game
March 2015

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gotta get a message to you
March 2017

If You Tolerate This

Frank Golden

ISBN: 978-1-915022-06-6

Page Count: 108

Publication Date: Friday, March 04, 2022

Cover Artwork: The Moment of Birth - Alfred Kubin, 1902

About this Book

Frank Golden’s IF YOU TOLERATE THIS is a wide ranging work in six parts which nails its geo-political colours to the mast, and casts a misanthropic eye over the whole morass. The book opens in the company of Nick and his girlfriend Inga as they travel up the Tapajós River to the failed capitalist venture of Fordlandia. Failure and the blighted realities of both entitled and marginalised lives suffuse various sections of the book. Poems concerned with political and eco dynamics not only dominate section 5 but inform the book as a whole. IF YOU TOLERATE THIS ends with a group of ghazals that Golden wrote having back-packed through Iran in 2019. This is a book with a large cast of characters, both familiar and new, who are as riven and corruptive as the age we live in.

Praise for Golden’s last book of poems 

“Golden is a poet to get excited about… This is a startling and exciting collection.”
Afric McGlinchey Southward Journal 

“I have rarely been so moved by a book of poems.” 
Grace Wells Fur

“A fantastic new collection by Irish poet Frank Golden. It has floored me like no book of poetry has in a long time. Golden has an uncanny ability to touch on the things that move us most deeply.” 
Phil Hanrahan Bookish Review/USA

Author Biography

FRANK GOLDEN lives in the Oughtmama Valley in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland.

Read a sample from this book

Café Hyena

In Café Hyena Cynthia tells me how    Whole units of the past have fallen to the margins     Events don’t recede into the map of distance in straight lines anymore    Cynthia’s eyes are speedwell blue her ghost hair straight and white as waterfall silk her skin opaque enough to see warm organs through    She contours the coil of her anxiety and measures an extent of darkness in her colder eye    With her white hair in my hand I am on that torturous road walking naked beside a boat in a lake somewhere upstate with Cynthia topless imitating loons calling from a far shore whuuuuuuuuuuuuWHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu whuuuuuuuuuuuuWHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu     Cynthia tells me she ate raw fish as a child so she might understand the seals she swam with before her blood came    She lays her body on ferns in the same position she found her mother in after she had swallowed the upward  hope of an ogive bullet gilded in zinc    There was a little dent     a little posture of shattered flesh where it kissed the frontal squama then fell behind an ovoid of speckled green granite    I tell Cynthia that as a child I traced the oblique destiny of foraging cancers     watched as they migrated from organs to blood to bone in the children’s cancer ward    There’s a word for every necessary dead thing like toenail clippings   Or   pubic hair scattered in a pile    outside the patio of a cabin on the Megunticook river before the big wind came   Or   the nameless girl who touched the heat    my body  made     above the crescent on my left side   Or   the fate of lovers    deepening    as they moult and renew in the mordant grandeur of their built sarcophagus    Cynthia takes me to her bed   and lavishes   what is left of herself   what there is strength in her to lavish   forgivingly and silently   while I retreat beyond what hope I ever had that the moon in my blood would erase the sundered things I have tended to

One Day’s Claim Upon A Soul Descending

In the fatal rhythm on the breaker’s shore
the sea is running past Muckinish and Scanlan’s Island
the channel slick with seals and shags and milk-tooth egrets
the wind blowing West-South-West
the sky ruched and florid
the darkness in the wave hollows full of the same ghosts
I see 
whenever I walk this stretch

Close on 30 years ago at the turn of the year like now
a time when no sane man or woman ventures in 
or wades    submerges    and flaps    in the shelving cold and crippling wind
No one

Two brothers    their sister    and mother
all striving in a cottage buried in marram
gable-blasted    mean and frigid
Why had M     the gentlest of them all
walked that morning  past the wind-break hill
that led to the crumbling pier
and faced into the wind
Perhaps he was glad of the noise
the wind racket and wave sledge
glad of the absences
and the plough colour of the light
No one saw him
ease himself out on round stones
his feet shifting to maintain some balance
Instinct in play before surrender

Men who die like this in their thirties
break the mould
Just when you would have thought
the worst of those impaling crises
had been surpassed
or the pressure of the vortex outlasted
or the figures of circling daemons dissembled

He may have needed a bigger idea
or a brighter  tongue
or a shift in how he named the world
He may have needed passage
to an envisioned shore
a love of something clarified in struggle
an ownership of kisses and competent promises
a chance to follow the haunting perfume
of an unmapped future

Poems Copyright © Frank Golden 2022

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