Patrick Cotter

Patrick Cotter-Born Cork, 1963. Writer, and publisher. Cotter was educated at UCC. Cotter’s poems can be found in such journals as Poetry Durham, Oxford Poetry, The Salmon, The Shop, Poetry Ireland Review and many other places. His has published several chapbooks of his poems including The Mysogynist’s Blue Nightmare (Raven Arts Press), A Socialist’s Dozen (Three Spires Press), and The True Story of Aoife and Lir’s Children & other poems (Three Spires Press). His work has appeared in the anthologies Separate Islands: Contemporary British and Irish poetry (Quarry, Ontario) Irish Poetry Now (Wolfhound) Jumping off Shadows - Some Contemporary Irish Poets (Cork University Press) The Irish Eros (Gill & Macmillan) The Backyards of Heaven (Newfoundland) Something Beginning with P (O'Brien Press) and in The Great Book of Ireland. He has published short fiction in Cyphers, New Irish Writing and elsewhere. His translations of the Estonian poet Andres Ehin are collected in the book Moosebeetle Swallow (Southword Editions). His play Beauty and the Stalker was produced at the Granary Theatre, Cork in 2000. In 1984 he was shortlisted for a Hennessey Award. Cotter was runner-up in the Patrick Kavanagh award in 1988. His poems have been translated into Estonian, Italian, Norse, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. He currently directs the Munster Literature Centre, where he works as a publisher and festival programmer.


Today the air indoors was unbearably clammy so I visited the Insel Mainau.
My bridgecrossing was disturbed by the shoutings of a crowd
As they stared at a young couple walking on the water like angels on a cloud.
When I looked closely and realized it was Zina and Florian I nearly dropped dead.
Next to me a pair of Italians blessed themselves in excitement
But then an official arrived with a disdainful point of enlightenment:
A sandbar existed at that point: the water was only a few inches above the lakebed.


I am particularly covetuous of their eyes’ hue.
FLorian’s blues are so bright, they could be a source of

Zina’s eyes are so dark they could be a substitute for night.
I find myself investigating certain objects
To decide whether they compare with the shades of their eyes;
The lake is like Zina’s, while Florian’s are like the sky.
Other comparisons I tend to reject.
The blue patches of the variegated university are not quite like either,
The blue cylindrical sculptures visible from my window are neither.


Today unseen I stalked them through the forest.
I darted from trunk to trunk. The leaves were beginning to unfurl.
They walked on the pathway giggling, jostling and curled
Around each other. Soon they left the path and climbed an< incline.
They kneeled down behind a stack of deadwood in a tangle.
Zina stripped from her waist down and revealed a
black wiry triangle.
I fingered the sharpness ofthe knife in my pocket. I felt it shine.
Florian bent down and started to suckle.
Zina’s eyes and ears were like those of a doe with her
fawn on the lookout for hunters, ready to buckle.

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