Prose Poem by Mike Gallagher

The Clonmel Set

Benny is subtle. Stray notes skip in and out of aural focus like fleeting shafts of light on a driven avenue. Only gradually do you become aware of a pattern as he moves off the lower register and challenges the bar’s steadfast din. Next to him a guitarist, ear askance, catches the key and marks the beaten track.
Pat strolls into this, still lazy path, all dark curled bonhomie. Tree-limbs and gnarled fingers belie a tender deftness of touch on bow and bridge. A couple of banjos loiter with intent, indolently picking, impatient for the inevitable onslaught. Conlon’s flute is comfortably mellow in this quiet Bluehill glade. A long-necked heretic purrs easily in the background. Bodhrans and bones hibernate, awaiting the call.
It comes with a yelp from Pat, a slam from Benny. Lightning fingers accelerate over invisible black keys as he leads the gallop through the foothills. Pat takes up the chase, his Moses all benign smiles and guttural urgings. He leads his people across gurgling pools; guides them through magical fairy groves; drives them up hill and down dale. Now his bow angles across his cheek, its top end doing a mad St. Vitas dance, hoppin’, leppin’, trippin’, slidin’ over imagined river rocks. Then in the high ground, it is erect, plunging, lunging, forcing, demanding. Around him, Benny piles triplet on gilded triplet, leaps and bounds, draws and pushes, pushes and draws, tingling fingers cascading over pliant keys. The guitarist’s easy strum races into frenetic, frenzied slashings, a devarnished, abstract patch above his fret the victim of a deranged plectrum. The flute scurries in and out, goaded by the surrounding swirling, whirling madness. Banjos, free at last from restricting melody, race hither and thither, grace notes bounding off grace notes, driving, diving, delving, thrusting. Bodhrans and bones, frolicsome scamps, explore, explode, subside, rattle in exuberance. Electric renegade, no longer purring, growls, barks, snarls resentment.
 The bar, thrashed, abandons its chattering nonsense and submits to the pagan music’s adrenalin howl, carried on the churning wave to a crazed crescendo.
Suddenly… violently…on the up… the set ends.

by Mike Gallagher (Ireland), Author

Stick on Stone

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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5 Responses to Prose Poem by Mike Gallagher

  1. Paul Beech says:

    My goodness, how the music springs from the page!

    I’m right there in that smoky, boozy Irish bar as Pat’s crazy fiddle leads the band up, up and up into a howling vortex of mind-blowing power…

    Mike Gallagher’s ‘The Clonmel Set’ is one sensational prose poem!

  2. Maureen Weldon says:

    Congratulations! to Mike Gallagher, his prose poem The Clonmel Set is amazing.

  3. Marta Chociłowska says:

    What a lovely prose, Micheal! So pleased to share the valuable Charlotte’s blog on the same day!
    Best wishes,

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