Notes from the War, Written
Eileen Hennessy 

August 1, 2015

by soldiers seen not heard.
Swinging their wild oats.
Breathing in each day,
breaking it hard, while

the rocket seeds start
to open, then shut,
lives and afterlives

Out here there’s a story
written on every man’s skin:
the text of his dreams,
color of rusty gold,
cushion for his fall.



Eileen Hennessy is a native of Long Island and now lives in and loves New York City. Translator of foreign-language documentation and books on art history into English from several other West European languages, she works as an adjunct associate professor in the translation studies program at New York University. Her poems and short stories have been published in numerous literary journals, including Confluence, The New York Quarterly, Paintbrush, The Paris Review, Western Humanities Review, and others. This Country of Gale-force Winds, a collection of her poems, was published by NYQ Books in 2011.


What motivates her to create:

“I’m motivated by an intense internal pressure to write that feels physical. The pressure is so powerful that I don’t have to engage in ‘maneuvers’ to get myself started—I sit down and start writing, without further ado. At times during the day I’ll feel a sudden pressure or urge: An unfinished poem is demanding to be worked on, immediately. The pressure is so intense that I have to stop what I’m doing (luckily I’m self-employed!) and spend at least a few minutes or a half-hour working on it. I notice that I’ve used the word ‘pressure’ four times here. I could have used the word ‘drive’ or ‘urge,’ but the sensation of physicality that overcomes me at such times dictated the use of the word indicating a physical state.”