“If ever a man made a devilpact,” wrote Michael Hartnett in 1964, “I did.”
What is more immoral than Art? On Dublin’s O’Connell Street, the strange painted mirror of the Spire takes the city’s grimmest moods and renders them lovely, as homeless people huddle in blankets up on the streets. Poetry is exploitative: think of Heaney’s “artful voyeur”, aware his gaze is invasive, incapable of averting it.
Art will simply not let us stop making it, will not let us avert our gaze. Hartnett wrote: “My mind demands in bulk what the brain can only give in measured pieces, its brutal hounding after poems… …nothing is sourer than my own liver: but I gnaw, I gnaw.”
It is an act of compulsion. The poem insists on its being written, whatever the consequences may be. And Art is an act of faith: sending that poem, story or image into the world with no real sense of what it will mean, if anything, to this generation or the next. We have chosen to send these poems, stories and images into the world because we believe they are bredave and demand it. Welcome to Moloch.
Moloch is an online journal of new art and writing; since the apparent demise of Electric Acorn, the only Irish one of its kind. Moloch, of course, is also a god to whom people were once proud to sacrifice their own children. We are proud to provide a pyre for these writers and artists to perform this important sacrifice, this devil pact.