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Poetry Magnum Opus

alter ego


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There are flints in the stones of the city streets

which can sparkle at you, unexpectedly, on sunny days

while lying low on days of rain: I could never

swallow the pain of coming from this city, even now,

when I’ve travelled so far away and have had happy occasional thoughts

of leaving it all behind me. Odi atque amo. I hate it and can’t get away

from Bally Aha Clee … Dublin to the rest of yez. The snotgreen Liffey

runs, riverrun, Anna Livia, between its grey unhappy dripping stones

and it’s no more than a piddly stream, a parable for greasy Ireland.


Guinness is good for you.

You don’t need money to live.


Back in the days of the IRA there was a bit of the craic coming down,

when your Armalite rifle was your fuckin guitar and you were twenty-two

but that’s all over now, Baby Blue. Men in suits came coming down for you

so Japan, hmm, seemed like a rather good idea. It’s not next door.

Trouble is, the place simply blows you away, it becomes a new chapter

in a never-ending 18th century-like rigamarole of happenstance, one thing

after the bleedin other: Candide as a fuckin Paddy. The great thing was the girls.

They were absolutely completely gorgeous, and ditzy as babananas, and no,

that’s not a typo: few descriptions of heaven could match the reality.

The guys, of course, were a somewhat different proposition.


After a few years you creep back home, avoiding Heathrow

and the MI5 sharp-eyed shits in their cheap ill-fitting suits,

and nothing, nothing happens. Nothing! Jesus, what was that all about?

But by now you’re almost married, thinking about having kids,

and not telling them anything when they grow into people, as they do.

Settle down. Suppress those nervous facial tics, stop jiggling your foot.

Expand into your career. Sit back and criticize America. Write poetry.

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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A darkly philosophical wriggle which typifies the way the modern world has turned. Perhaps a masochistic renaissance is due along with a wondering of what the future holds. :-) Benjamin

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