CANTO XI (begins here)
Duckie, you’re on the cusp,
a little rust,
time for a song.
We MOLESKINE boys
love our toys.
until the hastening day
has run for fun.
Whatever happened to the Englynion?
Aren’t they landing soon?
Get ready, steady, sow seeds
to envelop weeds.
You’ll be a tall poppy yet.
It’ll shine again,
change your pen
and let the fountain flow.
The MOLESKINE knows,
the MOLESKINE glows.
your mother didn’t think you had it in you
to write your way to this conjuncture.
Reminds me of the Limerick Junction.
Laundries, remember the ironing,
the shirts piled in the scullery,
your domestic responsibilities.
Who is telling you this writing stinks?
Who’s reminding you of the time?
Have you time to look for the honest man?
I see one blue shirt that’s not been worn in months
languishing at the bottom of the pile of crumpled cotton.
Spend your life on the telephone,
talk into a receiver,
call it a connection.
I saw you on a house-phone
chatting with Michael Reeves,
the man with the sleeping partner
and mice from Kilkee
out to overrun him.
I heard you on about Crescent College in Dublin,
telling how you pipe-bombed the Lanes
from Kennedy’s Yard
with the gang from the other bank.
Fifty three minutes you talked
nostalgia, while the world was split
into chancers and those for whom
you’d walk on water.
"Show me the person who’s changed"
Show me the one who was a shyster
- not to be trusted with a single hair of your body -
a shyster who turned from Beast to Beauty.
Was there one fella at school with you
that became a saint from a devil?
The SJs White, O’Reilly. Staunton and Murray,
four Horse of the Apocalypse,
members of the winged brigade
that educated you.
In their ranks was there virtue,
a solitary honesty box
where I could add my sole coin,
the least coin fellowship?
You used the telephone to paint
pictures of the Last Supper,
the world according to Whelan and Corkery.
If the author had been invited to the feast,
the writer would have taken notes,
played fast and loose with confidences
as he painted indelible memories
on the line behind the time…
There’s an exhibition on the way.
It’s not the budget,
not the latest version of NAMA,
not the complete expenses of Batt O’Keefe
or Eamon O’Cuiv.
It’s be be in Patrickswell,
you’ll see sculptures there
that’ll turn the hair
and sharpen your eye…