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minor poet tells all


My hands believe in Spanish songs
And bullet holes in sanitary walls
I used to get my kicks in used bookstores
But I’m out to sea in Korea
Histrionics is after correspondence
Untidiness is infinite; tidiness is finite
Where is my mind among these unsorted metaclips?
My ambivalent tongue inserts into someone’s ambivalent mouth
I’m covered in shame and I’m not coming out anytime soon
Someone I used to know lived within margins but this is a lie
I don’t know much ABOUT margins but it’s a pretty song
A swan and the outline of a swan are both metaphors
Nothing explains gravity since gravity is an explanation for something else
God enters my steps as I move to the left but when I move to the right it’s hummingbirds all the way
I’ve got the flutters but do not mistake them for jitters
My window overlooks the Taihang Mountain Range
I’m hearing birds for the first time in three months.
Drunk on the crock and crow
Drunk on the distance behind this uneven temper
Standing naked kissing my hands I’ve got everything to lose
A sense of structure is found in every reckless twist
I ushered in betrayal and now my shame grows daily
My restorations are wrapped-up in books
A lost anthem IN my burdens
I am at the beginning of another jumping-off point
I don’t know when practice ends and the game begins
I’m at the margins of memory
The past is full of salt


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Another Ireland: Part Two
Maurice Scully, The Basic Colours. Durham, UK: Pig Press, 1994.
Geoffrey Squires, Landscapes and Silences. Dublin: New Writers' Press, 1996.
Catherine Walsh, Idir Eatortha and Making Tents. London: Invisible Books, 1996.

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I began the first half of this article (Notre Dame Review #4) by mentioning some of the limits to the legendary hospitality Ireland has shown to its poets. If you arrive in Ireland from any point of departure outside of Eastern Europe, you will indeed find a public far more willing than the one you left behind to grant poets the recognition all but the most ascetic secretly crave. However, this hospitality has never extended to Irish poets w…