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Two Poems

Night Shift

Each week, every five days in fact,
I spend the night in town,
Supping pints of Guinness in Hargadon’s pub,
After first gulping down slow-cooked lamb stew.

Then, leaning on the dilapidated wooden bar,
It more white than brown for want of varnish,
I stare at stowed pewter jars, ornamental now,
And think on what they once preserved:

The victuals of thirst-heavy satiation,
Victuals that lift shame,
Victuals that leave you turning to your neighbour
Turning and asking –

And I often meet the eyes of the barman,
And watch him fix his flat cap constantly into place,
As the top of his lip shivers from the wanting –
A long seven hour grá –

A hunger, unanswered, until it is,
For the taste of cream stains
Tongued clean from wet moustache tip
At the end of a shift.

***

The Woodlands Speak in Silicon

In the throes of the last great deluge,
We gave unto God the title of God,
And to ourselves, manna,
And the power to feed on spirit blood,
So it could become the larvae
Of the new Gods.

And so,
We dethroned wisdom,
Refashioned the woodlands in silicon,
And brotherly and sisterly bonds
Mere currents to push back,
And all life into the exegesis of sorrow.


Categories Poetry

Oisín Breen is a Dublin-born writer who has spent much of the last decade living in Edinburgh. In recent months, he has replaced his morning orange juice with grapefruit. He also staunchly rejects the idea that everything is art.

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