Sunday, December 31, 2006

282. sweetness descends in its arc of meaning

The sodium lights
cast an orange gleam
over the rain-drenched
city streets; a white van
approaches, halts,
its door slides wide,
and a body tumbles
down to the pavement.
The van glides softly
silently away, and the lights
shine down on Portadown
on this typical scene
with a dull orange sheen.
Meet Johnny Dempsey.
He moves, then rises,
shakes himself down
and checks the aching head
for new bullet holes;
discovering none, he pulls out
a crumpled fag, then swears
when he can’t find
his bloody matches.
Hi ho, says Johnny D,
It’s a long walk home.

Much much later
(leaving out the boring bits,
just like in the movies)
Johnny reaches the gate
at 42 Mulberry Crescent
and can’t find the bleedin
door keys; Shite, says he,
and gives the aging wood
a good clatter of his boot.
Aber das ist nix gut,
for inside, with her brain half-fried,
Dolores McShane (Dolly to friends)
makes a manic dash to the jax
and in panic and the absence of hope
flushes away the supply of dope.
O Jayzuz, Johnny, I’ll make amends,
says she when our hero enters
by way of the downstairs window.
Ah, you’re grand, girl, says he,
brushing aside the shards of glass.
Gerrup now, Dolly, get on yer trolley,
for it’s been that sort of a day –
and I’d kill for a cup of tay!