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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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JOHN McAULIFFE

 

 

John McAuliffe photo

 

John McAuliffe was born in 1973 and grew up in Listowel, Co Kerry and now lives in Manchester. He won the RTÉ Poet of the Future award in 2000 and received a major Arts Council Bursary for first book A Better Life, which was shortlisted for a Forward Prize in 2002; Next Door was published in 2007. His third collection, Of All Places which The Gallery Press will publish in July 2011, has been chosen as a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2011. He teaches poetry at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester.


 

 

 

 

Influence

 

 

Let’s stick, you say, to describing what is,

weather ridged like a dune, blown into angles

like whipped, whitened cream, then brown-on-grey

like frozen muddy fields animals trample.

The deck and the deck furniture a window display,

cake slices and muffins, with overwhelming icing,

the sort kids like the look of but won’t eat.

We chance town, an obstacle course,

for the banquet in Ocean Harbor,

our only company tanks of eels, crabs and lobsters.

Trees creak in the wind, lined and ermine,

as we raise a beer to the idea of influence,

the Year of the Tiger and learning acquiescence

to the weather, an icicle that grows and tapers,

a stiletto blur of blue and grey.

 

But its solid forms, the day after,

tire like memory, depleted and depleting,

not the same thing at all now, and in the way,

its scuffled pages another recognizable allusion

to what might be the case another day,

meltwater pooling in tyretracks and footprints.

 

 

 

©2011 John McAuliffe

 

 

 

Author Links

 

McAuliffe poem at International Literary Quarterly

Article about McAuliffe including poem at Poetry Foundation

McAuliffe at Gallery Press

 

 

 

 

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