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AIDAN MURPHY

 

 

 

Aidan MurphyAidan Murphy is a Cork-born poet residing in Dublin. He was twice recipient of The Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. His collections include The Restless Factor (1985), The Way the Money Goes (1987) – a Poetry Book Society recommendation – Small Sky, Big Change (1989), Stark Naked Blues (1997), Looking in at Eden (2001). Neon Baby: New and Selected Poems was published in 2007. A new collection, Wrong Side of Town, is forthcoming from Dedalus Press in 2015.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Quartet (In Memory of Patrick Galvin)

 

 

My mother enjoyed your brief company.

She connected with your plainspeak

about the rugged citizens of poor

Dunbar and Margaret Streets,

the burdensome travails of shoeless Cork.

For a time she stood her signed copy

of Song For a Poor Boy

in a place of honour,

in the glass cabinet in the front room.

And though she doesn't remember you now,

or me, or anyone else for that matter,

she used to post me newspaper clippings

of those rare milestones

of your late comeback.

 

I recall, after the opening night

of The Burning Of Bridget Cleary,

long hours of wine and gin in Wynn's Hotel,

you, me and Colette, me

yapping nonstop about vintage film,

reducing you to almost-tears

with tales of classic schmaltz –

Stella Dallas, Mildred Pierce, Madame X –

until we said our late, moist-eyed goodnights.

And your phonecall the following day—

"Murphy, don't ever do that to me again."

 

Paddy,

how many madwomen of Cork were there?

I think I saw at least a dozen

spinning in circles at moonlit crossroads,

and I heard of many others who went missing,

"bad with the nerves", they'd say.

The blight was all around us

and I too jumped the boat across the water.

But, unlike you,

I never found Christ in London;

though I searched real hard.

 

Did I dream it

or did your spirit

pillow my shoulders

with steady palms

and did I hear

your flat Cork lilt

inside my ear:

Beware the trickery of the sun,

your enemies will come

dressed as comrades,

be doggy wide.

 

 

©2015 Aidan Murphy

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Aidan Murphy at Dedalus Press

Aidan Murphy at New Island Books

More poems by Aidan Murphy at Poetry International Web

 

 

 

 

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