Lines for John Berryman
As a child my Mother sang songs to me:
you’d marry girls young enough to be your daughters.
I swear to you that there are ghosts in blackface,
vaudevillians, today, tossing lines beneath a broken tent.
The child wrote stories on an electric typewriter –
you just don’t know a man until you see him cry.
Do I still arrive in the middle of the night?
You need an activity, boy, like drinking, to break
in the evening. Here in Dublin I wrote
fifty, no, I destroyed fifty of them here. No. I forget.
Could have been a cottage, somewhere west.
Fifteen, no, sixteen years before you
were even born.
or, My Debt to Frank O’Hara
To the film industry in crisis:
It is difficult we know,
but just think
of those kids re-seeding you
back into the soil
while they bathe
in the light-blue magnetic light
from whence you came.
Cal Doyle has published poetry both in Ireland and the UK, most recently in Southword and the e-book anthology 30 Under 30. He was selected to read as part of Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series in 2012. He lives and works in Cork City.