Richard W. Halperin – Clothes

photo-2Richard W. Halperin is an Irish-U.S. dual national. His full collections are published by Salmon: Anniversary, 2010; Shy White Tiger, 2013; Quiet in a Quiet House, 2016. His chapbooks are published by Lapwing: A Wet Day & Mr Severidge Sketches; Pink, Ochre, Yellow; The Centreless Astonishment of Things, all 2015; and Blue Flower, June 2015. Mr Halperin will be reading this summer at the Monasterevin Hopkins festival.

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Clothes

We are grateful for our garments.
My cat Philip.
Doesn’t need them.

I think of this during a commemoration
Of a bloody, painful, powerful event
Which produced a nation,
And left another nation
With a bleeding hole in it.

I think of Miss Bates in Emma
Who took a harmless delight in being fine.

Those who kill and maim
Do not feel
(At first)
The suffering they inflict.

They do not feel the need of clothes
While destroying who – not what – has a right to be;

That they think the bell tolling
Is only a bell tolling
Keeps the horror going.

I am grateful for publishers,
Mine anyway,
Who give visibility to one’s flotsam and jetsam
In the form of books, which are also clothes;
Which are also – a little – the dignity
To which every mess has the right.

On O’Connell Street, blood,
Tangled metal, bodies, howls, dreams.

Rising out of it
A girl in a silk kimono.

 

 

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