John Doyle – Three Poems

johnJohn Doyle is from Maynooth, County Kildare. He has recently returned to writing after a long gap. Educated in N.U.I. Maynooth where he received a B.A. in English and Anthropology, and an M.A. in English, Doyle’s writing is at times lyrical, surreal, and blunt. He counts Thom Gunn, Susan Wicks, Jim Craven, and Phillip Larkin among his influences.

The Men Who Built Durrow Viaduct

Trembling thundering sandstone rolls,
softening, hissing hush of grass,
ice-age had its curators, moving
to a hurried beat of time,
moving as gift to numberless men,
they sired their science from patting argent stone,
their welted hands as compass, scribe, and map,
moving, singing, an alignment of shapes,
the bowed bend of mountain crag
jigsawed in time,
men without science, scribes to God and God alone,
the palm-smooth swerve slotted into mountain curve
cloth caps donned on professorial heads.

This Is How Elvis Presley Would Have Waited for a Bus in 1955

Morning untangles itself from trees,
from cars dragging its lungs on scorched remnants of night,
I arch to fit a half-moon trench of stone,
witness to maddened mirage of tobacco smoke;
What would Elvis have done,
as a 66 sneaked on the scene?
pre-paid lyrics to write his fare?
shimmering svelte hips
thrusting his arse from swooning walls?

The cars have untangled bits of morning
as they slow to imagine his top-deck ascent,
the fattened bulge of Also Sprach Zarathustra
by-passed on this route,
his whippet’s shadow slowly engorged,
by my chilly pudgy frame

Matrimonial After-Party

The old man was hammer-blunt,
(and I don’t think it was booze this time),
“who are you?” he accused,
those last 20 years
a radar for nothing,
on his Iscariot-etched face.
Merlot blotches assumed their mantle
– let’s boogie through another night of war,
though moderate, only words, or lack of, causing any scars,
the groom’s jacket off, attending to the vacant and dead.
I saw spirits howl, some from glasses, some shooting down
the respite a moment’s toast gave,
pot-bellied loners mauled oul wans,
twisting the night away,
I thought of the tropics,
for other lovers marrying on a quilted beach,
and the only song I heard was Led Zeppelin’s That’s The Way,
a coroner hardly need decipher
this ringing microphone fuzz of death.




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