Jim Feeney was born in Dublin and has lived in Vancouver since 1979. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from UCD. His wife and two daughters complain if they are not mentioned in bio’s, so he would like to thank all three of them for their support. He has published previously in Cyphers (Ireland) ,The sHop (Ireland) , In-Flight Literary Magazine, Oddball Magazine and others.
On a strange day
in a life that’s becoming stranger
Myron is driving north of Kona
on a road bisecting the black lava landscape
when Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
comes on the radio,
and in no time at all
he’s picturing himself
on a boat on a river
and marveling for the first time
at that rhyme between
marmalade skies and kaleidoscope eyes
not the skies and eyes
but the lade and leid
and just when his head
is filling with technicolor
the black cloud that’s sitting
on the mountains to the right
moves across the sun
on the blue ocean to the left,
and the black asphalt road
and the jumbled chunks
of frozen black lava
that cover the landscape
suck the remaining light
from the air
a dull monochrome.
The Chester Beatty Library
In the Chester Beatty Library
Four elderly ladies
Permed, perfumed and powdered
Stroll past the ancient texts
The papyrus and the parchment
By the evidence before them
That ever since we could stand upright
We have tried to leave foot prints
In the wet cement of time.
What intrigues the ladies,
Is how these fragile treasures
These artifacts and amulets
Were safely transported
From their exotic homelands
To the airless glass cases
In which they now reside.
They explore this theme together
In intertwining solos
Like a modern jazz quartet
Like mythical creatures
Compelled to talk forever
Because they believe
That to stop
Would be to die.
The sun is slowly leaving
the party that is the day,
things will not be the same.
When he finally tumbles into his room
at the Mariposa Lodge outside of Yosemite
which the Miwok Indians call Ahwahnee
meaning Large Mouth,
Myron turns on the television
to find Patrick Stewart
shouting into the camera in blank verse
and even though Kenneth Branagh is nowhere in sight
he quickly deduces that this is Shakespeare,
Macbeth, in fact, but a strange one,
there are soldiers in Soviet uniforms and a fridge
and of course bad things are happening, off stage.
Then the bottle of Salmon Creek Pinot Grigio
which he had at the Butterfly Café,
starts to take its toll
(‘butterfly’ is the English word for Mariposa),
and lulled by the convolutions of the language
Myron falls asleep and in his dream
Patrick Stewart is staring at him.
“ Brush thy teeth”, Patrick yells,
spittle spraying the inside of the screen.
“Brush thy teeth
lest thou rise
foul of breath
In the sulphurous morn.”
In Iveagh gardens an exhibition promises:
Contemporary sculpture based on
Non-monumental ideas of the uncanny.
This phrase sticks like chewing gum
To the bedpost of my mind
As I walk through Stephen’s Green,
Replacing: One then offers the cat up to the aperture
Which, according to my brother,
Is the ultimate step in programming
One’s automatic cat door to accept
One’s micro-chipped cat.
Outside the Shelbourne Hotel
Tourists wearing horned helmets
Board a Viking ship on wheels.
I am in search of a pub sandwich
Two slices of white bread, ham, cheese ,
Toasted in a cellophane pack
Small jar of mustard on the side
Served with Guinness
In a quiet pub where I can sit
And think non monumental thoughts
And where the barman asks me
As we watch Lionel Messi
float past three transfixed defenders
Is he the best ever?
And I am surprised not at the question
But at the deference.