Patrick O'Reilly

Rookie (1988 / St John's, NL)

On George - Poem by Patrick O'Reilly

In the bar on George
Where the corner boys crowd
‘Round the downtown girls
And the get around girls
There’s the independence crowd
Crowing about Che and Ches’s
And the longliner crowd
In for a spell from their iron coffins,
From a black, raging void
That took their fathers and will likely take them too
And a dozen or more unnameable crowds with nothing better to do
And all of them just drinking away
The boredom
And the sorrow
And the anger

The ceilidh band bawls
And tourist pub crawls
Take the Screech
Kiss the cod
Draw the jib in southern drawls
And everyone dies a little bit more inside
Laughing or otherwise
And the Defense league
Debates whether it's empowered culture
Or backward stereotype
The fishermen only laugh
In the soured face of the Yank
Getting his first taste of the ould black rum

Under the razor-sharp moon
Knuckles bleed in the alley
The city gets meaner with every shot

The street is satched with sweet fragrance
Of rum and saltwater
And the cheap Woolworth perfume
Of another tangle of up-the-shore young ones
Wandering aimless, laughing into the black, drunken night
That begins and ends on the shadowy end of the street

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, September 30, 2007

Poem Edited: Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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