Tag Archives: James Dowling

Heteronym

In the ‘Singles’ restaurant, I catch myself in the sheen coming off my neighbour’s dinner plate: I’m a magnet in search of iron; a bird of paradise stripped of its feathers. Once I could wax up my ears, tie myself … Continue reading

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Underwater

Walking through this sunken film set, I see the departed ones dozing in their chairs. Grown into their roles, these bit-part actors hamming their way through the shopping channel’s clearance sale – each snore a refusal to return and take … Continue reading

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New Year Poem

You see them on the A-roads of England, scattered about the old Roman highways: wraith-like outcasts on the grassy verges, legions of men and women, livid-eyed, charmed, deranged, by the Call of the Unknow, chalkboards under their arms, thumbing a … Continue reading

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There Was Never a Jesus Like Georgie Best

Even though the fetch of you is all but disembodied, and the star that you inhabit                         shines within a necklace of unknown moons, it is your voice that I hear rising above me in my dream. Soaring above the dire … Continue reading

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The Last Goodbye

The Chinese lanterns were from Sam and John. Like chieftains bereaved on the Isle of Islay, we sent ten, yellow, the colour of decay, into the sky, above the half-lit houses. Each shop-bought flame, an illumination of a private thought, … Continue reading

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Spanish Armada Hallucination

From one end of the wold to the other, olive groves, and the sun rampant upon the sea’s breastplate. We play chip and putt as mysterious ships jettison their cargo into the channel. Before us, a solitary golfer takes his … Continue reading

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The Early Years

Your dad was the enfant terrible of the plough, and, like Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life, he spat and raged against his art. The day that he became All Ireland Champion, Spring arrived triumphant in a New Town glade. … Continue reading

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The Way We Got Up After the Film

The way we got up after the film. The way the houselights caught us at the end. Our faces still watching, or so it seemed: silent, thoughtful, elated, redeemed. The way we suddenly found our voices aping the strange accents … Continue reading

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Open Hearted Sestina

In the Spring Break of nineteen-ninety-one, I flew Delta economy from New York to SFC with three LSD tabs in my travel bag. It seemed the right moment to withdraw – to cease from all that pinned me down like … Continue reading

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Memory Ireland

You are a child hurled high over an electric fence, singing the body epileptic. Your brothers and sisters surround you. The field is Elysian. Listen to the laughter. You are a cow leaping over the exiled moon of childhood; a … Continue reading

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The Overlook

“Don’t they know that we are bringing the plague?” said Freud to Jung as they set sail to New York. Funny how I should read this after reading of a heretic, punished horribly for defending Lucretius and those filthy atoms … Continue reading

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Remembering Nicolas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci

(who passed away within days of each other) Film is poetry sliced across the eye: It’s the cutting that clarifies. Brazen as you like, it sees right through you, and by lying tells you something true. Theresa Russell blowing smoke … Continue reading

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Three Sisters

On my occasional visits back home, I would make a point of surprising my sisters and my mother by waiting for them in their favourite café. Since this was a regular happening, we would joke about the surprise that wasn’t, … Continue reading

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City Upon a Hill

I lived there once; thought I would never leave. There are tracer-beams strafing the night sky; cemeteries stretching like satellite towns. The Humvee-dead are crawling through checkpoints, shoulders to the wheel, eyes fixed on rear-view. In the reptile house, serpents … Continue reading

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Now that England is Run by Machines

I cannot get back to you right now: I have lost my passport to a starship trooper. What’s more, I have become deaf to your dog-whistle Entreaties. So, blow me. George Orwell was right: a soufflé won’t rise under 500c. … Continue reading

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The Thinking World

All that everyday stuff shaking with thought: the grief-filled hands of the clock in the hall, the meditative chairs and beds, the stair pondering its own silence, the photos on the wall, sighing, whispering – bony fingers pointing to the … Continue reading

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Abstract: Cormac McCarthy’s Rejection of Island Economies

It’s rich here, the soil – constant as – run your fingers through it – it will not spoil But the men? Don’t get me started A pox on all the ardent-hearted prisoners of the bildungsroman Just – grow up … Continue reading

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Springtime in Korea

All things fall under a beautiful sky. You learnt this once freefalling on Tonic Sap, and, again, on a crowded subway train crawling towards the gathering light. Out of nowhere jolts wide-eyed David Niven, dashing as ever, resurrected on a … Continue reading

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