Camden Street, Harcourt Street, George’s Street, Smock Alley.
No bells from the churches, no urban foxes, no first snowflakes.
Just the boom-boom of a bass, somewhere in the distance.
Rats skittering, across sodden blankets, beds of needles.
On our journey, people laughing, having the craic.
Making the most of their night out, under Christmas lights, strung high on streets, over strung-out people.
On Grafton Street, a Gucci sign beams over the remnants of humanity.
What does this poem say?
It begins with four street names. A sense of placement and of movement: a short stroll round Dublin’s Southside.
Then three negations: “no… no… no…”. What is missing? Church bells, foxes, winter’s first snows. A Christmas card scene, an idyllic picture of Dublin, present in the form of an absence: a haunting.
Then contrast. A bass throbbing in the distance, no poetic quality, no imagery, just onomatopoeia: “boom boom”. The vulgarity of nightlife…
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