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Poetry
  Justin Quinn
Justin Quinn was born in Dublin in 1968 and has published 3 collections of poetry, most recently Fuselage (Gallery, 2002). He lives in Prague.

 

 

Coffle

On small, hard shelves,
serried & stacked,
autonomous selves
(a moving tract

of loves & salts)
rise from the grey
fluorescent vaults
of the subway

& then break through
to the city's haze.
Slow-fade to
their works & days.

Speed

A swerve & brake,
but still the car
will quickly take
the boy so far

into the shadows
which crowd & shiver
through endless meadows
across the river.

Away from strength
& things & sunlight,
the massive length
of our earthly plight.

1602/1787

He drifts through the grand chambers late at night,
late in his reign, long years since he went whoring.
Instead he has some trusted men--raptores--
who sweep down from the Castle's sovereign height

& bring back virgins shivering with fright
whom he treats with elaborate decorum.
Around the streets go rumours & dark stories.
They put on different costumes then take flight

& soar out from a quill across the score
in wild glissandos of demisemiquavers:
one night for the overture, Mozart discovers,

so he has fairy-tales read out till four
to stay awake. When the messengers come at dawn,
he's asleep on the sheets, & the deed done.

© Justin Quinn 2004