|Justin Quinn was born in Dublin in 1968 and has
published 3 collections of poetry, most recently Fuselage
(Gallery, 2002). He lives in Prague.
On small, hard shelves,
serried & stacked,
(a moving tract
of loves & salts)
rise from the grey
of the subway
& then break through
to the city's haze.
their works & days.
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.
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.