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JIM MAGUIRE

 

 

 

nJim Maguire's first collection Music Field (Poetry Salzburg) was shortlisted for the 2014 Shine-Strong Award. Much of his recent work has continued to centre on music and has led to collaborations with musicians, including most recently the Musici Ireland String Quartet. The recipient of an Arts Council Literature Bursary and a past winner of the Strokestown Poetry Competition, in 2016 he represented Poetry Ireland's 'Rising Generation' at the Iowa City Book Festival.

 

 

 

Music after the revolution

 

There he was on the terrace of the blitzed café

 

slouched in wickerwork, jabbing a fat finger

at the same phantom

doorbell – as if he'd never left the lecture hall –

 

the professor whose famous rages

put paid to my career at the conservatoire

 

flanked by the pinstripes,

they must have been his sons,

pale and unexpectedly middle-aged,

never once looking-up from their plates.

 

And could that have been their mother

on the other side of the table, the fabled choreographer

pursing her lips in the compact mirror?

 

Manic from jamming

against the rattle of the graffiti artists' cans

(we had come from the rehearsal

in the tyrant's ransacked mansion), I shouted

No hard feelings, professor, I was young and overwrought…

More a purging than a pardon.

 

Trembling, I turned to you

ready to explain how seeing him there

brought back the nights

when all I could hear was his roar: No I tell you No,

you're losing the tempo!

 

And for a moment I thought you were lost

in the cylinder-

aproned waiters with their pepper mills and oblivion

to the boarded-up windows

and bullet-riddled doorways

 

till you answered with a pressure of your palm

on my hip, a fillip in the swing

of your stickered violin case – still tipsy

from Schnittke, the noise we made.

 

 

©2018 Jim Maguire

 

 

Author Links

 

Poetry Collection Music Field at Poetry Salzburg

Poem in the Dublin Review of Books

More poems by Jim Maguire in Southword

 

 

 

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