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August 2003  |  Jacket 23  Contents  |  Homepage  |  Catalog  |  Search  |

Denis Gallagher

the habit of irony

— for Kenward Elmslie

   i don't look like william holden at forty
because the décor is all wrong   a picture

Bananas Voulu   improperly hung too low
   a book opened at random upon a table

continues     the poet found an old pot
in the mountains ...
                                   a dead fly   also  
the lasting mark of an unusual vase

what absent flower prompts a memory?
any flower prompts a memory       thus

your practised tread across the blue rug
  headed always towards the opened door
beyond which we found love in familiarity

         when diana died people cried
         people cried when stalin died

conversation can seem trivial when it is not
                                           when elvis died

poetry never ends   it follows   then the heap

August 2003  |  Jacket 23   Contents page
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