Harbour Street, Tullamore

Jimmy O’Connell
Here are Sunday afternoon shoppers where another
time ago the silence of religious observation
hung penitentially, or, on occasion, a club
match in O’Connor Park might see a procession of men,
cigarettes in hand, nervously anticipating 
county glory. I smell petrol fumes now, but also there,
in the air, unexpectedly, the smell of animal
piss, that clean sharp tang must have seeped into
these stones and cement grooved paths, released 
now to stagger memory into life: calves slipping
and slithering down green urine slopped trailers;
pigs, pink and manure slathered, squealing in riotous 
protest as farmers, nicotine fingered, Wellingtons 
stuffed with brown stained dungarees, turn 
and twist them into display. Smell has tricked me 
into hearing my Grandmother, sending me to 
Wrafters for a pound and a half of back rashers, 
“And make sure he gives you Tullamore sausages.”
He still stands there behind the counter, flour dust
in his hair, slicing bacon; the smell of stale Guinness
lingering from behind the yellow glass frosted door.
“You too will be a memory like me, young fella.”
He wraps the sausages in grease paper, “Others will
remember you for the ordinary ould things.”
Page 10, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124
Issue 124

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Poetry Ireland Review 124 contains new poems from Paula Meehan, Ciarán O'Rourke, Lizzy Nichols, Mark Ward, Gabriel Rosenstock, Özgecan Kesici, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and many other compelling voices. Also included is Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin's remembrance of her Cork childhood, excerpted from The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space, a book of essays reviewed in issue 124 by Caitríona O'Reilly. Other books considered in this issue include collections from Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Mark Granier, Tara Bergin, The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, and the Collected Poems of the late Dennis O'Driscoll, and there's also a short interview with Thomas Kinsella along with an essay on Kinsella as poet and civil servant. Another Kinsella is this issue’s Featured Poet, Alice Kinsella, and all artwork for the issue is supplied by artists associated with the Olivier Cornet Gallery on Great Denmark Street, around the corner from Poetry Ireland.

Available now to purchase online or in all good bookstores.