Seven Winters in Paris

Thomas McCarthy
'But the girl I was in love with was in Paris then, and I did not take the first train, or the second or the third.'
Hemingway A Moveable Feast
Vuillard's hospitable and gifted portraits: their eyes, passport-less,
wandering from conte to conte.
There was no Thomas MacGreevy waiting with a stroke of orange in his morning-dress, but undiplomatic Paris;
fireflies on the rosewood spinet.
The bicycles go by in trees and trees through the dusk of the Invalides.
Raising love-dust, bicycles become leaves Marguerite Yourcenar is dead.
Two referenda lost, we took the inner seats and flew to Paris through wind and sleet.
Should we go now, to spread the Gospel of poems, ten Metro tickets surviving
in your purse. For Garret Parnell is dead.
To embrace you, like the Orly security-man: ah! Irlandaise! Your body
is the accent I uncover and uncover.
I am in the Metro beside you thinking of you faraway in the Metro -
for you have slipped away into a paperback. VIII
You standing in front of the grey fresco of Picasso's workshop -
wearing the talisman of a barely pink scarf, red rag to a bull.
The bicycles speed past Picasso's studio: horses on their way, pedalling, to see
the thoroughbreds of M. De1acroix. XXVI
I beat a retreat from St. Jean Perse; his first editions beyond our reach sycamore leaves litter the shop-front like tunic fragments at Austerlitz. XXVII
Here's the ghost of Ezra Pound, maestro, tulip-eater,
lost in Arthur Waley and never found. XXVIII
In the lIe de la Cite we meet Denis Devlin, a polite ghost, remember?
'I hear the poets have lost their marbles, and the Dail has burned Parnell's heart.'
'Yes, sir. And they were supposed to eat it.'
Page 26, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 27