The Congress

John Gosslee
Music merges with the billboards
that arc into a gristled light around the car.
The bartender is so attentive to the tilt
of the whiskey bottle pouring out its earth.
The librarian’s shorthand records 
a copper cup next to the five tap beer spout,
the bill footed by the waiter in an apron and bowtie 
after the table skips out. 
My reflection in the big hotel window 
framing the city lights fixed on the grid,
clothed in taxes, hums a song about the now. 
The contracts and ornaments don’t smooth 
the skyline against the dawn. 
I hear the keycard click in the slot,
the ice crack when the water hits the glass. 
Page 47, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119
Issue 119

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119 includes new poems by 48 poets including Frank Ormsby, John Kinsella, Rachel Coventry, Aifric Mac Aodha, Gerald Dawe, Alice Miller and Claire Potter. Also included are translations by Richard Begbie and Kirsten Lodge, an essay on Bishop, Lowell, Heaney and Grennan by David McLoghlin, and reviews of Paul Muldoon, Paul Durcan, Sarah Clancy, Medbh McGuckian, Kate Tempest, George the Poet, and many more. The issue also features photography by Hugh O'Conor, Dominic Turner, Sheila McSweeney, Fergus Bourke and John Minihan.