Love is light in a dark universe.

David G O'Sullivan

Joan met Robert on a rainy day in October,

Robert was drunk, he came staggering out of a bar and fell down between two parked cars.

Joan took him home, and he stayed.

He was 22, and she was 29.

She let him sleep in a nest of blankets in the living room

And the next day she found him going through the books and records

She had collected in her lifetime.

They became lovers

Rolling together in the long nights.

The universe is naturally lonely,

But sometimes things connect and join

And explode

And Joan and Robert connected.

For the first time, they weren’t alone.

But Robert continued to drink and when he didn’t come home

Joan would have to search the streets to find him

And sometimes she found him and sometimes she didn’t.

It was too much.

So when she asked him to stop coming to…

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On asking an old man directions to the nearest men’s toilet.

David G O'Sullivan

 

To Bob Dylan and the person who wanted me to be more accurate with my titles.

 

Standing outside the supermarket

An old man reflected on this part of town.

“The one in the park is good,

They’ve recently put some money into it,

But the toilets by the railway station are not to be trusted.

They stink, the drug users hang out there,

Men blow each other and all the depraved shit in the world goes on there.”

The old man bit his lips as he spoke and went a little red in the face.

He folded his arms and sat down on a bench. The timber slats creaked under his weight.

I looked around the streets

It was quiet; a few cars moved about in the distance,

But here, where we were, no one moved.

 Being still early in the morning,

The sidewalk was wet from…

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Young Entrepreneurs

David G O'Sullivan

I sat waiting to get an x-ray

In some depressing medical centre

When a thin man with long black hair walks in,

His eyes are crooked as if they are spooked

And fled to opposite sides of his skull.

He has a slimy look.

He sits near me and leans forward,

“Do you think they’ll be long? I have a meeting of the young entrepreneurs tonight,

The YEM.”

“I don’t know,” I answer.

He gives me an unhappy look

And then his eyes glance up and down, taking me in,

Sizing me up.

His crooked eyes do not seem to like what they see.

“We’ve had a lot of rain recently,” I continue.

“Yes,” he snaps and looks away.

 

A pregnant woman walks in,

A man wearing the blue uniform of a nurse follows.

They start talking.

“Will I have to wait long?” the young man interrupts.

“I don’t…

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Side Chick

David G O'Sullivan

Sitting in the city café

A woman near the window starts crying.

Her friend goes to stand up,

A look of disgust across her face.

“He told me I’m his side chick,”

The crying woman says

Before the other one leaves.

I watch her out the window

As she walks away down the street

The other woman– the side chick- cries for a while and then leaves as well.

I wonder what a side chick is.

The waitress comes and stands beside me

I realise I’m the only one left in the café.

“They didn’t leave any money,”

The woman says.

I look up at her,

She is old, with lines on her face

But still pretty.

Her arm is a sleeve of tattoos, and a tear is tattooed on her cheek.

I start to ask her what a side chick is

But I change my mind and give…

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Written During The Presidential Debate

David G O'Sullivan

Edith Stillwell, 94

Lies in Stillmouth Church Yard now.

Obese woman in Church yesterday

Did not feel well that night,

Now silently rots

In her bedroom

No one knows, no one checks

No one misses her yet,

Purple and black she turns.

 

The day has dawned, the sun visits the streets

And illuminates the pebble concrete of the shopping centre.

Lie still beautiful lover, see the new day born.

Let your hair spread on the pillow a little longer.

You are all he dreams of,

Your hips and stomach,

The firmness of your thighs.

You are young

And soon to be a mother and wife.

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The walking stick

David G O'Sullivan

We went walking in Ireland,

From Sligo, we went, along blue-green paths

Occasionally damp, occasionally flowery.

She carried as much weight on her back as I,

Though her legs were much thinner, she was strong.

We stopped into a small shop, to buy her a walking stick.

Her eyes lit upon a carved length of yellow beech

Inscribed with Celtic patterns of interlocking design.

It was light but strong.

The day outside greyed over

And the shopkeeper turned on his light.

His long smiling face danced in the shadows.

 

Along the path we walked

I watched her tracks as she went ahead of me

The small round impression to the right of her footprint made a pretty pattern.

We stopped again in the afternoon

And drank lemonade and ate fruit.

“Men are the most tragic of the sexes.”

She said to me through half closed eyes

Her full…

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Monday morning.

David G O'Sullivan

The dew from the grass sits lightly on her woollen slippers

Her breasts push against her nightdress

As she lifts the washing to the clothesline dripping

With last night’s rain and tiny spiders.

 

The smell of spring dances in the air

The first sun across the rooftops is warm

And the fog of diesel

From Bus 121 wanders across the yard like a friendly dog.

 

 Down the lane, between King and Ray Streets

School students make their way slowly, laughing

Kicking a ball against the iron fences.

Their voices are rising, washing over the quiet morning.

 

As she watches,

The boys with their damp hair

And the girl’s neat braids,

She sighs.

 

At twenty-one

With two children and another load of washing to do

All that she once hated about high school,

She longs to do again.

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The Cabin

David G O'Sullivan

He decided to build a cabin on my land,

I could not refuse him,

So I told him to go ahead as long as the cabin was near the woods

And not on good farm land or in the flood plain.

 

My grandfather gathered all the building materials he needed,

He took from friends and family and tore down old river shacks

He bought cheaply from the parks service.

He took a load of roofing iron I no longer needed.

 

He moved it all to the spot he had chosen on the back of his old truck,

Taking many trips and using his own muscle to load and unload.

His chosen spot was near enough to the woods to be hidden

But far enough away so a fallen tree would not crush him in the night.

 

I visited him a few times as he built, bringing him…

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Dark rooms

David G O'Sullivan

Standing in the office, looking out the window

The electrician drills into the wall,

The office women walk past

She coughs, turns and speaks in a breathless way

‘The dust…it’s the dust… from the plasta.’

The women walk away in laughter, down the stairs.

The cold rain on the street,

She breaks away from the others and heads home,

The dark room offers release,

She takes a warm shower,

Before she meets him for dinner.

She has tried to tell him things that are important to her

But he will not listen,

So she keeps quiet

And thinks of the darks rooms where she is happiest

As he talks about his business

Fixing air conditioners in motor vehicles.

She tells herself it’s better than being alone.

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