Bernard O’Rourke




South William Street’s

Too good for me

So I stroll gaudy Fade

Up demure Dame

Cross old Thomas

Down to coy Anna Livia

I stroll

The yawning night-time streets

The points of a compass

The margins of an opus

I stroll

Cross a city sucking life

From the river spirit’s veins

Across windswept bridge

From a drowned city raised

Capel’s light glitters hot

In sex-shop pink neon

And tall Parnell

Takes long strides crosswise

Past O’Connell’s great spike

Like a curse in the night

The size of a religion

That carves our division

The streets are a maze

But the city’s so small

They all know your name

There’s blood on Moore

And more on Mary

And down around Grafton

They got ‘em some bodies

Curled up on themselves

In the most expensive doorways

Not a breath of air

Between bawdy Harcourt

And glitzy Camden

The buzz of last chance

Hums electric nightlife

I stroll

Yawning night-time streets

Walking the beat of dirty pavement

I stroll

Yawning night-time’s reach

I see

Streets fluid beneath lights

And legs bright without tights

I see eyes alight

At the sight of a taxi

And dream of fumbling in backseats

From the backstreets of Dublin




Bernard O’Rourke is a writer, actor and journalist from Dundalk, Ireland. His poetry and short stories have appeared in The Irish Literary Review, The Pickled Body, Burning Bush II, Flashflood, The Linnet’s Wings, Number 11, Outburst, and Wordlegs. He also featured in 30 Under 30, an anthology of short fiction by young Irish writers published by Doire Press. You can find him on twitter (@guyserious), where he mostly makes bad jokes and talks about movies he’s seen. He lives in Dublin.