James O’Sullivan

Eyre Square


Crystal chimes with the vibrations from the guests overhead,

but if you complain it shows a terrible lack of sophistication –

that you aren’t used to the clang of a sensitive chandelier.


Heavy curtains conceal tall windows, protected out the front,

but backed up by newer stuff that slides the opposite way,

so you can open the old and new at once, to let the air in.


The view is of the Square, a view enjoyed by Dev himself,

and Lemass, Fitzgerald, and Dalglish, even Charles de Gaulle.

It was taken and put to use by Her Majesty’s Forces once,


before our dealings saw it returned, and promptly handed over

to one of Ireland’s many armies, who lost and won it back.

It suffered the Emergency, but enjoyed a boom from the railways.


Liam O’Flaherty sat there for much of the renaissance, straining

for the echoes of voices. Do the same, and you’ll note the drunks

pissing on the pathway, stumbling along in the name of Patrick.




James O’Sullivan (@jamescosullivan) is a PhD candidate at University College Cork where he studies under Graham Allen, recipient of the Listowel Single Poem Prize in 2010, and Órla Murphy. His poetry has appeared in numerous periodicals, including The SHOp, Southword, Revival, and wordlegs. He has been anthologised in the Munster Literature Centre’s New Eyes On The Great Book. James is the author of Kneeling on the Redwood Floor (Lapwing, 2011) and Groundwork (Alba, 2014). In addition to various minor awards, he received a High Commendation in the 2013 Charles Macklin Poetry Prize. James has read his work at such venues as the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin, and Galway’s Róisín Dubh. He has also been a guest reader at both the Cork Short Story Festival and Cork Spring Poetry Festival, as well as at the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. James is the Founding Editor of New Binary Press. Further information on James and his interests can be found at http://www.josullivan.org.