Conor O'Callaghan

Four Poems

Tiger Redux

Tiger, tiger word of mouth
now that you’ve gone AWOL, south,
has it you were lame or wrong,
sleaze incarnate all along.

Truth? Though you were mighty strange –
so laissez faire, so keep the change
spare us from the dope who (bore)
digs the hole we were before.

In the forests of the past
burns your blinding sun, the blast,
cat’s pyjamas, rush we’d (‘craic’)
gladly have you magic back.

Magic back designer shakes,
gold-soaked morning-after flakes,
fibre optics, soft-top wheels,
tax incentive movie stills,

Xerox plants like pleasure domes,
sushi bars, the second homes,
investment apts in Budapest,
light rail lanes, the glitz, the rest.

Magic back the casual flings’
appetite for matter/things,
owning/craving all at once,
one point three for tea and buns

served off Polish number plates,
syndicates, the real estates
pre being repossessed by ghosts,
bubbly snipes and server hosts

bobbing up like speech balloons,
cranes, Nigerian gospel tunes
whooping out of refuge blocks,
jet-set enclaves, shares and stocks

crashing every christening bash,
laundry bags grown used to cash,
polished granite firmaments,
sleeplessness and supplements

a glossy weekend dawns to, warms,
films of sweat that habit forms,
pins-and-needles, sales agreed,
decades on skip-forward, speed,

adrenalin like lemon zest,
murmurs, furniture distressed,
bouncy castles hard with air,
clubs, arrhythmic ticks, the blare

of sirens’ song on motorways
overheating into haze.
Seems we were (regret sublime?)
at the party all the time.

All that jouissance, that juice.
Post the 80s outpost blues
(signed away and midweek pushed),
all that feeling central, flushed.

All that buzz like year-round Springs.
All that North Atlantic bling’s
rising tide, the waves and boom
charging in another room.

All that hub became us rich:
all euphoric debt, all itch.
All that sweetness, green stuff love
couldn’t furnace fast enough.

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