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Vuelta de Paseo

(Back from a Walk)

by john-joe twomey

The little flame danced lamely in the wind

But stayed lit

Just long enough for the young man to take a hit

There is a crackling here

And it comes not from the flame he holds three inches from his teeth

But hands beneath

And they like everything have gone old

White dry from cold

Hard to hold

And sad

Here in a dwindling sun they sit whispering

O'er a Dublin rooftop symphony

Set to crow song, exhaust heat, paint blistering


Joint's gone out

Silhouette in weak-sun shadow

It means a culmination of everything

This chill air

His lighthearted despair

The yearning that can bring

It means the other side of autumn

The dust on the railing-sill is a painting today

Only he knows it

And he'll forget it anyway

It means nothing

It means entirety

The flame flickered and the face went flat

And the young man there for eternity sat



John-Joe Twomey is a Dublin-based Irish artist who grew up moving around the US. He returned to Ireland to study English and Spanish at UCD, and is in his final year. Although he focuses his creative efforts on poetry, he is also a musician, painter, and photographer. His influences include absurdism, surrealism, and a heaping dose of Beat poetry and Langston Hughes.


Image by Bree Anne
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