An Lar 2005 (Unsprawling)

‘An Lar’ is the Irish name for the Dublin city centre.

Only in reality do my feet in their boots feel the
constant pressure of an other place
Only in reality does every wake-up second
burn significance onto my brainpaths
Only in reality does an ancient river

see me. And only… in reality am I Only…
in reality am I Only… in reality am I way,
way high and floating down the street awash
in all the frequency changes of rush.
When I breathe, and really breathe, I

find myself with my boots on the pavement,
gaping at the genuineness, grime and verdigris, and
smells: new petrol and old manure.
A thousand years of shit — imagine.
A thousand of shit and a hundred of petrol.

Statues to faith and debate,
shades of war and peace,
long memories and bullet-holes in walls,
a niche in EUrope and all the world watching
even while junkies beg on the bridges.

In cafes, portraits of writers.
Joyce and Beckett and Bono.
Yesterday honoured, today acknowledged
amid the neon and the cobbled ghosts. You
always know where you are, even

as apartment-frames leer
over castle and redbricks —
strangling or protecting? At least, unsprawling.

When I breathe, and really breathe.
Walking by the water I find my feet.