10 Days Remaining
James Conor Patterson

Thursday 1st
posted by Jody Porter in Arts

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter

About Suffering
James Conor Patterson

So many of us gathered that you'd think
we were about to levitate the Town Hall.
Freaks of every stripe—from navvies ankle-deep
in concrete mix, to pensioners, schoolteachers, councilmen, the ecumenical—
calling down the mouth of the Crimean war cannon
like oracles charming Apollo from the rocks.
I'm somewhere near the back—among that sun-bleached portion
of a stranger's bad Polaroid; probably drunk,
probably pitching
memorial arcs of Strongbow down the Arts Centre steps—
when, out of nowhere, a Saracen comes squealing
through the barricades and our handiwork is scattered all over Kildare St:
burnt-out-cars, wash pots, empty kegs, cinder blocks.

The sort of thing I imagine there might've been
had I lived to see the eighties; as the unheard of, unseen
narrator of an altogether
grottier Icarus—wearing my German Army surplus coat
& battered Derbys—who can't seem to articulate
the insidiousness of failure as sanctioned by the State.
I think about this, and of my parents & brothers,
press "book selected flights", and I go back home to vote.



James Conor Patterson’s work has appeared in a number of publications including, most recently The Tangerine, The Stinging Fly, New Statesman, The Moth, New Welsh Review and Poetry Ireland Review.

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter (
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