IRISH BAR, PHILADELPHIA
Now they’re postmodern. They talk about the Cause
purely to get a rise out of the git
who’s Irish and has actually lived through it.
They make a show of shouting and guffaws.
Out back, the john is breezeblocks stained with piss.
A cold Atlantic wind has found its way
this far inland. The leaking shadows sway.
Inside again, so many girls to kiss.
Four shitty Guinnesses into the night,
it could be some pub in Glencolmcille.
Somebody’s singing who’d do well to be quiet.
There’s even dancing. Barmen authentic too,
taking all orders with the same goodwill —
the face on them is: ‘Who the fuck are you.’
JUSTIN QUINN has lived in Prague since 1992. His most recent collection is Close Quarters (Gallery, 2011) and he has translated the work of Czech poets, including Ivan Blatny, Petr Borkovec and Bohuslav Reynek.