Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Second Tongue - Gearóid MacLochlainn

I am the tongue
in the kidnapper’s sack.
Lips stitched, feet flailing.
I am the tongue
bound on the butcher’s block
in government offices,
a battered, broken corpse
ditched at dawn.
I am the tongue
who comes in the night.
I am jinx
swimming through flex
and electricity cables.
I sing softly in the element of the bulb
on your table.
I am Johnny Dark, Creole.
I wing through secret pitch-black passageways
beneath the broken city.
I am the tongue
you shun on dark roads, in pubs.
I am hoodoo
waiting for you on the corner
under the yellow street lamp,
stalking you like a jilted John.
I am the tongue
you silenced. I am patois.
I am mumbo-jumbo, juju,
a mojo of words
in the back pocket
of the weirdo poet
busking for bursaries.

Gearóid MacLochlainn (born 1966) Northern Ireland
Translated by Seamas MacAnnaidh and Gearóid MacLochlainn
Source: Stones of Civilzation People's Poetry Gathering, 2006

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