Saturday, March 25, 2023

Manuelo Finnegan  By John Doyle

Pappy gave me a whole lotta green wrinkled paper, 
I intend to drink it mostly, the rest I'll keep safe for gambling and whores.  
My voice box for my cancer interferes 

with the tv set above the bar. 
Everyone thought it was a gas 
'til I walked past as the Jets kicked for a last minute field-goal 

against the Redskins and their universe turned black. 
"Isn't all of eternity black?" I said, 
after I picked my face and teeth from the kerb. 

My cousin Bernardo down in Durango owns a pick-up truck, 
I'll sleep in the back under the stars, 
tell Pappy I'm starting a fresh new life in some college 

named after some cat who cheated on his wife and died from emphysema.
Some time ago 
Bernardo told me he'd hit Vernon Presley across the head, 

stole his wallet, bought a jukebox 
and drank nothing but Cajun rum. I knew he was lying, 
Vernon went to meet Jesus in '79, 

Bernardo didn't touch a drop 
until NASA arrived on Pluto in 2795.
The rooks sit there at the Sicilian bakery, 

watch sunrise play 
all her aces first, 
then eat what Bernardo's boss left for the Irish;

"the haunted wreck of the nation-state
ain't no place for homesteaders, sandbaggers, 
one-eyed jacks and lesser-eyed cats", I tell pappy,

putting the phone back to the receiver
after a lady barely five feet high
taps her imitation pistol Zippo on the phone-booth glass.

I looked at her wheels
as I walked away,
I knew it would be a Plymouth Fury;

I never said anything to her
about her engine still running.
Let the devil tell her on Sunday morning

John Doyle became a Mod again in the summer of 2017 to fight off his impending mid-life crisis; whether this has been a success remains to be seen. He has has two collections published to date, A Stirring at Dusk in 2017, and Songs for Boys Called Wendell Gomez in 2018, both on PSKI's Porch.

He is based in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. All he asks is that you leave your guns at the door and tie up your horses before your enter.

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