Sunday, April 10, 2016

LETTER TO COLM TÓIBÍN


Colm Tóibín, it's come to this;
a neighbor, madly in love with
the wandering road of your writing,
rang my doorbell, asking me
how to pronounce your name,
which led to an Irish linguistics course
on aspects of hidden vowels,
slender consonants, síneadh fadas,
and diminutive endings. The reason
for the shh! in my cousin Sinéad's name.
How Hebrew and Irish, despite everything,
carry the hunger of the shark-toothed sound.
And how the final -ín in Máirín, and Tóibín
are but small endearments, like cailín.
Why say the ó and not the i, she asked.
I explained the role of the fada, the haloed ó—
she got more than she bargained for,
as we wandered from the story of Brooklyn,
on how to say Saoirse, to the The Testament 
of Mary, who, despite everything, did not believe. 
What my neighbor really wanted to know
was how the syllabic dove was nestled
within the folds of your name, and Iona's naomh.
But we are also bound by testament of cold iron,
our grandparents smuggled guns to Eniscorthy.
My neighbor got a discourse on the uprising,
and hidden pocket vowels within bol-g and fil-um, 
as my grannie would say. The anaptyctic mediator
smuggling vowels and proverbial bullets
across borders. This béarla
we hold in common.

4/10/2016

Bay Area Generations #42
2/2017



SILENT HAICHES 
FOUND POEMS FROM THE IRISH:
Hurley: Sea Tide




I'm sliding far behind on my poem a day vow. Behind by days... my laggardly love is an arse. 
In desperation, I took a Facebook post and mined it for its poetic content: 

Colm Toibin, it's come to this; a neighbor, madly in love with your writing, rang my doorbell, asking me how to pronounce your name, which led into a lively Irish linguistics course on hidden vowels, slender consonants, and diminutive endings. Much more than she bargained for. ‪#‎bearla‬
I hope Colm will forgive that indulgence, my trespass.

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