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Bill Dorris

Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer

Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer

I take the DART out of Pearse Station
heading home from the National Gallery
North over the Liffey
past the Custom House
and Morans

and last nite slips back

batterin' reels round that pub floor
with Noeleen or Irine or

ah for fuck’s sake

Johnny the Bollix on E
lap dancing your one from Clare
straight thru the set

and where’s Vermeer, de Hooch and the rest
when you need them

to paint Johnny up
in one of those Delft drawing rooms
swathed in lace cuffs and powdered wig
strumming his lute
straight down to the vanishing point

and your one from Clare
just there by the marble column
in her gold satin gown
with décolleté, knotted sash and blue mantle swoons

her breasts the full harvest

and on thru Fairview past the WestWood Club
with "Ireland’s First 50 Metre Pool"
where "the Bar Code's always OPEN"

and into Cill Easra and Ráth Eanaigh station
with the jimmied gate
and the Marlboro Man there against the sidewall
holstering his rod

and finally left
down the Smirnoff trail toward home

looking for a pinhole, some vanishing point
looking for those ripe apples and peaches
that sunshine streaming in

and there’s "Emmo" just ahead
on the litter bin
"Emmo" in red and black gothic
still "fuckn Chantal"

and I’m thinking about Jean Puget de la Serre
and Paul Jacobs
about those letter writing manuals of the mid 1600s
that odd phrase about how letters should be
"written equivalents of polite composition between people"

and I’m thinking about Emmo and the Bollix and
those little kids under that crepuscular sky
there in Rotterdam

you know just outside the grand loggia
where your one from Clare’s
leaning up against that marble column

thinking about the those little Dutch kids
that look just like dolls

porcelain dolls

Poet's Biography:
  For someone who started out publishing in experimental psychology journals ... how’d Utah Phillips put it

"it’s a long, hard road back to sanity"

a road I’ve barely started and can’t seem to get off of.
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