A new poem by Donald McGrath


La Bourboule was as doleful as its name
our last night there. The slick streets gleamed
with absence and those Austrian suicides
you talked about were definitely there
blending discreetly with trees we couldn’t name.
We gave thoseuntimelyshadesthe slip
at the Brasserie Cyrano, noses buried
in ample snifters.
And thence onward, Haroldicus,
Master of Lists and of the Tall Pint,
to your lieu de prédilection, the Blue’s Bar
with its scarlet walls and de trop apostrophe.
There, a woman in a pink vinyl hat
festooned with an inflated cock and balls
set the proper tone for dealing with catastrophe.