Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Paul Farley (2015)

You’re told this deck was found

in some shattered bothy or croft

north of the Great Glen,

missing its six of diamonds,

shuffled and dealt to a soft

pliancy, greased with lanolin

and you’re told this deck lived behind

the bar in a barracks town

and came out to play most nights,

cut between the Falklands

and Iraq, its spring long gone,

dark-edged with mammal sweat

and you’re told this deck is the one

recovered from a halfway house

where fatty stalactites

grew in a microwave oven,

where a bottle of Famous Grouse

was brandished in a fight

and it might be a pack of lies

or it might be a sleight of hand,

and you can’t tell which is a bluff

because words are a good disguise

for holding nothing. I’ve found

that nothing is more than enough.

1 comment:

dan said...

The New Yorker (Oct 19, 2015)