Two poems by Neil McCarthy

Worry About It Tomorrow, Do


Today, I found myself sitting on
some steps
opposite a gay sauna
on La Trobe Street,
penning postcards and lying
through my teeth;
but the steps were a good
place to view the ‘Batman
Building’ roaring above Elizabeth
Street and the
steadfast flow of commuters
of whom I am now jealous.


Two years ago in Shanghai,
I saw buildings as big as
my ambitions.

Today, I was unsure whether these
buildings speaking to me were saying
“Go find a job” or
“Go find a god.”
Worry about it tomorrow, do.


My accent stands out more and more every day,
as if I’m deliberately, yet subconsciously, over-pronouncing
my Irishisms:

–  Long black witta splasha milk, sound.
–  How’s the form, you’re well?
–  Any crack witcha?

The tram driver just announced Federation Square the
next stop. He had an accent that suggested he was
about to say ‘Next stop Federation Square comrades’,
but he didn’t.

He could have been Polish, or Albanian.
He could have been that Bosnian Ratko Mladic.
God knows they still haven’t found him.

The other passengers, too, may well have been
foreign, looking at me as an Aussie, a Pom, a Paddy
or a Yank; our skins itching for ecdysis to reveal ourselves,
but we never opened our mouths.

About the author

Neil McCarthy has been on the run from Ireland for the best part of a decade, writing and reading, flirting and boozing in places…

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