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Poem by John Menaghan

Eyewear is glad to welcome John Menaghan (pictured) this Friday. Menaghan was born in New Jersey to Irish-American parents. He lives in Venice, California.

He is winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize and other awards. Menaghan teaches literature and creative writing at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he also serves as Director of both the Irish Studies and Summer in Ireland programs and runs the annual LMU Irish Cultural Festival. Several of his poetry collections have been published by Irish press Salmon, such as All The Money In The World and She Alone.

Menaghan’s recent move into playwriting has seen his one-act play A Rumor of Rain performed at the Empty Stage Theater in Los Angeles (as part of an evening that included work by John Patrick Shanley and Neil Simon). He is currently working on two full-length plays, one set in Berkeley, California and the other in Belfast, Northern Ireland and a sequence of short plays on the theme of leaving and being left behind. His third volume of poetry is forthcoming from Salmon in 2009.


This place suffused not
with spirits but thin traces
gaunt remains of deeds
done words spoken or left
unsaid undone undoes her
now all these years later
coming back to find she
has no home not even one
away from home no firm
connection to the earth no
place that calls her back
and says abide here you
will thrive and feel fully
alive don't look back or
so the wisdom goes and
maybe it's always folly
this effort to visit a past
life situation context lost
dissolved surrendered at
the border to some newer
world so many years ago
some lustrous future once
her future till it too grew
old became no more than
just another past she'll
try to visit someday and
discover it too lies beyond
her grasp teasing her with
dangled shards of fact
fragments of circumstance
so many places where she
once existed still exist
themselves after a fashion
still remain but do not
know her name . . .

Poem by John Menaghan

Reprinted from She Alone (Salmon Poetry, 2006) with permission of the author.
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