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New Poems by Laurie Duggan

Eyewear is pleased to feature two new poems by Laurie Duggan.  Duggan was born in Melbourne in 1949. He moved to England in 2006 and now lives in Faversham, Kent. Recent poetry books are Crab & Winkle (Exeter, Shearsman, 2009), Compared to What: Selected Poems 1971-2003, (Shearsman, 2005) and The Passenger, (University of Queensland Press, 2006). His translations of The Epigrams of Martial have just been republished in the USA (Boston, Pressed Wafer, 2010).


Darkness across the water, before which
lightning, hail against windows;
a morning of tombs and low scrub, the desire
to get ‘shit-faced’ in some bar

The term ‘authenticity’ is meaningless here,
even the ruins attest to constant change

Sea-horse duct above rooftop generators,
satellite dishes, air-conditioning units, hot water services
An illuminated truck circles the town
playing Christmas carols
Santa Claus awash on the seafront

At night a manhole cover, lifted by waves
clanks in the middle distance;
the sea flattens out
with a slight breeze from Africa

The cats of Paphos exist as small clues
in a big picture

A bar that sports mixed drinks:
‘sex on the beach’ and ‘blow job’
hosts a band that plays ‘Down Under’

The old is new, the new is old,
nea and kato
(‘an after dinner sleep
dreaming of both’)

Everything here is ‘English’d
by various hands’

That’s a Greek word


At the Norfolk Arms

pressed tin and Corinthian columns
smoked jamon, cut glass,

a gilt Madonna hemmed
by dried peppers: W1 espagnol.

This neighbourhood’s Georgian,
the pub, named for Norfolk who?

Thomas Howard, the 4th duke,
Norfolk in Sussex, recusant?

The Spanish barman says
of the wine list I stare at
‘the most expensive is the best’

I remember instead the edict
on an album cover
(The Dictators Go Girl Crazy):
‘quantity is quality’

poems by Laurie Duggan


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