Issue 26: Maurice Scully


Shiver of a leaf in a breeze, a hammer

hitting a bell on a steeple-top in the square

now to place this little town (now) with

emphatic precision by the down-at-heel

palace here, now. I put my cup down.

Whose house is that?

Hollows, pockets, shadows, lines, stitches,

pins & needles & the times taken to patch

sunlight to countless little threads distinct

on a chair in a room upstairs somewhere

over a garden on the northern edge of a

coastal city: quiet.

Draw a line through that then add them up.

Once upon a time. Becoming included in its

future the tracing of a straight line out from

a point in the past along this side of flickering

presence with the aid of a Ruler only reproduces

the straight line already constructed along the

ruler’s edge. What is your house made of then?

Tapping hammer, dove-blur in a tree by a

bedroom window, travelling water through

pipes about a wall, purline, gable. Birdcall.

Your jacket on the back of a chair.

Maurice Scully was born Dublin 1952. He has published many books, most recently Play Book (Coracle Press, 2019) and Things That Happen (Shearsman, 2020). His Airs is forthcoming from Shearsman in 2022. A book of essays on his work appeared in 2020: A Line of Tiny Zeros in the Fabric, also from Shearsman.

Copyright © 2021 by Maurice Scully, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.