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CARRYING A POTATO, by Jim Ward

CARRYING A POTATO i.m. James Joyce


As a sensualist your love for women and forbidden fruit

Turned you against your Church.

Always a lotus-eater though, its rituals still held you – like the Roman candle you describe.

And eating blackberry jam at Easter a reminder of the crown its thorns once made.


With teenage visits up Mecklenburg Street to satiate the attraction

(and your mother dying young couldn’t have helped),

God and Rome couldn’t convince you to stay with them,

Though Nora did.


The daily afflictions that followed you; a doctor’s casebook.

Now, reading between the lines -

Was Lucia inspired, not mad, when she told you she had it? Congenital?

And is it that and not Rudy’s death, why Bloom never troubles Molly anymore?



*

Joyce caricature, by Jim Ward

Jim Ward has previously been published for poetry in English and Irish (Cork Literary Review, Poetry Bus, Galway Advertiser, Feasta, Culture Matters’ The Children of the Nation Anthology, Live Encounters, Pendemic, The Blue Nib, Impspired), for one short story in Irish and for ‘Smoke’ his story published in The Blue Nib and for ‘Evelyn’, in Culture Matters’ From the Plough to the Stars Prose Anthology. His play Just Guff won 'Best in the West' award at Galway Fringe Festival, 2017 and has toured locally including Town Hall Studio, Galway, Kilkee Playwright Festival and Liberty Hall, Dublin as part of MayFest 2019. His poem 2016 Proclamation was runner-up in the Galway Bay FM/Thoor Ballylee Yeats Poetry Challenge,2017. His memoir piece Begging from Beggars will appear in The 32, edited by Paul McVeigh, in 2021. He has just finished a first novel and is also a published cartoonist.

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