He was last seen leaving a club by his friends: Young Galway deaths.

 

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Here is a new elegaic poem about the young men who die every few months or so it seems in my home city of Galway, on the River Corrib, on the wild North Atlantic. Its pubs were once described in a Rough Guide to Ireland as full of “a sullen hedonism” which much amused my partner’s Austrian father. Those that knew the young men loved them dearly and some of us love them though we never knew them.

Elegy for the Unprovisioned

“They keep leaving me
and they don’t
tell me they don’t
warn me that this is
the last time I’ll be seeing them”    Thom Gunn, “Elegy” from “The Passages of Joy”.

I also went down the dark of cities,
it isn’t too important where.
I drank more than I needed
and knew after the last table was cleared
there seemed only the echo of the sea
and the moon hiding
behind an early wind of cloud,
and my flesh damp,
and the thump in my blood intense.

I sought out loneliness
cruising for sex
like some vein of cold metal
lost and eternal,
yes there was danger,
a knife, a careless slip,
not sublimated but elated,
above all existential,
provisioned in my exile
with every word and molten line
I’d ever read and loved and knew.

Men, no more than boys,
go missing in this city
disappeared like it’s Pinochet’s Chile,
and yes they never warn us,
just go down the dark
for a piss they don’t
they don’t come back from.
When the superficial craic stops
and after the last pub closes
there is just darkness and the sea it seems
in which to make,
(I’ve heard it said)
a bad decision.

We’ve not provisioned them for this???????????????????????????????
the deathly struggle is just too great
the imagination so marooned
the mind fixates:
there is nowhere left to go.

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