Derek Coyle

Carlow Poem #97

Derek Coyle

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When she wasn’t drinking

cups of coffee,

you’d find Marianne Moore

at Brooklyn Dodgers games,

or boxing matches

with Cassius Clay.

In her cape and tri-corner hat

she’d sip her coffee

in Village coffee shops,

boasting, ‘’tis an incredible cure

for the hypochondriacal winds,

is the old coffee.

My one true source

of poetical inspirations.’


There were times

she just wanted to burst

Norman Mailer. Although

she generally enjoyed his company,

after a few pints

he could be obnoxious.

It was times like that

she danced around him

like the way they describe

popcorn in Chile

cabritas, or ‘little goats’—

the way it jumps in the pan.

So she thought to her poetical self.

Other times, she thought herself

the fossil of Tyrannosaurus Rex,

its teeth wrapped around a Triceratops.

Such is the power of poetry.


Derek Coyle


Derek Coyle has published poems and reviews in the U.S., Britain and Ireland; in Irish Pages, The Texas Literary Review, Cuadrivio (Mexico), Wordlegs, The SHOp, Burning Bush 2, Glitterwolf, Skylight 47, Assaracus, Chelsea Station, RFD, and fathers and what needs to be said. He has been shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Award (2010, 2014, 2015), the Bradshaw Prize (2011), and in 2012 he was a chosen poet for the Poetry Ireland ‘Introductions Series.’ In 2013 he was placed second in the Bradshaw Prize. He lives in Carlow, where he is a founding member of the Carlow Writers’ Co-Operative. He lectures in Carlow College.