Edward O’Dwyer’s Bad News, Good News, Bad News

I met Edward O’Dwyer at On the Nail, in Limerick last October, after we had both read on the open mike following the featured readers. He was curious about my book, and I about his, Bad News, Good News, Bad News (Salmon Poetry, 2017), so we traded. His book has a beautiful cover, and he wrote a really lovely inscription.

I also told him I had a daughter who had asked me to bring home “an Irish boy,” and he said, beaming, “Well, you’ve found a single one.”

Reading his poems, he doesn’t seem very single. But as many of the poems appear to be persona poems, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, should he ever show up on our doorstep.

In the interview (to which I’ve linked his name, above) he talks about Bad News and its context. Here’s a poem that I especially enjoyed, the last poem in the book:

The Credits 

(for Naomi, 09/04/2014)

A man with a very large camera
snapped our picture on Downhill Beach
during a week spent in a cottage outside Bushmills.

He said we’d wandered into his shot
yet we are in the centre of the frame, making
it a picture of us, and the intrusion his camera’s.

We are walking away, our backs to him,
the sun setting in front of us.
Our shadows stretch out long behind.

We are two darkened shapes blending,
at mid-distance, but it’s us. We know
it could be nobody else walking towards that sunset.

Here’s the thing: that moment
would have been a fine one for the world to end.
You could easily imagine the four horsemen

sweeping into the frame, and us
taking no great notice, accepting what will be,
wholly content for such a last moment.

This thought I have jokingly shared with you,
coaxing you to imagine that sky coming down,
dropping emphatically on us,

then one of those cinematic fades to black
where, if this were all a film,
the credits would start rolling down.

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