Thursday, 19 March 2015

Day 974: The Centre of the Universe


Paul Durcan is one of our funniest and fun-poking contemporary Irish poets. Have a look: 


The Centre of the Universe - Paul Durcan

Pushing my trolley about in the supermarket;
I am the centre of the universe;
Up and down the aisles of beans and juices,
I am the centre of the universe;
It does not matter that I live alone;
It does not matter that I am a jilted lover;
It does not matter that I am a misfit in my job;
I am the centre of the universe.

But I’m always here, if you want me -
For I am the centre of the universe.

I enjoy being the centre of the universe.
It is not easy being the centre of the universe
But I enjoy it.
I take pleasure in,
I delight in,
Being the centre of the universe.
At six o’clock a.m. this morning I had a phone call;
It was from a friend, a man in Los Angeles;
“Paul, I don’t know what time it is in Dublin
But I simply had to call you:
I cannot stand LA so I thought I’d call you.”
I calmed him down as best I could.

But I’m always here, if you want me -
For I am the centre of the universe.

I had barely put the phone down when it rang again,
This time from a friend in Sao Paulo in Brazil:
“Paul – do you know what is the population of Sao Paulo?
I will tell you: it is twelve million skulls.
Twelve million pairs of feet in one footbath.
Twelve million pairs of eyes in one fishbowl.
It is unspeakable, I tell you, unspeakable.”
I calmed him down.

But I’m always here, if you want me -
For I am the centre of the universe.

But then when the phone rang a third time and it was not yet 6.30 a.m.,
The petals of my own hysteria began to wake up and unfurl.
This time it was a woman I know in New York City:
“Paul – Ney York City is a Cage”,
And she began to cry a little over the phone,
To sob over the phone,
And from five thousand miles away I mopped up her tears.
I dabbed each tear from her cheek
With just a word or two or three from my calm voice.

I’m always here, if you want me -
For I am the centre of the universe.

But now tonight it is myself;
Sitting at my aluminium double-glazed window in Dublin city;
Crying just a little bit into my black tee shirt.
If only there was just one human being out there
With whom I could make a home? Share a home?
Just one creature out there in the night-
Is there not just one creature out there in the night?
In Helsinki, perhaps? Or in Reykjavik?
Or in Chapelizod? or in Malahide?
So you see, I have to calm myself down also
If I am to remain the centre of the universe;
It’s by no means an exclusively self-centred automatic thing
Being the centre of the universe.

I’m always here, if you want me -
For I am the centre of the universe.

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