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Poems
Double Dutch
(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

Double Dutch

Poem By Dónall Dempsey

Stuck in a Dutch disco
not enjoying myself much

I’m nursing a drink

it looks like
coloured sick
with an umbrella stuck on it.

I take a sip
and wince.

A stunning blonde
wearing a tight fitting tiny tee-shirt
with Rod Stewart emblazoned upon it
eyes me up...stops:

I look up
from my trying not to look
see Rod Stewart grotesquely distorted
by two giant mammary glands
staring at me.

Scary stuff!

“Ahhh wake up Donall
I think that she’s got something to say to you...”

She smiles
(politely)
and asks
(politely)

in perfectly articulated
English
(so I couldn’t fail to understand) :

“Have you got the time? ”

Consulting my watch I tell her
(awed into a hardly audible whisper) :

“It’s half past ten! ”

Her false eyelashes
(she must have inherited from her mother)
don’t even blink.

She asks again.

“No...have you...got the time? ! ”

It’s half past...is she
deaf or wot?

Then it dawns...
(like the theme from 2000 & 1)

she’s asking me
to dance.

We take the floor
attacking the music with our bodies.

Under a glitter ball
light slashes through our bodies
releasing our souls into a new dimension.

Blondie shrieks:
“Ahhhhh...she’s no good….yeah
rip her to shreds! ”

She shrieks
above the music:

“What...is...your name? ”

I scream back:
“Dónall! ”

She shouts: “What? ? ? ? ”

I holler: “Dónall! ! ! ! ! ! ! ”

The music stops.
...as if my voice had stopped it.

My heart stops.

She stops.

She looks at me
in horror:

slaps me
across the face

stomps off

thinks twice about it

comes back

turns to me and slaps
the other cheek

(she must be a Christian or something) .

The visible imprint of her palm
is branded upon my cheek.

It glows in the dark.

Everyone glowers at me
as if I were one sick looking cocktail
with an umbrella on top.

Just then:
“JE T’AMIME”
comes on

and all the couples cuddle
congeal

huddle into a dry hump
hands clenched on rumps.

I stand there
like a prat

(isolated & stunned)

not knowing
where it’s at.

The smoochy couples
leave a space

(around me)

as if I were catching.

Every year
(year after year)

if I should happen to meet
a person
of Dutch origin

I ask them
(taking first a cautionary step back) :

“Please, now
don’t’ take
offence
but what
does Donall
mean in Dutch? ”

I cringe and wince
anticipating the blow.

They stare at me
in horror

and, say:

“Nothing...why? ”

“Oh nothing...that’s ok! ”
I smile.

Both they
& I

thinking now

what

the f**k

was

all that

about then?

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