The following interview of Neil McCarthy by Lois P. Jones originally aired on KPFK Los Angeles (reproduced with permission and thanks to producer Marlena Bond).
Neil McCarthy studied English Literature at the National University of Ireland in Galway and began writing poetry when he realised he was useless at playing the guitar. His first publications appeared in local magazines and after influences and experiences in South America, Australia, Central Asia and Scandinavia, his work has since appeared in magazines and journals that include The New York Quarterly (USA), The SHOp (Ireland), The Dalhousie Review (Canada), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), Helikon (Hungary), Dream Catcher (UK) and Blue Dog (Australia). He has recited solo, played with musicians and charmed audiences at three consecutive Prague Fringe Festivals, performed in NY, Los Angeles, Denver, Dublin, Melbourne, Krakow, Vienna, Budapest, read at embassies, delivered lectures in foreign universities and various living rooms. He is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, all of which are not available, but he hopes it won’t be long until he has a full length book of poems available for purchase or barter. He is a mean pool shark and pound for pound the best Boggle player in America. He currently lives in Vienna.
Cider in the Luxembourg Gardens
They watched in Montmartre the rain fall in decades down
the slippery steps leading up to the Sacre Coeur where
a century of tourists decked in plastic ponchos charged like
Eight kisses were exchanged sailing under Alexander the Third;
the two lovers in question slightly vexed that there were
another twenty-nine bridges to court on a day where the clouds’
blatant barricade of the sky showed no signs in letting up.
Two hooves up he died in battle; one, he was injured, she told
him, swigging cider from the bottle in the Luxembourg Gardens
where he blessed himself for time to stop, in the name of the
father, the son, and whatever spirit there may have been.