The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Maurice Devitt: 2 Poems Published

Poems by Maurice Devitt (Ireland)

Published in The Ofi Press issue 46



















And if the pain lingers I’ll buy new pyjamas,

my first for thirty years,

store them in an Adidas bag under the stairs

with slippers and my Old Spice gift-set,

received as a present many Christmases ago;

never used. I will brush off the dust,

douse my fingers in its familiar musky smell,

and wait.


Lost in the slow tap of time

I will sublimate my naked ambition

into the less demanding world of church

and state, smoothly build my reputation

for indecision and write you that letter,

the one started all those years ago, when

putting pen to paper could start a war

or end an affair.


Don’t call me until you’ve read it

twice, corrected the grammar with veins

of red ink and crossed out with vigour

all redoubtable references. Even then

it might be better to send a taxi round

with your response, pay him to keep

the engine running, as I dictate a reply,

turn off the immersion and step out

into the hastening gale.









Twenty-five years of loyal service and they usher

me out. I am standing outside the building,

work life bundled in my arms like a convict

released early for good behaviour. I have nobody

to call. My wife will be at lunch or bridge

and I never call her at this time. Anyway

how could I explain? The wife who is so proud

of my career but isn’t sure what I do, the children

I rarely see. Now I must unwind the truth,

one piece at a time, and she will ask me questions,

and they will look at me, as though a stranger

has walked into our house. I will add another detail

from the complex catechism of failure

and she will pull further back. I will explain how

my first small mistake loosened one brick, a flaw

easily hidden through long nights and sleight of hand.

I will unpick the phantom deals, time-zone immunity

and the late night celebrations leaving whiskey

on my breath. I will substitute a locked office door,

obsessive repetition and the torn beer-mats of solo drinking.

I may never tell her how I stood on the bridge beside

the station, threw in a plastic bottle to test the current. 

About the Poet

A graduate of the MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, Maurice Devitt is the recent winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition 2015. He has been placed or shortlisted in many competitions including the Over the Edge New Writer Competition, Cuirt New Writing Award, the Listowel Writers’ Week Collection Competition and the Doire Press International Chapbook Competition. He has had poems published in various journals in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Mexico, Romania, India and Australia and is a founder member and chairperson of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

Image: "Full-res Silent-pic Test" by Sal The Colour Geek.