3 poems by Camillus John


There was a small moth on the windowsill 

in the bathroom since early morning.

It wouldn’t go away. 

I asked my wife after holding 

it in all day. ‘Do moths eat clothes or people?’

‘Clothes.’ She said. ‘Just go into the toilet 

for God’s sake. 

One moth won’t kill you!’

So I went in and when I came out I had no trousers.

‘What happened?’ she said.

‘That moth ate my trousers. It was Maggie.’

‘You never told me it was Maggie. 

It’s your own fault. 

You’re lucky you still have underpants.’ 


‘Is your Da dead?’ she said. 

‘No. He’s still alive.’

‘Great, so I can tell you. 

I dreamed about him last night.’

A woman in work came up to me 

at the photocopier and told me. 

‘In my dream last night I was at a function. 

So were you and your father. 

Your Da was hugging you and hugging you 

and telling everyone that he was very proud of you 

and that you were his son. And hugging you 

and hugging you.’

‘That’s a bit weird, isn’t it?’ I said.

‘Yes. Is your Da a demonstrative person?’

‘Not really. Average I would say for a bloke. 

He wouldn’t be hugging me like that in public anyway.’

Silence chewed gum a few minutes before us.

As we contemplated.

I nearly fainted. Cried.  

She went upstairs.

I nipped down to the canteen 

to eat a scone with butter,

no jam. I hate jam.


Is reading about music

better than actually listening to music?

Sometimes. Sometimes it is, alright.

I’ve just read about the best jazz flute album

of all time in a magazine. It was

originally recorded back in 1963.

The flautist is Jeremy Steig

and the album is called Flute Fever.

I can already hear and see it in my head

spinning like dark vinyl.

A masterpiece of wild improvisation

and avant-garde experimentation.

All from mere words on a white page.

Now I want to make a jazz

flute album of my own

even though I don’t have a flute.

Or any type of jazzy horn.

I don’t even have a record player.

Because this album gets better

each time I read this article

in black on white printed letters before me.

I’ll probably never hear it with real ears.

Just eyes. Jazz flute eyes.

I’ve got flute fever.

I’ve got flute fever bad.

Not bad like Michael Jackson

but bad like Jeremy Steig.

I’ve got flute fever.

I’ve got flute fever bad.

Flute. Flute. Flute. Flute.

Flute fever bad.

About the contributor

Camillus John was bored and braised in Dublin. He has had work published in The Stinging Fly, RTÉ Ten, The Lonely Crowd, and other such organs.

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