Maser’s cameo-collection wall-art Anne Devlin
On the corner of Carmens Hall and Meath Street,
The Liberties, Dublin, versus Cadbury’s white
Script Chocolatey on irradiated blue panelling.
Her Pantone 292 skin. Her card-white hair.
The Warhol-hued shawl we might call KSU™
Bleeding into Eminence™. That yolk-toned
Crème Egg–shaped stencil sprayed on concrete
Side by each with the corporate giddy-up to shift
From noun to adjective. Where modifier is what
The modified meant. A billboard in a compliment-
Ary hue we’d eyeball to be Reflex Blue™.
Who cares if we know who Anne Devlin is
Or where the tributaries of the River Poddle went
Or why Houdini Bang Bang is carved into the steps
Of the Coombe Lying-in-Hospital monument.
In Dean Swift’s day these streets were bathed in night
Soil and Dutch Billys. Where Huguenots wove
Calimancoes, druggets, poplins shot with clock
Reel, culgy handkerchiefs. Where the weavers
Left off to cross the Liffey and be butchered
By the butchers of Ormond Quay. My mother’s
Mother’s mother likely lived here, scullery maid,
In the family way, at the turn of the 20th century.
It’s 1803. Robert Emmet is hanged, drawn, and
Quartered on Thomas Street, and Devlin strung up
By the yeomanry on the very cart her father
Donated to midwife the aborted state. See Wikipedia
For further details and inaccuracies. Maser’s
Liberties Festival pop-graph portrait head-to-head
With a miniature Devlin sat for at Rogerson’s Quay
Two hundred years earlier. Which shows more
Torture in the rendered care of Edward Trevor,
Failed apothecary, Chief Medical Inspector,
Kilmainham Gaol? More damp straw and effluent? More
Erysipelas? Such tender mercy. Give us a sign.