Ciaran Carson

Belfast Confetti

Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining
     exclamation marks,
Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the
Itself — an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of
     rapid fire …
I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept
All the alleyways and side-streets blocked with stops and

I know this labyrinth so well — Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman,
     Odessa Street —
Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea Street.
     Dead end again.
A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-
     talkies. What is
My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A
     fusillade of question-marks.

— from The Irish for No, Wake Forest University Press, 1987