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Two Irish Poets by Mark R. Elsis

I was sitting in my Peugeot 504 taxi, first in line, waiting for a fare outside of the renowned Mudd Club late one night during the magical summer of 1980 when a passenger got in and said he wanted to go to the Berkshire Hotel on 52nd Street and Madison Avenue. He spoke with an Irish brogue, so I asked him, what part of Ireland are you from? He said, from Dublin. I told him my maternal grandparents were both born in Ireland, and I’m an Irish poet here to save our species from extinction. Right away, he told me that he was also an Irish poet. I said, my name is Mark, and it’s good to meet you. He replied back and said his name was Philip, and it was good to meet me. He then mentioned that it was coincidental to get into a New York City taxi and find out the driver was an Irish poet.

His Dublin accent wasn’t too thick, and I could understand nearly every word. At my local tavern in Elmhurst, the Gaslight Inn was owned and run by folks from Dublin with a much thicker brogue, so thick that many times I couldn’t understand half the words they were saying. I asked him what he did back in Dublin? He told me that he was in the band Thin Lizzy. Then I put it together and realized he was Phil Lynott, the founder, principal songwriter, and lead singer of Thin Lizzy. I told him I really liked his music, loved the song The Boys Are Back In Town, and he was a talented bassist, singer, and songwriter. He was genuinely gracious and said thank you, Mark.

He asked if I had heard of his first solo album, Solo in Soho, being played on the radio. I told him yes, WNEW-FM 102.7 gave it quite a lot of airtime. He was pleased to hear from me that his music was being played in New York City by the number one rock radio station in the United States.
Philip was happy and outgoing with me. He told me he was married, and his wife was named Caroline, and they have two beautiful baby girls, Sarah and Cathleen. Then, he asked me to recite a poem of mine. So I did. I recited a poem I had written a few months earlier called, You Create Your Own Reality. As soon as I had finished, he asked me to please recite it again, so I did. When I finished, he told me that it was a beautiful poem. His kind compliment brought joy to my heart, and I told him, thank you, Philip. The next thing I knew, we were at the Berkshire Hotel, and he gave me the fare along with a generous tip, so I got out of my taxi, shook his hand, and told him to keep on rockin.

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