Clasp to the dark back room

Gladioli, refute

Purse your lips and shift into the backroom

Was your jacket left there?

Behind, in the cloakroom

Maybe it was but you just don’t remember

Psychedelia apparently

Is that what sticks

Like ice

To a tongue



Tom Atom

Rising to a flurry of dust, or dead skin as he was told by television with shards of sunlight spreading a dust-gauze through which his anxiety would settle and his pale, flabby, fleshy gut pushed the haze out of the way as he say down to collect himself. He wanted to observe people in the city again today. He wanted to feel intimacy with humanity again today but it wasn’t like ‘today’ or anything as the days of no intimacy had began bleeding into one another like a hemorrhaging wound of purple and yellow puss and the salve intangible and the dressing inadequate like baking paper. He was a submarine. He looked out the window of his apartment in Bray and saw the coal water breaking on the beach – in and out like a foamy tongue. He made himself an espresso and thought about masturbating but he was agitated so it would be a ‘sad wank’ and one that would compound his sense of solitude under the groaning sun. Instead he tried yoga, and stretched out his arms and legs like a freak, adopting a throaty chant in order to exorcise some of that weird, primal energy. That stuff bubbled within him a lot, and his therapist said it was wise to have ‘outlets’ or ‘pillars’ as a means of coping with it. He loathed the faux communion of AA meetings, and the proselytizing nature of ‘recovery’. He wanted to master the art of self destruction and decay — not be prescribed ‘redemption’ by twelve steps and a prescriptive methodology of ‘brotherhood’ and collective therapy. He reviled sharing intimate details of his mind with people of inferior faculty. He felt cheated and he felt as though he were betraying his own mental reflex by doing so. If there a way to self-preserve and self-value without the need for invasive group-love he would gladly do it. There was a discordance in this. He perceived humanity as being atomized and fragmented — delusional and hypnotized by big business, marketing and advertising, falsely succumbing to the illusion that their consumer habits mark them out as individualistic or original, whereas at a macro level subcultures merely force the hand of the dominant ideology, which is then supplanted onto the subculture leading to trends, fads, ‘movements’, ‘statements’ and ultimately headache and nostalgia.

There was little coffee left in his cup and he didn’t really like smoking anymore so he didn’t bother.


Bee highway

I look across the garden

And I feel into the far pockets, the lay-by’s of sleepiness

Where you can check in for a moment, and rest your soul

Against the dual carriageway, but also beside the cool sea

Where wounds of urban and pastoral surgery, conjoin with awkward knives

And there a bee buzzes at a Dandelion in the park, beside Booterstown, the estuary and the reserve, curlews probe in soft reverie

As a freighter roars past on the morning’s shift

But we have slept and we are fortunate, not on the train or in doorways but in beds and with milk and bread and heat

Unlike the black tramp under the bridge at deadlight

Her fleece a soggy brown, her limbs hard as old honey, the dawn deliveries of Dawson St. pummel her muteness, her frightened silence, delivering her into the forest

The taste of loneliness buzzes behind her eyes like that bee and on her tongue like sand her tide soars out and she remembers how many of her friends are dead or in decay

Bereft she flicks a needle, and within moments she is gliding, a taraxacum propelled by illegal ink


Scared? Scared of what you mincing, limp faggot. Get your kecks off and let me watch you blow me after I fuck your arse. I’m going to cave in your little faggoty arsehole you dirty little runt. Why’d you be scared? Why’d you be cryin’ at all ye little gimpy geebag. You on the dole are ye? On the scratch is it ye? G’man. G’man ye lil scrounger, ye lil fuckin whingebag. Get up off that bed ye fucking howler. You fucking howler monkey. Into the boozer wiche. Into the bookies wiche ye lil faggot. Into the chipper wiche. “Two bags of onions rings please man..” Onion rings? Onion rings is it ye lil faggi, ye lil pox, ye lil gayer. On a diet are ye? Got the bike fixed ye? Lil hipster faggit ye. Trendy little queer ye. Fuckin sap. What’s that in yer pocket you fucking shameful cunt? Is that a bag of coke is it? Ye? Nice wan ye? Yehow! All the bayz on the rip wha! Get into that jax and bang a bump ye lil thick ye. That’s it. That’s it g’man. Now gerrupouravit. Gerrupouravit in to that club. Into that club with all the other lil faggits and queens and queers and fuckin wreckthegaff ye? G’man ye. “Two pints of Wicklow Wolf please man”. Who are you callin “man” you fucking sap, ye fucking joke. He’s not “man”, noones “man” you’re not in fucking SoCal ye fucking joke. Wicklow Wolf ye? Nice ye? Nice was it ye? Gettheminche and get back in that jax and dish out another couple of lines of dust for these scaldy lookin moths over there, ye? Nice man. They’re coming ye? They’ll be cummin alright wha?! Heeheehee. Show them the love man, ye? Yer a good cunt actually, yer alright, jeknowarimean? Yer sound ye? You should call yer ex man ye? Call yer Da, ye? Get into that phonebook ye fucking poor cunt and text yer mates. Get into that whatsapp and get deep man ye? You’re a sound cunt and you’ve had it tough and all. Bang another few lines out there for the girls ye? Few spliffs goin round ye and some molly ye? Nice man ye. No horse though. Stay away from that, ye? Nice few tokes ye? Few tunes bumping ye? Can feel that ice on your soul ye? Nice ye? Fucking lovin it mate.


Oasis of poison

The courtship curled up on her face like wine

The oasis of tyranny fermented on her brain

The duvet rattled as the morning’s blue light took hold on the walls

All leaves shimmered and her ligaments dissolved

She was writhing, writhing sexless

Why was it so hard to get a good fuck in town?

Why was it so hard to get a good cup of coffee that didn’t taste like ass?

What a time to be alive

She was on the bed and took her nightly dose of Citalopram, 1omg, he was in the pub, about to leave and remembered he was due his dose of meds also, so he took it, detached, and walked home.

“Heya”, she said. “Hiya”, he replied. He sat down with his back to her, rain droplets on his back drooling onto the duvet causing there to be flecks of wet on the bed. He took off his jacket and his jeans and sat in his boxers and shirt outside the duvet on the bed beside her, staring at the ceiling. He plugged his I-pad in to charge as it was at 37 percent.

She was curled up towards him, in her pink silken nightie, her feet were cold and her eyes felt heavy. She slowly reached her hand towards his balls and began massaging them. Nothing. “How much did you have to drink?”, she asked him. “Ah few”, he replied. She coiled over on the other side of the bed and stared out onto the Liffey, the moonbeams glimmering on the cold December water. She could hear some girls shrieking and laughing from the quays down below.

Using both hands he turned her over and began groping and kissing her, taking her by surprise. She was wet, he could feel, but her body moved perfunctorily, and it sorta killed the mood. He could barely muster an erection and she quickly dried up. After several minutes of sad, listless penetration they stopped. He went to the balcony and smoked his pipe.

She was watching Netflix. He fell asleep first.