“I’d be a bit more cautious about that aspect of how
I conduct my social life.” Brian Cowen
Though the world no longer permits,
for the King’s pleasure,
the Saturday night offering up
of girls on the altar at the Acropolis;
on a good day we’d allow you
anything short of being found on top
of a live boy or a dead woman.
When they come for you
the charge sheet won’t mention
the songs you sang in Galway,
nor the morning phlegm
we suffer from ourselves.
You won’t go to the gallows
for the crime of your uncleared throat,
but the shopping mall abandoned
two years ago with only
the underground car park completed;
its billboards still beam down
the future that will never be. For all
the palaces and pyramids built
with gold that didn’t exist.
For the less we have
to look forward to, you’re
the necessary sacrifice
these challenging times
The wind testing the September trees
as you’re driven down Taylor’s Hill
is your hangman whistling
before he knocks.
Kevin Higgins is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway, Ireland. He facilitates poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre; teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute and on the Brothers of Charity Away With Words programme. He is also Writer-in-Residence at Merlin Park Hospital and the poetry critic of the Galway Advertiser. His first collection of poems The Boy With No Face was published by Salmon in February 2005 and was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award. His second collection, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published in March 2008 by Salmon. One of the poems from Time Gentlemen, Please, ‘My Militant Tendency’, featured in the Forward Book of Poetry 2009. His work also features in the anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010). Frightening New Furniture is his third collection of poems and was published in April by Salmon Poetry.