Man Whose Middle Name Is Against
When his conviction for cruelty
to two canaries
got quashed on a technicality,
he found Jesus in a cheap B&B
outside Tuam and married
a girl with an excellent set
On bath night, as the scrubbing brush
worked its magic into every
crevice, she told him he smelt
like a Summer breeze without
the hint of cow shit.
The morning of his forty fourth
birthday, she got lockjaw
at the most sensitive point in proceedings.
After which, he sold Rosary beads
door to door in the more swish parts
On bucketing afternoons he grew preoccupied
with writing letters against sodomy.
So taken with life, he wished to inflict it
on every sperm that ever died on a tissue
or made its way to a necessary end in a white
treatment room outside Liverpool.
His face tragic as Ted Hughes
opening his latest gas bill,
he plods Main Street with a huge
colour photograph of a mutilated
baby, which to glancing motorists looks
like an advertisement
for a full Irish breakfast.
What To Do With The Knowledge
for Julian Assange
“You’ll be aware only of the fact that you have it now
and most others don’t….and that all those other people are fools”
Daniel Ellsberg’s advice to Henry Kissinger, 1969
That truth is a city burnt by the good guys.
That responsible capitalism is a young lad
being passed around by businessmen
in a cheap hotel by the railway.
That ‘world harmony discourse’ is words
from a speech our hero delivered years ago at
an officially sanctioned peace conference
somewhere the threat of Siberia
kept the citizens ecstatic.
That the lady on TV spitting out ‘life’,
‘human’, ‘unborn’ has a liking
for white powder and a pal who’s had four
dealt with quietly in one of England’s finer
clinics. That talk of justice is, in his case,
from the early seventies
out of a walking waste
of public money. That the journalist going red
in the face against terrorism
was at Moon’s corner, giving himself an alibi,
the day the fundraising wing
blasted that wages clerk’s head off.
That it’s never
the shiny, fat book they put
on the coffee table beside the custard creams
when you visit, but things kept
behind air vents, or
in never opened plastic folders
in a room they pray
you’ll have the manners
not to ask about.
Kevin Higgins’s poetry features in the anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010). Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews, was published by Salmon in April, 2012. Kevin’s fourth collection of poetry, The Ghost In The Lobby, will have its U.S. launch in February and its Irish launch in April 2014.