Early Birthday Poem For President Higgins
After The Abuse Hurled At Him By Gurriers
after Oliver Goldsmith and Marilyn Monroe
You stand stall, your integrity so vast
you need help from an army officer
dragging it up the steps of aircraft.
Your intellect a Gillette disposable
razor, and matched only
by your ability to make
a simple idea sound complex.
Why evade the issue,
when one can instead engage
You’re bigger to us than Thor,
or Apollo, only with a slightly
different hairstyle. Times
when our thoughts were stuck
on bread and butter, for lack of either;
we’d turn to you for inspiration,
the ripple moving across your
enormous forehead signifying either
impending flatulence or thoughts
on the situation in Nicaragua.
The insult thrown at you last week
the worst a head of state has suffered
since Charles the First lost out
to an axe of questionable parentage.
Though rest assured, all
about Galway, men and women
of consequence are having
heart attacks on your behalf,
and raising glasses
to the man we know
never called anyone
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Kevin Higgins facilitates poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute. He is also Writer-in-Residence at Merlin Park Hospital and the poetry critic of the Galway Advertiser. He was a founding co-editor of The Burning Bush literary magazine and is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway City. 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. His work also features in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010). Frightening New Furniture, his third collection of poem, was published in 2010 by Salmon Poetry. Kevin has read his work at most of the major literary festivals in Ireland and at Arts Council and Culture Ireland supported poetry events in Kansas City, USA (2006), Los Angeles, USA (2007), London, UK (2007), New York, USA (2008), Athens, Greece (2008); St. Louis, USA (2008), Chicago, USA (2009), Denver, USA (2010), Washington D.C (2011), Huntington, West Virginia, USA (2011), Geelong, Australia (2011), Canberra, Australia (2011), St. Louis, USA (2013), Boston, USA (2013) & Amherst, Massachusetts (2013). In November and December 2013 Kevin also read his work in Basel, Switzerland and Phoenix & Tucson, Arizona. Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews was published in April 2012 by Salmon. Mentioning The War has been described by Clare Daly T.D as “a really good and provocative read. It will jolt you; it will certainly touch you; make you laugh; maybe make you snarl a little bit as well, depending on where you come from or what your background is.” Kevin’s poetry has been translated into Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Japanese & Portuguese. The Ghost In The Lobby is Kevin’s fourth collection of poetry will be launched early Spring 2014.