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I am bringing up to date the list of 2016 publications. I am having a good run of things so far this year, something to store up when response trends turn to winter. I have poems to come from Acumen, The Moth, Critical Survey, and a few others too, each of which fulfills me. I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.

I am still working hard sending out collections and pamphlets too. Every time I get a rejection, I immediately find somewhere else to send the work. It’s almost enough to keep me sane, as is your support, without which the work would remain in the black hole. Those of you knowledgeable of my work and who believe in me are awesome, affirming.  I hope to attract more readers of course, perhaps with your help. You should always feel free to share my work around.

It’s a lonely life writing; madness that exists in a trance. Only writers know it; the stereotypes are absurd.

The following three short prose poems were published here at The Galway Review earlier this month. As seems to be my current experience with scoring publications, they are not the newest – written about 18 months back. The process is slow; understandably – though a big thumbs up to TGR for the speedy turnaround of these – because most of it done by faceless angels driven by the love of the love of poetry. Without them, nothing.

The reality is that you never get to see my recent stuff, the poems that excite me most right now. They too join the queue.

I’m still really pleased with how these 3 turned out though; their journey never really ends, even now they’re published I read them and think to tinker with what’s already online.

These are absurd times, folks, as is obvious, I hope, below.

 


‘Up and back with Charon’

From recent appearances things are weighted towards hatred, Charon concludes, up river alone, grimacing through the dripping stalactites to his daily sight of Earth’s surface, his turn-around, where he works the lines of dead-eyed young men clogging the sunlit quayside.

Passports annulled, he takes his €2 barge upkeep from each passenger’s tongue and sets his quarry upright aboard the rickety skiff which recedes gently at first through the gaping black arch and into the speechless river of night before the ferryman starts to rock the boat, rocks it till the statues tip and are gone, fearful as he’s become of punting haters into Acheron.


‘Tiddler’

Relative to body mass your brain is a dinosaur’s which is why I have killed you and am observing it now. It really is a tiddler, easily the smallest I have ever held, only the amygdala is normal size, whereas your thalamus is a little baby’s fingernail, it looks so frail it needs nibbling off. Your cerebral cortex appears to have existed for thirty years as a single cross-sectioned slice. Your brain stem – and I apologise for my part in this – is pulped asparagus and how did anyone make it out of their mother with a frontal lobe like that?  In fact the whole thing is like it’s been dug up after 3 million years in a peat bog.

As soon as I’ve formaldehyded it and washed my hands, I’ll get on to Frank at the Coney Island Freaks, Wonders and Human Curiosities attraction, tell him I’ve outshone myself this time and he can e-Bay the foetus of Bedelia the two-headed pig, the sand-filled snout of Lionel, the Lion-Headed Man, the body of the Tennessee Belle with the lower limbs of a dipygus twin sprouting from her pelvic area and what remains of Oesophageal Amanda who could deep-throat a scimitar without making a sound. These previous acquaintances are just so yesterday, so out-of-touch with what the modern family looks for in visual entertainment during coastal holidays. Here’s where your brain is a game changer. Frank might even open through winter this year.


‘The sensitive matter of farewell’

Rare though it is I get to speak at funerals, I do keep to hand updated eulogies for friends who are running headfirst to the door of the oven or straight down their hole in the ground. ‘Debunk Cliché’ is my motto which when put into action along with a few public speaking tricks-up-the-sleeve is likely to liberalise forever our attitudes to the sensitive matter of farewell.

Beginning at the lectern with deep laughter and a couple of asides pertaining to the heart attack and what really caused it, I cue up a song on the CD player whose lyrics reveal everything sordid. After this I read a glowing tribute to the departed from a serial killer on death row. I assuage the mourning family – who will perhaps be getting restless – with a slide show of their loved one with a recent haircut having sex with a youth perhaps older it’s a little grainy. Raising my hand, I conclude with a self-penned poem which touches on the themes of tax evasion, domestic violence, psychiatric sectioning, and Christian hope.

This will be followed by a pun intended mass free-for-all accompanied by a fretful organist during which the coffin will spill from the stand and the body of the now-gone will roll out dressed head-to-toe in white linen with the intense smile of inner heaven spread wide on his or her face.