Zinger Launches Next Month Across the Country

Salmon Poetry have lined up launches in Galway and Dublin next month for my new book, Zinger,
along with new collections from Elaine Feeney and Stephen Murray.

Galway Launch – De Burgos, Augustine Street. Saturday 9th Nov @ 4pm

Dublin Launch –  Irish Writers’ Centre, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Wednesday 20th Nov @ 6.30pm

Both nights should be good fun: books, poets and wine. All welcome.

We Spend Our Time in Georgian Rooms Dreaming of the Future

We spend our time in Georgian rooms dreaming of the future
The river roams narcotics rising through the systems & the streets
We pass these statues all our lives: we do not need their names

The sound of the sky is black with thunder & sheets of cawing gulls
Searching the surf for their purpose & carrion to feed the young
They hover their bulk above the wires of our tiny electric trains

Then drift to outposts & new construction built of dereliction
Into the plain livid always leave behind imaginations –
Fishing boats tilt from side to side dredging bones from the shale

We are past the point of reclamation now we are embedded
Tearing our limbs from the concrete we think it has not set
We drag our bodies from place to place until we find a grave

A worm pit or a scattering that suits our aspiration:
We spend our time in Georgian rooms dreaming of the future
The sound of the sky is black with thunder & sheets of cawing gulls

We telephone              we email          we transmit some feelings
We mark time with photographs of sunshine and kittens
Or Sisyphus a smile singeing his lips

                                                                  set for the last great push


from Zinger (Salmon Poetry, forthcoming 2013) / first published in Southword


Greenland is breaking off the port side
the plane we travel on tilted
drawn back by the earth now and then
Beneath us ice packs open across melting outposts
and terminal glaciers find their way
again into valleys and streams
inching out of mountains
New drifts begin to build and
in our heaving transport
we chart a course that it might be altered –

Greenland is breaking off the port side
we move with the speed of hot metal and kerosene
above the traces of future states
by which the states we know
will be consumed and replaced


Taken from Zinger (due October 2013). First published in The Bare Hands Anthology (2012).


the shields are melting into your walls   Istanbul
the invasion is thousands of parachute toys
fired into the air by legions of traders
and tiny beneath them girls weave torn corners
of canopies and veils into the sky
sky of gulls occupied by turbulence
water and light moving through the cistern
spirits struggle for space on the square   flags wave
flags always will    voices mark the boundaries
of the city    voices hearts and outstretched arms
Istanbul    the shields are melting into your walls
the invasion is thousands of parachute toys
from Zinger (Salmon Poetry, 2013 forthcoming) / first published in The Penny Dreadful, #2

New Poem from Zinger

In the run up to the launch of my new collection Zinger, due to be published by Salmon Poetry in October, I’m going to post some pieces from the book every now and again for the next couple of months. First up is an extract from ‘Perexhod (per-eh-hod)’, a long poem that takes place in the underpass of the Moscow metro and includes accordion players, interrogators and the ghost of Apollinaire. Biblio Globus, by the way, is a well known bookstore near the Lubyanka prison.

Biblio Globus

The ghost of Guillaume lives in every perexhod
his song heard up above
through cracks in the order
of architecture and noise

He sings
the rhythm of airline schedules
the frequency of electric trains
the secret translations of our days
and in the clouds numerous faces

He sings
plumes of smoke extended over corpses
the bell curve of artillery shells
children’s hands held tighter suddenly
and the question of our agency

Accordion do not abandon us in Lubyanka underpass

we are descendants of our demons
the spark and roar of wheels and rails
raging birds trapped in tunnels
fireballs spitting from their mouths

sprouting blades and ancient carbines
raised from the medieval dead
(about whom what we know
we must generally guess:

their music is only written down)


Guillaume your ghost is everywhere

you know this is temporary

the mountainsides above you of tribal confection
animal loyalties and local disputes

are nothing but muck and will come tumbling down

Guillaume with the shrapnel lodged in your head

enter us again into other worlds
remind us we are not just bodies
for murder and production made

Guillaume who dies of Spanish influenza
tracking different shades of rain

Guillaume who foresees the shrunken craniums
and the attempts to reproduce them

who whistles in the aisles of the Lenin Library
to be maintained on sheets by the nomenklatura
deep in the Polytechnic vaults

Guillaume whose voice is resurrected

neon filled balloons rising

with the throat cut sun up Gorky Street

Guillaume whose heart is pinned to a Polish shop sign
Guillaume who is spirited in the mineral water
Guillaume whose words are sliced from the sky
by black op turbines
Guillaume we are high on benzene lead and Mexican absinthe

do not abandon us yet