Phones by DS Maolalai

Phones

better

to take it from your pocket

and toss it

like a flat rock

skipping along

on water.

better

to turn it off

and lose it

somewhere

down a muddy hole.

 

in prison

if you kill someone

they confine you

somewhere

you can’t talk to people

and that’s not even the only benefit

to ignoring

the laws of man.


 

November

the masses elect

suddenly

to govern

with hysterical madness,

stark

illiterate

ezra pound ideas

hidden with hair and with fists on the dinner table

and at 4am the radios

stopped all their optimistic talk

and the papers came out at 5

about panic and rage and people sobbing and hugging in classrooms

and then the lazy afternoon bar where I read them

was packed full with dull-eyed twenty-two year olds

now convinced more than ever

they will be the last ones to ever walk around,

(just as I guess the last ones were)

and from over by the window I hear laughter

and “well, at least I guess music will get better now”

and I turn the page from politics to the culture section.

kid, if that’s what was worrying you

I think you’re going to be

alright.

 

Winter 2016



3 girls

all pretty,

suntanned,

drinking wine on the canal

bank,

sharing out cigarettes

and watching a barge

wallow

at an open lock.

 

they look satisfied.

more so

by far

than the people on the boat.

they get

the sun

and swans too,

after all,

and the wine,

and they didn’t have to pay

for the privilege.

 

and with them,

one guy

goofy and smiling

sitting

sprawled out

unable to believe

his luck.



The conman

you place youth,

fragile

as a boiled egg

in a cup,

and when it’s steady

you bring around

the spoon.

 

and she

is 18,

on the bed

naive,

and you

26

and pulling

her legs

apart,

like a child

torturing

spiders. this

is not love,

you think,

nor anything

prosaic,

just a good

and healthy fucking,

no more important

than drinking

a glass of milk.

 

you dirty

knowing animal,

plundering

the toffee barrel

on halloween,

choosing

to believe

for the moment

that your prey

is thinking

like you are.



Blackbirds

a decent shirt,

a bit of luck

and a haircut –

I found out today

my girlfriend

thinks I’m preppy

because

I dress

that way.

 

a shirt with a collar.

brown

leather shoes.

sometimes you

forget

that what other people see

is the shell you build around yourself

and really

nothing else – not your soul

or your bones

or any organs. the liver vibrates

and spleen spleens

the soul

screams

and nobody notices.

sometimes

even you don’t.

 

blackbirds

vanish in the night

and don’t even leave

their song

and the bats

and moths come out.

 

sometimes

I wonder

if bats

are night-time

blackbirds.


DS Maolalai is a poet from Ireland who has been writing and publishing poetry for almost 10 years. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press, and he has a second collection forthcoming from Turas Press in 2019. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.

 

 

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