I sought for miles solid ground,
got this tower of jelly plopped
on what the documents now tell me
was a swamp.
I’m the guy in the unravelling patterned sweater
who thought he could cure anything
by happening upon the right word for it
but now find myself trying to perform
with the hatchet I gave last rights to
and tucked under the floorboards
a quarter of a century ago.
Huff this candle out before summer,
when I’ll be in the garden
barking at passing dogs
because even the blooms’
fabulous yellow, pink, and blue
will fume with disinfectant now.
Kevin Higgins is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway. He has published five full collections of poems: The Boy With No Face (2005), Time Gentlemen, Please (2008), Frightening New Furniture (2010), The Ghost In The Lobby (2014), & Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital (2019). His poems also feature in Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014). Kevin was satirist-in-residence with the alternative literature website The Bogman’s Cannon 2015-16. 2016 – The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins was published by NuaScéalta in 2016. Song of Songs 2:0 – New & Selected Poems was published by Salmon in Spring 2017. Kevin is a highly experienced workshop facilitator and several of his students have gone on to achieve publication success. He has facilitated poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and taught Creative Writing at Galway Technical Institute for the past fifteen years. Kevin is the Creative Writing Director for the NUI Galway International Summer School and also teaches on the N UIG BA Creative Writing Connect programme. His poems have been praised by, among others, Tony Blair’s biographer John Rentoul, Observer columnist Nick Cohen, writer and activist Eamonn McCann, historian Ruth Dudley Ed wards, and Sunday Independent columnist Gene Kerrigan; and have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Times (London), Hot Press magazine, The Daily Mirror and on The Vincent Browne Show. The Stinging Fly magazine has described Kevin as “likely the most widely read living poet in Ireland”. Kevin’s most recent poetry collection Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital was published by Salmon Poetry in June; o ne of the poems from which will feature in A Galway Epiphany, the final instalment of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series of novels. His work has been broadcast on RTE Radio, Lyric FM, and BBC Radio 4. More info here.