The Survivor. A poem by Kevin Higgins

When the last weather forecaster has died
spluttering live on air
and the TV’s just ads on a loop for things
there’s no longer anyone around to make;
I’ll appoint myself chief pathologist
for there’ll be no one else to do the job;

start slicing each of you open,
squash your lungs into a jar
intended for mayonnaise,
plop your eyeballs into one labelled
pickled onions, cut your livers out
like the butcher used to
when there were still butchers
and the liver wasn’t yours;

write down for my own benefit
my findings:
where you all went wrong.


Kevin Higgins’s fifth full collection of poems Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital was published last June by Salmon; one of the poems from it will feature in A Galway Epiphany, the final installment of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series of novels. The Stinging Fly magazine has described Kevin as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland. His work has been broadcast on RTE Radio, Lyric FM, and BBC Radio 4; and quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Times (London), Hot Press magazine, The Daily Mirror and on The Vincent Browne Show. 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). See his full bio here.


  1. This is really great.

  2. thanks Kate

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