The Vulnerable. A poem by Kevin Higgins

I dream I’m watching the morning train
rattle down the p latform without me.
Pale and panting from the chase, I sit
steaming on the floor which smells
of Euston, Liverpool Street, Wat erloo;

realise that like
an ultra Orthodox Rabbi,
a Miners’ Union shop steward,
or a veteran of the Franco-Pr ussian War,
I’m what will be swept away;
my ticket sweating unredeemed
in a back pocket;

as the world rushes on to get
wherever it next must.



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 Center 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 NUIG 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 Edwards, 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 Kev in 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; one of the poems from which will feature in A Galway Epiphany, the final installment of Ken Bruen ’s Jack Taylor series of novels. His work has been broadcast on RTE Radio, Lyric FM, and BBC Radio 4. Most recently, during the Corona lockdown, he was poet-in-residence for The Galway Advertiser, providing the paper with Galway inspired poems for nine consecutive weeks.

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