Author: Christine Elizabeth Murray

‘The Suitcase’ and other poems by Breda Spaight

Her Cross   When I drink, it is always 1967. The dog lies still on the frozen grass, white blades bowed under blinking crystals; the chain from its neck to the conifer muddied and knotted like a root from which it draws life. I remember it as a pup, like all the pups my father ever brought home when drunk, the milky smell of its vigorous body, fonts of sorrow in sloe-black irises. What do we have here? What is this? He produces the pup from his inside coat pocket carefully as a birth, his face at its most wounded: he could cry, vomit, or even laugh, the pup held high like a boyhood memory beyond his reach yet as close as yesterday, alcohol collapsing time like time in a fairy tale. I am tired of my father; we’re all tired of him – a continuous season of storm upon storm, calm only the calm of the eye. And so the pup ends up tied to a tree, savage; the half-moon it inhabits no larger …

‘Laughing at Funerals’ and other poems by Helen Burke

Laughing at Funerals. Mam said you always should. laugh at funerals, that it was expected, well at least by the Bootle lot. Them being made of sterner stuff and all. And anyways death is only a flesh wound ain’t it? Its life that kills you, does the damage, kicks you in the guts and ups the anti. So, why not laugh? In fact, life falls into two camps, she said – Those who understand laughing at funerals, and those who don’t. So, choose your fellow mourners carefully. Sometimes, hearing the dead described – I cannot say I knew them at all. They are superheroes, saints, but their amazing save the world deeds, I do not always recall. I must have been in a telephone box myself, at the time – donning my save the world tights, and skin tight morals. That will be it. I look in the mirror and see a ghost in preparation. And will it be my finest hour – whose to say? I will bring Catwoman and Superman to my funeral …

‘Fabric’ and other poems by Kate O’Shea

Fabric Italians hunt song birds, gawping silence, decaying rope from where a small girl hung in the rubber hoop of an old tractor tyre a lifetime ago, no limits on adventure growing up to carry the fire not knowing about box files, computer monitors the prescribed texts and reading lists that deformed desire replaced it with a constabulary of deception despite all this she did not dwindle into a wife and mother the spindle of life is cruel it twists and turns – one makes the other. The brushwood burns, watchmen flock together and camp in the open. The Night Watchman Love is not real estate expansive as flood plains intimate like silt destructive and constructive it is not for those who role play or get lost in the night led astray by bright lights and flesh turrets maidens with drawn out hair beefy knights. Love is insomnia of the soul and you are always watching it is more satisfying than breathing a little call that a life? to watch over, to be there, to …

‘One Has To Admire His Ability As A Poet’ by Kevin Higgins

One Has To Admire His Ability As A Poet “I was struck by … his courage in speaking out to defend the memory of Charles Haughey” Vincent Woods, RTE website To defend the memory of Boris Yeltsin’s vodka bottle. To take money from both the late Benito Mussolini and, when pragmatism demanded it, those who spat on him when he was safely hanging upside down outside an Esso station. To put in the proper context of realpolitik as practised in parts of County Wexford the late Father Fortune’s harem of boys. To share a Ouija board with President Duvalier while supping rum from the skull of an infant who was always going to come to this because, in the words of W.H.Auden, ‘poetry makes fuck-all difference’. To share a roast leg with General Amin and not mind which of his enemies was being eaten. To recite even his longer poems to a musical accompaniment of Vladimir Putin twanging his jock-strap, like a rude balalaika. To roll around wrapped in the French flag with Marine Le …

I. Am. Straight. Are you ? & other poems by Lisa Lowther.

Dedicated to the many people all over the world that cannot live liberally & authentically for reasons of culture or other. May you find a path that frees you to be true to your beautiful intrinsic self, whatever that may be. Closet Ivory Solid Wooden Door – unbreakable Shining Gold Handle protected by two one on either side admittance – speaks quietly the other will decide as you attempt to open not just anyone is welcome White Backless Gowns on shining skin Chiffon, Encrusted Diamonds heels that can match any Elegant Masquerade Masks green eyes of foreign waters pearls, bright & round as the moon reflected only to the celebrant By Invitation – The Other Vintage Lace some roses too For Your Entrance – not an exit of mine, this time do close the door on leaving the two shall rest awhile A little like my own Even I did not feel invited into this poem I. Am. Straight. Are you ? Contemplation of what life once was & could have been momentarily fills my …