Tag Archives: Kevin Higgins

Pro Choice Protest in Merrion Square, Dublin 2 during the Global Day of Action for Safe and Legal Abortion last September

Irish Government Minister Unveils Monument
to Victims of Pro-Life Amendment

On a date to be confirmed,
when those who remember 1983
will sleep safely in their graves,
or be anxiously telling nurse
about the auld ones with crucifixes
they think are coming to get them

a girl, today
on holidays from primary school,
by then grown into
a Maggie Thatcher suit, will thank
the Chamber of Commerce
for use of their microphone
as a pulled chord unwraps a figure
chipped from stone

in memory
of those forced
to change trains at Crewe clutching
solitary suitcases that screamed
one night only,

those that bled out in the backs
of London taxis after journeys
made possible by post office accounts
and extra hours at the newsagent’s;

all because of a stick
which, for them, turned
the wrong colour
the wrong year
in the wrong country.

And as the Minister continues,
across the road a little girl will grab
her mother’s arm and ask:
what’s that lady saying?

Kevin Higgins

Taken from Kevin’s most recent book Song of Songs 2.0: New & Selected Poems (Salmon).

Yesterday: REPEALING

Rollingnews

All I Want
after M. Carey & V. Salt

All I want for Christmas is a bio
of Bertolt Brecht, and to see
a neo-classical economist
lowered into the nearest available
septic tank.

All I want for Hanukkah is Engels’
Condition of the Working Class in England,
and legislation to allow the landlord
be restrained with bailing twine
in his own garden shed
‘til he agrees to reduce the rent.

All I want for Eid is a performance
of The Three Penny Opera in our living room,
and a world in which every child is given,
free of charge, a hot water bottle fashioned
from a former Minister for Housing’s bladder.

All I want for Diwali is Hugh MacDiarmid’s skull
so I can share a whiskey with it of an evening, and Sophie
Scholl’s, or failing that, Arthur Scargill’s backbone
so I can use it to publicly disembowel those
who come out on Facetwit for repealing
the Eighth Amendment the day after
we vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

All I want for the Tool Box Killer’s birthday
is to personally fix a scold’s bridle between
the Editor of the Daily Mail’s clacking jaws
(and up any other part of him in danger of talking)
and to live to see the Crime Correspondent
of the Sunday World finally sent
to landfill for journalistically pleasuring
one Chief Superintendant too many.

Kevin Higgins

Rollingnews

Tommy Tiernan

Tommy Tells His Dream

(after Martin Luther King and T. Tiernan)

But, I say to you tonight, my fellow silver chins of every imaginable orientation, let us not dribble too long down the gully of despond.

Though we now face the catastrophes of others with equanimity, I once had a dream. A dream whose roots stood frailly, but proudly, in the droplets of Royal County cow dung sent by God the Mother, Auntie & Uncle as a sign to confirm how impressed the average orthodontist in the greater Navan area is with how far I as a country have come.

When I was growing up you weren’t allowed to be cross-eyed. Now I can look at you whatever way I want, and I’m a country at ease with having as its temporary head god a homosexual of Indian extraction who secretly thinks all the screaming injustices in this amazing country I have become could be sorted by allowing a free market in the fingernails of the indigent so we can develop an environmentally friendly alternative to ivory.

I had a dream, dear investors in this frantic little country I have become, that one day homeless thirteen year olds would sit trying to understand the practical application of Pythagoras’s Theorem and who was who in the War of The Roses while younger siblings shrieked their times tables on temporary mattresses whose stains have paid for themselves many times over.

I had a dream that one day, in the amazing country I always planned to grow up to be, little black boys and girls would spend years at the breakfast table with a peculiar bloke from Azerbaijan and in the process fatten the owner of the draughtiest hotel in town before eventually being allowed to pass go.

I had a dream that one day Californian Turkey Vultures, with offices in the Virgin Islands, would be invited in by the Department of Finance to usefully pick clean unnecessary flesh from the skeletons of rough sleepers and be able to claim tax relief for the upkeep of their beaks.

I had a dream that one day every pit would open its jaws wider, and quietly clear its throat before swallowing many of you, that every mountain would be made more exalted and that on each peak, from Mount Errigal to the McGillycuddy Reeks, there’d sit a guy like me telling Ryan Tubridy how he (or she) once had a dream.

Kevin Higgins

Context

Pic RTÉ

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphries

On The Appointment of Director of Failed Bank
To Executive Board of Literature Ireland

for Jonathan Sugarman

My Dear Writers & Readers,

Adhering to recent Arts Council guidelines,
we are adjusting
our corporate governance structures
to include more criminal psychopaths
and people who just don’t know what they’re doing
per capita than are allowed exist
wherever the average eejit gathers
to do his or her thing.

To this end, and furthermore, to help me,
I mean ‘us’, avail of the expertise
of those with experience running the real economy,
I am appointing to my board a man
with a wide-brimmed felt hat
who has supplied political and business
conferences down and up the country
with all levels of women.

To assist in the enforcement area
we are anointing a bloke who for our purposes
will go by the name “Anto”;
who may have unexplained income
about which the Criminal Assets Bureau
would love to have a chat
but that is none of my business or,
if you know what’s good for you, yours.

Finally, from next month
the skeleton of a different one
of David Loyd George’s mistresses
will sit in on each of our meetings
to advise on social agility.

Yours transparently,

Chief Administrator,
Literature Ireland

Kevin Higgins

Rollingnews

Meanwhile…

In fairness.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe

from Tax
after Pascal Donohoe

In the income tax arena
I am introducing a scheme:

whereby a fifty year old man
living in, for example,
Galway, will still be able to claim
for his increasingly rickety right knee
here in Ireland, but allowed register,
for tax purposes,
his far more profitable left leg in Jersey.

He’ll be able to claim relief here on his wonky eye
but will only have to pay tax on the good one
at whatever the rate is in Luxembourg.

His three sets of dentures, all twenty six
fillings and those two root canals
will continue to be deductible here,
though he’ll now pay tax
on what’s left of his actual
teeth in Bermuda.

The good fifty percent of his lungs
he’ll be allowed set up
as an independent company
in the British Virgin Islands,
while the useless half will legally
continue to be Irish.

His nausea will remain ours,
though his enormous appetite
will now officially live on the more
glutton-friendly Isle of Man.

His beleaguered liver will continue
to be officially resident here,
while his still superefficient
bowels will spend enough time in Switzerland
to pay (hardly any) tax there.

The scar above his left buttock,
acquired when he toppled through a glass door
backwards, circa nineteen seventy three,
will continue to be deductible here,
while the balance of his bum –
in surprisingly good condition for a man his age,
though he says so himself – declares
its vast income at an office
in Wilmington, Delaware.

Elsewhere, I am extending the relief on brown leather
trousers and industrial strength lawnmowers
for fat couples with Anglo-Norman sounding names
in the better bits of Kildare for another five years.

There is agreement across the political consensus
it’s essential such people are given sufficient incentives
to keep doing whatever it is they supposedly do.

Kevin Higgins

Fight!

Rollingnews

Alan Kelly: not the subject of this verse

Any Resemblance to a Minister for the Environment is entirely coincidental.

The clasp of his handshake once reassured
prospective mothers-in-law
he’d not disappoint their daughters.
And though his infrastructure’s
in desperate need of an upgrade,
he’s confident he can get his
waterworks fit for purpose,
ladies and gentlemen, here tonight,
and those at home
watching on TV, sometime
within the next twenty
five years. And if doing so

involves flogging
every last rain drop,
from Bellmullet to Garryduff,
at a savage discount, to the guy
who despite his wallet’s ongoing
morbid obesity, has hair
that looks like it’s been stuck
to the skull with Evo-Stik,
then Kelly’s the kind of pragmatist
who’ll make shit like that happen,
whether anyone asked
it to or not.

His tongue rough
as the carpet in a room
where Stevie Coughlan
once talked against the Jews.
For the past six months,
every erection he’s had
has been a member
of the Heavy Gang
about to throw a Provo
onto the railings
from a Garda Station
second storey window.

According to recent polls,
in certain areas of Tipperary,
he’s only slightly less popular
than Richard the Third. At least
half a percent less hated
than this time last week.
Of unequivocal victory,
he has no alternative
but to be certain.

Kevin Higgins

Previously: Kevin Higgins on Broadsheet

Rollingnews

Kevin Higgins

Saint is a new poem by Kevin Higgins dedicated to the “black babies wing of the Irish left, those who, to paraphrase GK Chesterton, are so busy loving humanity they can never find the time, or the inclination, to show solidarity with their next door neighbours.”

Saint

Because the progressive faction of the Magdalene Sisters
were no longer taking applications,
you instead tour the better fed Gender Studies Departments
of the Eastern Seaboard, preaching
your gospel of the little brown victim.

With the shrunken head of a Native American, ripped
from its original owner at the Battle of The Rickety
Left Elbow; the eyeballs of indigenous Bolivians
which have seen versions of Strictly
Come Dancing we can only imagine;

or, more prosaic days, with the rudely
annexed canine teeth of Palestinians,
which you carry about the place in a glass jar
you had specially made by a mate in Kinvara
who’s also a part time Shaman, you tickle
the consciences of those who think
life’s all olives and Pyrenees sheep brie,
and in return they titillate you
with all the fine cheeses.

For you are toast of the third world
liberation wing of Galway Lawn Tennis Club.

Kevin Higgins

Previously: Kevin Higgins on Broadsheet

To A Troll Who Loves Me

More than the hard luck stories
you hold dearer than the mildewed pillow
you’ve clutched at every night since your teddy bear
escaped on a train bound for Luton or Mallow;

more than your favourite team
hitting first the post, then the bar
in the F.A. Cup final which defined
your shit childhood, you love me more even

than the no one who pays attention to your
poems; more than the land your father
didn’t leave you in his will; more

than the mediocre grades you got despite
having been sufficiently flexible
to sleep with your teacher;

more than all the little people
who, despite your fat
advantages, turned out far better
than you, more than all of these
rolled into one, you want me.

So tonight
you’re a giant sexless toddler throwing
dead animals out of its play pen
in the hope someone
will throw one back;

your mind a no bedroom basement flat
(with kitchenette) which you fill with manic ferrets
and badgers with psychiatric issues
to make the place smell better.

Each time you message me
I kill you by never
having heard of you,
or anyone who’s ever
heard of you

Kevin Higgins

Previously: Kevin Higgins on broadsheet

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau are greeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD as they arrive at Dublin Castle for the Official Dinner last night.

O Trudeau!

Cometh the rubbish haircuts firing tweets and ICBMs;
the people with bad teeth daring belch their opinions in public.
Cometh also the Warren Beatty of the North,
sans the wrinkles and heavy politics, bearing
to the sisterhood of the stuffed vine leaf
and gourmet sausage
ribbon-wrapped boxes labelled ‘hope’,
‘moderation’, and ‘free trade’;
your tongue’s delicious wiggling
persuading even Lycra clad
husbands to put bikes and running shoes aside
a moment and join the ravenous pack of dangerous
sensibilists in drizzling a tribute
of garlic butter all over
your French speaking torso.
Your hair, a field of wheat that reminds
soon-to-be-ex Prime Ministers
of better times.
Your words, as gorgeously proportional
as the gossip from the ladies’ golf-club,
float off towards the sun.

Kevin Higgins

Yesterday: Trudeau, Madly Deeply

Stop CETA Alliance (Facebook)

Rollingnews

Former Tanaiste Joan Burton during the Jobstown protest


Irish Liberal Foresees Own Enduring Relevance

My words are smoother than the essential oils
the Taoiseach last week
had his parliamentary assistant rub
into his badly traumatised buttocks.
My psychotherapist insists
half the people who’ve taken
shotguns to their own heads,
during this recession, would’ve reconsidered,
if only they’d heard me talk for an hour
each week about the dangers of Sinn Féin,
or how I live in the hope of a woman Pope.

I’m all for the good people of middle Ireland
making their point in a dignified manner
with china cups of nothing stronger than tea in their hands.
But when thugs from the far parts start burning vans
and generally acting as if they owned the place;
and gurriers from the depths begin picking up bricks
and tossing words so terrible,
they’re not even in the dictionary,
at the Minister for Poverty’s hair-style.
(How would you like your wife,
sister, great grandmother,
kidnapped in her car
for two and a half hours?)

The world will not be changed by fools
banging on the bonnet of a BMW.
But by the likes of me talking
against social exclusion in TV studios.
And fundraising concerts organised
by former pop-stars.
And the well-meaning priest
with whom I regularly have dinner;
between the two us we’ve enough
concern for the poor to construct a second
Fergal Keane of the BBC,
as a back-up in case
the existing one breaks.

Trust in us. Pay no heed
to the sweary-mouthed crowd,
who if they’re not put back where they belong
will soon be eating pot noodle from scooped out skulls
confiscated from their betters
in defiance of international law.
By the likes of them,
the world must not be changed.

Kevin Higgins

Yesterday: Meanwhile, At Court 13