Author Archives: Kevin Higgins

A tender to provide a Direct Provision centre at the Connemara Gateway Hotel in Oughterard, County Galway, has been withdrawn

Oughterard, a definition

Pronounced ewk-ter-árd.
See also: Little Rock, Smethwick,
Enoch, Port Elizabeth…
A good place to illegally ditch
old fridges, huge yellow couches,
detached wardrobe doors,
mattresses with the springs
poking out of them.
Locals will know why you’ve done it
and a few will privately accept your verdict.

The perfect location to toss
brimming colostomy bags
out the windows of speeding vehicles
in the hope some member of
the County Council will think
it’s free curry sauce and drown
their chips in the contents.

And the old lady in the charity shop
will snap your hand off
to take all the World War Two
Germany army helmets you have
because there’s some who blew through here recently
who like to put them on
while making right-handed
love to themselves
in front of the unforgiving mirror
with the overhead lights blazing
like their own private
torch-lit procession.

Kevin Higgins

Earlier: Free Tomorrow?

Yesterday: A Clear Plan

Previously: Withdrawn

Climate change activist Greta Thurnberg accused world leaders of stealing her childhood at a UN Climate Summit last week

Autopsy

(for Greta Thunberg)

Let surgical saw and a team of scalpels strip naked
the entrails of their hatred.
These are people who if they haven’t been fired
for lying, or don’t live mostly on gin,
at the very least can’t perform
basic bodily functions
without the help of nuclear strength coffee
and the kind of plunger traditionally used
to clear the pipes of obstreperous kitchen sinks.
Journalists whose greatest life achievement
is once being inappropriately groped
by a former Secretary of State for Defence.
People so sad, when the machine stops beeping,
their adult children will rush to book
foreign holidays to dodge the ew
of having to attend their funerals.
And what really gets the acid
of their compromise-times-failure multiplied
rising is your implacable yes
to that thing called tomorrow.

Kevin Higgins

Pic: Getty

Galway city’s  busking bylaws will come into effect from January, banning “any use of amplification from use before 6pm, restricting where acts that can attract a crowd from performing, and require performers under 16 to have a parent or guardian present.

“A street performer shall not act, say, do or sing anything likely to cause alarm, distress or offence to any member of the public, business owner, the Council, or any memberof An Garda Síochána.”

Galway City Council bylaw (as of  September 1, 2019)

Deliberately Offensive Song

Despite the Alderman, his head a sweaty pink moon,
who wanted travellers castrated,
or at least kept behind an electric fence.

Despite the former Mayor who liked to taste
the thighs of teenage boys in a local pub’s
musty meeting room and wore
his ceremonial robes while doing it.

Despite the motion you passed overwhelmingly
against contraceptive devices and students
engaging in sensuality without responsibility.

Despite the fortune one of your number got
from coffin ships his grandfather
profitably fed to the starving
Atlantic sharks.

Despite the “dastardly” Rising
at whose failure you rejoiced and the diamond
welcome you gave Edward the Seventh.

Despite the lines of white powder expertly
inhaled off a professional lady’s
clavicle which none of your number
knew anything about.

You are inoffensive as a fairground
run by defrocked priests in grey raincoats;

inoffensive
as a former Mayor owning
a seafront casino that took
the pensions of passing widows,
the disability benefits
of bald guys with the shakes;

inofuckingffensive
as a line of giant white puddings
who’ve calamitously been
let talk.

Kevin Higgins


Update:

Kevin writes:

I am offering the words of this poem to any busker who want to turn it into a song and sing it on Shop Street….

Busking bylaws stripping Galway of its culture say PBP (Galway Daily)

Galway buskers say new street performance by-laws are ‘disgrace’ (BBC)

Pic via You Tube

Masjid Maryam Mosque, in Ballybrit, County Galway following a vandal attack last month

To The Boys Who Carried Out The Ballybrit Mosque Attack

You wish you could waddle
up the Monivea Road like Lord Haw Haw
wearing a scar the length of your jaw
you got fighting communists
but cut yourself shaving once
and didn’t like it.

In the absence of a girl who’ll let
you between her legs
you’d love to invade Russia or Iran
but can’t afford the air fare
so instead smashed some glass.

All you want is a part-time job
in the local concentration camp
but there isn’t one around here
yet, so instead you broke a window
and heroically chucked some books out it.

You once thought of reading a book
to find out why you’re where you are
instead spend the hiatus between
wanks listening to the voices
in the videos on your phone tell you
whose fault your life is.

You needed to be someone
so wrecked a guy’s framed family photographs,
fled sniggering up the hill,
still no one.

Kevin Higgins

Pic: Galway Bay Fm

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and his Home Secretary Priti Patel

Priti Patel’s Denial
I just wanted to hear [them] deny it.”
Lyndon Baines Johnson

It is not true that at our meeting today
I forced the Foreign Secretary and
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to bathe
in piping hot custard and gently
scrubbed their backs, bellies, balls
with my bristling, steel wire-brush
until they were strip-loin raw
and roaring to God
for me to stop.

The whole thing was their idea in the first place.

Nor do I make
the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
wear a gimp suit to all day
meetings, during which I only unzip the mouth
to feed it occasional morsels
of uranium washed chicken kebab
with my long hot fork.

She turns up dressed like that entirely of her own volition.

And the rumours I ram
an electric hair straightener
with a loose connection
up parts of the Secretary of State for Wales
not designed to take
an electric hair straightener
with a loose connection
have been vastly exaggerated.

Said implement was in excellent working order.
I even took care to wipe the remnants
of the last guy off it.

Nor is there, for the most part,
any reality to online accusations
that at our most recent
meeting I covered the Attorney General
toe to forehead in cats’ blood
and locked him in a closet
to be fought over by my pet
Staffordshire bull terrier, Enoch
and a one eyed East African wild dog
called Field Marshall Idi Amin
I keep around the place
just in case.

The closet you speak of remained unlocked
during the entire process
which my Right Honourable friend appeared to
thoroughly enjoy.

He was still telling what I think were jokes –
it was difficult to make out fully formed words –
as I drove him slowly as possible
to hospital.

Kevin Higgins

Pics: Channel 4

Minister for Foreign Affirs Simon Coveney and then UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson in Dublin, November 2017

Waiting for Boris
(after Constantine Cavafy)

What are they waiting for,
the archbishops and casino owners
clutching their bags of cocaine,
the barman at Wetherspoons eyeing the clock,
and the little people who live
in Jacob Rees Mogg’s top hat
who’ve been watching things
go slowly downhill
since thirteen eighty one?

Boris is to arrive today
in a chariot driven
by a man with syphilis.

Why so few new laws
up for debate in the House?
Why do the Lords seem happy
to lie about the place waiting
for aneurysms to take them,
without even the energy
to pay their assistants
to give them one last beating
with Daddy’s bloodstained walking stick?

Because Boris arrives today
wearing an eye-patch he borrowed
from Madonna.

Why should the Honourable Member
for Cambridgeshire South bother
crying her usual tears?
Boris, when he gets here,
will have everyone except himself in tears.

Why do the Chairs of Select Committees
race up and down Whitehall
wearing only ceremonial dicky-bows
quoting passages from the Magna Carta
and the new Ann Widdecombe cookbook
into the surprised faces of tourists?

Why have the Speaker of the House
and Lord Privy Seal exhumed
from Westminster Abbey the bones
of Alfred Lord Tennyson
and dragged them to a cheap hotel near Waterloo
to engage in a rattly threesome?

Because Boris arrives today
and approves of such things.

And why doesn’t the Office for National Statistics
give us the latest disastrous news?
Because Boris arrives today
and is bored by people who can add and subtract.

What does this sudden outbreak
of accountants and High Court Judges
vomiting on each other mean?
How grey their jowls have grown.
Why have all the escalators stopped moving?
Why all the red buses crashing into the Thames?

Because the clock has rung
and Boris is not coming.
Some journalists formerly resident in Hell
but now working for the Telegraph
have been sent from the frontline to confirm
there is no Boris.

And now what will we become
without Boris?
We must urgently set about inventing
some other catastrophe
to rescue us from ourselves.

Kevin Higgins

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

The Restoration

(A poem inspired/provoked by the image (above) photo of the five Fianna Faílers elected to Galway City Council last week)

Election results tumble in,
like pinstriped clumps of hairy bacon
being lowered via giant mechanical arm
into a fizzing Jacuzzi
to be congratulated by the media
who have long since discarded their g-strings.

Things as they used to be
have been pasted back together,
or almost, like a vase broken during an argument
or a marriage in which both parties
have agreed to pretend.

Right thinking people will have restored to them
the right to their old wrongs
and for the first time be permitted by law
to order children’s teeth on Amazon,
to do with as they wish in the privacy
of their vastly worthwhile lives:

for example
fashion them into impromptu dentures
for their Julian Assange effigies,
or offer as mints to those who got unlucky
and now mess up the pavement
by living on it.

Kevin Higgins

Pic Mike Shaughnessy

The Politics of Abstinence

Today begins the great cross and clench
for the Guardian columnist
as her area shuts up shop in solidarity
with people who don’t want to be but are
pregnant in Georgia, Alabama
and places even further from Islington than that.

Tiny flying pickets circle
the entrance to the promised land
with signs that shout:
They Shall Not Pass!
or Dispute On Here.
Though you’d need
a magnifying glass to read them.

So far today, they’ve turned back
the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan,
who, on inspection, was found to be
naked beneath his gleaming white sheet;
a guy called Doug wearing nothing
but a Make America Great Again cap
imported from El Salvador;
some dude she met in college
who used to like to
have his bum lightly chastised
with briars; the professor she once,
at his own request,
fastened to the bedroom door
with strategically placed
black leather belts; and the late
Anita Bryant carrying
what looks suspiciously like
an excessively sized strap-on.

For none shall break this strike
until it’s achieved
the far better ecstasy
of enough people in the internet
exclaiming our heroine’s name.

Kevin Higgins

 

 

Fine Gael European Election candidate Frances Fitzgerald (right) and Senator Michael McDowell’s dog (left) that she claimed to have found last Saturday in Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Look What I Found at the Triangle in Ranelagh
after Frances Fitzgerald

One of Shergar’s blinkers,
what looks like John Wayne Bobbit’s willy –
though it could be an orphaned cocktail sausage,
I plan to warm it up later and find out –
the missing postman from Stradbally
a lock of Madeleine McCann’s hair
all Noirin O’Sullivan’s phones
the bones of Amelia Earhart
one of Dr Josef Mengele’s fingernails
what I’m pretty sure was the Loch Ness Monster –
though it may have been a member of People Before Profit –
Ailbhe Smyth’s political integrity
the black box of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
the crew of the Marie Celeste
and the lost city of Atlantis;

phoned the number and returned
them sound and safe to their new owner
Vulture Investments Incorporated of Delaware;
apart from the jokers off the Marie Celeste
who I plan to lock up in Direct Provision
for the next seven years,

and Ms O’Sullivan’s phones
which Garda Special Branch are, as I type,
frantically skipping red light after red light
to deposit permanently at the sweet smelling
end of a vacant slurry tank
somewhere in Tipperary.

Kevin Higgins

 

Saturday: She Doesn’t Normally Do This

Julian Assange following his arrest this morning at London’s Ecuador Embassy

My Wishes For You

(Dedicated to those who are celebrating the arrest today of Julian Assange, and also to those on the Left who are too cowardly or stupid to speak out in his support)

That your son at Trinity College
may graduate
to become a rogue gynaecologist.
That his brother, the paediatrician,
be suspended without pay.
That your husband be caught
selling wheelchairs that don’t work
live on national radio. And the day

you discover all of the above, may
the traffic wardens, every one of them,
be East Galway Gestapo. May you lose
your winning ticket,
and the gun not go off
when it’s supposed to.

May your reflux be acid
and your bowel be cranky.
May your water forever be cloudy
and the pharmacy be shut.
May the funeral parlour
refuse you,

and the lies you told haunt you
long after the cat
has made a litter tray of your ashes.

Kevin Higgins

Pic: Sky

Earlier: Arrested