In the realm of the shit-kickers
and the rabbit punchers
and the head butters
during the terrible five-year reign
of the flying gang of ear-chewing brothers
with metallers getting stuck into ravers
and coppers getting stuck into travellers
with the Rossmore Hackers
whipping the seven varieties of shite out
of the Bandon Boy racers
and with all the magnificent Saturday samurai
all the capsizing warriors’ legendary names
in the bloody spit and bloody snot
running into the puke and the piss
and the half-eaten burgers
The pair of of us behind the vines
hanging down from the sleepers re-used
as beams for a walkway
at the back of the Chateaulin gardens
sucking our joints and our flagons
with the convent girls we were aiding to cheat on their parents
Treasa and Tara, Maeve and Deirdre and Grainne
all supping and inhaling in turns and fits
of lebanese giggles at our panda-black eyelids,
our brazen red lips, our defiantly moony-white pusses;
we were gorgeously freakish
and spitting out midges
while spouting of truth and of love and nausea
with quotes from the ur-texts:
Disintegration,The Head on The Door,
Pornography, Seventeen Seconds, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.
Please also remind me of Augusts
famously twisted in spidery corners
of Fahey’s, De Barra’s and Fiddlers
on snakebites and smuggled-in naggins,
how when the Soldiers of Destiny rose all at once in the cross-drafts
at TIME NOW GENTLEMEN PLEASE
to drive the British out of Ireland with their thumbnails,
we held our position, we stayed in our seats.
Was that not risk of life and limb?
Was that not courage?
Was that not brotherhood?
I recall being packed in a 747
among row upon row of dead uncles
and flown three thousand miles home
where, by my illegal dying, taboo in my room
big bully shame had me under the blankets
bully boy shame had me pinned to the mattress
and no-one would call to my door for fear of infection
for fear I would lead them down tunnels and wells
for fear I would lead them to forests of wolves.
That was bleak mid-winter
and I was unwell and alone.
I could not conceive of a future.
Then you were standing before me
brushing your fringe from your forehead,
all sleepy and slurred and glazed over,
GP’d to the rim of your senses like me
in a sweater three sizes too big,
thumbs through the holes in the sleeves,
black denims, basketball boots trailing white laces,
enormous purple tongues flopping over your pull-ups,
having swung your way through to my door
to hack me out of the silence
to open your mouth, smile, and enquire How’s it goin’?,
spread your woolly wings out and embrace me,
be alone out of all of the living
and reach out and touch me.