Stories tagged ireland

Rising Waters

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Perhaps it was my painted, fleshy body they baulked at, or even my struggles with the bottle; the long nights passed out nasty drunk on the sofa, the children in bed, the fire smoldering, the television on mute.

A Bum-note Baritone

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Quite a figure he cut in his Jockey y-fronts, the Johnson’s Baby talcum powder billowing everywhere, the old-fashioned bottle of Old Spice shaken and slapped on both palms and then both cheeks.

The Future Unmapped

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Your headache is gone now, the pain peeled back by a barrage of alcohol and pills, the pine-scented perfume of yours wrapping me in love as I push aside branches and make my dogged way ahead of you.

Threnody for the Living

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When I think of this existence, this lonely ritual that reoccurs day-after-day, I imagine crawling into my mother’s head and seeing life from her point of view. What an impossible task to set before a person.

Soldiers of Christ

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Fridays we’d scour the racks of the newsagents for the weekly comics, always trying to steal the free gifts inside the issues, watching for the shop girl to go into the back for her tea break.

Galway: fog-shrouded mountain.

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Unseen creatures squirm and mingle beneath the soft loamy earth. The flat of the mountain is fog-shrouded.

The Prospect of Being Eaten

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One of the old fellows was buying a quart of whiskey, already peeling the brown bag away from the neck of the bottle, when he said to the shopkeeper, “Lives down the swampy end of town. Grotesque. Swear it’s two eyes travel in different directions.”

No Confetti Wedding

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When he drank the saliva dried up and the white crust built up about his lips as each swallow made a sad summer.

Invented Memories of Fatherhood: 1

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It isn’t until I fling the whiskey onto the fire that you roar at me in the manner I recall from childhood.

Invented Memories of Fatherhood: 4

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The only part of him in me could be the teeth: crooked, stained, off-kilter like abandoned gravestones.

Lost at Sea

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Now can see—the coldest fish invigorated by the warmth of his submerged soul. Use those words sparingly.

Invented Memories of my Father: 7

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A surgeon in theater, he laid out his instruments: bodkins, hackle guards and pliers, hair stackers, and fly vise.

Driving me to Distraction

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In those moments of irritation it's as if he descends from the heavens and settles into my body, takes a good grip of the steering wheel, and elevates the tension in the car to Code Red.

Invented Memories of my Father: 15

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You watched their endeavors from the saddle, the way they created four walls with the sheets and towels, an inner sanctum conjured out of their cleverness, within which they pegged bras and underwear for modesty’s sake.

Fish & Spoons

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Mam and I lit candles and prayed to St. Jude for a cessation to the deluge, but the rain kept falling and the flower beds turned to a muddiness I equated with the No Man’s Land morass of World War I.