Stories tagged ireland

Winter of ’84

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I’ve quit my job and squirreled away a bit of cash to get me started. I’ll live with Eoghan Brady and some other Irish guys in a house in Harrow and Wealdstone.

Where Comfort Resides

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In this glass your eye looms like the Cyclops, huge and bleary, the red veins like those that stick out of the beheaded turkey at Christmas before Mam cleans it up for stuffing.

To '73

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My father’s ashes are still in the Jacob’s Kimberly Cream tin, weighed down by a pile of old manuscript pages from a novel that’ll never see daylight.

B-Movie Gunfighter

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The back of the car was where all the words landed, all the sighing and weeping, all the bemoaning of the list of those who’d wronged you.

Silent Prayer

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She had been dreaming, of a crowded street and her small daughter who’d slipped her hand and got lost in the throng of shoppers.

Why Didn’t You Ever Mention the Dead Baby?

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A drunken aunt blabbering away about how hard a life my mother had of it. Yes, but you must have had it hard, too.

What Did You Look Like When You Died?

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Your corpse laid out like a great landmass, the contours and depressions lined your body between shoulder blades and ribcage, enumerating the numerous moments of sadness in your life, pooled in various shallows about the torso.

Velazquez in the National Gallery

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I visited you later that month, the tubes and lights and charts chronicling your descent. I held your hand in the brightness of that room, amazed by the translucence of your papery skin and the isobaric schema carrying blood here and there.

Litany of Humility: Age Nine

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We recite a Hail Mary as I lick the cream off his yellowed fingers, the sound of my classmates at play flooding in the open windows of the classroom.

Thumb Pressure

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The key is buried deep in dark soil. The red ribbon attached is a thread of blood leading to the Minotaur's lair and the louvered windows where light filters in and stripes the statue's carved rock.

Her Bones, Porous

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We are airplanes in a take-off queue, waiting for death, for a parent to die and for ourselves to move out onto the runway, reluctant, ready for departure.

Novel Opening...

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From downstairs, the smell of meat cooking wafts through the rungs of the banisters. Mam's bustles about; whacking a chunk of dough with the rolling pin. I'd rather she beat the dough than the backs of my legs, which is often the punishment for refusing t

Skull of a Sheep: Revisited

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You are in a car speeding through Dublin towards the West year after year the journey uncoils past the same landmarks Kilmainham Jail strapped to a chair bullet to the brain on by the Rowntree Mackintosh factory where the black and…

Irish Drunk

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Your honour stinks of failed fishing trips to Galway.

The sun, a perfect egg yolk

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Hod carrier, soon-to-be-father, he twisted the withered potato he kept in his trouser pocket to ward off the rheumatism. He hoped for a boy, yes, a little gossoon with fair hair and green eyes.