Stories tagged neil-mccarthy-poetry

The Eleventh Commandment

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{I}threw my head into a bar before happy hour ended to find The Quiet Man projected onto the back wall, just in time to see Seán Thornton’s lean-in-to-kiss; Mary Kate pure as a storm in the graveyard’s alluring loneliness.

On a bridge in Regensburg

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To hear my name, called out across the Roman stones on a bridge in Regensburg through the languid March drizzle, was to breathe again as my head burst through the water.

Small dreams of a late worker

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She stuffed the stars down her stockings and left;


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Blankly, I watch from the safety of a satellite the giant swirl of cloud, seemingly innocent from this distance, bearing down on Leyte Island.

Proclaiming to go forth with the strangulation of his own son

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Earlier in my career as fantasist, I imagined my uncle had been a warrior in his previous life – not a soldier adorned with medals in full military regalia mind, but more a half-naked spear-wielding tribal chief in face paint.

On the subject of Brendan Behan, eight lines on why I'm fearful of Christopher Ricks

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Returning word for word, I, in my nightmare, bore an audience from the building

Four Bars

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Increase the volume of the music in a bar and rather than ask for it to be turned back down, people will gladly yell across the table at each other. It must have begun as a social experiment, to gauge interaction, or test hearing, or train people to be…

Do not compare the darkness

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Do not compare the darkness to the night

Criticism of the Dead

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The wind has no voice and yet we listen, perhaps imagining the ramblings of a mad man

Due to the volume of submissions

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Somebody pushed the automatic fuck-you button today, not the due-to-the-volume-of-submissions-we-receive button, nor the it-does-not-fit-our-editorial-needs button;

3 short poems

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Say the word and I shall become a photograph;

Owed to the IRS

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Sleep is a steep comfort these stock-still nights - the ceiling an artexed breadth of angst, the blue power light of the laptop in the corner exhorting me to turn it on

A man with bleeding hands

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A man with bleeding hands at the back door of Out of the Closet this morning asked me for the bride and groom figurines at the top of my donation box


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They are plastering on lipstick in pay-to-enter toilets around the corner from the mosques, where old men sit on back streets selling toilet seats, spices by the shovel, flashlights, and Audrey Hepburn t-shirts

The Eleventh Commandment

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I never thought I’d miss the sound of church bells, reminding me of my sudden apostasy, faintly ringing over the rumpus where even the birds can’t get a word in edgeways.