DS Maolalai

A working class suburb.

in kilbarrack it’s a strange
combination – flowers like stones
in gardens, blue silence
surrounded by brown 
warmth. it’s a working class
suburb, but it’s been so
for sixty years – most of the workers
are retired. I live here
quietly, sitting in my grandmother’s house,
paying rent while she molders in a nursing home. 
the day collapses inward, mossy
as cement roads, and peoples houses meander 
their foundations with beautiful gardens,
the streets
familiar,
the dogs all out 
and wandering
and unsure of how to get home.

Portlaoise.

pouring a glass 
with the last drop of wine
and wondering
“are there any more poems
in there
or am I done 
for tonight?”
like filling your car
with a couple quid left
and hoping like hell
you can somehow
get home. portlaoise
is a fine town
in its way
I suppose, but it’s not like
it’s begat
much literature.

The tarpaulin.

4 o’clock comes – that most hated time,
when the day has passed us over
and the night
not started
yet. in an hour
all museums will close
and we will be here
in a room which smells 
all day of raw bacon
and where the walls sweat,
slick as flowers in rain. if you walked in
you’d want to open a window,
but we don’t notice – we are like dust
in someone else’s guest room, but hotter;
more like mushrooms 
growling under tarp. rolling over 
your legs bake me, your body sticks
and rips my skin, spilling chowder. sinks full of dishes
are better kept than we are – my underpants
at our ankles stinking
and your bra
rammed between the pillows
like a salad
jammed in someone’s teeth.



DS Maolalai (He/Him) has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019).


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