To-Do List

One: see if they can get any more light in here

They haven’t put in the windows yet

And it’s terribly dark, you know

At get an electrician round, wire the place up

Get rid of that dimness.

Two: write to family, or call them, or something

you haven’t spoken to them since you moved

since you came here

and they’ll want to know all your news

and you need theirs

yes, you’ve been busy

but you can’t just cut yourself off, you’ll go mad you know

Three: talk to the council about the noise pollution

van coming around at three in the morning calling in at homes

all the noise the shouting

and the other noises the machines sort them out too

it’s impossible to get a good night’s sleep

and of course it’s irrational but you know what they say about the senses

when you can’t see

because it’s so dim you see

the other senses get stronger

and the clankingandchopping takes on a sinisterfeel



but it’s stillnoisepollution andsomeone’sgot to tellthecouncil









To Waltz with Whitman

Whitman winks from the frame

and he asks me to dance

and we whirl and we whirl to the music the music of air raid sirens and battle cries and calfskin drums and a Stradivarius

the way we Viennese dance

(although I have never been to Vienna)

and whilst Gautama and Lennon smoke in the corner and Cobain sweeps the ashes Whitman puts me back, out of my ink and into his

and I am in a classroom again and I am in Vienna

and whilst Monroe studies Warhol Whitman winks again and reads the printed anthology and I am Viennese again

(although I have never been to Vienna)

The Unremarkable

– Who is he, the man on the left?
– Him? Oh, he’s a robber
  A petty thief, more like than not
  And though he’s gone, his kind are not
  There’ll be many more like him around.
– And what of him? Him – on the right –
– His stock is much the same, I fear
  A criminal, not bad but wrong
  His like are always on this hill
  There’ll be many more like him around.
– And he? He in the centre, him?
– Another rebel, though I can’t
  Recall his name. His following
  Deserted him. They’re all the same.
  There’ll be many more like him around.


My name is Molly O’Gorman – I am 15 but am in 6th year (the last year of school in Ireland) and was all set to sit the Leaving Certificate (leaving exams) in June. I have done 18 months of the two year course and was prepared to sit my exams but the department of education has decided to stop me from sitting my exams on the grounds that I need two years between my Junior Certificate (G.C.S.E. equivalent) sat in 3rd year and Leaving Certificate – I sat the Junior Certificate last year. This is completely ageist and unfair as I am now being forced to repeat a year that I have already done.

I have set up a petition in order to convince the Minister for Education to change her mind and change the rules to let me sit my exams – discrimination on account of age is completely wrong. I would be very grateful if anyone would sign it – it will only take you two minutes but it would make a massive difference to me!

Your Table

Your table
is just – too small.
It won’t block anything
and the wood is too
to hold out.
It’s just not
resilient –
no, it really wouldn’t be
of Use.
Keep your table
your small, weak table
with a small, weak chair.
Even if it can’t support a piano
it can hold your head.