Riveting, wiring

I’m far too high, to be embarrassed-

about my thin and flaking skin

or forgetting you hate The Decembrists

smoking too much

wanting to bruise break


your pretty, delicate wrists.

Does it make you squirm, all this evidence? 

Of how I was confident in feeling

the obscenity of cards from lovers

cruel photographs of dead friends.

And is it really your mind, that keeps you shouting


cracking slightly as the crowd fades? But listen-

Did you ever pick blackberries?

Pull purple-tongued on pig tails,

Or sneak off with the older ones

to taste sharper, unusual fruit?

Don’t worry, don’t answer.

Back on earth, I’ll feel intrusive

And you will never melt.


The Middle Ones

Another drip from the ceiling, while seagulls

swirl outside.

They say it builds character, not the kind of illness

From a pen out of ink or a swollen tongue.


There will be no digging. The builders

are off, licking 

Their wounds

On golden sands. We remain,


Yours faithfully, Irelands problem children.

The Graffiti Man

A thousand yard stare, fixed on a can,

To create or consume, that is the question-

For tonight the squat is cold

Comrades have knives in their eyes,

outside the terriers are prowling.


A thousand yard stare, fixed on a can-

Time to pick a battle, racists or architects?

Time to count out change for a chicken roll

Tonight the buses aren’t running.


A thousand yard stare, fixed on a can-

Possibly the last one in the world.

Concerned glances from the passing gentry,

The Graffiti Man has a plan.

Notes from the Asylum

Such words I have, such words!

And chosen with care, by greasy hands

Like the cool gel of the ultrasound.


There is no salve for this slow burn-

But time, that so-called healer

And you betcha that bastard will tarry.


A dry-eyed psychosis:

at least it’s original.

If Hope is the thing with feathers,

that’s one hell of a four a.m.

wake-up call.


I am at home with charcoal

When your pencil smudges

into our grey areas.

But remember- I am ravenous

And I too, leave my mark.


“You have so much potential.”

A whisper in the ear, a wandering hand

“You have so much potential”

A dead goldfish in a Phillip Morris coffin.

“You have so much potential.”

A hairbrush, a sedative,

and it’s all quiet on the Western Ward.

Broken Bones


In my chapter “Fragile Connections” in the book I am writing, Living a Feminist Life, I have been trying to think through the implications of how the histories that leave us fragile are often the histories that bring us to feminism.

Fragility: the quality of being easily breakable. We are all fragile; some of us are more fragile than others.

Can we value what is deemed broken? Can we appreciate those bodies, those things, which are deemed to have bits and pieces missing?

A history of breaking can be a history of making.

Things can happen; accidents can happen. Hap happens. We can be thrown by what we come up against.

In my earlier post on fragility I shared Ann Oakley’s story of breaking her hand in her wise book, Fractured: Adventures of a Broken Body (2007).

I have a story. Let me give you the bones of it.

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Ladies, if we must be judged, let it be on our creativity and ingenuity.

Well, as most of you know, I’ve been summering in St. Pat’s for two weeks now. My first week was spent in the Special Care Unit, which is essentially a fishbowl filled with Very Strong Feelings. During this time, I had very little to do bar stew in fifteen and a half years of repressed rage and read the newspaper. How fortunate I was to have Martina Devlin’s exercise in double-think fall into my lap! http://www.independent.ie/opinion/ladies-let-us-not-be-judged-on-our-gloves-and-lipstick-30478270.html

I am probably the most rabid third or fourth wave feminist you will ever meet. I’m queer, internet educated and a stinkin’ pinko. In other words, ladies, gents and othered, I’m a screwed up young girl with two thirds of a BA and a persecution complex.

And I really, really love dressing up. As do all my friends, whatever their gender. There’s an artistry to it, a balance of light and shade, tailored and loose to be found everywhere from Coppers to Arcade Con. Leaving aside the blatant victim blaming and attempt to moor feminism in an irrelevant second wave past, that isn’t patriarchy. It’s ingenuity. Making a dress is “action”, and damn hard work too. The people behind the scenes deserve some credit.

This is where I see some class issues at play. Devlin praises lofty words and clever protest, the historical tools of a middle class aspiring intellectual (I’m aware that I’ve just described myself. Bear with me). I would advise the author to take a walk down Thomas Street and keep an eye out for the barmaids, the seamstresses, the stall-holders and yes, even the bloody NCAD lot.  These people aren’t just preaching feminism, they’re living it. Perhaps Butler might be a better choice than De Beauvoir.

As for the proposed best dressed man competition, well, why not? Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Smith have made dapper cool again. Almost everyone likes a bit of eye candy. What’s missing is respect.

Feathered Manifesto


This is smokers’ soil! 

We, Feather Riot, regret any convenience caused

by our good grace and opium panties. 

We bar sisters seek to wrly slay

the clunky atrocity of your mean, mean teeth machine.

We seek to resurrect the future,

promoting both disorganized attraction

and regret.


Please note that any unattended rubber will be confiscated

and donated to our resident lingerie vampire

who can be found just down the crying hallway to the right

playing coexist with our musical faeries. 


Borrowing your rich, rich materials

to build our slim, toned castle

has been essential to our soiled fantasy.


Only blank, black footage is universal.

So we watch it every night,

curled up cosy in our collars – 

the only glimpse of possible torment we allow here.

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