Poetry Drawer: Resignation letter: Going back to London: Ice cream: Describing Cheryl: The bait by D.S. Maolalai

Resignation letter

the office they gave me
held a view
of birds. how then
should one focus
on scheduling appointments
and booking calls
with contractors? flight stretched
like a long arm
over mountains
and tangled tablecloth.

Going back to London

it looks like I’m going
to be going again –
something in my life
bringing me back to London.
it’s not weather, god no,
and I’ve no friends
I want to see; I lived it a time, it’s true
and have some happy memories
but none of those
will light my way tonight.

me and this girl
are renting a car,
taking it from Bristol
all across the country. she
has appointments
she has to keep or something.
something to do
with a visa.
I’m going along
because I like to drive
and want to see
if some barstaff there
remember me.

there was this place I used to go to –
in Camden. I lived in Golders
and it was handy, that’s all. they played
folk music,
and sometimes jazz. I got drunk there
most nights that I got drunk.
it was pretty good. once
someone thought I was an A&R man
and set me up –
free drinks all night.
the walls
were a squeezed waterbottle
and the air
as fruit.

me and this girl are going to London.
we’re going tomorrow morning. it’s
June now, and the weather’s looking fine. I’m angling
that we drive along the coast, even though it means
getting up early. we’ll go east, our eyes
flying to sunrise
and Paris
will be rising
to our right.

Ice cream

she is sitting
on the ground
outside of tesco.

she is sitting
with legs flat,
little licks
off the top
of an ice cream

she looks
about six.
she looks
about happy.
her dad
or someone
on a bench nearby
pouring down
a bottle.
the sun is out.
it’s summer.

she looks happy.
I go on in,
buy vegetables and bread,
fresh fish and wine.
when I come out
she’s still there,
eating her ice cream.

Describing Cheryl

black as a red cherry
plucked out
of a blue earth,
good a fuck as any animal,
clever as candlewax,
ambitious as a bee in spring.

I tried so long
to reduce you
down to an essence in poems
and now I feel like you need an apology –
look at the shaggy order
into which I’ve put things.

The bait

my mam says she likes
about half the things
I publish – she is very
when she likes something. when she doesn’t –
that is to say
when it’s one of those poems
about drinking
or the ones
about chasing girls –
she’s honest too,
in a different way,

“well done”
and going on
eating her dinner.

sometimes she asks
why I don’t
write the nicer poems
all the time
to which I don’t really
have a response.

when you drop some bread on the pavement
in a crowd of flocking birds
you don’t get to decide
if a starling will get it
or a seagull.


D.S. Maolalai a graduate of English Literature from Trinity College in Dublin and recently returned there after four years abroad in the UK and Canada. D.S. has been writing poetry and short fiction for the past five or six years with some success. Writing has appeared in such publications as 4’33’, Strange Bounce and Bong is Bard, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Out of Ours, The Eunoia Review, Kerouac’s Dog, More Said Than Done, Star Tips, Myths Magazine, Ariadne’s Thread, The Belleville Park Pages, Killing the Angel and Unrorean Broadsheet, by whom D.S. was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Work is published in two collections; Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden and Sad Havoc Among the Birds.

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