No Joy, (after Marie Kondo), by Agnes Warren

No joy

After Marie Kondo

I drew the line at Marie Kondo
and not a straight, well-behaved line.
More a squiggly, thrice drawn,
twice rubbed out, kind of line,
the likes of which Marie could never approve of.

I attempted to fold my underwear, à la KonMari,
but my rebellious knickers had other ideas.
Protesting at every turn,
like a bunch of radical feminists at Miss World,
defiantly refusing to be folded into submission.

She could never accept
my need for thirty books,
piled precariously on my nightstand,
a leaning tower of delight.
Even when I swore
they all sparked great joy.

Her sanctimonious smile,
her Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.
It was never going to work.
It was her, not me.

In the end, she just wasn’t
nightstand quality

Agnes Warren lives in the West of Irelans. She is new to poetry writing, having recently participated in a series of workshops with Kevin Higgins, through Galway Arts Centre.

 

GDPR, by Marie Studer

GDPR

He stretched his legs under the hospitality
Of her kitchen table, listed the locals lately deceased,
Those who reached old age, those taken young.
She offered currant cake.
Reaching for a slice he asked in a flash,
What age would you be now, Nonie?
She returned the plate to ellipsis equalised
On oilcloth. Smiling benignly, she enquired
What age would you think I am?
He subtracted generously from the score,
Near enough, she said.
No hacker would ever crack
My mother’s personal information or ransom her ware.

Marie Studer has written poetry since her teens in the1970s and started to submit in 2018. She won the Trocáire Poetry Ireland Competition 2020 and the Halloween Ekphrastic Poetry Challenge, Bangor Literary Journal 2019. Her poetry has been published in the Stony Thursday Book, The Waxed Lemon, Wee Book of Wee Poems, Fire & Water, Drawn To The Light, online and local anthologies.

Twitter handle: @StudiMarie

 

This shit?, by Jo Sachs-Eldridge

This shit?

Is this it?
This shit?

Are you happy with your lot?
Cos I’m fucking not.
Not with this lot.
This rot.

Not this.
Is this it?

This shit?
If it is
I’ve had enough.
I don’t want this lot.
Not this.

I don’t want the trying
The crying
The sweating
The giving
Of everything
I’ve got.
For what?

Is this it?
This shit?

But don’t you dare ask
What do you want?
Cos who fucking knows.
But it’s not this.
Not this lot.
Not this.

She’s happy with her lot.
But what’s she got
That I’ve not?
What is it?
Maybe she just doesn’t know
What she’s not got.

Or maybe
I don’t.
Maybe whatever I’ve got
Is the lot.
Maybe you just grab that shit
And you say
THIS IS IT!
I’VE GOT IT!
This lot.
My lot.
I’ve got it.
I’VE GOT
THE LOT!

Jo Sachs-Eldridge lives in Leitrim where she mostly dreams up community projects involving bikes and words and other stuff she naively believes will change the world. She has notebooks full of writing that is legible to no-one and a daughter who is a wonderful distraction from everything.

 

There’s no toilet seats in the psych ward, by Aoife Cunningham

There’s no toilet seats in the psych ward.
I nearly fell down the loo,
Like Alice in wonderland.
While im trying to excrete urine.

There’s no toilet seats in the psych ward.

My shoes are dr martens
And I dress like
a bohemian goth,
This I must say,
Gets in the way,
of my OOTD.
Because I don’t have access to my belts or my lace!

There’s no curtains in the psych ward,
So I have to get crafty,
I get a little bit arty
and hang a sheet.
It’s like a sad tapestry
For the room that it is.
I guess that’s true

There’s no toilet seats in the psych ward

Now I’ve learnt all the tricks,
From drifting between institutions.
To wear a scuba mask,
In case I fall down the toilet bowl.

I’ve learnt all the tricks
From years of experience.
To use your wit to find a way
out of this hole.

There’s no toilet in the psych ward

 

I am the Genie in the Jar, by Mandy Beattie

I AM THE GENIE IN THE JAR

A wee glass jar with a maroon lid
is an insect-tent, it sits
on a shelf watching the sunflower
clock’s second hand scurry
on yard thick walls of stone
the wee glass jar peers down
above, around and spots a ballerina
in a white tutu and pink tap shoes
on a white wall waiting for Genie
to lift the maroon lid
to flit and look for ladybirds, spiders
and moths to scoop them up and squeeze
through yard thick walls of stone
to re-pot the ladybird on a Hyacinth
bush and the scurrying spider
on a newel post by raised beds
of rhubarb and blueberries
but Genie lets slaters bide inside
a yard of stone to scurry
over oak and hide under knots.

Mandy Beattie, is a feminist from Caithness, Scotland with an MA in Social Work Practice & Research. Her poetry is a tapestry of stories and imagery, rooted in people, place and the natural environment, set at home and abroad.

 

Because it’s total crap, by Karen Jones

Because it’s total crap

Ratner lifted the lid on a sherry decanter
At £4.95 a pop too good to countenance
When asked about his high-street gems
Little tacky rings for working class girls
Risking bedtime dealings with blue collar boys

It was Gerald who had himself by the balls
All for earrings costing less than a quid
He’d choke on an M&S sandwich now
Fish the prawns himself if he could
Than grapple with the loss of a
$10 billion business, 10 seconds to nought

Now 30 years after the biggest PR gaffe
The Sultan of Bling can only think back
To Mrs Ratner and her word of advice
The only pearl he declined to string
Ego really is a terrible thing

Karen Jones is new to writing poetry, a student of Kevin Higgins, born in Northern Ireland, living in Dublin and working in public relations.

 

The Free Spirit Ward of Court, by Aoife Cunningham

The Free Spirit Ward of Court.

My Heart yearns while my mind dwells,
For liberation.
Liberation from the restraints,
Imposed by the state.

I am energy, so free and abundant,
I crave distance from the piercing eyes of my Nurse.

Give me the sky and I will soar,
Bring me a melody and I will sing.
A free spirit forced to fit into a square box.
A hammered, bent misfit yet vivid and vibrant.

My bodyguards are deaf to this
Boho’s screams.
I cant abscond in present,
But in spirit I am free.

You can cage my body but not my mind,
You can dictate my actions.
But you can’t compose my soul.

You can’t tame me!
I will break free.
And fly as high as my dreams go.

But first,
I must hug recovery.

 

Or your scants will come back to haunt you, by Beth McDonough

Or your scants will come back to haunt you

Here’s to the thrill of ethical knickers

delivered by post through your own front door.
Each pair of pants comes carefully wrapped
in tactile fantastic brown papery packets,
patterned with turtles, octopuses and whales,
skilfully block-printed in India.

All of these garments are guaranteed free
of nasties like plastics, except just perhaps
those barcoded stickers proclaiming these knickers
one hundred per cent organic cotton, designed
entirely to delight on the very fine Isle of Wight,
dyed in colours as smashing as eggshell.

Already, I’m advised on my pants’ end of life,
little symbols explain how these ethical undies
can be sent back, then recycled safely. I must
express just a little alarm about future
manufacturing tactics of endless elastic, but
why not have big hopes for the morals of smalls?

Beth McDonough’s poetry is widely anthologised and published in Magma, Gutter, and elsewhere. Her first solo pamphlet Lamping for pickled fish is published by 4Word.Fairly soon, her site-specific poem will be installed on the Corbenic Poetry Path. She swims year round in the Tay, foraging close by.

 

Speed Dating, by Enna Michaels

Speed Dating

So here I am, A newly single mum of two.
Not exactly all that defines me – But it’ll do.
Some friends suggested I go on a date,
Find ‘someone special’ before it’s too late.

Thanks ‘friends’ if that is what you are.
I thought I was doing well thought I was shining like a star.
But my ‘friends’ are quite persuasive so here I am in a shabby hotel.
Surrounded by the desperation brigade and things are not going well.

First, we’re told to mingle, we have been given a free drink.
But frankly it’s not that appealing and the majority of them stink.
The ‘ladies’ are sat at tables, the ‘fair blooms’ should be approached.
With caution in my opinion – the men circle ready to be reproached.

The first one is called Gary and he really likes his car.
He promises to drive me wherever I want to go – so long as it has a bar.
The second one is ‘Mikey’ – he went to university you know.
Although he didn’t quite manage to finish – but is quite happy on the dole.

The next one is quite exotic – Julio is his name.
He looks around with boredom in his eyes, so in some ways we are the same.
But the charms of dashing Julio are limited, he sweats more than a bull.
And as he talks about his successes it’s the clear the comparison is full….

Then I’m introduced to Arthur, he calls himself ‘a proper gent’.
He shows off a fake Rolex, and that’s not all that’s bent.
Sebastian seems quite nice; he admits he doesn’t have a lot to say.
His beloved wife brought him along – apparently, they like ‘role play’.

Oliver seems very shy – he admits it’s not his scene,
I wonder if his mother knows he is out – far too young and green.
Milo is a chef you know, cooking is his passion,
And lots of pretty young girls too, especially those into fashion.

There are more men than women here, we’re expected to be polite.
I secretly wish I were elsewhere, being more productive with my night.
I finally think of something to speed things up and end this silly game.
I look deeply into the eyes and say, “Are you Brexit or Remain?”

 

Slipping back into the creation of me, by I Am Cereal Killer

Slipping back into the creation of me

Slipping back into the creation of me,
I find myself hollow and nobody can help,
My thoughts are mine and nobody can change them,
Someone might want to,
Lisa said “One way to float is if you die”
But I am not of that,
There is too much life there to live,
To hold,
To love,

I am rising again like a flock that floats,
Up to the cloud for no one to find,
Hide again to shock me out of this world,
The tapping of the plastic that annoys me,
Rubbing and then buff for the showing of the world,

I’m done – complete,
The finishing of this story is never near,
But to the end we mustn’t advance,
The wow in my life has been rocked back and forth, forth and back,
Rocking until we feel sick with emotion, I can’t find the right metaphor but it will come,
On air I am hungry but that era is done,
I’ve begun but I do not know how to stop,

I slipped away and nobody noticed.

I AM CEREAL KILLER was born in 1995 out of grief and anger. After 19 friends and acquaintances died from complications from AIDS over a three year period, I was advised to “get it all out, write it all down.” And once I had it on paper, what would I do with it but put on a show? Inspired by the Divine David, I discovered I AM CEREAL KILLER’s extraordinary look, a kaleidoscope of colors constantly shifting with his mood of the moment.

I AM CEREAL KILLER is also the proud author of two books, This Isn’t a Gift, It’s Just the Way I Feel (yes, never fear to reutilize a title that worked the first time) and A Collection of Dildos on My Shelf. These can be found on the shelves of The British Library and are sold on Amazon (not by him) for exorbitant amounts. There is also a spoken word CD with tracks produced by Richard Torry of Minty, and a guest appearance on the Fuzzbox video, WGAF-AWFUI!

Now, I AM CEREAL KILLER talks about a much wider range of topics in regards to LGBT rights and acceptance. A new show is coming to New York City with fresh material and the fresh title of The Aerodynamics of Giraffes and How to Slice Them Properly (see show to understand title).