The App, by Kevin Higgins

Available soon in the privacy of your own phone
at the tap of a sweaty finger.
Whereas others enable you to order in lasagne
or argue away portions of your life
with neckbeards in places you’ve never been –
Lima, Reykjavik, Brisbane...
about the meaning of feminism or fascism;
this will put you a click away
from a whole menu of problem solving hitwomen.

Former auctioneers who’ve decided to make
more honest women of themselves.
A few who tired of sloping about Kinvara
wearing dark glasses
in search of purified water
and decided to finally do something.
Not all the women on there will offer
a full service. A few will just dish out
what we’ll call
warnings; dangle the target
from a twenty fifth floor window
and tell them not to do it again;
throttle them in hotel rooms
but at the last nanosecond
let the target splutter some air
and promise to catch up with him later.

The standard service will include
the usual pistol to the heart
in a multi-storey car park.
Our women always insist on silencers.
There will be cases of mistaken identity
for which this app accepts zero liability.
Try our premium service and have
a woman dressed as a Serbian anarchist
blow apart any skull you choose
(even, if you wish, your own)
in front of members of the skull’s extended family
and at least one local journalist.
You can also order death by arson
and leave the target looking like Joan of Arc,
only smokier. There will be
a couple of Spaniards on here who’ll offer
the always popular garrotting, served
traditional Cadiz style.

And we’ll be introducing a special
service for those with heart conditions
who could be finished
by someone blowing in their better ear
an unexpected trombone.

KEVIN HIGGINS is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway. He has published five previous full collections of poems: The Boy With No Face (2005), Time Gentlemen, Please (2008), Frightening New Furniture (2010), The Ghost In The Lobby (2014), & Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital (2019). His poems also feature in Identity Parade – New Britishand Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014). Kevin was satirist-in-residence with the alternative literature website The Bogman’s Cannon 2015-16. 2016 – The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins was published by NuaScéalta in 2016. The Minister For Poetry Has Decreed was published by Culture Matters (UK) also in 2016. Song of Songs 2:0 – New & Selected Poems was published by Salmon in Spring 2017. Kevin is a highly experienced workshop facilitator and several of his students have gone on to achieve publication success. He has facilitated poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and taught Creative Writing at Galway Technical Institute for the past fifteen years. Kevin is the Creative Writing Director for the NUI Galway International Summer School and also teaches on the NUIG BA Creative Writing Connect programme. His poems have been praised by, among others, Tony Blair’s biographer John Rentoul, Observer columnist Nick Cohen, writer and activist Eamonn McCann, historian Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Sunday Independent columnist Gene Kerrigan; and have been quoted in The Daily TelegraphThe IndependentThe Times (London), Hot Press magazine, Phoenix magazine, The Daily Mirror and on The Vincent Browne Show, and read aloud by Ken Loach at a political meeting in London. He has published topical political poems in publications as various as The New EuropeanThe Morning StarDissent Magazine (USA), Village Magazine (Ireland), & Harry’s PlaceThe Stinging Fly magazine has described Kevin as “likely the most widely read living poet in Ireland”. Kevin’s poetry has been translated into Greek, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Albanian, French, Russian, & Portuguese. One of Kevin’s poems features in A Galway Epiphany, the final instalment of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series of novels which is just published. His work has been broadcast on RTE Radio, Lyric FM, and BBC Radio 4. His book The Colour Yellow & The Number 19: Negative Thoughts That Helped One Man Mostly Retain His Sanity During 2020 was published in late by Nuascealta. His extended essay Thrills & Difficulties: Being A Marxist Poet In 21st Century Ireland was published in pamphlet form by Beir Bua Press last year. In December 2021 Kevin was both expelled from the British Labour Party, of which he was an overseas member, for publishing his poem ‘Tribute Acts’ in Socialist Appeal magazine and, on the very same day, awarded ‘Poet of The Year’ at the Labour Heroes Awards event at Conway Hall, London.  Ecstatic, Kevin’s sixth full poetry collection, was published last month by Salmon.  


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