DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016) and "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019)
I read books
by myself on the sofa. in the kitchen she makes dinner for us both. noodles roll her pan like letters bound in cursive. make sentences she doesn't bother to read. adds pepper instead, and sliced carrots. adds spices, sausages and examines her new combinations. I'm forbidden from entering her kitchen; struggling to get through a paragraph. she turns pages and serves them with bread.
The wine shop.
we worked standing still for 6 hours at a time and made a new cup of tea once each 15 minutes. it was monotonous, tiring work, though very easy - we stacked up shelves and took money for winebottles, waiting each night for the 9pm rush, continuing our conversations as we counted the check-out while various people paid us and left.
the backlight of the shelves hung livid in contrast against the sunset, white against red and brilliant soft yellow, curling as it came out and landed, moving through brown whiskey bottles, through blue and green gin bottles, and bottles of off-white white wine.
like finally eating a jar of olives which has stood in your cupboard for months, calling a friend and suggesting that after work you should maybe get a beer together.
the trouble with my friends is we don't talk while we’re sober - hell on any average we barely talk while drunk. mostly when I'm drunk I'm at home and writing poems - why is it that outside I get paralysed for things to say.
like stepping off a platform onto the rail tracks - too final. drunk and passionate with friends present and no chance for revision.
Some farmer in spare time.
driving or being driven toward leitrim, and newtownforbes somehow still stands as a landmark, though the last time we really visited must have been 2002. we used to get sandwiches and coffee in this one little shop - the village tea room - they also sold paintings. I was a child; I liked it because there were danish pastries and wooden toys, carved by some farmer in spare time between fieldwork. these towns, everywhere made of concrete and wet metal, where people live 80 years and don't go anywhere. like mold on tiles in a bathroom, or a japanese fighting fish in a glass on a high kitchen shelf.
this evening is a quiet evening. in the garden, the dog is barking at ghosts.
I go outside, look at what she's looking at. it's nothing; a tree with nothing in it. the dog is old and somewhat deaf; she jumps when I touch her back. together we stand and watch the tree. leaves move and perhaps something else does.