It is a pleasure and an honor to be able to share the poetry of the best thing to happen to Ireland since fermentation, the whip-smart Kevin Higgins.
Kevin Higgins is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway, Ireland. He has published five collections of poems: The Boy With No Face (2005), Time Gentlemen, Please (2008), Frightening New Furniture (2010), The Ghost In The Lobby (2014), & 2016 – The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins. His poems feature in Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Bloodaxe, 2014). Kevin is satirist-in-residence with the alternative literature website The Bogman’s Cannon. The Stinging Fly magazine recently described Kevin as “likely the most widely read living poet in Ireland”.
Traditional Los Angeles Curse
May the lawyer with the pec implants
trade you in for a Guatemalan waiter.
May your alimony settlement slot neatly
into the speedos of the dwarf you marry next,
as he makes off down the highway
on his miniature Harley-Davidson.
May this be the start of your
getting beaten up in parking lots phase.
May you bring home the dough
to have your chest reupholstered
by starring in porn versions
of Charles Bukowski stories.
May a curtain straight out of
a Tom Waits song come
crashing down on you
in a motel near the airport.
May even the Chihuahua
who called the ambulance
be found to have been
not be entirely innocent.
The weekend I worked as a lifeguard
no one dared go for a swim;
even the bacteria at the bottom of the pool
kept an exceptionally low profile.
During my time as a hired assassin
I only succeeded in blowing
a hole in my own ceiling.
Since my brief stint as a priest
guys have been coming up to me
in car parks, claiming to have been
the sole member of the congregation
during my one and only sermon.
That morning I spent directing traffic
I saw not one car or heavy goods vehicle,
despite it being rush hour.
Not so much as a passing bicycle.
For legal reasons, I can’t comment
on the winter I bluffed my way into a job
as a part-time weather forecaster,
predicted sun the day of
the eighteen hour blizzard of hailstones,
because the investigation
into those matters is ongoing.
With all this, my love life thus far
has been a speed dating session
to which no one turned up but me.
If you want something not done,
call, and I won’t be there.
Spend the next forty eight hours
watching the phone in the hope
I never get back to you.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Rhapsody for Self #Hillary2016
(Cheers, applause) It’s wonderful for you all
to be here today with me. Together
we can make America
a house with absolutely no ceilings.
Such a vision kept my granddaddy
going to work
in the same Scranton lace mill
every day for eighty years,
even when it was shut
for the holidays. If we can bottle
just a little of that spirit of acquiescence
and allow people purchase it in gas stations,
at reasonable interest rates, or give it away
free with the National Enquirer, I know
together we can make America
a house with no ceilings,
and perhaps no windows
or doors either. It was faith
such as this made my father believe
his small business printing drapery fabric
in the wrong part of Chicago
could, if he scrimped and saved
with sufficient fanaticism,
enable a daughter of his to one day
become a former Secretary of State.
It brings a tear to my eye, even now,
and I know, to many of yours too;
those of you who still have them,
because, as we know, America
has been buffeted by big winds.
This time eight years ago she was flat out
on the washroom floor.
But we’ve dusted ourselves up;
and are standing again. Though not as tall
as we’d like to be. America
is still working its way back to you.
She just hasn’t made it
all the way across the dancefloor yet.
The challenges we face are new
and old. We can’t go on forever
re-enacting the War of 1812.
It’s no longer 1791. Or even
1513 when Spanish explorers first spied
through the clearing mist
what we now know was
the electorally vital
state of Florida.
Since then many of you
have taken extra shifts, given
hand jobs, postponed
home repairs, and I’m running
for President to make sure
all of this continues.
It takes a former
Secretary of State to properly
burn a village.
Who do you want there,
when the call comes,
at three in the afternoon,
Eastern Standard Time,
and something’s going on in the world,
while you’re all
safely tucked up in bed
with my husband?
Together we can build
a shaky but serviceable footbridge
to the third decade of the twenty first century.
To this end, I will personally exhume
and fasten to a table
kindly donated by Walmart
the skeleton of Ricky Ray Rector, before
a specially invited audience
of major corporate donors. We can do this
if together we have the courage to be
we want to see in the world.
Talk to your friends,
your enemies, and even
your family. Text “JOIN” to 4-7-2-4-6.
Sign up to make calls
and kick down doors.
God bless you and, more importantly,