One Day To Wince

Would the dirty cloud hang there,

A little longer if I left?

And do you think that it can grow,

That the excerpts that escape the mass,

Making their way to other shores,

To talk about the debauched show,

Could also follow me,

Into my suitcase?

When I leave,

Will I think about the limpid air at home in China?

How many homes I have now!

The one that beams from afar, always,

Away from me or in costume,

Decked out in the finery,

I could never stand.


The cloud!

Do I love it?

Will I miss it?

Does death speak to me more than life?

My heart seems to clamber for some clutter,

Emotional and the extraneous things,

That would make me angry,

In the moment, scream.

My voice,

A whisper in a locked room,

Hopping against the walls,

And in that moment,

Brandishing vicious tiny limbs,

No man could ever fear.


Play Us Something Different Sam!

Sam plays a rhythm, 

On the upturned stone cauldron, 

That he bought on some lost weekend, 

In the tropics of South China. 

His rhythm is unsteady, 

But it is awful, with a blistering pace, 

Carries the air upon a slipstream, 

Moves the portraits on the walls, 

And hides useless reciepts, 

Where no one can observe

The gluttony of this house, 

Of those who claim occupancy.

I do enjoy these moments, 

They swell the communal pride, 

We are all in it together, 

The listening, 

His playing, 

The same outcome, 

We all nourish the self-same terror, 

But threaded through exotically.

The cauldron’s hollow basin hides tales, 

Of things we won’t ever understand. 

These moments are food,

For our meagre appetite, 

The one that feeds, 

On walks along tangled and outdated trails, 

On languages with beautiful sounds, 

On the smell of poison seeping through the air, 

And on the horror, 

The realisation of our fate, 

Which leads us, someday, away, 

Which leads all the way, 


Unity At Last

When in China, 

While we’re altogether mixed, 

In the rugged mist, 

That spills out of the sky, 

Like grease layered on a clear complexion, 

We are all one, 

Betwixt by way of pollution, 

No Outsiders here, 


Here, we are all smokers. 

A Metro In Guangzhou

We assimilate


The curtain comes up, 

Upon a man with torpid lungs, 

From smoke out of stress, 

From stress out of people. 

The slant of shoulders, 

And a lofty impressing head, 

Eyes hanging in the middle distance, 

Absolute and vacant, 

Impressively ignorant, 

Of the walls,


Of the endless shoals, 


Each unit in each shoal, 

Possessed of two wandering eyes, 

Beady and absentmindedly searching, 

These spaces for something curious. 

The tunnel closes in, 

And in the space of five minutes, 

Whole days can hinge, 

Moods slant or droop, 

A day in the life extinguished, 

By this pain, 

This attention, 

Rocking abrasively somewhere, 

Around my chest. 


Transcontinental gaping eyes, 

Across plenitudes of culture, 

The far reaches of my imagination met, 

On this tour, 

On the way back to the source. 

My quiet town shakes itself, 

Only when there is a bitter wind, 

And when the snow comes,

But once a year, 

Or the rain is spattered on startled faces. 

My lonely town, 

In the centre of one crooked island, 

Small and rocky,

All but uninhabitable, 

Is the centre of my world. 

Here in China,

Is every kind of vastness, 

Each climate takes a turn, 

But all the space in the world, 

Cannot converge to make, 

A chasm quite like that, 

Which exists at home in Cavan. 


When we choke, 

We cough together, 

Germs congeal, 

Upon our inseperable tongues, 

Meshed fabrics in a clotted air. 

I suspect the salt on your tongue, 

And the taste of your exposed skin, 

Those frightened blemishes are, 

Perhaps just a prison, 

For the evil things, 

Produced by mass pollution.

To die, 

Within the misty limbs, 

Of an old maiden, 

The sleeping monster, 

Laid to rest in the middle. 

I am inconsolable, 

I see you now, 

As just another carrier, 

And spend my days, 

In requiem for the spectral arc, 

The line of thought that brought us here. 

Daily Life

Handsome Jim has drawings, 

Of feathered garments on his wall,

Molly curls up in the fecundity, 

Of her limitless frugality,

And I spit bile upon the floor. 

On a road, there converged a crowd, 

Each unit of this bilious cloud,

Crept with infinitesimal social grace, 

Spinning machines that draw my face, 

Whirring hickerydoos around in the air, 

The easy miscontruances in the backward fair. 

In the middle of the road, 

Near the sea, 

Where an evil wind blows. 

A Day of Memory

Cool air swims in the room, 

Like liquid surges. 

The sun outside is sharp, 

But merciful and forgiving, 

Not the hungry despot, 

That fills every corner, 

With desperate stinking sweat. 

Today she is cool, relaxed, 

Another mother, 

Like the one that I remember, 

My best memories of home, 

Wrapped up in her. 

And the leaves play like tymphanies, 

Some small music in the air, 

As the unfettered searching breeze, 

Carresses all that it can see, 

For the first time, 

In time unknown. 

What to do today? 

Go outside and make more memories, 

Or sit and search among the eaves, 

The many corners, alcoves, 

Of things that I have already seen, 

Try to get back what I have once been.

In China, In a Taxi Cab

​A flimsy stutter creates the scene for us, 

It has helped erupt, or at the very least 

Make erect, a volcano of social domination

In my much esteemed opponent, 

The taxi driver. 

What I spit out has been thrown

Amongst the world of words many times, 

But only within the safety my 

Oft-forgiving, multi-lingual girlfriend

Offers me. The safety of her loins, 

Her legs, her soft and teasing laughter

The kind that would squeeze my 

buttocks and make me yelp.

So, when I hear him laugh I balk, 

And try to say the word once again, 

Fired by my own eruption of petty anger, 

Brewed underground in secret caverns, 

Infernous and inevitably dangerous.

At any given moment should the opportunity arrive, 

A whole arsenal of aggressive tones

Becomes exposed to the danger of ignition, 

And that wild bird inside my chest is unfettered,

Suddenly maternal, in flight for the sake of my pride. 

Calm Bryan, calm. 

I know to say these words by now, 

And imagining myself the modest monk, 

I slump back into my seat, 

Turn wearily to look Emily and say, 

Can you talk to him please?

Miss You (Rolling Stones Cover)

One night. 

One day…

Caught you off guard, 

When I told you not to come. 

Sleep in your own bed, 

Not exactly what I said, 

Nor what I meant. 

But as I lie here missing you, 

I can see it, 

The impetus behind my words, 

Dissolved by lack of kiss and touch, 

Turned bitter, sour, 

And burning a hole in my caustic tongue. 

Everytime I do this. 

Believing it’s for the best, 

For both of us a bit of rest, 

A night apart to sharpen our desire. 

But, perhaps desire is another misdirection, 

A magic trick, 

Stealthy puppetry, 

If only just to make us free, 

Of a seperation real and final, 

Now that our needs have grown, 

Your skin the same hue as mine, 

Our dependancy finally undeniable.