Ruining my reputation

as a wit rather quickly –
and his girlfriend and I
got on well until then –
the three of us, sprawled
in their Kentish Town
love-nest, drinking white
wine with ice cubes,
10 until late afternoon.
all slung about, tired
on match-broken sofas
taken by his landlord
from distress auction sales,
surrounding his flat-
screen tv and the window.
watching the cricket – I had
no interest, but they did and so
we were watching. my jokes
about the dullness
of a sport I didn’t understand
getting old fast
but me drinking faster
and not really noticing
when the laughs
began to slow.

I was leaving the country
the following week.
my reputation
in tatters, and this
would be our last
hurrah. when I stumbled at last
to fall somewhere asleep,
clutching my stomach
and groaning,
they both
rolled their eyes
and arranged me
with a bucket – that
was around 5pm.

I didn’t wake up
until early the next morning,
feeling great
after 16 hours sleep. stole one
of his cigarettes
and one last glass of wine.
went outside
to piss slowly
onto his flowers.


Diving in portugal

diving in portugal
toward the portuguese
sea, the blue stain of lucid
blue water, painting
blue rocks. we are
on a holiday, visiting
this stone-crested
beach town. last night
I kissed jessie
and was punched in the face
by fionnuala. some treachery
there; complicity
perhaps. and the boys
make our ranks
on the dock
by the harbour. take turns
with impressions
of suicide – impressing
each other
by turns.


DS Maolalai has received eleven nominations for Best of the Net and eight for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in three collections; Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016), Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019) and Noble Rot (Turas Press, 2022).