Poem by Mike Gallagher (Ireland)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 50
The Poet's Consort
Too many launches, growing paunches
from drinking wine;
just a subtle cough, dear,
ever so soft, dear,
when I reach page forty nine
of my ever so selectable,
my ever so delectable, collection.
Oh, not another reading -
vocal chords depleting -
just a little clap, dear,
what y'mean, it's crap, dear;
I’ll have you realise,
this poem won first prize,
judged by my dearest friend.
Ah, another workshop over,
so why don't you just hover
in the background, my dear,
let's meet my fawning fans, dear,
feigning to understand
my verbal dexterity, my command
of the complexity of alliteration and allusion.
Those books on the table, all of them unsold,
not an uncommon story, if truth were to unfold,
my publishers do their best, my dear,
but if in the end they can't,
our losses will be covered
by an arty Council grant.
you see, we're in the inner sphere, dear,
we fill the forms right, dear,
we’re no small beer, dear
we know the right people, dear,
most of them are here, dear,
sipping Chardonnay, lipping Beaujolais,
professors, confessors, obsessors
champagne socialists, chauvinists,
poetry czars, self appointed,
poetry stars, self anointed,
the loquacious, the salacious, the audacious,
rhymers, old timers, new age slammers,
cliques, pricks, prigs,
the awful, the doleful, the soulful, the woeful,
all here, my dear,
quaffing, faffing, bitching, laughing,
moaning, droning on,
I feel that they’re ignoring me,
yer man at the back, he’s snoring, see
I feel so underrated here,
feel I’m not celebrated, dear,
we’re out of here, dear,
fetch my folder, dear,
come, burnish this lustrous ego.
Mike Gallagher, an Irish writer, poet and editor, worked in London for forty years. His prose, poetry, haiku and songs have been published throughout Europe, America, Australia, Nepal, India, Thailand, Japan and Canada. His writing has been translated into Croatian, Japanese, Dutch, German, Italian and Chinese.He won the Michael Hartnett Viva Voce competition in 2010 and 2016, was shortlisted for the Hennessy Award in 2011 and won the Desmond O'Grady International Poetry Contest in 2012. His poetry collection Stick on Stone was published by Revival Press in 2013.
Image: "Gathering" by Eren.