Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Austerity Mantra

Austerity Mantra

Everything must be on the table.
Your ninety seven year old granny
is no longer cost effective, would
benefit greatly from being brought face to face
with a compassionate baseball bat.
The figures speak for themselves and will
be worse by morning. The paraplegic
in his insanely expensive wheelchair
will have to crawl as God intended.
Here are the figures that won’t stop
speaking for themselves, this is the table
everything must be on. Yesterday my name was
Temporary Fiscal Adjustment.
Tonight, the insect in the radio calls me
The Inevitable. When the economist
puts his hand up, take care not to cough.
Everything’s on the table and
the table’s tiny. I’d send you a pillow
to hold hard over the child’s face
‘til the kicking stops, but at current rates
there’ll be no pillow. I am the unthinkable
but you will think me. Pack her mouth
with tea towels, hold down firmly
your old mildewed raincoat,
‘til there’s no more breath.
Tomorrow I’ll be known as
Four Year Consolidation Package.
Lock the cat in the oven and bake
at two hundred degrees centigrade.
Tie your last plastic bag over
your own head. The figures speak for themselves
and there is no table.

Kevin Higgins
Kevin Higgins was born in London in 1967, and grew up in Galway City where he still lives. He is co-organiser of the highly successful Over The Edge literary events. His first collection of poems, The Boy with No Face, was published by Salmon in 2005. The Boy With No Face was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award and has recently gone to its second printing. His second collection, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published by Salmon in 2008. He is the poetry critic of The Galway Advertiser and also regularly reviews for Books In Canada: The Canadian Review of Books. A collection of his essays and reviews, Poetry, Politics & Dorothy Gone Horribly Astray, was published by Lapwing in 2006. Kevin has read his work at most of the major literary festivals in Ireland and at a wide variety of venues and festivals in Britain, France and the United States. He won the 2003 Cúirt Festival Poetry Grand Slam and was awarded a literary bursary by the Arts Council of Ireland in 2005. 

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