Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins was described in The Stinging Fly magazine has “likely the most read living poet in Ireland. His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, The Daily Mirror, Hot Press magazine, on Tonight With Vincent Browne and read aloud by film director Ken Loach at a political meeting in London. Kevin’s eighth poetry collection, Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital, will be published by Salmon Poetry in June.

Prayer To The Absolute Dark

Forget, if you can,
most ungracious mind of burning hydrogen

never has it been known

that anyone who sought refuge in you,

implored your help down the telephone

you never answer,

or by pleading letter

sought your intervention

was ever aided.
Inspired by this matchless absenteeism,
I soar into your blackness.
Oh great impure one,

your mouth empty even of curses
before you I cower,
shamefaced and ragged

child of yours;
Mother, Father gas

made flesh,
despise my petitions,

as they should be

despised. In your

inclemency ignore

and answer me with

silent hymns

to the bacteria that must

victoriously consume

even the firmest, most perfect


The Great News

after Eugenio Montale & Karl Marx

​#So many mornings I woke hoping

to find you there

and when there was no sign

how many times

I clicked on that brown clock-radio

praying to hear tell of you.

The blood rising at every fuzzy mention

of your name. The thought of you

strutting into town to clean

things up with your Guillotine

wiped away crazy aunts

shouting my name over the fence,

the bastards in my Latin class,

and the girls who kept saying nyet.

So many moments you seemed about

to emerge from the crowd:

Father Burke Park, Chinatown, Trafalgar Square.

But you kept not quite making it.

In the finish I had to sit

at the desk I could by then

afford to buy myself

and sign the decree banning

utterance of your name.

Now, thirty years late

you and your shadow opposite

are both everywhere

abolishing the colour grey,

swaggering off trains,

climbing out of computers

and television sets

wearing masks I recognise.

Now to rummage in the closet

under the stairs and see where mine got to;

make it fit an altogether

fatter head than it was intended for.