If this is burning my life to the ground, then okay. Fire extinguish me. Especially if you know what’s best for me. I’m going to assume that you do.

The advice you’ve cheese fries dished out with lashings of BBQ sauce, is it what you’d want to hear in this exact dilemma? Would you hope for a stock drawer answer, or an inspirational meme, or a worn out platitude that didn’t even work on TV?

Because if I’ve learnt one thing, it’s this: advice is lint.

Seriously, shit. And even professionals, who I total value, if they’d said the opposite of what the underside of my heart says, the really crappy layer, like old tyres with no grip, I’d ignore it. Because no-one knows my nerves like me.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 21.49.25


I’ll do for love what Jesus did for the Bro Code: thicken it like hair dye when you mix the powder, water and stuff.

I’ll buy you a Smarties tube, even if it means import, and I’ll get What To Expect When You’re Expecting on Apple TV so you can watch it more than once.

And when you’re gone, they’ll pop the trunk of my car and find only gold stacks, which weigh the wheels down. And nothing after.


Re: Stacks

I enjoy escalation. High views and idea seeds with potential to Dragon’s Den it. Always wondered about day drinks, like, what do your kids say about it? And when the scotch leaves a yellow stain on dead lip skin does it sting when you kiss or is your body a cocktail shook against shop bought ice, source unknown, anybody’s tap and guess?

I crush stacks, and filter my money like water with Brita, like Facebook friends I didn’t face see in five years or four. The details unreleased online like a phone number or a bedroom tidiness level, I in person suck up and teeth knock like dominos together, dice in a wooden cup.

I’ve gambled your pension, my seed money, college fund, direct debit holiday six ninety nine and saving stamps. And I gamble it again, and you, on a horse tip overheard at all day breakfast. And I win you double, sleep in the middle of you like I’m the gap between twin mattresses pushed together.

I’m the bumper; your impact, years later, is my bite degenerating after 9 years of an overnight brace.



You beg like a Bible verse: taut, memorable, ghost-written. He circles you like a Catherine wheel: you’re the pin, fixed to a flammable fence, and he’s the firework, sputter-ready.
You, Walter, have steady, cameraman hands. Cameraperson. Inclusive language is generational, a gap you misunderstand, or miss, or denigrate, the way modern gods being men isn’t a problem. For you.
His suit smooth like a wipe-clean-able tablecloth, you ask, “Who will you have without me?” You forget how fast you replaced Beta with VHS, Matt Damon with Ben Affleck, and back again.
Once, he invited you into his house, said, “Let’s break bread now,” and you remembered your tongue at the alter, a finger delivering bread, and an endorphin urge, pudding thick, to Velociraptor snap at Father Mike’s fingers.
Lapsed Catholic, you wait for this man to decide. He’s your boss. Important like the Commonwealth, in history. There’s no redemption, only more, a pre-written prescription you weekly forget to pick up.
For you, Walter, infinity’s a gas meter counter spinning into the next billing cycle.
(Originally published on FlashFlood Journal, June 22nd 2013 & referenced on Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s blog Women Rule Writer, 31st July 2013)


Each mistake’s pre-medicated with leftover medication. It won’t make decisions simpler but the raspberry aftermath swirl of it will wipe enough of the post-pain, immediate revelatory judgement, and when you face her next you’ll be reinforced with a certificate, cotton or blind belief you’re a hundred percent over this shit.


Who Are You Talking To Right Now?

I wanted clunkless transition. But reminders, like the mug with your workplace name, your date-setting, another place-setter, like I don’t make decisions anymore, clear.

Except every decision’s been you. I’ve been Monopoly banker to syphon secret fifties, five hundreds, so your sheet thread count’s double and our kids can make college mistakes.

But perimeter setter, wife of last year. You pen me like a store bought pet, who’s only ever known glass or wire or a hole-cut cardboard box as home since eye opening.

Who are you talking to? Right now. It’s like you’re script written, checking the boxes on Facebook for notifications you’d like to receive, and News Feed events you can do without.


Just Give Me The Chance To Bury My Dead

I could just die now. Any slit, pill, shot, lucky punch to the head. But there’s no cross off yet. Bucket list long like ancient scrolls, designated as scriptures, may as well be allegory, fairy story, for all we’ll ever know.

If I died now, I’d never see my wife’s roots, IMAX, hear my daughter’s sentence spit graduate from bile, meet who my son chooses.

Missed every perfect end point, before people found out what I did, and even reason can’t evaporate, like custard powder right out of milk, each sin that’s not a sin because that’s a religious thing and I’m not religious now.

We’re all, effectively, ambiguous morally. It’s another man-made constraint like don’t chew gum on the shop floor, no personal phone calls. And the dust is kind of comforting.



Jack says, “Pinpoint the moment. Tell it,” but I don’t have the clarity he does which could measure a friend in increments like a Gwyneth Paltrow recipe, totally carb free. Then, what’s left?

“A series of shifts,” I tell him, “the smallest dialogue segment, owning a crease in his face, until he absolute knew who he was, the first time in 50 years.”

But Jack doesn’t get it. Thinks Jesse’s the obvious choice, at my age, star sign, BMI, diabetes probability. I know that he’s right but I couldn’t talk myself into a thing except god which doesn’t make me weak but hopeful.

I’m hopeful, Walt. Hopeful.