Fast Forward

What made you start running?

Pen and paper.

I’ve heard it before.

Evening time and glass of wine.

Nothing can beat me…

I asked her for more.

*

Movie on pause, mum,

Oh mum,

… If cancer can’t beat me.

Up in the sky with

Trees big, rivers wide and

Lines I can’t see.

*

Nothing can beat me.

I fly without falling.

You were the cause.

Oh mum, my mum,

Wires can break

And nothing will pause.

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Nature

Is this nature?

When they howl like clockwork

Wishing goodnight.

Because they have to let each other know

They care.

They’re there.

When they scrabble for food

And only one wins.

The big one, the red one.

He wins.

But green leaves and blue skies and grey clouds and white frost and children laughing and I’m smiling and

This is nature, surely?

When she barks and she whelps

And she shouts “no more.”

When they don’t listen and they smell and they heave and

She tries and she cries

But they are on top already

And she’s under the hammock

Because she’s scared and she’s sick.

But they are on top already and she

Stops.

When her eyes are blank and her body is still because it is too late.

Is this nature?

Is this the way it’s meant to be?

Phones

I put down my phone. I wonder how many stories begin like this. “I put down my phone.” A lot, I’d imagine. But my story starts when I picked up a phone.

When my dad died, I got his phone. A fancy iPhone as well.

We would be out for dinner – me, my two brothers, and my dad. Soccer would usually dictate where we ate, so I grew used to pub food. “Dad, let’s go somewhere where we can talk. Sure, she’s no interest in the football,” my eldest brother said, nodding at me.

We went in to the city. I think it was Italian food and I got pasta. We were talking. “The match is four-two,” my dad would say, checking the score on his phone.

He would bring me home from music class on Thursdays. We would always stop at a newsagent on the way. “What ice cream do you want?” he would ask me every week. “I don’t like ice cream,” I would always answer.

My dad wasn’t on Facebook, but he had the app. When he took part in the ice bucket challenge, he asked me to upload it to my profile, even though I wouldn’t be able to tag him in it, and none of his friends would see it. Maybe some of my cousins would see it. Someone would see it.

We were out for dinner again. “Will you have the beef?” “Dad, she’s vegetarian.” “Since when?” “Almost ten years now.”

When my dad died, I got his phone. A fancy iPhone as well. I uploaded a poem from his fancy iPhone. It got over 100 likes. But that wasn’t why I did it.

I went through the messages. Mostly between him and his brothers, my uncles. Exam results, pictures of me, updates of my love life. He knew it all. And I didn’t realise until I got his fancy iPhone.

– What will she have 4 dinner?x

– No meat. She’s vegetarian x

He knew it all.

Inspired by Eimear McBride

a girl is a half formed thing

Eimear McBride wrote a book called A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. This book is heavily disturbed and disturbing.

This book is like going to a nightclub and not being able to see the full picture because of strobe lights.

This book is like getting used to a baby learning to talk.

This book is advertised to deal with living under the shadow of a brother, but it is so much more than that. This book deals with loss, sex, rape, death, neglect, mental illness, childhood, parenthood, religion, and the effects of restraint on a girl’s development.

It took me twenty pages to understand what was even being said. McBride uses half-sentences and half-words. I expected the language to change as the narrator grows, but it doesn’t. Rather, it implies that conscience doesn’t mature. No matter how old we are, our minds and our thoughts are chaotic. We can live in an ordered society, but everyone is so completely disordered.

This book is incredibly triggering.

This book is brilliant.

Go out and READ THIS BOOK.

Snow

snow

I used to be jealous of my friends who live in the city. Especially when it would snow and I’d see videos of them snowballing or sledding online, or I’d see messages in the group chat that I could never respond to.

“I’ll play with you,” my mum said.

The two of us threw snowballs at each other until she fell and hurt her back and we went back inside. She was angry with me for making her play. I told her it wasn’t my fault she fell.

It had been strange seeing her running in the snow. She was glamourous; a lady. Not a child who plays in the snow. It had been strange seeing her fall. She was strong; a woman. Not a child who falls in the snow.

I remember feeling as though something had dropped within me when I saw her fall. I felt small and guilty.

She had just wanted to make me happy.

It is 11pm. My brothers and I throw snowballs at each other. Is it the first time it snowed since she last fell? She never got back up.

I can’t remember anymore.

Dick Creedon

“My daughter de-author,” my dad used to say, eagerly looking around him for the reactions of those around us.

My dad liked showing me off – not that there was ever much to show. He would tell all of his friends and brothers that I have the voice of an angel, even though I would only ever sing under my breath in the backseat of the car. He would tell my aunties that I was the best driver he’d ever seen, and I haven’t even taken my theory test. When I won student of the year back in secondary school, I could hear my dad whoop from the back row of the ceremony. I looked at him as I smilingly took the trophy from my old principal and I saw tears rolling down his cheeks, his hands clapping together so violently I don’t know how he didn’t bruise his palms.

He was like that with all three of us – me and my two brothers. We thought it was embarrassing at the time.

He was proud of himself too. Whenever he determined himself towards making dinner, he would smack his lips on the slightly undercooked potatoes and say, “Mmm, I haven’t done too bad if I may say so myself.”

He wouldn’t pay for the bins to be taken out, but he would buy himself a new guitar. He would pay my rent up in Dublin. He would get my brothers the latest gadgets. He gave us more than we realised.

I wish I could have stepped into his mind for a day. Find out if he was happy.

He would come into the room while you’re watching the all-crucial episode of Game of Thrones and tell you about his day. He would take out his guitar while you’re trying to study and show you the latest of what he taught himself. He would wake you up at 7am just to tell you he was off to work. He lived in a fairy tale world.

I won’t lie and say that we had the closest father-daughter relationship. I put him through a lot. When I turned 16 and went out on Paddy’s night, only to come home unconscious with alcohol poisoning. He had to blow into my eyes to keep me awake. When I turned 17 and couldn’t bring myself to be happy for him after my mum died. When I turned 19 and moved out.

When I turned 21 and we waltzed together in the Bishopstown Bar. He spun me around for the first time since I was ten years old. That Christmas when he bought me a paddy cap and we watched The Usual Suspects together. Unfortunately, I never got to turn 22 with him.

“My daughter de-author,” he would say. I haven’t written a word since he left. Not until now.

Me and my brothers cooked dinner this last Christmas. The potatoes were cooked, and we all complimented ourselves, smacking our lips together just like Dad did.

 

Beginning Sonder

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The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.

I have spent years trying to describe this feeling – not just to others, but to myself. Walking down a street when the overwhelming actuality hits you that we are all the most important people to ourselves. There is so much behind one person that to understand or know someone can never really happen.

Ever since I was a little girl I would look out the car window and look at the other little girls playing on passing greens. I remember wondering what their lives were like and how they could possibly be different to mine. That’s why I began writing. I felt and feel a need to understand.

The power to inhabit someone else’s world with words is magical.

This blog is going to be a collection of things – stories, poems, personal thoughts. You’ll probably find a lot out about me. I hope you stay for the show.