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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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IAN WILD

 

 

Ian Wild

Ian Wild is a writer, composer and theatre worker from Enniskean, Co. Cork, Ireland. In 2009 he won the Fish International Short Story Prize and received a literature bursary from the Irish Arts Council. His publications and broadcast work include Way Out West—a comedy series about the English community in West Cork for RTE Radio One; The Great Moodini and other stories—20 children’s stories also broadcast on RTE’s Radio One. He has a collection of short stories published by Fish: The Woman Who Swallowed The Book Of Kells and also a volume of poetry entitled Intercourse With Cacti (Bradshaw Books). His literary awards include the North West Playwrights Award, a short story prize with the Cork Literary Review and in 2005 he won a runner-up award in the Bridport Short Story Prize. Four of his highly successful musical comedies appeared in Cork Midsummer Festivals between 1998 and 2003: The Pirates in Short Pants, Marco Polo’s Toilet Brush, Reds Under the Beds and Spaghetti Western. The Pirates in Short Pants will also be performed in the Cork Arts Theatre in May 2010.

 

 

Wild Life

 

1. Giraffes at Fota

 

Any way I look at you

you don’t add up, gentle giant.

Pythagoras pondering the hypotenuse of your being,

stumbling across your companions nuzzling

triangulated heads,

would abandon geometry.

Then you look at me,

long feminine face drooping lashes

over darkly enquiring eyes

like some connoisseur of holiday plebs.

You spend your life looking down

on things, but most of all on us.

Who wouldn’t be supercilious?

Those two coconut-hairy humps on your head

I speculate, are the furry tiara

of a cud-chewing princess:

a high up, llama-impersonating Di,

who turns aside sneering and affronted

regal and risible both

when I impudently enquire

how long lunch takes to go down.

But really, look at you.

That clipped toothbrush mane

on a preposterously long stiff neck;

and ill-fitting cracked mud coat

that makes you look like you’re wearing a jigsaw,

wrinkling where the cushion of your body

has not been properly stuffed.

You seem so ill-assembled with your

apologetic accountant’s posterior

and tail borrowed from Eyore,

knobbly kneed legs splaying like a whore

merely to drink at puddles.

So near to a turkey and yet … so far.

 

With a rocking horse gait

you canter away uphill

before I can formulate axioms

that might make you add up.

But then, where would our illusions be

if all our hypotenuses were equal

to the sum of our parts? 

 

 

2. Squashed Fox

 

brrrrrrmmmmm......brrrrmmrrrrrrm.

Driving along, I see crows

bounce aside from russet and red mush

that grows more two dimensional

with every passing car.

The Tom and Jerry in me wonders

why the fox doesn’t get up,

removing his head from tarmac

with the sucking noise of a plunger.

Were it a flat human

I’d have crashed the hedge,

but anyone can squash a fox without an inquest:

All foxes look the same …

Didn’t I see you this morning fox

trotting across the lane like a filthy squire?

Alert and sniffing the cold air for death,

as if expecting every moment

to hear the gulping cry of hounds

eager to rip limb from cracking socket.

The way you sloped off said it all:

the fox knows it is wrong.

A born criminal—irredeemable.

A stage villain sporting whiskers,

what we’d call in the trade: a flat character.

Being squelched to provide a Little Chef

for travel-weary birds

is a condition of their rascally inheritance.

If we’d only pull over by steamrollered pelts

I’m sure they’d rise like hackles

from the verge and whine:

a bad end is in the blood.

But it’s quicker and easier just to

brrrrrrmmmmm......brrrrmmrrrrrrm.

 

 

©2010 Ian Wild

 

Author Links

 

 

Story by Wild: 'The Woman Who Swallowed the Book of Kells'

Wild in the MLC Writers Index

Purchase Intercourse with Cacti

 

 

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