Project Description

Song of Songs 2.0

after Anonymous 3rd or 2nd Century B.C.

How glorious your feet stuffed into trainers
Oh lavatory attendant’s daughter.
The joints of your thighs pop
out like cuckoo clocks;
the work of a drunken assembly line operative
on his last day at the factory.

Your navel is the tiniest china cup
from which I will sup
Carlesberg Special. Your belly is sweet potatoes
gone off in a sack.

Your breasts sway, like the crowd
at a football match
at the end of which
they killed the referee.

Your head is that of a poorman’s Lady Jane Grey,
whom the axeman has forgotten.
And the hair on it is red
as the face of a businessman
whose wife came home
much earlier than expected.

Your neck is a gilded iron girder.
Your eyes are two fishtanks
emptied for cleaning.
Your nose is the bend on the Rhine
and sniffs out even the smallest rodent
up a tree somewhere in the Black Forest.

Your stature is that of a great Irish Oak,
upon which even a chainsaw
makes no impression.
And your breasts, of which we must once again speak,
are also like Nixon and Gerald Ford
discussing Watergate in secret.

I will climb up your trunk
and blow your nose for you,
until you sound like the train
from Hertford East arriving early
at Liverpool Street station.

For the roof of your mouth is like
cheap whiskey that makes men
whose livers gave out get up
angry from their graves.

Let us get up early to the canal
by the chemical weapons factory
and see what dies there.
There I will give you my love
and let you unfasten my cassock.

Afterwards, we’ll smell like peaches
gone soft and pulpy
from years spent under my bed
waiting especially for you.

Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins, “likely the most widely read living poet in Ireland” according to The Singing Fly, was born in London in 1967 and grew up mostly in Galway. He is the author of several collections of poems, including The Boy With No Face (Salmon, 2005), Time Gentlemen, Please (Salmon, 2008), Frightening New Furniture (Salmon, 2010), The Ghost In The Lobby (Salmon, 2014), and Song of Songs 2.0 (Salmon, 2017). He won the 2003 Cúirt Festival Poetry Grand Slam and was awarded a literature bursary by the Arts Council of Ireland in 2005. Higgins is primarily a satirical poet, and is married to the poet Susan Millar DuMars, with whom he organizes Over The Edge literary events and workshops in Galway City.