“How to Rid Yourself of Election Canvassers” by Kevin Higgins

Ask them where they stand on the urgent
need for a Greater Serbia.

Tell them nothing has been right
since the Treaty of Versailles,
for which you hold each
and every one of their kind
personally responsible.

Tell them the council’s been promising
to chop down that tree for the past
twenty five years, six months and two days;
that you’re certain
your next door neighbour is a Satanist,
with dead animals buried under his patio.

Start throwing down chicken feed
to apparently non-existent hens,
and wander about your front garden, chanting
their preferred candidate’s name,
as if in some sort of trance.

If a lady over the age of eighty,
or a child less than twelve,
tell them: no thank you,
you’ve given up sex for lent.
If a middle aged male,
come to the door panting
and red faced, with a semi-clad
woman strategically placed
behind you, and say you have
more urgent business
to which you really must attend.

Tell them you’re pretty sure
your most intimate bits
are an unusual shape,
that you’d like them
to take a look and tell you
what their policy is
in cases like this.


kevin-author-photo-december-2013-1Kevin Higgins facilitates poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute. He is also Writer-in-Residence at Merlin Park Hospital and the poetry critic of the Galway Advertiser. He was a founding co-editor of The Burning Bush literary magazine and is co-organiser of over the edge literary events in Galway City. His first collection of poems The Boy With No Face was published by Salmon in February 2005 and was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award. His second collection, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published in March 2008 by Salmon. His work also features in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (ed roddy lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010). Frightening New Furniture, his third collection of poems, was published in 2010 by Salmon Poetry. Kevin has read his work at most of the major literary festivals in Ireland and at arts Council and Culture Ireland supported poetry events in Kansas City, USA (2006), Los Angeles, USA (2007), London, UK (2007), New York, USA (2008), Athens, Greece (2008); St. Louis, USA (2008), Chicago, USA (2009), Denver, USA (2010), Washington D.C (2011), Huntington, West Virginia, USA (2011), Geelong, Australia (2011), Canberra, Australia (2011), St. Louis, USA (2013), Boston, USA (2013) & Amherst, Massachusetts (2013). Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews was published in april 2012 by Salmon. (SALMON)
It Was For This by Kevin Higgins
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