Polluted Sex

published/forthcoming pieces from Polluted Sex:

I’d noticed you were off the scene, so I asked her out, last week, for lunch. She said she couldn’t meet up for lunch, but later on, for a drink, I met her, she was coming from one thing, heading to another. I met her and she seemed happy to see me, we talked, we had a few drinks, she asked would I mind if she ordered some food, did I want some, I said yes. Yes. I wanted to eat.


Forthcoming gorse, 2019


The waves across the Irish Sea are high and rough.

A woman sits alone at a table. Another woman stands at the bar peering into the bottom of her whiskey glass. A young woman and a man sit huddled in a dark corner of the ship. Where the movies play. He holds her hand open and draws circles round the edges of her palm with his thumb. A girl, no more than nineteen, stands on the open decking, the wind hurtles around her. What need has she to care? She peers over the railings’ edge and steps up just one step, one rung. A girl child is on board with her parents. She is wan, not pale, more transparent in actual fact. The bones of her skull are set so tight the skin pastes itself to them, she looks as though a roar of wind will break her. Or it actually already has, and she has been stuck back together with glue which has set, down to the bones, too tight. There are other Irish women on board, they are alone, maybe with friends, one close friend, a partner, even a spouse. They are all on this ship. Not one of these women has a name.


Published The Irish Times, 2018


she tells me not to worry about my blue period


Published Lighthouse, 2018


Her first boyfriend used to kiss her after coffee and oranges. It was a strange taste. But she got used to it. They’d sit behind the harbour wall smoking and supping vodka from a Coke bottle. Braced as they were from the breeze, he’d reach across while she was drinking and start opening her jeans with his free forefinger and thumb and she’d listen to people passing by above heading down to the rocks to toke with the others. Someone would have brought a ghetto blaster and she’d listen to the reggae bumping off the rocks. His hand would reach across to her belt buckle. She’d pass the bottle back. He’d have to take it with his free hand. He wasn’t able to reach for the bottle and keep his smoke in the dark. Then he’d pass the bottle of Coke again and start threading the belt out of its teethed trap. She wouldn’t lean back to make it easy for him. He’d just about get it out of the jagged bit when she’d tip him with the bottle again. She knew he knew why she was doing it.

Il suo primo ragazzo aveva l’abitudine di baciarla dopo il caffè e le arance. Era uno strano sapore. Ma lei ci aveva fatto l’abitudine. Se ne stavano seduti dietro il muretto del porto fumando e sorseggiando vodka da una bottiglia di Coca Cola. Avvolti come erano dal vento, lui allungava la mano verso di lei intenta a bere sbottonandole i jeans con l’aiuto dell’indice e del pollice liberi, e lei tendeva l’orecchio alle persone che sopra di loro scendevano verso gli scogli per farsi una canna insieme agli altri. Qualcuno avrebbe portato un impianto stereo e lei avrebbe ascoltato la musica reggae diffondersi dalle rocce.
La mano di lui si allungava per raggiungerle la fibbia della cintura. Lei gli ripassava la bottiglia. Lui doveva afferrarla con la mano libera. Non era capace di afferrare la bottiglia e tenere il fumo in penombra. Poi le aveva passato di nuovo la bottiglia, iniziando a sfilarle via la cintura dalla fibbia che la intrappolava. Lei non si era inclinata all’indietro per rendergli le cose più facili. Lui era sul punto di liberarsi dalla parte frastagliata e lei gli aveva passato ancora la bottiglia. Lei sapeva che lui sapeva perché lei lo stava facendo.


Published The Irish Times/Hennessy New Irish Writing, 2016-7

Published Inkrocí/Magazine of Literatures, 2017


what i am to her is not spoken


Published Lighthouse, Issue 13, 2016 


She twists the arse of her skirt straight so the seam is in line with her crack. An off-centre skirt looks like a lopsided behind. It’s bad enough having a sizeable behind, appearing unsymmetrical really just won’t do. Over shoulder mirror check of bum cheek skirt symmetry, rounder and rounder, better than fatter and fatter she supposes.


Published Margaret River Press, 2014