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Sadness sketched

on the side of the moon

Drinking with Geologists


Diarmuid ó Maolalaí

was always good

because they always picked

such strange things

to argue about.

I'd never have known


there'd be controversy over conglomerates

worth hashing out

over an entire night

until everyone's too drunk

to talk

and got distracted instead

arranging beermats into sandcastles.

or that there could be a difference

between prehistoric insects

that'd leave two people


for the best part

of a round.

they're mostly phds

and very clever

or at least

good at arguing

about things that make them seem so -

better than my undergrad

english class were,


who used to get drunk

and only talk about boring shit

like poems

and what you could even

do with them anymore.


Sadness sketched

on the side of the moon

the night is a hospital;

cool under cold sheets

and people

are lonely


and smoking away their nervousness.


and in the cafes too

everyone is tired,

staff working late

serving coffee and biscuits

and workers

looking for a latenight pickmeup.



walk home without eachother

or together

or so drunk

they can barely talk.


the flesh is all tired,

wore out,


and beaten up as washing

tangled on a line

and tore through with wind

and sparrowshit. you go out,

look around

and see sadness sketched on the side of the moon

and men pushing brooms

on their own

inside shop windows.


the night is a hospital;

people walking around

hugging themselves,


or waiting

for someone to go to sleep.



every soldier


or cop on the street

of a certain age

in Ireland

once sat at that schooldesk

and drank

out of those boxes of milk

they gave us all in primary school


with that damn


cow on the backside

above some pun

about milk being good for you;


same 6 all the time

someone sat down to write them,

sat down

6 times

to draw

a cow in a sports car

looking cool

wearing sunglasses. Kool Milk


they called it. if you wound up right

you could get a box

all the way across the room. we all did,

even me, one of the good boys.

I knew

when I was being patronized to.



that's why I can never respect

any policeman

or politician

who looks

less than 5 years

older than me.

DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press.


He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.


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