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The Dreadful Press presents

Issue 3

‘How now, Mooncalf?’

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www.thepennydreadful.org


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Editors John Keating & Marc O’Connell Assistant Editor Cethan Leahy Graphic Design Leyla Bulmer Calligraphy Ciara Norton Art Work Snooks Lee

© Copyright remains with authors and artists, 2014. Published by The Dreadful Press, Cork, Ireland, 2014. Printed by Lettertec Ireland Ltd. Carrigtwohill, Cork. ISSN 2009-5589 (Online) ISSN 2009-5570 (Print) www.thepennydreadful.org All rights reserved. The material in this publication is protected by copyright law. Except as may be permitted by law, no part of the material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the express written permission of the copyright owner.


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Contents 4

Letters to the Editors

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Kevin Barry / Maybe the Night

Fiction

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Nuala Ní Chonchúir / Maneki-Neko P.J. O’Connor / Sex for the Organism Robert Doyle / Black Sun — Anus Danielle McLaughlin / The Review Bill Flanagan / The Price of Everything Sarah Clancy / Unplanned Parenthood Jamie Guiney / She Will Be My Joy Brian Kirk / There is Magic Noel O’Regan / Heaven on the Horizon

Art

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Snooks Lee

Poetry

56 58 59 60 61 62 63

Dylan Brennan / Tlatelolco Triptych Armel Dagorn / Hunger Song Vincent O’Connor / Granite Dimitra Xidous / Death is always inevitable Kerrie O’Brien / Independant Billy Ramsell / The Click Elaine O’Connor / Surfing At Streedagh Strand

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Contributors


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Letters to the Editors Had a look at your magazine, glad I wasn’t included, it’s c..p [sic].

Dear Sirs, It was with much excitement that I subscribed to your ‘Cork based magazine’, seeing as I am a self-confessed Corkonian myself. Imagine my surprise and horror when the journal slipped through my letter box was not, in fact, ‘Cork based’ but printed on common paper. I trust that I shall receive a full refund promptly.

Mary Rose Rossley Logorrhoea Lodge, Co. Sligo.

Dear Sirs, The dogstar is in ascension. Please find enclosed the Cronus Amulet.

Yours, Finbar Feeney, Cork Street, Dublin.

Kind Regards, A Cabal of Mysterious Men, Dundalk.

Dear Sirs, I have, as per your instructions, applied the ointment liberally. Yet the burning sensation remains unabated. I await further instruction.

Dear Sirs, I wish to complain about the first letter printed at the top of this page. I find it very unlikely that someone would make a mistake regarding the printing materials and wager this is some fictitious missive to satirise correspondence to the editor. Why I wouldn’t be surprised if it sprung whole form from the deranged minds of the editors themselves!

Yours, P.A. Pratchett, Magourney, Co. Cork.

Dear Sirs or should I say Lizard Men, I would just like you to know that I found the code contained in the first lines of every page of the last issue. No, I will not kill anyone. I know what you are up to. It is clear that you are a clique within the establishment within a conspiracy within the illuminati within the Satanic New World Order. You may be in the pocket of Big-Lit but I have a tinfoil hat which protects me.

Therefore I must ask you to remove the offensive falsity from my issue. Please find enclosed this present issue, a SAE and a pair of scissors. Yours Faithfully, Sally Upton Upton Creek, Paddleton, East Surrey.

Yours, Pedro Buckley, Address Witheld Dear Sirs, 4


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Characters: Tommy: ……………………………………………………… 40s Dad: ……………………………………..…………………… 70s Note: Tommy, in his 40s, and his Dad, in his 70s, are conversing, on a winter’s morning, in a kitchen, somewhere in the border counties, and in the accent of the vicinity. 8


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Scene 1: FX: IN THE NEAR DISTANCE, THE OMINOUS HUM OF A MOTORWAY; A MORNING TV SHOW IS TURNED LOW AND GIBBERS IN THE BACKGROUND; A KETTLE WHISTLES; A TOASTER POPS; MILK IS POURED. THERE IS FREQUENT LOW GROANING FROM EITHER PARTY AS THE OTHER SPEAKS—THESE ARE LONG SLOW SIGHS THAT RISE SOMETIMES TO CRESCENDO, AND THEN FALL IN SLOW DIMINUENDO. THERE IS THE SOUND OF SLIPPERED FEET AND MEDICATED SHUFFLING. THERE IS A TOUCH OF THE AULD-WOMAN ABOUT TOMMY, AND THERE IS A TOUCH OF THE AULD-WOMAN ABOUT DAD, TOO—THIS CAN BE THE WAY WITH MEN WHO HAVE NO WOMEN IN THEIR LIVES. Tommy: Dad: Tommy: Dad: Tommy: Dad: Tommy: Dad: Tommy: Dad: Tommy: Dad: Tommy: Dad: Tommy: Dad: Tommy: Dad: Tommy:

D’yunno what I should have done in the end, Dad? What, Tommy? I should have et a half a sleepin’ tablet. Coz maybe you would have got some bit o’ sleep anyway, Tom? I would. Quare sleep but some sleep. Instead o’ lyin’ there? Wrigglin’. Half the night? Like a maggot. It’s the nights is the hoor. Who are ye tellin’, Tommy? I’m not sayin’... That I don’t suffer? I’m not sayin’ that at all. Shur one look at you would tell anyone there’s a man who... Suffers... And I lyin’ there... Night after night... Like a trout... Floppin’ from one side onto the other? I know shur I know shur I know shur... Since 1978? Don’t be talkin’ to me, Daddy. 9


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P.J. O’Connor / Sex For The Organism It was a shock to me when I realized I was entombed in an organism. This blob of flesh could barely even sit up, let alone communicate or nourish itself. Worse, I discovered that this… this organism thing, that seemed to be my vehicle, would wear out and die, and apparently me with it, after what is called a “lifetime”. So there was a definite urgency to the proceedings. Furthermore, I discovered that the organism would take a quarter of this “lifetime” just to mature: in other words, before I could use the thing properly. So I had to get involved in this organic progress. I insisted that the grossly immature organism carry out a little research, then take certain hormonal supplements, so that it might reach a state of at least half-cocked maturity as soon as possible, and I might get some decent use out of it. But now that I have succeeded in boosting the thing into premature puberty, what does it want to do? It wants to reproduce. You see, the organism has had an erection. Unfortunately, it is of the Y-chromosome variety, the testicle-bearing type, and all its spare capacity now tends towards matters sexual. And no, it has not considered what happens after sex, otherwise it would not want to indulge in the first place. Obviously I cannot allow it to reproduce itself. We would simply expend our existence rearing a new clutch—I observe this happening all around—and I would end-up having to run the organism, bringing myself down to its level, and there would be no time for my own affairs. There were times when I did intercede in the running of the organism. It was I that forced the first premature words through its lips, which promptly sundered the nurture bonds of its parents, whom we have not seen since. The organism and I ended up “in care”. Which was alright at first. But gradually the organism was made to feel disadvantaged by my involvement, and through psychiatric intervention and the use of sedative chemicals, the relationship between the organism and I regressed quite badly. It became plain that if we were ever to get out of “care”, the organism would have to demonstrate an ability to conduct its existence in line with its fellows. In other words, I would need to be unheard. I took the necessary action, and we were discharged to a foster home, whereupon I immediately caused the organism to access some appropriate technology, and I effected a change of identity for it. Now I have it living independently and it is free of its medical history. But it had major doubts about this change of identity. How did I sway it? I promised it sex. Unfortunately, the organism itself, being comparatively young, is barely capable of survival, let alone sex, despite the fact that I have found for it a less than onerous niche in its society. The niche I have selected for it is in a commercial enterprise where amalgams of industrial proteins and carbohydrates (known colloquially as “burgers”) are dispensed in return for tokens that they call money. The organism’s involvement is to shout orders one direction and say the cost in the other. There are advantages to this niche. First: the brain is seldom required, so I have 20


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Robert Doyle / Anus—Black Sun I found the video in the small hours, lodged in the murky peripheries of a horrendous, low-end porn site, the kind set up by Ukrainian deviants and then abandoned, forgotten, left to fend for itself in the wastelands of cyberspace, a kind of obscene and feral orphan, roaming the void, howling in abjection. I had come home from a warehouse party and was off my face. I don’t know what kind of craving was in me that night. Restlessly I clicked through a series of conventional porno clips, leaving each one behind after a few seconds. Nothing was enough; I wanted something harder. I clicked on links that led to links that led to links—the subterranean warren of the internet, like the fabled Tora Bora caves that Bin Laden was said to have haunted. The video I eventually uncovered, I have never forgotten. I clicked the flesh-filled thumbnail to begin streaming, noticing with surprise that the clip lasted forty-three minutes. On the screen, in a window surrounded by ads so vile I felt soiled whenever my vision strayed to them, there was an anus, in close-up. It did not look dissimilar to the anal close-ups common in standard porn clips. Yet this one did not move. It was not a still image, however: there was a constant, subtle shifting of pixilation, and the low hum of background ambience—someone was filming the anus. My jaws gurning, I gazed uncomprehendingly at the gaping aperture nestled between taut buttocks. It was a pert anus, slightly strained, as if the woman (it was clearly feminine) was on all fours. But that was it. No penetration, no other organs, no agent of pleasure or violation. And no narrative—not even of the ultra-minimal variety favoured by modern pornographers, in which all extraneous details of character, plot and setting are effaced, leaving only the pure event of organ-in-organ-in-motion, and the hyperbolic wails of phantasmagorical desire. An anus, nothing more. ~ I tried to skip ahead but the video would not allow it. So, I let it play on, and watched, and waited. Nothing happened. Yet, as I watched, I began to feel a change taking place, not in the image onscreen, but in my perception, in myself. It was akin to the onset of a trance. Devoid of all context, even that of the body to which it belonged, the anus began to assume an abstract quality. It became unmoored from its functionality, from its historicity, from all sense of reference. It was neither arousing nor repulsive. I am tempted to suggest an affinity with Kant’s ‘thing-in-itself’. In rapt free-association, I began to see in the anus intimations of a sublime geometry, of astronomy, of black holes, galaxy clusters, the swirl of incipient being-in-the-void, which is how I envision the cosmic birth. I saw the sun, the black sun shining on a hazed primordial scene; I saw the solar eye, a god of war and carnage sucking everything into itself and rendering being as non-being, matter as void, darkness as light and light as darkness; I saw the all-seeing eye, the third eye 24


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Danielle McLaughlin / The Review When he first arrived at the University, he called this hour the ‘hour of grace’: that hour—earlier in winter, later in summer—when the setting sun moved across the University’s main quadrant, igniting in turn each of the tall, Gothic windows that faced west. In the grass below his rooms, two students rolled about in a tangle of limbs—whether in love or jest or anger, Alistair could not tell—clawing at each other’s clothing, exposing soft, white bellies to the last of the light. Grubs, Alistair thought, fat, wriggling grubs, and his eyes went to a crow, plump as a baby vulture, perched on the window ledge. It was said that in the eighteenth century, the architect, then in his eighty-first year, had sat day after day amongst scutch grass and nettles, watching how the light fell, calculating, brick upon brick, how to contain it. He had done that, Alistair thought, certain in the knowledge he would never see it built in his lifetime. Alistair left the students squirming in the grass and went back to his desk. Bookshelves ran the length of one wall. There, behind glass, was his first edition copy of Lolita. The stir that caused in its day! Nobody would bat an eye now. Next to it was a leatherbound copy of the Iliad, given to him by a female student on the occasion of his leaving St Andrews. That the girl had feelings for him, Alistair had always known, though they had both been careful never to acknowledge it. He found himself wondering, not for the first time, what had become of her. She would no longer be a girl but a mature woman in her sixties, very likely a grandmother: for all that she had looked up to him, there had not been many years between them. A doorway led to a small anteroom, where Betty, his secretary, sat at her computer. Earlier she had brought him a cup of tea with two digestive biscuits balanced on the side of the saucer. Before the light had called him to the window, he had begun to correct a rambling fictional narrative—at least Alistair hoped it was fictional—submitted by one of the undergraduates. The student was due in twenty minutes but Alistair was still on the first page. He had started by marking punctuation, something from which the student appeared to desist as a matter of conscience. Now, irritation rising, he laid down his pen and began instead to count the ‘fucks’. Two in the opening sentence alone. Three, four, and he was still only on the first paragraph. It never ceased to surprise Alistair the amount of people who said ‘fuck’ nowadays, who let it roll off their tongues as if it were no more contentious a word than ‘marmalade’. People his own age. Women his own age. Esther, Dean of Middle English, had said ‘fuck’ last week during the Chadwick Memorial Lecture. But then Esther topped it all by saying ‘cunt’ as well. It was in the middle of a paper on the funeral theme in Beowulf and Alistair hadn’t seen it coming. He had looked around the packed auditorium with its high ceilings, sun slanting through the stainedglass windows. Nobody else as much as flinched and at the end everybody clapped. Afterwards, at the reception, he tested the waters with Bernard, his ally in the faculty. ‘A 26


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Bill Flanagan / The Price Of Everything Buffy Tucker, the wife of the country singer Bucky Tucker, had a little wingding last night at her twenty million dollar Manhattan pied-a-terre on the 73rd floor of the Time Warner Center in honor of Blackie Crisp, the old Irish movie director, who was breaking his journey between his estate in Ocho Rios and his ancestral home near the Gap of Dunloe. Buffy really put on the feedbag for Blackie, with jerk chicken done up Jamaican style and Irish stew made with three kinds of potato. The Brazilian supermodel Siddy Goes was there in high heels and black stretch pants crisscrossed with silver zippers, dragging by the wrist her new boyfriend, Vlad Dorbsky, a Russian oligarch and body builder. Siddy had shocked her fashion friends by moving into Vlad’s dacha in Moscow. When I asked if she had gone over to the Reds like Lee Harvey Oswald, she denied it, but after a couple of drinks she started railing against the ungrateful Ukrainians so I have my doubts. Vlad never spoke the whole evening, although he did go off in the corner for a while with a Syrian hip-hop promoter whom Buffy did not remember inviting. In honor of Blackie’s dual citizenship, Buffy had hired a legendary Hollywood record producer to assemble a special iPod of background music reflecting Caribbean and Hibernian culture. It started off with a bagpipe version of ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and climaxed with a calypso arrangement of ‘Tura-Lura-Lural’. Blackie told a pretty redheaded girl sitting next to him that few people appreciated that the island nations of Jamaica and Ireland had suffered similarly under the whip hand of British colonialism and shared a mystical poetic sensibility that disguised resistance as passive inebriation. We were all trying to figure out who this redhead was and how Blackie had found her between the airport and Columbus Circle. When she went to the lavatory he clued us in that she was a famous porn star he had met in First Class and invited to come along to his Irish estate. Siddy the model said he should be sure to bring along the iPod. A pall was cast over cocktails by the news that this mixtape might be the last production by the Tuckers’ recording legend pal. That very day he had been convicted of shooting a conga player in California. Buffy’s grief over this tragedy seemed to me to be out of proportion, until she confided that she had been in discussions with the now-imprisoned producer about his helping her cut an album of her own songs. ‘I didn’t know you wrote songs, Buffy,’ I told her. In the twenty years since we met she had never suggested any ambition to compose, play an instrument or perform. ‘I just started,’ she said and she indicated a framed photograph of her husband Bucky in his cowboy hat riding a Palomino onto the stage at Opryland. ‘I figure if he does it, it can’t be too hard.’ The conversation turned back to how the famous record producer would fare in prison. Not very well at all, was the consensus. This was someone who did not fare well in anything smaller than a Presidential suite. Prince Rudy Pomfret, the guy who brokered the AOL 32


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Sarah Clancy / Unplanned Parenthood Luis slammed the door behind him and spoke in an angry whisper. He said I was overreacting. He said I should stop trying to control everything and let the woman explain herself. Easy for him to say; it was me the woman was fixated upon. So far she had hardly even acknowledged Luis, and she’d been staring at me in a creepily intense way since she arrived. It’s hardly overreacting to be uncomfortable in a situation like this. She could be on drugs or something and we don’t even know how she knows all this information about us. I gave up trying to reason with him though, and went back into the front room. There she was, still sitting in the same chair in the same greyish clothes, rubbing her hands together like a worried kangaroo. Whatever Luis said, I didn’t like this situation one single bit. She’d shown up saying she was my child, that I was her mother, and you saw her didn’t you? She’s my age at least. There are definitely not more than a couple of years between us. I asked her age and she said; ‘I was born the year you had your baby. Of course I was, that’s why I am here; 31st of July 1992. That’s when it was’. Not true. No chance. Our visitor was a woman in her mid-forties, and not even very well preserved at that. Her hair was grey at the roots and a faded dark-slate colour at its ends. She had crow’s feet around her eyes and the thin hairs of what, left unattended, would probably be a downy moustache on her top lip. Her hands, too, in their gestures and in the loose tired skin betrayed more years than she was claiming. My child had been a boy anyway and wherever he is, he would only be twenty now, not tired and middle aged like this woman. That’s if he made it this far. Once, years ago, I found myself grieving and assumed that it must have been for him, because I didn’t choose that grief it just came down over me like a shroud like some deep, deep loss had happened and I couldn’t imagine what other source it could have had. Behind the woman, cheerful figures in bright sportswear did exercises on the television screen and I tensed my stomach muscles and released them as if in sympathy. Luis spoke first, this time saying something about how time isn’t always linear, not always sequential, and the woman nodded and raised a biscuit to her mouth. He nodded at me as if prompting me to reply and when I did, the biscuit, stayed poised in mid-air between the woman’s hand and her fleshless, unattractive mouth. While I spoke it hovered there suspended. ‘I want to be clear to both of you,’ I said. ‘To you Luis who I care deeply for even though I now speak in profound disagreement and to you, stranger, yes, a stranger who has come uninvited into my house, into this my one safe haven. Listen now because these will be my last words on this subject; I do not live in some alternative universe nor do I want to. I live with one 36


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Jamie Guiney / She Will Be My Joy I take an orange from the bowl on the table and head outside. She will be home soon, pushing over the tall hill with cherry in her cheeks and freshness upon her skin, through her hair. It is still only spring, yet warmer than normal. I sit down on the low wall, in a space that gets the sun, and start into the peel with my thumb. She is the only person I’ve ever seen that can remove the entire rind in one spiralling piece. Mine is a shred-job, bits and juice all over the place before I even release the first segment. The air smells like grass with a smidgeon of berries—maybe the farmer has cut the field. The iron gate needs some paint, and I think I’ll have the energy, but know by the time I put on old clothes, find some brushes and a tin of paint, bring them outside and kneel down to begin, it won’t be as simple as that, because it never is. The old flakes will probably need to be scraped away, the metal stripped down to a workable surface. There will probably be something wrong with a hinge. I’ll go back through the house and out to the leaning shed to look for a wire brush or a screwdriver and when I make it back to the gate, I will be exhausted and in pain and have to go indoors to lie down. And so, my life these days has become a series of calculations. Sitting on this low wall, estimating how many steps it might take just to walk across to the field, stop by its gate and stroke the old horse or check for pyramidal rows of fresh cut grass—or try to work out how I can clean all the windows of the house, how many days it will take and how much energy it will use up. I sit here eating this orange and try not to think about how it has already used up some of my reserves just by peeling it. She will have left the city by now. The high-rises shrinking slowly into old stone buildings— then there will be nothing but thatch roofs, concrete yards and patchwork fields. Not long until she is here beside me—sitting, talking… being. I am cold all of the time. It is like winter has crawled inside me and decided to rest out the other three seasons until its time has once again come around to prosper. On days when it rains, I sit by the window wishing it would stop, that she could get home without the soaking. Sometimes I feel brave and take the black umbrella to meet her off the bus, but by the time I get down the hill and out to the end of the road, I have no energy to get all the way back up again. Though it’s worth it, that pain—to see her a little earlier, to lessen her rain. Today I will wait. Apple and cherry blossoms have begun to sprout in their familiar whites and pinks. Wild daffodils poke out from hedgerows across the way and lean towards the sun to enrich their stems, brighten their yellow. I gather the leathery pieces of rind into a loose pile beside me on the warm stone and close my eyes to rest. My head feels like I’m moving on a slow-chugging boat, cutting its sluggish path through the sea like scissors through a sheet of material. My breaths fall shallow and the pain starts to pound up through the back of my neck 38


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Brian Kirk / There Is Magic That night they share the same dream about their mother. She is alive again and she is holding them just as she used to—Maggie standing by her side, Sam balanced on her knee, her arms around them, her face turning to one then the other, kissing them, caressing them. She died three years before, killed by a joy-rider on her way back from the shops one evening. Maggie is ten now, named for her mother Margaret, and Sam is nine, yet they are almost identical. In the dream they play a game they often played: they ask her who she loves the most. She answers as she always does: you are two sides of the same coin, two peas in a pod, my beautiful boy and girl, I love you both the same always. When they wake the next morning they have swapped rooms and are lying in each other’s bed. ‘Did you dream about her again?’ Maggie calls. ‘Yes,’ Sam replies. They rise and get dressed for school. On the landing they peer through the half-open door of their father’s room. He is lying fully clothed on the bed. The room is the usual mess of old clothes, full ashtrays and empty glasses. The smells are the same too: cigarettes, alcohol, his cheap aftershave failing to mask the sour fug of body odour. Downstairs they scour the presses for food but find only a few cold chips and a stale crust which they share, toasted and covered in margarine spread. Maggie makes tea; she drinks it hot now like her mother did, but she cools Sam’s with a little watered milk, leaving some in the carton for her dad. They close the front door quietly in their wake and step out onto the street where they walk side by side in silence. As they near the schools they are surrounded by many other children who stare at them openly, their slack mouths almost on the point of saying something but not quite getting there. Something is wrong. Maggie, wearing grey flannel trousers, shirt-and-tie and jumper, turns in at the gate of St. Fiachra’s, and Sam, dressed in navy tights and skirt with check shirt and pale blue cardigan turns in at the gate to St. Mary’s. At roll call in St. Fiachra’s, when young Mr. Hanratty calls the name Sam Connolly, Maggieas-Sam replies anseo with prompt clarity. It is Sam’s voice, and yet it is not. The young teacher hesitates before continuing with the roll. However, he cannot begin to teach until he has shared his concerns, so he leaves the boys on their own with warnings to behave in his absence. Colm Hughes, Sam’s best friend, approaches Maggie-as-Sam. ‘Are you Sam’s brother?’ He asks. ‘No, I’m Sam.’ ‘Right.’ He looks at the floor for a moment. ‘Do you want to play battleships then?’ ‘Okay.’ 40


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Noel O’Regan / Heaven On The Horizon Aodh woke early in his stone hut, thinking of her. He hauled himself off the cold floor and rubbed sleep from his eyes. Nothing could yet be seen through the hut’s squat entrance; the only sign that the dawn approached was the sound of bickering fulmars outside. Aodh put on his smock and walked out of the hut. The scent of the sea was lifted up to him on the wind, salty and somehow heavy. His stomach growled, demanding he find something to break his fast before prayers began in the oratory. Light gathered in the direction of the mainland. Enough had already risen to distinguish the silhouette of land from the sea far below. Watching this, Aodh allowed himself think of her again. He imagined her standing on the shore: bare feet covered in sand, raven curls flailing in the sea-wind, staring out towards this jagged island on the horizon while light swelled behind her. Clearing his mind, Aodh slipped through an opening in the waist-high wall that bordered the terrace of the monastery and followed a steep path cut into the rock face. Halfway down, he veered off the path and moved barefoot through dewy grass. A tangled rosary of stars overhead hinted at another unseasonably hot day. He stopped close to the spot where he knew a puffin’s nest to be hidden, his stomach complaining again. A mackerel he caught and shared with Blatmac had been the last bit of food he ate. That was three days ago. He approached the nest from above. The puffin egg was already clear in his mind: oval, warm, a dirtied white. Aodh couldn’t tell if a puffin was guarding it. He had enough experience of these birds to know that despite their size and comical appearance they fought hard to protect their nesting grounds. Some of the marks on his hands attested to that. At the drooping tuft of grass where the nest was hidden, Aodh felt his right hand tremble uncontrollably. He looked down, watched it twitch and shake as if something inside him was off-balance and about to fall over. This had been happening a lot lately, these small shakes, not obvious enough for the others to notice. When the twitching ended, Aodh mouthed a quick prayer. Then plunged his hand into the nest. Nothing. No puffin, not even an egg. One of the others must have plundered it already. He sighed and stared towards the mainland. The sun had crested the mountains in the east, rising pale and smudged behind a flimsy altar of cloud. Colours bled into view around him, white clover, red fescue and spear thistle appearing among the rocks and long grass, and trailing down to the sea. The calmness of the sea reminded him of his first crossing to the island. The sea had been so still that the oarsmen of the hide-covered boat joked that Aodh could have walked across. He remembered examining both islands as they neared. The closest seemed made of white marble from a distance, like the statues at Clonmacnoise where he had studied. As they rowed 46


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Snooks Lee / Featured Artist I’ve always loved how noble and graceful animals can be. Every now and then they can nail you with a look or a stare and see right through you and your ideas of civilisation. I wanted to capture the stiff formal poise of the tradition portrait and give it a twist. There’s something comic yet tragic about the juxtaposition of the civilised animal. I like the effect you get from the ‘cross hatching’ and ‘stippling’ techniques (the illusion of shading and depth you get from thin lines or repeated dots). Though time consuming, the minimalism of the black and white colours creates a bold and striking presence.”

Snooks Lee is a graphic artist based in the sleepy countryside of East Cork, Ireland. A professional musician for most of his working life, Snooks first cut his teeth as an artist in the early 90s creating posters and flyers for the various groups that he performed with. Soon other musicians appreciating his style, began to commission work, which is when art slowly took over from the music. A member of Cork Printmakers, Snooks fuses photographic elements with traditional and digital illustration to create pieces that offer a glimpse of his quirky perspective. Snook’s current technique involves composing digital collages from a collection of original and antique photographs creating surreal portraits and scenarios from which he then uses antique ‘crow quill’ dip pens and Japanese ‘Sumo’ ink to render the finished compositions by hand. Influenced by the graphic styles of comic artists such as Robert Crumb, Möbius, Wally Wood, Marc Shultz and in particular Virgil Finlay, whose illustrations for sci-fi and horror novels from the 30s, 40s and 50s are still inspiring to this day.

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Snooks Lee / Boney

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Snooks Lee / Mad Dog

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Hunger Song

abs tensing to sustain the long staccato phrases before loosening back into the coda, as the good folks stared at their midriffs and dreamed of sausages fried in duck fat, cabbages and potatoes boiled and sliced served with a melting rump of lamb.

People came from miles around, on foot, on the back of mules whose ribs showed on their flanks, in Fords they cranked into life then drove out in earthy clouds, having heard, having seen the bright posters announcing the return of the Roaming Rumblers. They crowded the inns, the town squares webbed with bunting. They came to hear the sorrowful songs brought to the States by survivors of various great famines. Recent immigrants sat up front, hid in their raggedy sleeves to cry, each one moaning in his own dead language. A hush drowned the audience’s wails when the two musicians came on stage, sat on their high stools, their shirts open at the bottom, a couple of buttons still holding up on top. They pressed their hands to their bellies and the music commenced: the cavernous sound of a small intestine passing gas, the pause when a finger cut the flow, then released the air to echo in the chamber of the colon, the droll high pitch of a buried fart, the drop of soda bubbling down an otherwise empty stomach. They always finished with a flourish a complex riff in two-part harmony, fingers waltzing on tummy,

They dreamed of these and thought of their stomachs, and of outside, beyond the tent, the carnival, where the dusty plains kept stretching, forever, just like an empty plate. Armel Dagorn

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Contributors Kevin Barry is the author of the story collections Dark Lies The Island and There Are Little Kingdoms and the novel City Of Bohane. He has won the IMPAC Dublin City Literary Prize and the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, the Granta Book of the Irish Story, and many other journals. He also works on screenplays and plays. He lives in County Sligo. Dylan Brennan’s poetry and prose has been published in a number of Irish and international journals such as Poetry Ireland Review, New Binary Press Anthology of Poetry Vol. I, Burning Bush 2, Abridged, Review, the OFI Press etc. He contributes regularly to Mexico-based cultural magazine Pez Banana. His work has been translated into Italian and Spanish. He has taken part in the Poetry Ireland Introductions series. He lives and works in Mexico. Elaine Cosgrove comes from Sligo, and lives in Galway city. She has an M.Phil. in creative writing from the Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College Dublin. Most recently, work has been published in Spontaneity, The Bohemyth, Icarus, 30 under 30: A Selection of Short Fiction (wordlegs and Doire Press), and The New Binary Press Anthology of Poetry: Volume I. She has a special interest in digital poetics and collage. Armel Dagorn is a 28-year-old Frenchman who has lived in Cork long enough for his accent to make English speakers laugh all over the world. He is now slowing making his way back to his first home. His poems and stories can be found in The Stinging Fly, Popshot and the New Planet Cabaret anthology, among others. Rob Doyle’s debut novel, Here Are the Young Men, will be published by the Lilliput Press in May 2014 . His fiction, essays and criticism have appeared in The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, Gorse, and elsewhere. His writing has been translated into French and Serbian. Rob is the non-fiction editor of the web-journal Colony. He studied Philosophy and Psychoanalysis at Trinity College Dublin. Currently he lives in Rosslare, County Wexford. Bill Flanagan lives in New York City. His novels are Evening’s Empire, New Bedlam, and A+R. He also wrote the non-fiction books U2 at the End of the World and Written in My Soul and a humor collection called Last of the Moe Haircuts. He has written for the Boston Globe, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Spy, Men’s Journal, the Village Voice, Q, Mojo, Word, and many other publications. Brian Kirk is a poet and writer from Dublin. He has been shortlisted for many awards including Hennessy New Irish Writer Awards for fiction in 2008 and 2011. His stories and poems have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. He was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series in 2013. He blogs at: briankirkwriter.com P.J. O’Connor was one of the winners of the 2009 Best Start Short Story Competition in Glimmertrain. In 2011 he won the Sean O’Faolain International Short Story Prize, after being 64


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shortlisted the previous year. He has been shortlisted for the the Francis MacManus Award, the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, the Fish Short Story prize and longlisted for the Over the Edge New Irish Writer award. His short stories have been published in Southword, Revival, Crannog, the Irish Independant, and broadcast on RTE Radio 1. Danielle McLaughlin’s stories have appeared in journals such as The Stinging Fly, The South Circular, Southword, Long Story, Short, Crannóg, Boyne Berries, The Burning Bush 2, and have been broadcast on RTE radio. Her awards for short fiction include the William Trevor/ Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition 2012, the Willesden Short Story Prize 2013, the Merriman Short Story Competition 2013 in memory of Maeve Binchy, and the Dromineer Literary Festival Short Story competition 2013. She lives in County Cork. Nuala Ní Chonchúir lives in Galway. She is a novelist, short story writer and poet. Her chapbook of short-shorts, Of Dublin and Other Fictions, out now in the USA. Her second novel is forthcoming in 2014. www.nualanichonchuir.com Kerrie O’ Brien is a poet from Dublin. She is currently writing her first official collection of poetry which will be called Illuminate. www.kerrieobrien.com Vincent O’Connor is originally from Kilfinane, in Co. Limerick, Ireland. Having previously lived and worked in Spain and Japan, he now lives in Cork with his wife, two kids, and two cats. He has published poetry in Acorn, The Asahi Shimbun, and The Puffin Review. Follow Vincent on Twitter @vincentoconnor_ Noel O’ Regan was born in Tralee, Co. Kerry. He is the recipient of a Leonard A. Koval Memorial Prize and was a prize winner in the Writing Spirit Award. He has been shortlisted for numerous other awards, including the James Plunkett Award and the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year, as well as being nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. His fiction has appeared in journals and anthologies in Ireland and abroad. He is the current Kerry County Council Writer in Residence. Billy Ramsell was awarded the Chair of Ireland Poetry Bursary for 2013. His second collection, The Architect’s Dream of Winter, was recently published by the Dedalus Press. Dimitra Xidous’ poems have been published in literary journals in Canada, Ireland and the US, including Room, Penduline and wordlegs. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Bridport Prize, and long-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Competition 2011. She has work forthcoming in The New Planet Cabaret Anthology and The Stinging Fly (Featured Poet, Spring 2014). She is a founder and co-editor of The Pickled Body, a new international poetry quarterly. www.dimitraxidous.com

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Issue 3 Sample  

Issue 3 Sample

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