top of page

"People in unstable situations" & "Every sound could be a drama" by DS Maolalai

People in unstable situations

I know a girl

who moved

from finglas

in her 20s

to athy. has

a longterm


a little younger

lately talks

a lot about

people she knows

getting pregnant.

she's into

and he's into

computer games.

a house in athy

was the only place

they could afford

outright, but lately

it's been costing them

much more

than they expected

to pay. and most

of her friends

are still renting,

as well – have been having

kids with people

in unstable


but she has

to get windows in

and has also

an ant problem

and her dad

has an ex-wife problem

and she has a mother

-in-law problem

and a mother

problem too,

since she's close

to her dad.

it's amazing

what you can learn

sitting across from someone

Every sound could be a drama

the wind has been moving

the leaves of the plants

on our windowsills like tips

on the fingers of a loose

cotton glove. the window's

half open. out from the world

this sliver is letting in snippets.

sirens call: emergencies

are rushed up the quaysides. a woman

screams somewhere and somewhere

a bottle breaks – somewhere else

or close-by – I don't know.

the thing about apartments

in the middle of the city is that every

sound could be a drama or just be things happening.

in the kitchen I knock over

a glass full of ashes and wine. in the bedroom

my wife snores a brass

band and no-one else hears.

DS Maolalai has been described by one editor as "a cosmopolitan poet" and another as "prolific, bordering on incontinent". His work has nominated eleven times for Best of the Net, eight for the Pushcart Prize and once for the Forward Prize, and has been released in three collections; "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016), "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019) and “Noble Rot” (Turas Press, 2022)

bottom of page