Luke Power, Street Performances during the Apocalypse

Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster

I’m the sum of my desires
if you chopped them up
and then stitched them back together,
bit of broken candlestick in your hand,
smell of sulphur on your breath
and a heart beating
softly, softly, softly,
in your chest.


Deep in the boneyard, where the thistles grow straight and strong
and the purple-stained roses stay in bloom all year,
there you are; in amongst the thorns and the sun,
which drifts so lightly and catches so carefully in your hair
like pollen dust or salt flakes from the water of the sea,
these rebel feelings of mine cling just the same
as you rise above, leave the yard in your high heels
and khaki camo shorts bought in a shop no-one has ever been to since,
and you rise above, above the salt and thorns and the sun,
shedding my love so easily like a winter coat in late April.

Street Performance during the Apocalypse

It’s true that there are worse ways to make a buck
than setting up with guitar, harmonica and nail-studded bat
outside Eason’s on the ruins of Shop Street in Galway.

Sure, things are a little different;
but were they not different during the Covid crisis?
We facilitators of the arts will press on come rain or shine
to give the people of the armageddon what they want!
There are positives. There’s less competition, for instance:
I saw the uilleann pipes genius shambling along the Claddagh
moaning about human flesh and the carbon emissions tax;
the talented banjo player from Donegal was disintegrated
in the most recent firebombing raid executed by the military;
and Teresa told me that she’d seen the torso
of the excellent guitar player whose spot I’ve taken
lying just outside the AIB building in Lynch’s Castle
next to the rations centre instituted by our current brigand-king.

People are generous, in fairness to them:
just last Monday, when I finished at curfew, I’d been given
six bullets, four petrol bombs, some buckshot, and a throwing knife,
as well as a rare, limited-run Rod Stewart tape.
We’ve finally achieved a cashless economy
though the card machine I offer has gotten little use.

For dealing with the risen dead, a steel spike on the headstock
followed by a bat to the back of their maggoty, Galwegian heads.
For dealing with everyone else (other than the bandits,
guerilla fighters, looters, and occasional displaced TD),
a smile and a rousing cover of ‘Dirty Old Town’, capo four, in E major.

Luke Power is a writer living and studying in the West of Ireland. His work is featured and forthcoming in Sonder, ROPES, The Ogham Stone, Vox Galvia and Perhappened. He is putting together a collection of short fiction.

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