THE MAN WITH NO MASK #antifascist

When, following the big win- the real biggie-
uncountable zeros after his name-
he stands his friends an endless reservoir of stout
and decrees every church
a twenty-four-hour shebeen

abolishes retching and reflux and coughs
plugs the ancient flow of anal bleeding
decrees the removal of sleep from the brain

and promises the people that none
need ever stop drinking and smoking and snorting
and gambling and chomping ever again.

Ten-million-year weekend begins.
The paralytic age.

Then. Something mighty
cracks in the head of the Chieftain of Chiefs,

an unquenchable surging of rage through the blood

that cometary rage at being
not the only God

and off he goes to war against the world

grinding armies to dust
drowning archipelagos
hurling mountains into the sun

New York falls to him
and then the whole of Scotland
then Bangkok, Bhutan, Yakutsk.

Finalé – his incredible one-man stampede,
two legs tied behind, routing
Skibbereen and Stalingrad, the Black and Tans, the Vietcong
and Mossad.
Every last man jack of ‘em.

Bored and still mad up for it,
he announces a gang resurrection
bringing back to the mainland of clay and despair
Georgie Best and Michael Collins,
Christy Ring and Elvis.

One by one, in headlines everywhere,
he completely defeats them
at soccer and handball and hurling and dancing
at head-the-ball, bare knuckle fisting, cock-fights
and freaking out women.

Whereupon he finally declares himself
the Permanent Champion Of Everything.

Then, to end and begin, outstretched,
he assumpts himself live onstage in Moonshine Stadium

kaleidoscopically spinning
fountaining fireworks

as he bends to show off
a shining New Ireland
emerging from his a-ho like an egg

Dedicated to all the coke-addled omadans who think not wearing a mask to protect their elderly neighbours turns them into O Donovan Rossa 🤣🤣🤣🤣 – what mad delusions they must have.

Poem is from my new collection Medium, out in June in audio, e-book, print editions. Pre-order at