Friday 19 January 2018

Hennessy New Irish Writing: Poetry by Michael Naghten Shanks

Michael Naghten Shanks
Michael Naghten Shanks

Michael Naghten Shanks

Haunt me like a muse

Penelope Cruz the Rubik's Cube

I spent hours twisting & turning

but never solved

because that was never the point

it started – in medias res [& hi-res] – the attempt

to connect is just as important as the connection

uh huh honeycomb

now whenever anyone mentions croissants I immediately think of

Kanye West then France then cheese

grating like failed attempts

to love – yes I see you baby, shaking that abyss – a 4 AM email

to a female poet – I'm sorry I could not achieve bioluminescence – but

I still fight desire to be the one who distracts you vs. being more

than a distraction

anything but consistency!

but remember

every creative act is an attempt to communicate &

every communicative act is an attempt to love so

every creative act is an act of love




bill murray's face

in slow motion

attempting a look

of sincerity ~17 hours

from submitting to receiving

of rejection email

spending your Saturdays

in pet shops watching the rabbits

fuck each other considering

finishing off the other half

of the apple pie

listening to yeezus

& tweeting about badgers



the problem with asmr & pov porn

is that they insist on the passivity of the spectator

you are always on the receiving end

of some other's attempts to soothe & pleasure you

they create the experience & also

a version of you to fit into that experience

this is the opposite of love

love is communicating

said the poet to the audience

in an attempt to be more lovable


Michael Naghten Shanks

Michael Naghten Shanks (b 1987) is a writer, poet, and editor from Dublin.

His writing has featured or is forthcoming in various publications in Ireland, the UK, and the USA. He has featured in the anthologies 30 under 30 (Doire Press) and New Planet Cabaret (New Island).

In 2013, he was listed for the Fish Short Story Prize and the Over The Edge New Writer of the Year. He has read at numerous events, including at the London Irish Centre as part of a Young Irish Writers Showcase. He is the editor of online literary journal The Bohemyth.

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