Stephen Connolly

Inbox/Outbox

Stephen Connolly

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Inbox/Outbox

after Catullus 14-ish

Oh dear Calvus, if you didn't have more sparkle
than my own eyes a hiding would be on the cards
for all these things you've sent my way. These poems,
these poets – multifarious! new! – that make me think
I must've done something pretty shitty at some point
to deserve such yawny musings on my desk. My god
should make an inbox of the outbox of whatever man
told you to pass these on. Unless, that is, it was Sulla –
the creative writing tutor – who you're so chummy with,
in which case good on you, mate, & you deserve such gifts!
Ah christ, how's a book that's so unholy so full of holes?
This is what you thought was right to send to me,
Catullus, on a Saturday? You should have also sent a gun. 
I thought we were friends. Actually, I've changed my mind,
you dick, & this won't be the last of it: come Monday,
I'll be doing the rounds of all the bookshops, on the sweep
for the usual shite that stays on shelves for years on end –
& not because nobody buys poetry, as we so often hear.
Guess whose shelf they'll end up on, dear Calvus …
As for the poets: away and have a word with yourselves.
You'd be better as lollipop-men with such pedestrian pish.
Poets’, indeed. What a pack of melters. I'm scundered for you.


Stephen Connolly


Stephen Connolly is 25 and from Belfast, where he studies and teaches in the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. He co-runs The Lifeboat.