Leaving The Party

“It is time for comrade Shachtman to call a halt.
Otherwise the scratch which has already developed
will become gangrene.” Leon Trotsky, January 1940

Your straight face
all the years you rhymed
‘attack’ with ‘Iraq’, your love
of alliteration that’s had you repeating
‘billionaire bondholders’ each day
for the past thousand (and counting),

your friend “misguided,
but one of the good guys”
who knows for a fact the FBI
are trying to control the weather,
that Richard Perle is slowly killing us
with illegally manufactured clouds
his people are putting in the atmosphere.

It all makes me want to step outside
for air. And once there,
to keep walking, determined to be
everything you’re not; to become
a war and injustice activist; to go
door to door campaigning for
social exclusion. To be away,

now, to a secret meeting
at the Israeli Embassy
at the end of which I’ll receive
an enormous fee. To have
my enemies dealt with for money
by the security services
of friendly third countries. So
when I wake at three fifty two a.m.
and everything is wrong, I’ll know
at least I’m no longer you.


‘Leaving The Party’ is from The Ghost in the Lobby, Kevin’s fourth poetry collection, which is available now from Salmon.

Kevin Higgins lives in Galway, Ireland. His poetry features in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010) and one of his poems is included in the forthcoming anthology The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe April 2014). The Ghost In The Lobby (Salmon, Spring 2014) is Kevin’s fourth collection of poems.

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