The Art of Non-Fishing by Kevin O'Shea

Our writers give voice to what it means to be Irish in a changing Ireland.

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Though the poems look neat and orderly at first glance, they are bursting with heart, with humour, with a carnivore's appetite for the meat of life and language and they can occasionally sneak in to catch a reader unaware and inflict devastating lasting wounds.

— Sarah Clancy

2012 / 72 pages / €12
ISBN: 978-1-907682-18-6
Cover photo: Kevin O'Shea

(click to view cover)

The Art of Non-Fishing

The Art of Non-Fishing

By Kevin O'Shea

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KEVIN O’SHEA lived in Connemara, in Moycullen, within earshot of the old Galway-Clifden Railway. Having retreated from the world of technology to timidly confront the world of imagination, Kevin was short-listed for Over The Edge New Writer of the Year in both 2009 and 2010. He has been published in Irish Left Review, Ropes, Pen Tales, Northern Liberties Review and Mosaic. In 2012 he was the winner of the Cuirt New Writing Prize for Poetry. The Art of Non-Fishing is his first collection of poetry. Very sadly, Kevin passed away unexpectedly in May 2014.


New Trick For Jessie

The vet looks more like a
professor of lost languages,
perpetually sad at their passing,
than a handler of departing animals.

Then, with the practiced flourish
of a vaudeville mesmerist,
The Great Rudolfo reveals
his syringe full of neon-pink
like a new blend of Fairy liquid.

We watch closely
as he searches her paws
for just the right vein
and spot his secret move
that rams the plunger home.

Falling for his patter
She didn’t feel a thing
we gasp
at the dénouement
as he touches the surface
of a still vivid eyeball
without a blink.

When my mind takes
the closing step
I hope to find a magician
to conjure a final illusion.

I, too, want to be tricked.

Drinking Everyday, 2012

After Kingsley Amis

Fat priests piss me off
like Ryanair baggage charges,
dream scenes stretching out
British soccer commentators,

empty restaurants’ ‘Have you reserved?’
tourist buses on the road to Clifden,
Icelandic music, uncut wet grass,
Jedward ranked with Henry Shefflin,

big cars in small parking spaces,
spelling from the American side,
broken legs at Aintree races,
not to mention genocide.


Review in the Galway Advertiser