she couldn’t go to rehab the cat needed to be fed

she’d go next week when the sky would be blue

when the delicate hues of green

could be seen among the trees

and the baby smiled silently in the crib

she couldn’t start the treatment cos she’d bought that piece of steak

she’d start on the first when the rabbits jump in threes

when the number she was waiting for

leapt out the frying pan

and the puppy licked the bone contentedly

she realised she’d never get well or get clean

listening to Marianne Faithful whilst dusting empty bottles

she slumped into the chair as she

dived into further depression

and more bottles that were empty cried quietly for her

she was a dirty little maggot so the neighbours said last week

to all the journos and anyone who’d listen

dead for days with no way

of telling cos she smelt rotten anyways

and the baby, cat and pup died too


She stumbled out of the Parrot

Holding the window for stability

The red ruched too tight shift

Barely covering her awkward frame


How different from a few years before

When she ruled the Parrot and the men

Taking them one by one to the canal bank walk

Tossing her ponytail with glee


Of course she took the uppers

Snorted white lines with lies

Pierre took care of her every need

She was loved and basked in the glow.


A year or two before this Angelina

Fresh faced and fuchsia pinked

Took a job as a trainee technician

In a Phibsboro’ beauty salon


The women there got huge tips

But Angel was just a trainee

So they looked after her and taught

Her everything they knew.


How easy to give the extras

How easy to start the slide

From fresh to ripe to rotten

Rotten to the core, through and through


As Angel stumbled last night

Near the canal, Bert watched

He saw her walk unsteadily

Where horses once had plod


Her body was found a few days later

The men from the Red Parrot bar

Described each scar, and the landlord, Bob

Identified Angel and held a wake in the pub.


A few weeks later Cherylann arrives

To be a beauty trainee in Phibsborough

Her hair is short and punked

Her fuchsia pink bag sways with her at-it-tude.



girl –

Look at your face

can you see it?

death as the mask

Pale, lifeless, gaunt

Tired, hurt, bruised

what point is pain?

girl –

those drugs you take

don’t make you good

scratched bleeding arms

take over body

invade the brain.

When did you feel?

girl –

you are a waste

messed up big time

home is cardboard

in shop doorways

dirty blankets

will you take help?