gorse no. 2



By Jonathan Gibbs.

Can there be, can there honestly be a more stirring monument to the depthless mysteries of the male mind than this: that there exists, for each and every one of us, a lifetime tally of sexual accomplishment? A number it is given to few to know precisely, but an empirically valid one nonetheless. It is the figure you look back on, on your deathbed, and, proverbially, would never wish lower than it is. Not, you understand, the number of distinct sexual partners, which is after all a more manageable and quantifiable statistic, but of the individual acts themselves, stacked up in fair years and fallow.



By Colm O’Shea.

So, ok, wait, not late, early yet. Ok, have my coffee, checked, checked they have the one she likes. Girl behind the counter all ready to make me a cup, no, no I said, just checking. Funny look she gives me after that. So I have my coffee, get hers as soon as she gets here. Get up and get hers as soon as she gets in the door, easy, easy way, let her have the seat she wants while I’m up ordering the coffee, nice, good idea, I’ll get up, get her coffee, she’ll see my jacket on the other seat and sit here, the seat she likes, the seat she wants. Know she’ll like that, see, checked already, just keep an eye, just in case. See they have a couple of those pastries left, the ones she likes; keep an eye just in case. Might, might, think about it, play it by ear, might just buy her one when she gets in, see how she’s feeling, play it by ear. Distracted, she’s distracted, was anyway. Last night, coming in from the bathroom, distracted, a little surprised, no, distracted I’d say, yes distracted.

Rigor Terra


By Hugh Fulham-McQuillan.

Now see the riverrunning through the city to the sea, just ahead of me. I cannot compete with its easy flow: the wind fights my every pedal. I remember watching a video of Dublin, circa 1970, on the internet. The city looks unusual at first and then you realise why, it is that bicycles outnumber cars. The early, middle, and latter aged of the population can be seen in various uniforms atop their bicycles, enchained between their two wheels without knowing it. The wind, though invisible, reveals itself by its cruel humour: a lifted hat landing before a bus, the flippant hem of an otherwise modest dress, a drooping coat tail about to catch in that office worker’s back spokes. Having no mass it defeats us before we can put on our armour, before we have slid inside our underarmour. Those same bicycles now rot in forgotten sheds, beneath towering mounds of household waste. They have been transformed. They are flaking rust, torn leather, burnt rubber.