Issue > Poetry
Neil McCarthy

Neil McCarthy

Neil McCarthy graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway and started writing poetry soon after. His poems have appeared in dozens of journals worldwide and have also been translated into Serbian, Romanian and Hungarian. He is the author of three chapbooks and is currently touring his first spoken word CD Live in the Laden, recorded in Vienna.

How to Kill a Pig

I expected them to tell me that my bacon
had come from a happy pig, one that had had a full life,
was corn fed and had free range, did yoga in the mornings,
played the cello, spoke Latin and learned
to salsa dance while visiting relatives in Cuba.
I thought maybe there would have been a photo album
to accompany the sacrifice, documenting its first birthday,
first snow and first of everything else,
here an oink, there an oink.

In far corners, I dubbed the mouths of others,
their new voices outbattling the clattering gunnery of plates
slamming down organic everythings.
I gifted one woman berating her cell phone the French language
to make her all the more endurable.
Sweet as raw cane sugar to my fair trade coffee,
I had the young couple across from me nattering fondly
from their deathbeds; their soon-to-be-left world
better off now than it was when they were younger.

The child in the high chair was at it too,
breaking into L'enfant et les sortilèges when faced
with a spoonload of non-GMO beige matter.
I used a sortilege of my own in stripping the walls clean
and emblazoning the newspaper headlines all
over them to see if anyone would notice, remark, question
that one glaring absence as Truth was strung up by his hind legs out
the back, throat slit, left to be hung there until the
last drop of blood spattered into the bucket.


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