Eugene O’Hare‘s first published poems appeared in The Galway Review in April 2021.

Since then he has been shortlisted for the poetry prize at Belfast Book Festival, and shortlisted by Billy Collins for the 2022 Fish Publishing Prize.

He is also an actor and playwright. His plays are published by Methuen.


city of London. your harmless victims
are lost in their temporary homes.

behind blinds
my friend folds his mind up
like a blue shirt

& searches for fortune
in the cutlery drawer
among the startled look of spoons.

city of London. the egg begs inside its shell
to be stolen from the fridge-
broken out of its cold.
its yoke prepares a yellow bruise.

city of London. bring feathers in your trains
to Charing Cross & Waterloo-
turn them into winds over Camberwell.
make miracles from the neon blinks
of the nail bar. pink miracles, greens.

my friend in crisis- see where he sleeps
like your winding river
in its bed of unreachable things.


i buy thirty quid’s worth of fish from a stall in Deptford.

they’ve closed all the banks right along this trading strip
and the cash machines charge you for your withdrawal.

fish guy talks about this punishment of the poor as he guts
the mackerel and rids the gills. he says we were civilised
back in the days when we threw politicians in rivers.

he feels something’s going to snap. and i can hear it.
i know what he means. it’s in the way he shuffles
that knife between skin & flesh.

back on the 177 through New Cross, i close my eyes
and think of that Minghella film of Beckett’s Play;

the beautiful Alan Rickman stuck inside an urn,
a blue half-light compelling him to gabble about
a time, a space, a speech. but nobody hears.

cover your ears and he’s just another fish in a barrel.