:: Article

The Bot Fly & other poems

By Stephen Connolly.

The Bot Fly

it suck’d me first, and now sucks thee

I made $400 on in one day
I have great success following this
just PLEASE view this
bad stuff going around about you
have you read it yet? wanna see me naked
& have a dirty chat?
come chat on this thingy here
find out to see who’s been stalking you here
hey this person is writing
offensive things that are about you
just wat r u doin in this
wow disturbing lol
lol u didn’t see them tapin u
how did u not see them tapping u


Do you remember that time we were so high
up in the old library tower that every planned task
disappeared, books piled up, and we passed notes
from palm to palm under our ply-wood desk?

Or that night you told me I turned you on
to Bob Dylan, or was it Van Morrison’s Moondance?
Was it your place or mine? Or the first time we met
in the café when I was single? That guilt-free day

I turned up early, bought you green tea
on a tip-off from a mutual friend, then watched
the familiar walls lose their shape, my heart
right there on the table, my coffee going cold.

The Stephens Island Wren

Conservation Status: Extinct

Driving across the Isle of Man
the day the newspaper scandal picked up
some momentum the plan had been
to look for rabbits when our ears pricked up –
the island has the biggest population
of wallabies outside Australia. Being free
from predators it took just one generation
to settle. Then, they continued to breed.

Who’s mourning for the Stephens Island Wren?
It was the lighthouse keeper’s cat behind
the death of all the flightless birds, the story goes.
They blamed the keeper, then the cat, and then
saw the sparkle of feral eyes, shining
from under hundreds of hedgerows.

Long Exposure

Darius has mounted his camera to the fence
in the corner of the field. The shutter speed
is set to twenty minutes, giving him the chance
to sit back and take in the lounging spread
of the evening where the stars will seem still
in the same place. He knows he’ll find exposed
constellated traces, the beginning of a spiral,
the black sky purpled once the shutter snaps closed.
He says it hinges on the camera staying fixed
and leaving the subject time to move on.
How focussing on infinity is a simpler trick.
Much like the two of us, then, this three year long

exposure. The time lapsed between then and now,
the invisible differences, how you were capable
of carrying on without me noticing and how
my almost-clear eye can’t resolve the details:
work out for me to the closest millimetre
the distance that develops a smile to a sneer.

Stephen Connolly is 24 and from Belfast. Both a graduate and current student of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, he is in the second year of doctoral research looking at the innovation of traditional set forms in the work of Paul Muldoon. He runs The Lifeboat reading series and is an editorial assistant for The Yellow Nib.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, April 19th, 2013.