DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.


DS Maolalai



the door to my apartment

the washing machine

goes like a helicopter.

it shakes

dances on the floor

rattles like a jazz drummer at practice.

my girlfriend says

I should call the landlord. something's

off with the balance

she says.

it could be fixed pretty quick

by a man with a screwdriver.

she's a pharmacist

and lives with her parents.

what does she know

about washing machines

or landlords?

I try to just get my clothes out

as fast as I can,

let someone else put in theirs

and hang my trousers

to drip-dry in the shower.

if I don't use the spin cycle

at least it's not

my own dirt

that keeps me awake.


Marianne Moore

DS Maolalai


I'm not going to try

ripping off her style –

I couldn't.

I'm no mimic

and not that good.

But only

I'll say

that so rarely

do old poems

so written like marble

and so built to catch dust

come so readily alive -

she was born to be an editor

and instead wrote poetry

severe enough

that it was like being cut

by a machine

designed for cutting.

And nobody ever talks about her


I suppose

because she said

what she felt needed to be said

and then never

said anything else.