Paul Casey – Metagainst

Paul Casey profile Dec 2020

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Volume Two, December 2020.

Paul Casey’s poetry has been published in journals and anthologies internationally, most recently in New Coin, Backstory Journal and Cork Words. He is the recipient of three writing bursaries from Cork City Arts Office. His collection Virtual Tides was published by Salmon Poetry in 2016. This followed home more or less (Salmon, 2012) and a chapbook It’s Not all Bad (Heaventree Press, 2009). He edited A Journey called Home – poems and stories of the new Corkonians (Cork City Libraries, 2018) and he edits the annual Unfinished Book of Poetry for secondary schools. He promotes poetry in his role as the director of Ó Bhéal –


These spectacles are no
submarine portholes
to hold back the crushing deep

My students no forest
mushrooms shining to
be picked and savoured

Nor are these homeless
motionless in doorways
waiting to be recycled

The impoverished no
nuclear waste drums
to shoot into the sun

Our elders no
outdated parchments
to be edited and archived

Asylum seekers no
pieces of broken fruit
for export jam factories

Drug addicts are no
bad dreams to be flushed
as effluent to the sea

Depressives are no
kettles to switch on or off
for occasional tea

The selfish are no gods
to placate or fear
to pile garlands upon

Mortgage holders no
piggy bank investments
but employers of bankers

Moon is no vanilla wafer
waiting to be devoured
by ravenous corporate clouds

As an android is no
social space to relax in
with other androids

Art can be no
social science to quantify
or compartmentalise

Empathy no commodity
no class A drug
to get higher on

Working class people
are no designer steps
to wealthier graces

And the great oceanic metaphor patch
is no recycling facility nor dump
for under or overused language

© Paul Casey