top of page

DS Maolalai

Building a pipebomb one year near halloween.


breaking open lighters

to get our fingers at the flints - ciaran

has brought along a hammer,

a length of tubing

and a couple of black-cats

bought in belfast

and smuggled down the train. he is methodical -

he knows what he's doing. first

one end of the pipe is flattened on a brick.

it's a bit of cheap copper,

taken from some broken garden furniture,

orange gold

and shining on the sun. as he strikes

the surface scratches, turns silver

and clashes like a two euro coin.

the black-cats

are broken

and their powder

slid down the other end of the tube

once he's satisfied it's flat enough

to hold the payload. then

the shrapnel - paperclips,

thumbtacks, some rusted nails

out of a paper bag. he packs them in

good and tight

and adds the flint on top.

then a final firework,

inserted in the exit


as a sock in a shoe. it fits perfectly,

very serendipitous

and locks the whole lot in.

we never light it -

he spent 20 euros for the parts

and the best part of an afternoon in construction.

we have an explosive

without knowing why

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.

bottom of page