Jazz Lobsters

George McComas I want that snapper from the moment I first see her, snorting sea slug paste off a flatfish in the men’s toilets. She wipes her snout and offers me some, holding the flatfish between her fins like a platter of hors d’oeuvres. I ought to call over the cafe manager, or at least … Continue reading Jazz Lobsters

Jade Ocelot

Robin Fuller It wasn’t a year that shone a light on its better qualities, not a year that felt abundant with betters; but by the end of it, despite it all, things were in fact better.  It all began at the logistics meeting. ‘Let’s spitball,’ they said, ‘no bad ideas in a thought shower,’ they … Continue reading Jade Ocelot

A lasting smile

I had seen her coming, watched her through the plexiglass wall of the café as she fought her way to the shopping centre’s third floor. She leapt up a moving escalator two steps at a time and clattered through the front door. She cried out: ‘Hello, me again, that’s right, Mrs Keepbusy!’ ‘Hello, Mrs Keepbusy,’ … Continue reading A lasting smile

On the Stoop – Helen Levitt retrospective in the Photographers Gallery

Helen Levitt (1913-2009) was a photographer of the New York streets, the city where she was born and lived all of her life. In recent years, Levitt’s work has undergone something of a rediscovery with major exhibitions in Paris, New York, and Arles. She is currently the subject of a retrospective at the Photographers Gallery … Continue reading On the Stoop – Helen Levitt retrospective in the Photographers Gallery

Sick days

People play tig with traffic to avoid me. Even that wrestler guy with the bulldog tattoos and Rottweiler gets out of my way. I never thought I’d be king of the pavement, but all it took for my coronation was a deadly pathogen and making a seamless transition from pleb to key worker while wearing … Continue reading Sick days

Between the flags

We get called into Leisureland out in Salthill for 9 AM. There are twelve tables spaced out across two basketball courts in the sports hall like we’re doing the leaving cert in some specialist school. I only just made the cut this year; eight years of lifeguard experience in Kerry counts for nothing once you … Continue reading Between the flags


We cooked 100 burgers at a time then used a big metal blade to scrape all the fat and gristle into a trough that ran along the side of a grill called the grease trap. The real grease trap was my uniform. The hat was paper, but everything else was as plastic as the name … Continue reading McHeadwound