It’s cringing to see people protesting against refugee aid in this country. I understand the class and social divide is a driving factor in demonstrations, and that this is noteworthy because it’s telling that it should exist in a country where money is flush, but the hand that passes it on is clenched – these protests reflect the inadequate government approach toward homelessness and the housing situation, and the breach in the Constitution where not all citizens are treated equally – for starters…we’ve a private health system which should not be tenable in a society that professes equality. The pandemic afforded scope for a huge change of direction. We had a lottery for artists to acquire a span of wages for 3 years – fine – but really, without a means test? Finally, if those protesters saw or heard missiles flying or landing too close, the smell of shit would out stink that from a slaughterhouse in full operation…they should try to look at the big picture and not the corner of a used leaf of toilet roll. They should remember the Choctaw Indians, but mention of this probably makes them think it’s a chocolate bar of sorts.
It’s flattering to see your work in translation, be it in Danish or in American English in San Jose Californian university. There they are, dissecting a short story ‘Bone Deep’, asking for summary, analysis, character scrutiny, the whole shebang of this and that, and there am I…wondering why those places, why Denmark and the USA? Why not Ireland? Is it because they don’t know that I’m male, straight, don’t have blond hair, almost an OAP? Perhaps they practice less misandry…come on, of all the short stories from which they had to choose, they selected a story about an Irish family, written by an Irishman. Oh yes, the story has pedigree; it won e2500 for claiming the Inaugural Cecil D Lewis Literary Award and was published in magazine and anthology. So, just wondering, is all. Anyone take a peep at the Irish Women Writers Centre – I say Women…count the number of men in the pics…What’s not in breach of fair play and equality? Anyhoo…the links to the Danish(there are 3, but I present1), and San Jose –here
Sample short story
Here’s the link to a short story ‘The Art of Revenge’ published in the I.T. and in the Doire published collection ‘This Cruel Station, stories.’ Set on the Curragh Plains, a man on a walk comes across the remains of a dead baby. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/the-art-of-revenge-a-short-story-by-martin-malone-1.3179251
Let’s be clear. I did not like cats. And sometimes I wonder if I still dislike them. But life is not always about me, is it? So let us say after a lifetime of disliking cats, I have grown to respect them. I’ve been told that respect in the first step towards like.
Recently, our black and grey cat, a handsome creature called Tucker, took to his paws and stayed out all night. Half feral, half domesticated, he has paws in either world. Three years ago he flopped over a shiplap panel fence into our backyard, very much the wear from purposeful neglect and outright cruelty. His ribs pressed against his snowy fur, like tent poles. He had worms and his mistrust and fear of humankind took a year to lightly thaw. Though we suspected he already had a name, given by a family when he was an adorable and easy to love kitten, we called him Tucker. We couldn’t really call him by his given name, we didn’t know it, and we definitely had to drop the F from I’d said after he’d given me such a fright from crashing into our world the way he did.
In time, he braved entering our kitchen, and settled in. Visits to the vet put him right and he developed into a fine cat. With improved health, his character showed through. He would wait in the hall for the bed to be made, so he could lie on the duvet. He would eat his food and return to the press under the kitchen for more. If outside, he would knock on the door to be let in. Wet weather kept him indoors. He left us dead mice and rats at the back door to express his thanks to us looking after him. He bullied all cats from what he now considered his turf, allowing only a scruffy and fully feral cat with a disability to rest up in a lean-to. Never bothered him and scarcely acknowledged his presence either.
Two days pass and there’s not a sign of him. On the third morning, he’s discovered out back, in his cat house. Picking him up, his rear leg drooped and wore a prominent bite mark. He’d somehow managed, enduring great pain, to find his way home. I’d known that dogs possessed such an instinct but wasn’t strongly aware this also applied to cats…I’d always thought of them as loners, sole survivors. That in the hey-day of the Egyptian pharaohs, cars were considered sacred and, course, forever associated with witches and dark practices.
The vet. Well, he confirmed the bite was from a much larger animal, a dog or a fox, and that the bone was shattered. But. He could be treated, albeit with an investment of several hundred euros. Some while back, I’d have weighed up the cost, and factored instead perhaps donating to one of numerous worthy charities. But Tucker had come to us torn and ragged and his presence grew on us. Hadn’t he dragged himself over two days and nights to make his way to his home, to us? I know people who wouldn’t walk a yard out of their way to visit, or push some digits to call…So we cancelled a holiday and paid for the operation. People often forget the love shown to them, but animals tend not to forget, and indeed, know how to express theirs.