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Such genuine, witty writing is a rarity
- Rachel Cusk

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  •  Pounded, dazzled, astonished,
  • Beaten and Broken Irish Times

PETROL ON YOUTUBE 

 Oh Poetry! I Thought it Was a Book!

 

Martina Evans…brazenly humorous…with her dizzyingly wacky free-verse tale-telling. Burnfort Las Vegas has a range of registers from the sadly brooding to the raucous.  

                                                              – The Tablet

Evan’s prose shimmers somewhere strange and changeable between peculiarly heightened realism and sheer fever.
                                                        – Ali Smith, Times Literary Supplement

Petrol INTERVIEW ON ARENA PROGRAMME RTE RADIO

BURNFORT LAST VEGAS – ARENA

The Prompt

THE WINDOWS OF GRACELAND – CARCANET JUNE 2016


Evans Windows cover front
Oysters

It feels good everyone says so
warm and small like a doll’s
house and because it never housed
anyone with the money to exercise change
all the fireplaces intact
and the eight-paned internal window
of the basement bedroom
looking into the low hallway,
(although the concrete floor must
have been mud before) and
the garden earth full of artefacts –
pram wheels, green glass china milk
bottle tops, monstrously thick
broken crockery
and seam after seam of oyster shells
because that’s what they ate,
washed down with stout
the pastrycook assistants,
butcher boys and nursemaids who
lived in these poor rooms
with their grand pretensions
all decked out in miniature
the piano nobile windows
on the first floor the laughable
appropriate architraving
for servants and their betters
and yet at night when
I hear certain noises and the cats stare
when the picture of Our Lady
of Guadalupe is transported
by the optical illusion of the Camden Passage
lamp and the eight panes of glass
to hover over the narrow basement stairs
despite all my childhood fantasises
of time travel and poking Henry the Eighth
in his fat sectarian brocade
with my future finger,
I am afraid
I’ll see them:
so small and sickly pre
penicillin, pus-filled
not clean and the smell.
I imagine them like the Irish fairies
low-sized, half-human, queer-looking.
I’ve never liked oysters
on the table either
rough and slithery
dirty-looking
and capable of killing you
like some awful 19th Century disease
like general paralysis of the insane,
like syphilis.