Michael Foley

Michael Foley was born in Derry in 1947, and works in Dublin as a computer science lecturer. His publications include a collection of poems, True Life Love Stories, and a novel, The Life of Jamesie Coyle.

Dirty Realist

Michael Foley, 2 May 1985

Raymond Carver is a typically American hero, a kind of literary Rocky – janitor, delivery man, sawmill operator, servicestation attendant, an uneducated alcoholic no-hoper who rises to Major Writer status and the Professorship of English at Syracuse University. Most writers would give a right arm for such authentic redneck credentials and one can be sure that most funky jobs listed on blurbs were only held for a couple of weeks during summer vacations. One can tell Carver is genuine because he makes nothing of it. It is the professorship that goes on the dust-jackets and not the many jobs, which are mentioned dismissively, in passing, in one of the essays in Fires.

Poem: ‘Exotic Birds’

Michael Foley, 4 April 1985

The scouring of foreskins accomplished, all smegma flushed out of its lair Gear tightly stowed, hair washed, face shaved and briskly slapped With Noir for Men – a girl need fear nothing but fear itself.

Not that these girls are scared. They give a jaunty fingers back to men. Choosing drinks they say Make mine a stiff one and laugh. Lovely, thrilling, provocative stuff. These chicks...

Poem: ‘The In-Between Song’

Michael Foley, 18 June 1981

It’s falling in love people love, the nervous excitement Move and counter-move in the ancient game of enticement

But I don’t yearn for early days with their permanent state Of tumescence, prepared to get up on a cracked plate

Smoothtalking my way into your house and fumbling on chairs Jumping away in fright at a bronchial cough upstairs

Returning through dark deserted streets,...

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