Buttering Up – and other ways to lose your faith in humanity

Monday 29th September 2014


Word count: 2000 words

Submissions: My monthly check in with the New Yorker- submission guidelines are for those that give-up too easily.


I was a state last night. Mother found me in the kitchen reciting poems to the cat. She didn’t think it was appropriate that I was hammered, reciting poetry or bothering the cat. I told her the cat was the only one that understood my work. She ignored this and told me I could either move out or get a job. Which is supposed to make me feel like I have options, but in order to move out I’d need a job.


After spending the morning on jobs.ie, I realised that I’m only qualified to a) punctuate college papers and b) wait tables.



I had to ring Gala.


The manager wasn’t impressed and said as a favour to my mother I could have an interview tomorrow. Mother isn’t home yet, but I’ve written an essay about it for her. That way she’ll know how much she’s hurt me. I copied and pasted it into a folder for my novel, to use later. This kind of real-life raw material is the stuff of great literature.


Must go research Gala now and impress them with my knowledge of their Yoplait yoghurt suppliers.


Tuesday 30th September 2014


Word count: Words are dead to me today.

Submissions: I submitted the wilting lettuce poem to ten people. It seems more apt than ever now.


I’ve been hired by Gala. Training starts Thursday. The girl in charge of me has no eyebrows and a lisp. She told me they promote from within. It took all my strength not to cry.


Wednesday 1st October 2014


Word count: Too busy to write. It’s my last day as a full-time writer. When will I find the time between cash registers and my loss of dignity.

Submissions: Submitted everything- including some poems I wrote when I was sixteen that have never been recognised for their brilliance.


Mother told me she was proud of me over dinner. She then lectured my brother on keeping the litter tray clear and how he should really get a job. It feels good to be out of the hot seat- but at what price?


The cat seems to be the only one that understands that my soul is dead.


Thursday 2nd October 2014


Wine drunk: Anything I could find

Words written: 57 – about chicken fillet rolls and their now incoherent symbolism in my life.


Laura came into Gala on her lunch. I’d forgotten to tell her about the job – it’s not something I’m planning to broadcast. She came round after work then and her and Mother giggled over a bottle of wine. I gave them both my best withering glance and drank at least half of the bottle myself.


I tried to explain to them the crushing nature of menial employment. My brother interrupted to say I had a point. Which silenced everyone, because he never speaks and he had actually paused the Xbox to interject.


Friday 3rd October 2014


Six missed calls from Barry last night, after midnight. Look who is crawling back.


I was shown how to butter rolls “properly” – Some old biddy complained about me heightening her cholesterol. I pointed out that she should probably be avoiding butter all together. I was then taken into the office (a cupboard with files and the smallest desk I’ve ever seen). Lorna raised her non-existent eyebrows at me and explained that the customer is always right. I’m sure this is an inspiring speech in most instances. But the customer was most distinctly wrong.



Saturday 4th October 2014


Articles read: The importance of finding your true voice.

Word count: A harrowing poem about turnips, it came in one inspired swoop.


I am experimenting with poems about vegetables. I think my first collection could be something like: farming my memories/ the roots of it all/ under thick skin/the core. Obviously it’s a work in progress. But the turnip and lettuce poem seem to have something to them. I will try to gather momentum.


Must look up poetry workshops- it’s time Dublin started to really hear me.


Finally returned Barry’s call. He told me not to be such a clingy old whinge bag. All I’d said was hello. I am now going to try online dating – will put it on my to do list for Monday as I’ve got a day off.


Sunday 5th October 2014


Work. There are no words to explain how much I do not care about tuna. It’s just a big ugly fish in a can and I die a hundred deaths each time I stir the mayo through it.

Tomorrow is a free day, I will attempt to live life beyond my blankets.


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