Soliloquy in Voice of Ageing Rock Journalist.

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Poet Kevin Higgins is a regular contributor to our wee parish rag for the disgruntled. Many of us might once have harbored a grá for Hot Press.

Think of those dark days some time before the internet proper and being stuck down in the bogholes of the midlands where the fiery fusilades of Eamonn McCann, Nell McCafferty and others were like gifts from a big world beyond populated by interesting gigs.

These days Hot Press is far from necessary reading and limbers on, clogging up waiting rooms and being scattered for free to corners on college campuses where it fishes for what it considers its natural demographic of students – to be flogged as eyeballs back to its big brand backers.

In his most recent editorial, Niall Stokes ran off a turgid analysis of the upcoming election. One that could only be convincing to someone actually afraid of engaging with politics. As the water movement and more has shown, that fear has ebbed and timely soothsaying from the likes of Niall carries less now than the constant churn of consciousness shifting moments over the past few years.

If you’ve ever felt over the years that Hot Press had lost its touch, well here’s it’s best by date stamped all over its face by its own editor. Vote Labour? Away with ye.

Now over to the man with the words, take it away Kevin.

“There I was on the meditation mat Jackson Browne gave me to mark the year of the rat, naked apart from what’s left of my tremendous hair, incantating the word “progressive” to my holy self and the tiny birds at the window, who are always my best first audience, when the truth came to me:

no other combination of parties can deliver the certain (and required) surge in whole family suicide among those made live in the kind of hotels not frequented by Keith Richards, that will occur if this government is returned, as it must be.

I’m most famous for having once, allegedly, shared a hot tub, and my thoughts on the heroic death of Salvador Allende, with Ireland’s baldest living intellectual.

I’m what happens when you take not quite enough cocaine. During a session at Lille’s Bordello, I once pulled Bono’s finger; or what I thought was Bono’s finger.

I offer these words as evidence that I’m not actually dead yet. Satan be good to me and what remains of my hair.”

Kevin’s fourth collection of poems is out now and called The Ghost In The Lobby. His blog can be read here.

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