Almanac Poetry: ‘The Irish Girl’ Part 3 – Tommy Mallet

Tommy Mallet’s poem ‘The Irish Girl’ has been published in three parts on the Footy Almanac site.

Previously published, Part 1 and Part 2  can be read Here,  with Part 3 concluding and follows below.


*** Reader Alert: Please note the poem contains mature themes ***



The Irish Girl III


The Irish girl and band, the Bearded Smile and I walk from the African nightclub towards the one 24 hour bar on this side of town – a pokies-filled blokes’ world that pimps and drug dealers use like a locker room. A place where nobody moves much – everybody with octopus hands, and octopus eyes. Everybody with octopus minds.


I’ve had enough, in this last night, the sort that seems more like the last three months, of being the Irish girl’s bad smell, of feeling her drift further away. I know she’ll still want if I wait this extra yard. Want to fuck. Want me, in ways. In a way.


But I make for my ute.




Junior Says Good-bye


Junior says good-bye at the pub’s door. I look over his shoulder, the Irish girl’s already inside, talking, quickly surrounded by an octopus crowd.


How can I be so heartbroken over two nights? Because the first was so perfect if only for its morning after. Because the first was the rarest thing, decades in the making. Honesty and intimacy between strangers who find these things rare yet need both like air.


This wasn’t just 48 hours.



It’s Not-Funny Funny


It’s not-funny funny. I’ve slotted into that dive of a bar so many times. Fit, and felt all wrong and fine. But now it has a woman in it – my woman – I just want to get the hell away,


because she’s a false promise,


because she fits,


because she isn’t mine.



Good-Bye Bearded Man, Good Luck, Good-Bye


The last thing I see, the thing I feel worst about in this whole longest of shortest of times, is the Bearded Smile. He rubbernecks at me through the door as he realizes I’m going. Junior’s crew have him in their pocket, it’s his shout, now.


He looks so lost, so alone. His eyes plead as they try to contact mine. The poor bloke’s drowning. But, like a selfish bastard, I leave him to the wolves, I leave him with the wolves, surrounded by them, with nowhere else to go.


I have to get out of here, chased by demons all my own.




I Know The Lays


I know the lays, I know the lies. Enough of them, anyway.


Hers and mine.


I drive for an hour and a half with no radio on, before pulling over in a truck stop, and sleep in my ute as if its home.



I Grew Up


I grew up in a small weatherboard house under the Westgate Bridge, behind the refineries, chemical plants and tanker ships rumbling past our small, overgrown front yard.


Lying in the cabin of my ute, I watch its dark roof stretch and bend with light every few minutes as trucks thunder by. Their motion remains, all these years on, the most soothing of warm, lost hours sounds.


The Irish girl was that high school girl. I had my fantasy, and the victory, all smug and young and strong, was still hers. If only because, for a night, it was ours.


I’m burnt out, but can’t sleep more than a few minutes at a time. The trucks boom and rattle the softest   ssshhh   and somehow keep me warm.



Curtis Mayfield.


Curtis Mayfield’s on the stereo as I wind off freeways, onto bush roads. His songs have the juicy, shitful, brilliant weight of memories now.


This is how we get to own music, what it’s built for.



Descending Home.


When the car descends from the ridge, towards the valley, I drive through the two front paddocks and am home. The place feels like still air. I shake my dust and let it settle again. Sometimes this house seems like a warden, sometimes a friend.


The kookaburras do their thing. Rain’s attacked then gone, leaving nothing but bush smells. It’s early morning, I think. Mostly sleepless, I put on my gumboots, load up shovel and chainsaw, fuel, oil, snap strap, then take the muddy track to work, up in the shifting mists of mountain valleys, kilometers from anyone or anywhere.


If a woman seizes me by the heart, head, dick, ribs, I’ll try to leave this most brilliant of lands, this lonely place, who’s dirt is under my skin, in the air I breath. That I love and need.


Not a second before.






More poetry from Tommy Mallet can be read HERE






More poetry from Almanac Poetry can be read HERE


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  1. Malby Dangles says

    Thanks for this honest piece and all the highs and lows it entails.

  2. An enjoyable epic tale, Tommy

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