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How to Survive the Coming Winter. A poem by Kevin Higgins.


Turn off the heat.

Instead, warm yourself by setting fire

to your free weekly copy of The Galway Advertiser.

Be sure and arm yourself with extra

by liberating them from your neighbours’ letter boxes.

Sit in the dark, preferably alone,

so you don’t spread the pox to anyone else,

wearing a cheap pair

of unsustainable sunglasses;

they’re the only luxury we’ll allow you.

Get extra underwear second hand

from your local mortuary;

I hear they plan to start selling them

out of the back of the hearses

for which they can no longer afford petrol.

There are bargains to be got.

Exercise personal responsibility.

Begin eating spiders, dandelions

and – for calcium – each other’s toenails.

But only as a weekend treat.

The notion of eating each day

is a pre-war social construct.

Spend the October bank holiday

rolled up in an old carpet,

and Christmas writing Limericks:

there was a young man from Killiney

whose plans for world domination were stymied