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The Rain on Cruise's Street
July 2014

Bad News, Good News, Bad News

Edward O'Dwyer

ISBN: 978-1-910669-81-5

Page Count: 100

Publication Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cover Artwork: ‘Texting God’ by Carmel Doherty

About this Book

These vigorous poems tackle the world head-on, questioning our perception of what is real and what is mere fabrication. In scenes snatched from personal relationships, from popular culture, the internet and religion, O'Dwyer displays a timeless creative sensibility expressed through a twenty-first century voice.
Eileen Sheehan

In Edward O’Dwyer’s second poetry collection, we find astute and betimes piercing images of love and loneliness, loss and finitude, as well as humour, tenderness, and satirical shafts against social follies and general daftness. Here I see a poet from a younger generation finding steady feet on the same road that poets have trod mightily in the past, the scenic route to epiphany.
Ciaran O’Driscoll

In his first acclaimed poetry collection, The Rain on Cruise’s Street, Edward O’Dwyer writes “[t]hings are always changing, this is something you’ll see.” The line is a harbinger of things to come in this new collection filled with the swirl of the personal and historical. These are poems that speak of desire for and estrangement from the beloved and the beloved country. The tension between the ecstatic and horrific that O’Dwyer evokes in these poems is precisely why I turn to poetry: His vision of Ireland grants me the courage to see from the vantage point of any country and history I inhabit.
Sandy Yannone

Author Biography

Edward O’Dwyer was born in Limerick in 1984, where he currently lives and writes.  His first collection of poetry, The Rain on Cruise’s Street, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2014, from which work was included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2015. His work features in many journals and anthologies worldwide and has been nominated for Forward, Pushcart and Best of the Web prizes. In 2010 he was selected by Poetry Ireland for their Introductions Series. He has been shortlisted for a Hennessy Award for Emerging Poetry, the Desmond O’Grady Prize, and the North West Words Prize on three occasions, among others. In 2012, he was selected to represent Ireland at Poesiefestival in Berlin in their European ‘renshi’ project. He has read at venues and events such as Cúirt International Festival of Literature, the Irish Writers’ Centre, Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festival, the Villanova Literary Festival (Slovenia), Over the Edge, O Bhéal, and many more. He has edited two anthologies of poetry for community publisher Revival Press – Sextet (2010) and Sextet 2 (2016). Bad News, Good News, Bad News is his second collection of poetry.

Read a sample from this book


     for Noel King

He looked for emptiness in his life
because this had become the fashionable thing.
Everyone was getting their own emptiness.
It was all the neighbours could talk about,
comparing the gaping voids of their souls
like salaries or new cars.
You were nobody without one,
as celebrities fought for the headlines
of magazines and newspapers and websites
specialising in emptiness,
plumbing the depths of the hollow place in their selves
for all the world looking on.
On Facebook, his friends
were all posting updates about their emptiness.
A mate of a mate
uploaded a picture of his emptiness
and it has over fifty ‘likes’ already.
He didn’t look far or long
before finding it, an emptiness of his own,
an emptiness he could be proud of.
An emptiness he could show the world
without shame.
Enough to get lost in,
and get lost he did.
More than he could ever have filled
with the love of a good woman
or a life of good deeds or honest work.
An emptiness he could spend the rest
of his life searching through
and discovering all the nothing
he could ever dream
and then some.


If I awaken and you’re not there
I’ll fight off the darkness with this prayer

If I awaken and you’re not there
I’ll stroke the emptiness and think of your hair

If I awaken and you’re not there
I’ll pull up the covers and shut out despair

If I awaken and you’re not there
I’ll offer nothing a kiss in which somehow you’ll share

If I awaken and you’re not there
I’ll sniff for your skin’s scent within the cold air

If I awaken and you’re not there
I’ll enwrap such vacancy with such tender care

If I awaken and you’re not there
I’ll thank loneliness for the love we share

If I awaken and you’re not there
I’ll fight off the darkness with this prayer
I’ll fight off the darkness with this prayer


At that moment came the first signs
of tears on their way, and all
there was for her to do was to stand up
and to turn away

from the rabble of other voices,
all the clanking and rattling coming from the kitchen,
the ding of the till drawer closing,

face out the window of the café,
look through the couldn’t-be-bothered weather,
through the lunchtime crowds,

once, and again, and again, gaining the water’s edge,
passing through lush Dutch fields,
past their waving windmills,

around Azerbaijani oil rigs,
through the syrupy air pollutions of Indian cities

and then out over more water, to another land’s edge,
an exotic stretch of beach, her boyfriend there,
his hair grown longer, wavier,
a lighter shade now, one not unlike the sand,

the sun beating down
as he applies a generous squirt of sun cream
to the bronzed back and shoulders
of a girl that went to her school,

that she never got on with,
with whom, though nothing really happened,
there was a tension she couldn’t quite put a finger on.

Copyright © Edward O'Dwyer 2017

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