Chess Problems – by DS Maolalai

I’m considering walking
down the quayside
tomorrow. getting coffee
from the place I get coffee. last week
my sister was jogging that way –
I saw her and waved and she
saw me. then was a cat
and a series of american
tourists (you can tell) and a series
of young german ill-looking men.
my wife is in bed with a badly
sprained ankle. the dog
is beside her, defending her
from all empty rooms. her leg
is propped up on two pillows
and bulges like a snake eating a mouse.
fallon’s in brussels with his younger
greek girlfriend and jack’s
up in his place with a girlfriend
of exactly his age. life is a series
of positions we take, like a chess
problem set in a newspaper.


DS Maolalai has been described by one editor as “a cosmopolitan poet” and another as “prolific, bordering on incontinent”. His work has been nominated twelve times for Best of the Net, eight for the Pushcart Prize and once for the Forward Prize, and has been released in three collections; Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016), Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019) and Noble Rot (Turas Press, 2022)