Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Bagman Cometh

The redneck wing of Crime Always Pays, The Bagman, aka Patrick Shawn Bagley (he’s Scots-Irish, like), gets in touch to let us know that THE LINE-UP: POEMS ON CRIME has just been published, featuring Ken Bruen, Daniel Hatadi, Gerald So, Sarah Cortez and a host of others. And, yes, we know exactly what you’re thinking – what does Sean Chercover make of it all? “THE LINE-UP is packed with passionate portraits of lust, revenge, guilt, obsession, regret … all the good things in life. Some of these poems will make you smile, others will put a lump in your throat. And some will stay with you for a very long time after you’ve closed the book.”
  Thank you, Sean. Meanwhile, as a sample taster, here’s The Bagman’s contribution, to wit:
110 M.P.H. in a Stolen Pickup
by Patrick Shawn Bagley

When I came to, the world
was a blur—my glasses lost
in the trail of wreckage—
but an orange glow pulsed
right where the hood had been.
When I saw those flames,
I thought my Jesus-freak foster parents
were right and I’d gone to Hell.
When I tried to move, my head felt
like Satan himself had gone upside it
with a baseball bat and then kicked me
in the face for good measure.
When I came to again, I was lying
in a ditch, gravel plastered to my arm
in a sheen of blood, and the back
of my wrist looked like raw hamburger.
When I looked down at my T-shirt,
saw the holes where the spray of battery
acid had eaten through the cloth
but never touched my skin;
when I saw what was left
of the truck; when the EMT pulled
glass from my scalp and said
you’re one lucky little bastard,
then I knew nothing
could ever kill me.

© Patrick Shawn Bagley


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Thanks for the plug, Dec. I hereby grant you the title of honorary (dubiously so) redneck.

Declan Burke said...

Ah, but hailing as I do from the Northewest of Ireland, I'm already an Irish redneck, squire ... aka mulchie, aka bogger. But I'll gladly accept the title of American redneck too. Can I grow a beard like yours? Cheers, Dec

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

You have to sorta ease into it. First, you have to start shopping at whatever passes for the Irish equivalent of Wal-Mart.