Search the Site
Books
  • CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (Kindle Single)
    CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (Kindle Single)
    by Julian Gough

    The UK Kindle Single #1 hit.

    Jude lives in a henhouse with no roof, that he bought for ten million euro, at the height of the Irish property bubble. One day, his mortgage is rated the debt in Europe most likely to default... The political and financial elite of Europe arrive, with a plan: help Jude put a roof on his henhouse, stabilize his debt, and reassure the markets. It all goes horribly wrong.

    "This novella is very funny – laugh-out-loud at times…Gough is one of our most talented satirists" — The Irish Independent

  • Jude in London
    Jude in London
    by Julian Gough

    Shortlisted for both the Guardian's Not The Booker Prize, and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, Jude in London is an epic, comic exploration of the bizarre love triangle between language, consciousness, and reality. Which is all very well, if you're into that sort of thing.

  • Jude: Level 1
    Jude: Level 1
    by Julian Gough

    Shortlisted for the 2008 Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction.

    The novel's prologue won the biggest prize in the world for a single short story - the BBC National Short Story Prize.

    "Sheer comic brilliance" - The Times

    "The best comic novel I've ever read" - Tommy Tiernan

    "Could be the finest comic novel since Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman" - The Sunday Tribune

  • Juno and Juliet
    Juno and Juliet
    by Julian Gough

    My first novel, of which I am very fond. The adventures of teenage twin sisters Juno & Juliet, in their first year away from home. Life, love and literature, in Galway and Tipperary.

     

    "Like Roddy Doyle in an extremely good mood" - The Washington Post

    "A modern, at times brilliantly ironic reworking of the classical fairytale, with nods to Shakespeare, Austen and Beckett." - Literary Review

    "Hugely entertaining" - Vogue

Subscribe
Mail Me
Powered by Squarespace
Login

 New Introduction, June 2008.

The sequence of ten short poems below arrived at the end of 2006. Since then, I have been increasingly afflicted with outbreaks of poetry.  (I hadn't suffered from the problem for over a decade, and had thought myself cured.)


Last month, while I was reading at Listowel Writer's Week, a publisher (Salmon Poetry's Jessie Lendennie, the great heroine of contemporary Irish poetry publishing) asked to see some of my poetry.

 

Last week, she asked me to do a book for Salmon. So the problem of what to do with the little feckers has been solved. The book will be out sometime in 2010.

 

 

Original Introduction to The Book Of Longing Has Disturbed My Sleep:

I don't want to write poems. I don't even like most poetry. But sometimes, irritatingly, poems arrive, often in the middle of the night, waking me. And if I don't get up and write them down, I can't get back to sleep.

So I get up, and write them down.

Given that poems arrive in my life unwanted, like birds blundering in through an open window, what should I do with them? I could kill them, and sell the tiny carcasses, but that seems cruel and... no. Don't want to. It seems best to free them.

So here they are, free.

I haven't worked out a proper way to display them yet, and the automatic formatting messes up the spacing. But for now, here is "The Book Of Longing Has Disturbed My Sleep", a ten-poem sequence from late in 2006... Never before published anywhere, for what that's worth (Because I've never offered them to anyone. Haven't even shown them to my agent, Charlie. Funny, that a poem can be too personal to show to your friend and agent, but it feels fine slipping them quietly onto a website, to be read by puzzled drunks who've mistyped "porn" into Google...). I guess that makes them a WEB EXCLUSIVE! Maybe I should put up a flashing banner somewhere...

 

The Book Of Longing Has Disturbed My Sleep

 

I

Poems are so hard to read
Who has the time?
I started one in nineteen sixty six
And I still haven’t got to the rhyme

 

II

My daughter says
“I’m cleaning the self”
As she wipes her face with the floor sponge.
She will be two in January.

 

III

I wrote a poem
On my daughter’s scribble
And ruined the only piece of art in the house.

 

IV

I write these tiny poems
At five in the morning
Then pause
And read them over
With a feeling that is neither pleasure nor displeasure
Like a rabbit eating its own droppings.

 

V

And now we have the internet
And my bad poem can be read in a billion homes.
If that isn’t progress, what is?

 

VI

Eventually the dawn will screw me up.
But for now I sit on the floor of this flat in Berlin
My back hardly hurts
My pen works
I write a short poem and stop
Pause
Write a short poem, and stop.

The motor of the refrigerator cuts in,
and runs for a while,
and stops.

Nothing happens for a while.

The motor kicks in again.

This is good.

 

VII

Poems are so hard to write
Who has the time?
I started this one in nineteen sixty six.

 

VIII

I should have written more when I was young
I should have fucked more women.
The only hours I didn’t waste.
They add up to so few days.

As I sit here writing this
I hear my women breathing in the other rooms.

 

IX

You get up at five in the morning
And write poems about poetry for an hour and a half.
You are forty and you have no money and your trousers have split and nobody reads poetry.

But your wife is beautiful.
And your daughter is beautiful.
And you’re wearing a great shirt.
In a few hours you will all have coffee together.

You make a note at the top of a new page
“Write to Leonard Cohen and thank him before he dies.”

 

X

Of course it would have been nice
To sum it all up in a few lines
And enlighten the world before going back to bed.

But that is what the sun is for
And it does it once a day for free
And it’s hard to compete with that.

In fact, here it comes now
Rising over Rückerstrasse
Putting me out of business again.

 

(Julian Gough, Berlin, 4.35am to 7.25am, December 15th 2006.)