Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 15, Number 2
(Fall 2020)

Copyright © 2020
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.
by DS Maolalai

in my kitchen
the table is on its back.
legs in the air
like a dog playing dead.
careful as a bird at carrion
I work screws loose,
picking at nails
and ikea bolting.  search the box
for the vice-grips
and various allen wrenches,
place pieces of metal
in the upturned lids of jars.  the linoleum
gives on my knees – slight
pressure.  I shift my weight,
searching for scraps
of softness.  clink – another one
and the leg comes loose.  I’ve watched
documentaries – ants
crawling on cattle, collapsing
with high speed photography.
another leg goes – tendons  
break with my weight.  above me
creepers collapse.  you bring me a beer
and tell me the van
is almost full.
You’re ready to go
when I’m ready.
by DS Maolalai

I feel like a red
brick building.
something which at some point
was built around you, careful
to bind your orchard
growth.  like a home;
the way you sometimes visit,
but wouldn’t want
to live there.  I think
that you think
I’m a home to you.  and I am
but, honestly,
it’s ok to go on holiday.

and I feel like
a field
with white horses.  and I realise
we’ve never talked about horses
but that only makes it
abstract, not irrelevant.
and like everything
you say
is so accurate,
anyway?  the point is
sometimes I worry
that we are like your relationship
to horses; just something
we haven’t really
talked about.

and I feel like a clock
on the wall of your apartment;
you look at me
while you wait
for someone else.
by DS Maolalai

taking the dog
to piss.  pulling her down
from her spot on the sofa, reluctant
and dragged
like shadows from light.  outside the grass
glows deep glass purple, the neighbourhood
monochrome; old photos
through a dirty lens.  night runs
a river above us, topples
and pulls us along.  winter
in july, and other people
walking, like sounds
in a cathedral – lightfall
come clattering
off the windows
and night birds
whispered overhead.


DS Maolalai is the author of two collections of poetry: Love
Is Breaking Plates in the Garden
, which was published by
Encircle Press in 2016, and
Sad Havoc Among the Birds,
published by Turas Press in 2019.  He lives in Dublin, Ireland.   

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by DS Maolalai

banging and crackling
like a broken-down radio, filling with static
and tuned away from news,
the bee hammers blind
on the glass kitchen window
while I try to grab her
and let her outside.  at first
she’d been stuck
in dust and cobwebs –
I should have caught her then –
instead broke threads
to rattle the glazing
while I went searching the house
for something made of card
and a cup.  outside, rain
drops from the sky
like conkers.  bees gone ahide
where they go in bad weather.  and this one
trapped in the kitchen with me.  I bang the cup
against the pane
and slide some paper over it.
I put it down
propped by the door
and wait for the rain
to stop raining.