Seamus Scanlon








The Long Wet Grass



The resonance of tires against the wet road is a mantra strong and steady. The wipers slough rain away in slow rhythmic arcs into the surrounding blackness. The rain falls slow and steady, then gusting, reminding me of Galway when I was a child where Atlantic winds flung broken fronds of seaweed onto the Prom during high tide. Before the death harmony of Belfast seduced me.

The wind keeps trying to tailgate us. But we keep sailing. The slick-black asphalt sings on beneath us. We slow and turn onto a dirt road, the clean rhythm now broken, high beams tracing tall reeds edging against the road moving rhythmically back and forth with the wind. No lights now from oncoming cars.

We stop at a clearing. I open the door. The driver looks back at me. The rain on my face is soothing. The pungent petrol fumes comfort me. The moon lies hidden behind black heavy clouds. I unlock the trunk.

You can barely stand after lying curled up for hours. After a while you can stand straight. I take the tape from your mouth. You breathe in the fresh air. You breathe in the fumes. You watch me. You don’t beg. You don’t cry. You are brave.

I hold your arm and lead you away from the roadway, into a field, away from the car, from the others. The pistol in my hand pointed at the ground. I stop. I kiss your cheek. I raise the pistol. I shoot you twice high in the temple. The coronas of light anoint you. You fall. The rain rushes to wipe the blood off. I fire shots into the air. The ejected shells skip away. I walk back to the car and leave you there lying in the long wet grass.




The McGowan Trilogy

(Arlen House, 2014)

(The Cell Theater, New York, September 2014)

Monolog from The McGowan Trilogy



WOMAN: No. Anyone else would let it slide. Would let me be gone. Let bygones be bygones. But no – big bad Victor has to prove it. The most haunted one of them all is here today to prove his love to the cause.

VICTOR: Maybe.

WOMAN: Victor please!

VICTOR: I can’t.

WOMAN: I didn’t mean anything by it.

VICTOR: I know.

WOMAN: I didn’t mean it at all. It was a momentary lapse. It was minor. That poor boy Brit soldier was dying. His eyes were eating me up. I could not look away. He was crying for his mother. He crawled in from the hard concrete to the garden to be lying on something softer. Something living. Something porous. Something closer to nature. Closer to the earth. Closer to heaven. There was black-red blood flowing out of him. There was so much. It was as black as the night is here. I was thinking of his mother. The poor woman. And him. And him dying far, far, far from home in a West Belfast street. All he could see was the hills of Belfast, and the towers of Divis and my face. It was only a drink of water. I held his shaking hand so he could hold it. He was trying to tell me something. I bent down close so I could hear what he said. (Beat). He said ‘I am so afraid’. Blood droplets were coming out of his mouth. His teeth were so white. I remembered that. It is funny the things you remember. He said…

VICTOR: (Very agitated). I know – I know! Jesus. (Beat. More composed). I know all that.

WOMAN: Is it so bad?











Seamus Scanlon is from Galway currently based in New York where he is the librarian at City College’s Center for Worker Education.


His short fiction collection As Close As You’ll Ever Be was published by Cairn Press in 2012.


His latest book is The McGowan Trilogy (Arlen House) which is a series of inter related one act plays. The Trilogy was produced in September 2014 in New York by the Cell Theatre Company and won awards for Best Actress, Best Director and Best Design in the annual 1st Irish Theatre Festival.


His next book is from Artepoetica Press Irlanda en el Corazon Spanish translation of As Close As You’ll Ever Be.


In March 2015 he was awarded a month long residency at Dora Marr House.



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