‘Goodbye Horses’ by Cal Doyle


In the end we would become more than horses, more than hind quarters

to be slapped and brushed by men-folk only five foot nothing tall, or projected

into monitors to implicitly embody the sensation one feels when drinking tins

of moderately-priced supermarket lager, or smoking that first cigarette


in the amber light of eight o’clock in the morning, or slipping into your denim

trousers after you and your secretary fucked one another senseless in some

motel room six miles outside of town in the middle of a workday afternoon. No.

We learned to speak your alien tongue. Our teeth stopped growing endlessly


into the roofs of our mouths. We became productive and made shapes

toward your towns, your cities, your polycentric urban agglomerations, and rose

steadily from the menial through the skilled to the executive classes in your economy

of all-fun, no mercy. We began to fuck missionary. We took cocaine like we took


your currency. There were, of course, foals, babies. Fences, gardens, sprinklers: it

all became very dull and whinny. Some took to painting. Some to sculpture. Some

to poetry. Some to swingers’ clubs. Some to knitting. Some to cleansing. Fences spread,

enclosed, defined. We felt the world was ending. Then you began to implicitly embody.


‘Goodbye Horses’, alongside another new poem from Cal Doyle, is featured in Issue 2 of The Lonely Crowd, which can be purchased here.

cal doyleCal Doyle’s poetry has most recently appeared in The Stinging Fly, gorse and POETRY (Chicago). He lives in Cork.



Copyright © Cal Doyle. Banner image: Copyright © Jo Mazelis.