Diarmuid Maolalaí — Six Uses For Potatoes

if you hold some in your mouth

for more than 5 minutes

the reaction which occurs

between your saliva and the starch

will produce sugar

and cause them to become sweet as apples.

hence the French.

from there

it is simply a matter of distillation

to produce poitin,

Irish potato vodka,

strong as dogteeth

and French coffee

and traditionally hidden in plastic bottles

and abandoned under floorboards until it is time to be drunk.

cut in two

and carved, a potato makes

a convenient stamping tool for children

and pulled out of the earth

they can be made to last months.


they were discovered still edible

when archaeologists opened Inca caves

untouched by humans in almost 1000 years.

you can write poems about them

and cold

with mayo and scallions

they make a pretty good side salad.

Author Photo

DS Maolalai was born in Ireland and currently lives in Toronto, where he works maintenance for a hospital and drinks wine. His first collection of poems, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden was published by the Encircle Press in 2016. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.