Transporter Accident

David J McDonagh

Inspired by ‘Canedolia (An Off-Concrete Scotch Fantasia)’ by Edwin Morgan


In lieu of a no- frills airline,

a disintegrator-reintegrator

would bring back the diaspora

in time for the gathering.

They rematerialised 

in villages and towns;

the home crowds watched in horror

as the back-lit shiny grains 

of aluminium powder

gave way to visions

of unintended fusions.

It seems that the gathering 

had already started

on the way over…

so it’s bualadh bos for boolacow and clabban and clongarogue;

for glaslick and granetown, crossmills and derryshane;

for lissoney and modeltown, oldvue and dromcurry;

for knockavole and redstown, dunsheeaun and balhammock;

for canal west and bunmount, casker and aghavoy; 

for bardsinn and barnavan, horse and barn, and altavil…

“let’s climb carraunbulben!” said the man from fox and jockey;

“help! help! my son the engineer is drowning!” said the woman from foxenotte;

and they’re calling out around the lakes: lough corrin, lough allerg, lough reelin;

and there’s no one here can drink their beer like the boys of donaghabarry!



“disintegrator-reintegrator”: the name given to the machine in ‘The Fly’ (short story) by George Langelaan, published in the June, 1957 issue of Playboy magazine.

“back-lit shiny grains / of aluminium powder”: refers to a special effects technique used in Star Trek, mentioned in Wikipedia article on Transporter (Star Trek), citing Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman, Inside Star Trek the real story, 1996, ISBN 0-671-00974-5 .


Originally published on the Galway Review website in December 2012.

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