Place a clean teaspoon in your mouth.
Be safe but be as firm as you can.
Use a sharp knife to break the skin
wear sunglasses, chill beforehand.
Try not to think about it:
the onion plays tricks on the mind.
Turn the exposed cuts away from you
so that they are hidden from view.
It’s fine to cry if you are already crying,
know that sometimes tears attract tears.
Kindness is hard: the dangerous part is the skin.
Know that a life lived without onions is bland,
tragedy makes the thing a thing.
What’s the big tent without the clowns?
Or the circus without a ring?
And when you have been caught in a nightmare
and you wake with tears drowning your eyes
tell yourself you have been cutting onions.
Jack McGowan is a poet and researcher with over a decade of experience writing for both print and performance. His work has been published in a number of print and online publications and he has performed his work at high profile literary festivals across the UK. Jack is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Worcester, and he has published research on performance poetry, digital media, and gamified learning.