Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Last Night

First of all - I said the poem on the phone to my Mam, the one I'd learned off for the occasion, she said it was "Genius, Brilliant, etc etc" sometimes they say the right things. Then spoke to a very distinguished poet friend whose advice was to pretend any 15 minute pauses were avant garde, and call them all losers if they didn't get it.
Myself, himself, Oub, MB, and co were safely ensconced in front of the "stage" well before the show kicked off.
Host Stephen James Smith started things off with his version of 1913, and put every one at ease with his laid back friendly hosting style, a true gent.
I was psychotically repeating the poem to myself again and again for most of the next two hours, but was shaken out of the nerves by alot of the acts that were on before me, alot of them were so great they distracted me right away from thoughts of the utter humiliation that lay ahead when I'd go up and mumble something incoherent and be booed off. There was a guy from the Netherlands who shocked us all with his "I can't believe it's not Luke Kelly" but better than the usual "I can't believe it's not Luke Kelly" voice. There was the hilarious Aiden O Reilly, a great young comic, genuinely clever, a joy to watch. There were several other brilliant music acts, an outstanding guy from Longford, a guy with floppy hair who has an anonymous mandolin playing friend, a brilliant fella with a Cohenesque song about "Forests of song". (I know this is a really helpful review for anyone who wants to go and see these people, sorry I'm just crap with names - if anyone reading this knows their names pls comment below)
There were other poets, SJS - the maestro treated us to a lovely one about a sunset, and a delightful tale about where he was when he wrote it. Matt Bolton, a fellow Lucanite writer went on, 2nd last before me. That's when things got a bit sticky. He told me it was only his second time reading, so of course I was hoping he'd utterly mess up, say things wrong and run off crying. Unfortunately he did a great reading, and I know size doesn't matter but his poems are so much longer than mine! He had some real beauts and even made some off the cuff comments. The fecker. So there I was, really under pressure, at least he hadn't learned any of his off, ha - brevity pays off at last.
I eventually got called up, and said my poem. The poem that the goldfish nearly know off by heart at this stage, because I'd been trying so desperately hard to make sure I wouldn't forget it.
Here tis by the way - by popular demand (thanks Oub!) - written during my angst ridden computerless evening last week.

Techno Tribes

Children scream,
Their only mode
of being seen
Adults Shout
Along the road
M50 rage. All Out.
Don't you touch my van.
Don't you "Don't" me man.
All anger full.
Bile rich, nice poor.
Kicking heels, licking windows, not answering the door -
Our friends are on facebook, on myspace, on twitter.
Strangers stay strangers. And we'll never get fitter
squandering lives on bebos blogs and so on -
By the way, mine's variouscushions.blogspot.com
I forgot -
I forgot how to meet real people years back.
Defence being the best form of attack,
I'll defriend you if you call be a hack,
All while ignoring the complete, utter, lack,
of any real life
in my life.

- so that was it, went down well, people listened, (a very nice lady with impeccable taste even told me afterwards that she thought it was great) laughed at the right place(s) and I somehow remembered every line without stammering or stuttering at all. Then I took out me little red note book and read another, only had the one more ready to hand, so that's all I did, but I tell ya it was the easiest poem I ever read out - after the stress of the first one, and again got a warm response.
Lovely place - downstairs in the International Bar on Monday nights, check it out, google Stephen James Smith and book a spot to read/ play right now, you won't regret it. See you there.


Totalfeckineejit said...

Cool poem, made to be read aloud, you can feel the sound of it.And well done for getting up and reciting (and remembering!) it ,that's always so much more pukka than a poem being read from a page.

Anonymous said...

It appears that you are having a ball with this writing lark,I wish I had such a driving passion. HM

Uiscebot said...

Sounds great - would hav eloved to be there but had used up all my freedom passes. The poems cool. Love the little blog plug!

Niamh B said...

TFE, thanks for the warm words, lots of pukka, I'm in it for the adrenaline really - next time I'll be doing it on a skateboard and juggling, just to keep challenging myself.

Uisce, thanks a mill - yeah I think I'll try and mention the blog in all future poems, or works of art of any kind... really immortalise it yknow? Now go and build yourself up some brownie points - get some more passes for the summer.

HM - Yep, I am extremely extremely lucky to have finally got back into it after a big gap, and to have ended up where I am when I'm back in it, with great writers all round me, etc, so it's cool... (maybe they were there all along, I don't know).
But my real passion is of course the day job - (in case the boss is reading!)
Seriously though - life is too short not to find yours - "You'll find it in the strangest places" (to quote Boyzone?! or Westlife) I only got back to writing from applying for a job where the application required an essay be written.
Anyway - go on, say yes to everything for the next number of months, try anything (unless it's illegal or dangerous) - seek your passion out - and let us know what it is when you find it!!!


Anonymous said...

I might give Karaoke a shot sometime, up for it? I must remember to milk your new "yes" policy....HM

Niamh B said...

Haha HM, don't remember saying I'd say yes too, I found mine remember?? But yeah - what the hell, I'll do California Dreams for the craic.
And btw - sorry if I came across a bit like the nun at the start of the sound of music in the last comment, just got a bit carried away!!

Matt Bolton said...

Thanks for the nice things said in the old blog, much hyperbole I am sure. The poem ye read was good and was received well. And for the record, and has been shouted at me a lot... size does matter. Especially in poetry

Niamh B said...

Hmmmm, thanks for clearing that up. I'm really very sorry now that I said that in my post, because I can think of nothing that doesn't sound like it's been lifted straight from a carry on film in response...

Jessica said...

I hate public speaking, I'm so glad it was you rather than me.

Although, if you can tape it, I would really like to see the goldfish recite it.

Niamh B said...

Hi Jessica,
The goldfish aren't really worth taping, I mean Laverne keeps forgetting the words, and Pinky just doesn't get the emotions across, you can just tell it's not their own work...
If I ever manage a tape of me, not looking too ridiculous and saying a poem I'll be sure to tell everyone.