Monday, November 30, 2009
So to kick off
"International put your poem in a shop month"
here follows an example of the type of thing we might be looking for:
Foil tops crow pecked in history
Remember friendly face who delivered
Now milk agrows in cartons, plastic shapes,
Fresh dairy cows watch and shiver
And that one would go.... yes you've guessed it (my clever blogeens)... next to the milk etcetera etcetera.
The beauty of placing a poem in a shop in this way is of course that you get to put it where you want, when you want, and with no pesky editors deciding it's not good enough (those astute poetry judges among you will have noticed that the standard in the above is certainly far from prohibitively high) - the biggest difficulty I suppose is going to be the placing and the proof.
Picking up things off shelves in shops is easy, we do it all the time, but putting something there, and taking a photo of it? That could be a bit more difficult. If you want - you could follow last years template of putting up a sign in the ads section of your store, example to be seen here.
Good luck poetry gorillas, I'll be putting my first shop poem up somewhere sometime soon, so keep an eye out next time you pop out for milk, and do let me know how you get on yourself, any tips for how to secretly place a poem would be welcome.
Here's the above poem undergoing rigorous poem testing on my domestic test kitchen replica of a real litre of milk.
(By the way - do have a look at Honey Fungus' chicken poems over on their blog...)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Yes it's that time of year again - the three weeks or so that I loosely call a month, and urge all great poetry writers out there to get their poems into shops, for
"INTERNATIONAL PUT YOUR POEM IN A SHOP MONTH"
replacing capitalism and consumerism with art. It's inspired by the ShoP magazine, but involves you physically going out there and placing a short poem in a shop and taking a picture of it there. The noticeboard was the target of choice last year, but this year I think we should open it up and put the poem anywhere in the shop - afterall people don't just stare at notice boards...
Write a short poem - no more than 4 lines - decide if it goes with the fruit, the frozen food, the cleaning products, or maybe you're in a different kind of shop altogether. Place the poem, and get a pic, let me know about it and we'll do a grand list of all the links at the end of the "month". Poetry to the people!!
go on do it - set the alarm now and do it - don't just scroll down to the next bit
For you impatient ones - your loss, shame on you, you're as bad as thierry, but it's only yourself you're cheating, for those who tried it, how did ye get on? Dorothea Brande believed being able to empty your head of words like that is the key to allowing your subconscious break through with more creative and clever ideas than your conscious mind would ever be capable of. This was her big secret of success for writers in her excellent book, Becoming a Writer, and it explains the phenomenon of how some of the best thinking is done without words, how an idea for a brilliant story surfaces after a night's sleep or a long period of non-thinking - ie some writer's swear by scrubbing floors, or organising files, some kind of thoughtless exercise which puts them into a trance-like state - this can then lead to better thinking at a deeper level. And where are we without this? We can't physically go one whole 24 hours without sleep (and thus allowing the subconscious a decent gap in our chattery wordy thoughts to do it's work) without noticing a huge impact on our own well being. (Longer periods of sleeplessness can even lead to psychosis, in one extreme example New York radio DJ Peter Tripp went 201 hours without sleep and suffered serious delusions and eventually a total personality change as a consequence. - but the function of sleep is perhaps a subject for another time)
So maybe let your subconscious do its job from time to time, get your mind away from the world of words, see what difference it makes to the way you think, feel or write...
Saturday, November 28, 2009
She has chosen the ever interesting theme of
and will be sharing two of her brilliant short stories with us. Do tune in - 11 am Sunday morning... Liffey Sound - link over on the right there somewhere...
That's uploaded now onto the radio blog - link on the right as well... hope you enjoy. Another link worth looking at is Honey Fungus' latest entry - the teen writing group have posted up 2 of their brilliant poems on the ever intrigueing poetic theme of chickens.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
On Wednesday night however I ventured into town alone to visit, for the first time, one of the older, more established nights in the city, that being the 7 Towers last Wednesday series, I'd been trying to check it out for ages, and just hadn't made it until now. Like the Glór sessions it's another downstairs kind of place, you feel hidden away in the depths of the pub, with fanciful gossamer drapings behind the stage and red glass chandeliers.
I liked the feeling of experimentation there as well, one lady read a poem she had written that very day, it felt very fresh from that point of view, felt like the work was all new to that environment, no reading the same old same old... a challenging thing but also very exciting.
(Speaking of spoiling if you've read this far I might as well tell you it's Mr VC's Birthday today, he started a blog yesterday - An Flíp - feel free to go over and wish him a happy day, but you don't have to)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
2. I was a backing dancer in a Bollywood film - very far back, very very far back, a short film, filmed in dubland earlier this year.
4. I was offered a job on the Statue of Liberty and declined. This was for the J1, a job in the gift shop, minimum wage, in a city where rent would've been astronomical, you basically would have had to be able to pay for the priviledge - and I wasn't.
5. I had a job breeding fruit flies - this was in a lab in Germany, as part of my college course, I had to feed them. I was useless at getting them to stay where they should stay though, so we used to have little clouds of them around the place.
6. I had a job making cardboard boxes - summer and weekend job during college, one of those things where you never wondered how they were produced until you end up working at the factory where they're made, like the magic door in Bosco.
8. I attended the Eurovision song contest - girly holiday with my mam the year Lordi triumphed in Athens. I'd heartily recommend it as a holiday choice. Fantastic hype, great caberet tack and brilliance. And you'll be a mini celebrity for a while afterwards.
9. I was a member of the "Caring and Sharing Association" in my teens, a great fun organisation to be part of, organising social events for people with disabilities - despite the corny name it was one of the best things I ever did.
10. I had a note for a fictional verruca for several years worth of PE - this is true, my mother collaborated and rewrote it for me whenever it got old looking. At the end of one of the terms the PE teacher wrote "Hope the verruca clears up for next year" on my report card.
In other news - the new version of Word is giving me the Willies - everytime I try to type the word wellies - it mischieveously changes it to willies, automatically, creepy eh (In ireland some of us say something gives us the willies when we find it a bit scary - for my millions of international readers)
On the odd one out quiz of yesterday, no one has yet guessed correctly, so keep those guesses coming, and I thought ye knew me!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
1. I once recieved a letter from George Bush Senior.
2. I was backing dancer for a scene in a Bollywood film.
3. I had a recurring dream about scary parrots as a child.
4. I was offered a job on the statue of liberty, but didn't take it.
5. I once had a job breeding fruit flies.
6. I once had a job making cardboard boxes.
7. My nickname as a child was Sid Vicious.
8. I once attended the Eurovision song contest.
9. I was a member of the "Caring and Sharing Association" in my teens.
10. I had a PE note for several years running which excused me from PE because of a fictional
Monday, November 23, 2009
If you are doing something else, let me know what it is.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Language and words are used and taken for granted as representing the real world, but they are not actually the real world themselves. They are just symbols invented, refined, over the years, tools of description. But it does make me wonder how much we take them for granted, and allow them to shape the way we think. Lately I have occasionally found myself "thinking in Irish" - which suggests that language does have a huge role in our thinking. The way we phrase things, seems to come naturally, but it's handed down and evolves from generation to generation, like a cultural DNA.
In his latest book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell relates how a Korean airline switched to training its staff in English, which it found had the effect of making staff more assertive, and more likely to persist when warning their bosses of safety issues; ie in Korean they might have said
"Boss, I think we're nearly out of fuel, we should land somewhere soon" and the boss would say
"No we'll be grand" and they'd say
"Ok then" - because of the huge respect for seniors inherent in the language they didn't challenge decisions, and lots of people died. Whereas in English they were more likely to say
"Eh, no I really think we need to land, have a look at the fuel tank dial there."
I suppose the point is that we need to be aware of the effect of our language on us, the restraints and freedoms of what it allows us to express, the things it allows us to see, and the things it might be hiding from us - things we mightn't be able to put into words but things we should still know.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
A member of St Muirin's writing group in Tallaght, Joan is a very entertaining writer, and will be reading some of her very funny stories for us. The usual time, 11 am on Sunday - link to Liffey sound on the right.
Friday, November 20, 2009
"go héasca" means fast to the Aran Islanders, and means easy and slow to the Connemara fishermen, so that when they go fishing together and one crew is shouting the instruction to let the nets out "go héasca go héasca", frantically urging them on, the other side is wondering how they could possibly go any slower.
German homeless people and sex workers get up early in the morning, and at least one walks around with her finger stuck in a book to keep her place in it.
No one in any American company is given any job below the level of Vice President, and most are CEOs.
The word yes is contained in the word eyes, the word no in the word nose.
In other news - here's an interesting article on how some great novels were written.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I don't know if I like it (the poem I mean) - it came from a challenge that Matt Bolton set me - to make a poem out of a story. In other news, I'm rather tired of having blogposts with days of the week in the title, which is why I'm trying to work them all out of my system this week, so that I can go back to the unroutine business of putting up whatever I darn well feel like putting up, no matter what the day. Anyway...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
First of all, would everyone, apart from those in padded cells die? Since we're moving fairly fast through space, when we'd shudder to a halt, I guess things would go flying and there'd be a huge breath taking wind. So maybe just people in airtight padded cells and deep sea divers would survive the slow up. Then what?
If you happen to be in one of those two categories, what would be your next step? Where would you live? Bearing in mind that the world would be frozen in place, you have a choice of season, and time of day to live at, and access to the world's best cars as well, but the roads would be probably full of debris so travelling regularly between day and night, or different temperatures wouldn't be an option. So, plan ahead, what would you do?
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Eileen is responsible for inspiring many of my previous guests in her workshops, and was a big part of the founding of the Lucan Writer's group, so we have alot to thank her for. Her theme is "The Art of the Idea" a fantastic and interesting subject, and she'll be reading some of her gorgeous poems. Should be inspirational.
Usual time 11 am this Sunday morning, on Liffey Sound - link there on the right.
See ye then then - Eileen's show is up on the radio blog now - here
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The drawback is that I am working a full hour later in the evening, altho the local pub is running great bar extensions every night, so plenty of time to catch up. I can highly recommend it anyway - as a way of life - c'mon everyone now and live in the future with me!! Change your clocks now early for next year, and laugh as you arrive into work at 9.30 in the morning, instead of the usual 8.30 etc etc
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
YAY - HAPPY WEDNESDAY EVERYONE!!!!!
(I think this is a bit silly. I think in fact I will stop after this one, after I tell you my theory about Weekly Wednesday, how it comes from an ill-fated Wedding weakly planned to take place at Loch Ness one day. Maybe I'll stop even before that in fact, maybe I'll stop right...now)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
When making big decisions in your life - are you better off thinking about them carefully, weighing up all the pros and cons, or should you just go with your gut. Your gut as opposed to your heart should give you instantaneous instruction, and should be a bit more practically based than the heart, ie i'm not asking should you just do what you want, more should you do what your subconscious (or gut) tells you is the right decision.
And this is for big decisions I am asking - ie huge - life changing decisions - like deciding where to live, whether to leave your job, whether to have children. Should you agonise over all these things, spend weeks on end researching it, or just listen to your gut, and dive on in, whichever way it tells you to go?
The advantage I can see for this approach is the time saving, plus the fact that you won't feel bad about your research and analysis skills, if it turns out to be a bad choice, since you won't have actually researched it. On the downside - you might make stupid mistakes in your decisions, by not shopping around or really thinking about the implications, cos your stupid gut told you so.
Read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink - for a strong argument pro trusting your gut. Any recommendations for a strong argument anti?
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Anyway - without further ado -
If the Electric Chair was run by Ryanair,
you'd have to die standing,
having queued for hours -
with jingly music roaring in your ears
and leery hen/stag parties drinking 6am beers
and trumpets if you die on time
before other trumpets sound.
You'd be strapped in tight,
(with no leg room)
- there'd be ads for Sprite
on the inside of your death hood
- harsh cheery announcements dispelling any chance of sleep,
and I fear your last meal wouldn't be that good
and it wouldn't be that cheap.
Any help with naming this one would be appreciated.
Took myself up to Letterkenny last night, to rendezvous with Mr VC at the Oireachtas - a big annual festival of all things Irish - Sean Nós singing and dancing - such as like can be seen on the following two clips....
I only got to see the singing competition. Each competitor sang two songs - one slow and one fast. The slow ones were between 10 and 15 minutes long, and most of the singers kept their eyes closed for the duration, which I found a bit alienating, especially since my Irish isn't good enough to fully follow what was going on. They had amazing voices though.
The dancing would have been the highlight, if I'd got up earlier, luckily - most of the dancers were still in dancing form later that night in the Errigal hotel, where tables were overturned in the lobby for people to strut their stuff in this great free style dance that basically involves letting the feet do the talking. Everyone got a go afterwards in the function room with a talented live band providing amazing rocking tunes. (I'm a natural mover - a bit like the bollywood really)
It was a pretty crazy environment, people dancing on tables - using chairs as stepping stones around the hall, you couldn't help but get sucked into it. Another highlight was a giant singalong led by the King of the Tory Islands - Patsy Dan - who sang "Báidín Fheilimi" - which is all about a ship wreck on the way to Tory. Fantastic weekend, will definitely be back to it next year.