Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Wildebeest to Waterstones

Tis about that time of the week - this is for all those bewildered beasts out there

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Wildebeest to Waterstones

Don't bring your wildebeest to waterstones

no excuses, don't tell me you thought her at home,

even smoothing her coat with a much tauter comb

still won't make her, for that place, presentable


Yes posh book shops are no place for your antelope

She'd hoove through the humour books, you're no man to cope

with an angry migrator browsing travel, can't hope

for her to settle down, she's just not contentable


when she'd find there's no pasture in the gardening section

she'd herd with the readers, there'd be such invection

from staff, for bad gnus* there's no affection

in that place, oh twould be most lamentable


So try and get your Wildebeest to distinguish

between serengeti plains and this temple of English

tell her it's against your most pressing wish

No Waterstones for your Wildebeest today

*thanks/ blame to Titus for this pun

Here's the Moth

No - not quite time for one of those Poems to Dissuade just yet. My copy of "the moth" has arrived today, and a beautiful thing it is too.
Coming from The Bog Road Press this is a really beautifully made magazine, gorgeous and colorful and happily has been one of the acceptors of my work - I've a poem on page 30! The launch of it will be happening on the 16th of September in the Winding Stair.
They accept email subs - on ed-lit(at) live dot com

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Fact & update on the passenger window

Did you know what the dot on the top of the i and j is called?
It's called a Tittle.
Don't ask me how I know this. I'm not sure what the dots under question marks are called - perhaps one of you wondrous geniuses out there would have the answer... While you're at it would any of you know what the plural for genius is? Top genius gold star, in the spirit of back to school bus-ness, to go to the first answer, whether correct or not - since speed, and not correctness, (and by that I don't mean incorrectness - I just mean correctness is not what I'm referring to) is all that counts in this here competition.
In other news the car, (which has a lovely new passenger window since last week's break in), has a big expensive bit of the engine broken since Saturday's smokey almost explosion on the motorway. The passenger window is fine though.
The dog thought that I had just brought her on the worst walk ever, 2 hours in the car, and we got out to sit under an underpass looking homeless for half an hour... took more balance than you'd think, they're pretty steep but it was worth climbing up for safety - felt safer than the side of the road anyway.
All answers on a postcard... (or in the comments)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The poetry school bus

Tis finally back to school time and this week Karen's driving the TFE bus, so click here to check the homework of the other passengers.

This week's task was to write about school... so here's my poem about the school bus, in the days long before health and safety was ever invented.

There and Back

Sometimes we waited at the green leaf bush

Pinched and decorated by our bored hands

Love heart holes in every one

My eyelids heavy with a vicious sleepy sun

Slanting in the bus from its place in outer space

The dirt floor shuddered quivers, bus anticipation

Could never wait to start the odyssey to school

When all aboard the diesel smell would roar

Fooling off – we woke at gates, ten minutes later

At three, a fidget wait for our trip home

Excitement of cartoons, warm hugs, hot meals

We scratched bloodsuckers, ants into the wall

Big Tommy would drive fast, pushed on by cheers and songs

We danced meanwhile, tried touching heads to plastic ceiling

when speeding over bumps, show jumping

On our seats and in the aisle

In time to the lines sung, shouted, feeling great

Tommy cried “Sit down again, sit down”

The school bus heaved a sigh into our estate

Friday, August 27, 2010

Catherine O Mahony on the Radio

This weekend I'm delighted to welcome one of my best buddies and a very fine poet Catherine O'Mahony to the Sunday Scrapbook Sofa... Catherine is one of those rare creatures who I've known for more than the past 10 years and despite her knowledge of me reaching far back into the hazy mists of the last century, and knowing much of my sordid history - she's still friends with me to this day.
She was in the English Literary Society in College, which I stupidly never joined at the time partly because I was afeared of their massive intellects and partly since I didn't realise there were free pints going with it...

Anyway Catherine has 8 siblings (pay attention this will be important later). She is originally from Kerry, and has lived and written in Dublin, Australia and is currently settled in Cork. She works with the national acadamy supporting excellence in higher education in ireland, and has had her work published in the UCC English Lit anthology "Shadow Rites", and Spin scientific magazine.... Her particular interest is in Science Communication and she has spoken on that topic to the Sceptics Society in Dubland. She is making her performance poetry debut at Electric Picnic this year.

Her theme for the show is "Siblings"
You can join us for a rollicking good show on that theme this Sunday at 4pm on Liffey Sound. Link on the right there. (that's 6am in Alaska)
Show will be up on http://sundayscrapbook.blogspot.com soon thereafter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Volunteering IADT - doin a bit of research, and Miles Manley

When I'm not researching what creatures and things (living and dead) of all kinds not to bring to places of all kinds, I like to research things that involve real live people...
Some of you might remember my tales of adventure and interesting times at the Poetry Now festival awhile back, the good news is, there's another festival, and again similar opportunities to talk to strangers, up to and including me will pertain at this other festival...
Get your volunteering t-shirt out - get on to the lovely Bláithín and get yourselves down there for fun, free into see lots of brilliant writers, and frolics*. Details below.

The Institute of Art Design & Media (IADT) in conjunction with dlr are conducting research into the economic and social value of the Arts in the county.
As part of this research we are doing a survey at the Mountains to the Sea dlr Book Festival in Dun Laoghaire. The work will consist of selecting festival attendees and asking them questions from a pre-prepared questionnaire. Each interview will take only 5 minutes.
The festival takes place in a number of venues across the town (The Pavillion, County Hall etc) from Tuesday 7th - Sunday 12th September.
We need volunteers to assist us in interviewing audience members before and after events from Wednesday 8th - Sunday 12th. Exact times to be confirmed. For lineup of events see http://www.mountainstosea.ie/.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to attend the events they volunteer at free of charge (subject to availability).

If interested please contact Bláithín McLoughlin at blaithin.mcloughlin(at)iadt.ie

* frolics only guaranteed if you volunteer between the hours of 7 and 9 on the thursday

AND btw - if you do nothing else today - click on this link and check out the song sung by the wonderful Miles Manley - 8 mins 40 seconds into the vid - from the end of the Glór sessions on Monday night.


Silly dog noises are provided by moi-méme at the end - yes I was made a little silly and happy by the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Púca to Poulaphouca

This week's poem of dissuasion is another unusual one in that it does not relate to an animal or a place of business, yet when Total Feckin Eejit puts in a special request you can assume there's a very good reason for it, so here it is:

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Púca to Poulaphouca

Don't bring your Púca to Poulaphouca

Twould be dangerouser than sittin atop a bazooka

you're no prize fighter, or spirit palooka

so please do not take that venture

for your little púca's no reservoir rat

though he's a shape shifter no doubt of that

if you went to go camping, he'd make off with your mat

if you climbed cliffs he'd cut the rudenture

the mischievious thing would pretend to drown

king, princess or queen, no matter the crown

he'd advise you all things, and yet act the clown

oh, he'd certainly raise your calenture

for mythish named villages are no place for ghosties

he's better stay home, better make the mostie

of life on his own, maybe eat a cheese toastie

but no Poulaphouca for your Púca today

Monday, August 23, 2010

Poetry in the wrong hands

You will surely all remember how the mania for Poetry spread earlier on in the summer see here anyone who forgets
It appears this insane craze is getting worse as poetry's black market price has gone skyward. This is the only explanation I can find for the car break in at lovely Corkagh park the other day. Corkagh Park is lovely; Rose Garden, Pet Farm (with piglets and owls), Lakes, Arboretum, Hills, Woods... so lovely I was about to blog about it, and having discovered it just last week was going to be excitedly posting about its hidden gem-ness sometime this week.

Well Corkagh park - you blew it. Instead of being known as the place of serenity and peace, you will forever be synonymous with low down dirty poetry thieves.
Yeah we went for a lovely long walk in the park, and yeah - the back window was shattered, (but still annoyingly intact in big triangles of tiny bitted brokenness in that way that only car windows do) but anyway - they took the cloth hand bag which contained several of my poems, a memory stick with some of my writings and little else. I had taken my wallet and jewellery out of the same bag just earlier that day.
Here's why I know they were definitely targetting poetry, they left my friend's jacket and handbag which had a wallet, car keys, mobile phone etc... no those material things were of no interest to my sensitive souled car burglar - once this thief got what they craved, they fled the scene in a crazed bliss of poeticalness.
I hereby offer a reward of 3 haikus to whoever can bring this criminal to justice.

I'm thick therefore I'm calm

Tonight sees a return to the International for more poetical fun and frolics. This time you can actually watch live on line. The link is here - hope you all log in, 8.30 - 9pm Irish time(ish)... no excuses!

There's a very impressive line up - which in the know muso types are very excited about... I'm just glad for my special ignorance of anything musical which leaves me completely unworried(ish) about sharing a platform with the likes of

Ray Heffernan: http://www.myspace.com/rayheffernan
Readers Wives: http://www.myspace.com/readerswives
Berries Blue Cork: www.myspace.com/berriesblueband
Robin James Hurt: http://www.myspace.com/robinjameshurt
Anthony Furey: http://www.myspace.com/anthonyfureymusic
Al Marshall: http://www.myspace.com/musicmystique
Maggie James Hurt

So tune in tonight for what might well be the last time I ever say poems in public - I've never seen myself perform, so if the camera works and I get to see a playback... there's a chance that I just might never say a poem in public again!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poetry Bus - Chicco - real

Have just realised yesterday was my 500th post here, and last week's radio show was my 50th... neither things were appropriately celebrated, will have to keep going to 1000 and 100 now I suppose.

Anyway, Chicco gave us a choice of three options which you can read all about and hopefully see what great things others chose to do with them over here very soon.

Mine's below, it's a shortie...


Friday, August 20, 2010

Joycean Pharmacy Splendiferousness

I mentioned in passing that I got to give a first public reading of a "poem to dissuade" in public there this week. It was in Joycean setting "Sweny's pharmacy", which you can read all about here . The event was the brainchild of Pearse McGloughlin, who you'll all remember is this week's guest on the Sunday Scrapbook - the show will be listenable here after this Sunday. Anyway - having accepted the invite to appear on my show, Pearse delighted me by asking me to return the favour at this inaugural experimental event.

It was an intimate gig. There were 13 of us there, including those performing and camera men (14 if you include the forbidding looking trench coated, mustachioed, behatted, shop dummy that stood at the door with a "Private Party" sign). Kalle Ryan and Pearse kicked things off with a reading of the part of Ullyses that mentions Buck Mulligan's appearance in Sweny's. Then Kalle took the floor with a great poem dwelling on the hole in the floor, and rounding off with his list of Do's and Don'ts for Casper Ryan - and Casper was there in person to gurgle his agreement or otherwise with the advice. (Casper and Kalle can be found in the scrapbook archives too with their show on the theme of family - over here)

Next up was Barry of "the blue choir" fame, complete with indie issue woolly hat, and fresh from a successful turn around Castlepalooza, he filled the bottles and jars of the place with his warm and lovely tunes and played a quirky take on his imagining of God's discovery of him working out the lotto numbers.

I was on after that. It was funny playing to such a small crowd, felt like I made eye contact with everyone twice during each poem. (Except the dummy, who was stubbornly faced the other way) I got to say my "Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Geranium to Boots" and I had a little tribute to Casper as well in the shape of my poem about babies being sound poets.

Pearse got up next and gave us his new song - "Mercedes and the Kingfisher" - which he will also be playing on the Scrapbook show as well. It is a gorgeous flight of impossibility and shows off his impressive vocal range to great advantage, a pleasure to listen to.

Lastly Kalle rounded the night off, with Pearse playing backing music - Kalle read out the original "When Harry met Sally scene" with Molly Bloom getting all hot and bothered with her heaving bosoms at the end of Ullyses, Yes Yes YES!!!

Twas a great idea for a Wednesday evening, a quick and early concentrated shot of niceness and fun. Proceeds go to keep this lovely little shop going - the hat was passed around. Hopefully Pearse will organise a few more of em... maybe someone will even eventually sing, the song, you know, that song, the famous Joycean number click here for it - go to 1 min 5 seconds for the good stuff.

Pearse McGloughlin on the Radio

This week we've lined up the lovely Pearse McGloughlin to guide us on the next step in our year long Sunday Scrapbook Odyssey (yes it's been that long - you could spend two full days and nights listening to the downloads and you wouldn't get through em - it could be used for torture purposes!?) Anyway - Pearse is a songwriter singer, a new departure for the show, and I know you're going to be wowed by his songs. He's also going to read a poem and an excerpt from a story - so there'll still be a bit of spoken wordage lest you were fearing otherwise.

A bit about Pearse. He first played with a group called Socialite in Sligo. He then spent time in France and Montreal, learned French, which was when he got hooked on songwriting and recorded a short EP in cold Québec. His next group was Thy Swan Army in Galway. After they disbanded he lived in London, played with more musicians and gigged the indie scene as Walkperson. There are several songs written during this period that he has held on to. Back in Ireland again he released Desired Effect EP in 2006. and has released his first solo album Busy Whisper in 2009, a clearer, more cohesive piece of work than anything he had produced previously. It received a quiet but genuinely enthusiastic critical reception. He's now working on the second album... He presents his own show on Radio Na Life of a Sunday at 6pm, info on that to be found here

He has picked the theme of "The Table Tappers" for our show - not sure what that means? tune in and find out.

4pm (1pm in Greenland) on Liffey Sound, this Sunday. Catch up on the Radio Archives if you, for some very good reason, miss the show on the day.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hair Time and Worries

I wonder sometimes if there's a definite amount of everything allocated in one's life, and if you use up your portion, then that's it, you'll never have any more of it? If this is the case one of those things for me would be Hair Time

When I was only a tiny teeny little various cushion - a pin cushion if you will... I had a most dedicated mother. She enjoyed doing my hair up, in a tortuous style known as pig tails. It took ages. She took great pride in getting the sides of my head looking like they had no hair at all - except for the so called pig tail tufts projecting from the perfectly symmetrically spaced scrunchies - the rest of the hair was pulled tight and the scalp with it, giving my young life a permanent teeny tiny migraine. I quite enjoyed the swish of them, I must admit. But I can't help blaming/ thanking that phenomenon for the fact that I take significantly less interest in my hair as a grown up than would otherwise be expected from a grown up.

Similarly, I was a stressed out young teenager, between the ages of 11 and 16, I worried ceaselessly, about homework, friends, food, boys, the environment, politics, the weather, tests, the world, the universe - to the extent that I actually have had worry lines across the middle of my forehead since the age of 16. Since then I've been less able to worry, and though I will stress about some things I generally come across to people as a relaxed type of person. I don't know - maybe I got it all out of my system then. An alternative explanation for the lines would be that my head was just readjusting to not having the skin pulled so tight away from the front of my skull and overcompensated in the bounce back.

Is there anything that was so overdone in your own childhood or formative years that you've completely avoided it ever since? or am I alone here?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Capuchin Monkey to Woodies

These Wednesday's are rolling around faster than any other day of the week, I don't care what anyone tell's ya...

Here is yet another one of my meticulously researched and pulchritudiously presented poems which attempt to dissuade you from bringing various life forms to various places (preferably places of business) - Wildebeests in Waterstones, and Púcas in Poulaphouca - coming up in due course....

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Capuchin Monkey to Woodies

Don't bring your Capuchin Monkey to Woodies

He doesn't need brass knobs or rings, and nor should he -

arborial living doesn't need DIY goodies

So tell him his tears he must quench

This fiendishly clever tool using monkey*

wouldn't waste any time investing in clunky

aul fixtures and fittings, it wouldn't be funky

Let him know he's being left on the bench

No he can't have a lawnmower, a mallet or drill

He can't feast on the nuts, can't go in and spill

all the paint, on the window that's meant for the sill

and there'll be no chance of a monkey wrench

For Capuchin Monkeys don't know how to behave

on the decking and fences it'd be very grave

when they'd chew on the edges, you couldn't be saved

No Woodies for your Capuchin Monkey today

*Capuchin Monkeys are one of the first monkeys known to have used tools.

Tonight I'm reading "A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Geranium to Boots" at a very special Joycean Chemist based event... there's only room for 20 people at it, including performers, so I didn't advertise too heavily here, but hope you'll all come along in spirit.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Triple Tuesday

So today is the third of three Tuesdays, that have been following each other at regular intervals - 6 days in between em, very predictable really, but thought you'd like to know.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Enchanted Oak's enchanted poetry bus

This week the brilliant enchanted oak is driving the bus, see here for the rest of the bussers.... I chose the hands picture, but then what I wrote, I found to be a little bit rubbish, maybe it's the weather... Anyway - so here's an old hands related poem that's a little less rubbish hopefully...

Hard as Nails

Fingernails are the hardest thing on me, on the outside

If you don’t count my teeth

And please don’t count my teeth

I was careless, lost a few to love of sugary stuff

No, not in fights

In spite of the hard image, I’m really soft inside

A pussycat, mango, weeping willow, marshmallow

Big buttery pillow, I melt easy,

Soft when you squeeze me

Please, please don’t tease me

I’m sensitive

Ease me

And I’ll ease you back

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Maurice Scully on the Radio

This week, I'm delighted to welcome the very brilliant Maurice Scully onto the Sunday Scrapbook. Described on the (very interesting, but difficult to please) new poetry blog - "Worse he Spoke"... as a "natural" in his readings "with a cuddlesome baritone range" - Maurice is a very interesting and articulate writer. He thinks big with his biggest project so far being the 8 book project called "Things that Happen" which spans 25 years of work.
On the show - which is on the theme of movement - he promises to read from his upcoming collection "Several Dances" including at least one world exclusive, previously unread in public anywhere, piece.
He was born in Dublin in 1952. Spent his childhood between Dublin, Clare & the Ring Gaeltacht. Studied TCD, where he edited the college lit mag Icarus & began writing.
Early ‘80s edited The Beau mag & co-ordinated The Beau Events. 1987 organized The Coelacanth Poetry Reading Series, with a strong emphasis on ‘avant garde’ poets.
Worked abroad on & off during the 80s. Early 90s based in the west of Ireland & worked in 3rd level until the mid-noughties.

Books include:
Love Poems & Others, 1981 (Raven Arts Press, Dublin)
5 Freedoms of Movement, 1987 (Galloping Dog Press, Newcastle)
The Basic Colours, 1994 (Pig Press, Durham)
Priority, 1995 (Writers Forum, London)
Steps, 1998 (Reality Street Editions, London)
Livelihood, ’04 (Wild Honey Press, Bray)
Tig, 2006 (Shearsman Books, Exeter)
Sonata, 2006 (Reality Street Editions, Hastings)
Humming, 2009 (Shearsman Books)
A selected was published by Dedalus Press in 2008, Doing the Same in English & a childrens’ picture-book in collaboration with the artist Bianca Grunwald-Game, What Is The Cat Looking At? was published in Berlin in 1995.
A new selection of work, Touring The Lattice is due from Veer Books, London, in the autumn of 2011 & a new book Several Dances is in preparation. A CD, Mouthpuller, was produced in collaboration with Randolph Healy of Wild Honey Press in 2000.
He is married to Mary Carroll & they have 4 children.
and can be caught up with, in the flesh, on the 4th of November in Trinity chapel, where he'll be performing.

You can't afford to miss this one - tis on at 4pm, (9pm in Karachi) on liffey sound this Sunday - you can listen live on the liffey sound button on the right there, or catch up as usual on http://sundayscrapbook.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This evening and other stories

So this evening I'm going to read some poems out in Chapters bookshop, on the theme of Moonlight, organised by the fabulous 7 towers, with some very fine acts appearing alongside. I'm looking forward to it. Alot actually. There's a few I haven't heard before, and some I haven't had a chance to hear for a long time. Show starts at 6.30 - more info here
I've never read out loud in a book shop before. Should be good.

In doggie news. The dog has discovered underwear, not as a thing to wear, but as a thing to chew. You realise discretion forbids pictures but suffice it to say she goes for bright colours and interesting textures. She also recently almost died because of queen cakes (buns for anyone who doesn't understand queen cakes- actually let me know who does and doesn't understand queen cakes, a geographical survey, it'd be interesting). Anyway - we were down in Rosland, she was hanging out in the utility room (let me know whether you understand utility room) because a visitor was dog nervous. We heard a bang. I went out. She was choking. The top of a queen cake visibly holding her jaws wide apart constricting her breath. I removed it, as you do, (she's very good at letting you take things out of her mouth actually) anyway - she was still gasping for air. Yes there was another queen cake behind the first queen cake. She had em kind of stacked from her stomach up it seemed. Anyway, she's alright now, you'll be delighted to hear.
See you all at chapters this evening then... I expect all 48 of you to be there dressed as moons.

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your leveret to Haagen Daz

Well, you know me of a wednesday, I just can't seem to let one go by without adding to the mischievious pile of poems that continue to try to dissuade you from bringing increasingly obscure types of animals and plants to sometimes non existant places of business. Bearing this in mind, at the behest of Dublin Dave, I give you

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Leveret to Haagen Daz

Don't bring your Leveret to Haagen Daz
He's better off outside chewing on grass
Just ignore his squeals, I know it sounds crass
but this time it can't be avoided

A Leveret wouldn't understand the decorum
he's impatient in ordering, it's just not the forum
for him, listen up, you don't need a quorum
on this one, you'd be soon unemployed, it

might seem extreme, but you know his long ear
would get lost in pistachio, and his fluffy rear
could be whipped for vanilla, no don't let him near
Say that you'd be completely annoyed, it

might seem unfair, he might cry for strawberry
squeal for a sorbet, demand something dairy
but when he asks if you're sure he can't go, tell him "Very"
No Haagen Daz for your Leveret today

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

State of play - poem a day project day 224

So I'm still stubbornly persisting with my poem a day project in the way that only I can stubbornly persist at projects whether or not the reasons are crystal clear..... when I commit myself to an idea I'll stick with it, no matter how stoopid and unfounded... like the time myself and an equally bloody minded accomplice stood outside the college library all day, just to see who'd move outside a particular square of slabs first. (He pushed me out in the end, hours later, we had to beg passers by to get us food)
Anyway... so yes 224 days of at least writing one poem per day, sometimes 2, once or twice 3. Success rate - 1 poem published (the second of my life long poetry works in print so far)... another 11 accepted in various places which I'll be revealing to you in a thrilling slow reveal as they land in their new homes.
Some of the acceptances have been big surprises - poems that seemed to have something in their favour but that I hadn't worked too hard on...
Now I have about 70 odd poems that can be sent out, most of them still needing tweaks here and there. There are 25 or so out there awaiting a result.. and I have to say it's great fun - it's like having casino chips in a game. Even the rejections are starting to be fun as I go back to the table and see what's been freed up, what I can send elsewhere etc... see original table here. Anyway I really needed the spreadsheet - without it I wouldn't have a clue what I sent where.
I suppose the message is - ensuring I've created a bit of space for writing has led to me write more, and sending work out - even when you're not sure of it, isn't always a bad thing, sometimes it'll strike a chord in a most surprising place, critical mass motivates - knowing I have a lot of poems now makes me more inclined to send em out, makes me less precious and worried about each as an individual, since I know there'll be another one around tomorrow (maybe that's a bad thing) and bottom line - it's fun, keeps your writing muscles supple... and is still easier than going to a gym!

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Cultural Contribution

I had this thought several weeks ago, and for some reason forgot to share it until now. Here it is anyway, my great contribution to the English language.
Y'see the acronym WAGs - for Wives and Girlfriends has always (since its first appearance several years back) been a wonderful description for those most cherished loved ones of the unfairer sex, so I said to myself, I said - what about the men? don't they deserve a handy to use, quick and complimentary acronym of their own???
Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, but especially gentlemen -
I hereby name you.... drumroll please....

BLAHs - Boyfriends, Lovers and Husbands

I think that's enough to secure my place in the dictionary, is it not? no need to thank me, the pleasure is all mine. ..

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jeanne Iris is driving the bus

Birthday Girl, Jeanne Iris, is driving TFE's poetry bus this week - she gave us a great selection of options for prompts - which you'll find over here along with this week's passengers....

I chose to write about my favourite sensory memory of Summer... It involves pizza, which is funny, as I wrote a piece about my mother's homemade pizza which was included in this month's Senior Times thanks to Eileen Casey, who commissioned the piece a few years ago for her Tastes of Home project - memories and recipes, which was a lovely idea.
Anyway - this is one about another type of pizza, and I suppose just goes to show that pizza is inspiration on a whole load of levels

Somewhere in New York State

A pool was thick with children soaked and splashing
drinking chlorinated dilute stew
emerging for another layer of a fruity oil
or greasy cream
and sitting neath umbrellas that wouldn't save from rain
submerged again once skin has lost its wet in
the hot air, and icecream's dried on soft bleached cheeks

We tried a slice of real pizza
thinner than toast - the warm elastic
flowing cheese, umami in tomatoes
there hasn't been another to compare
to that slice of wonder
unmatched down the centuries

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Me on the Radio

So this week I'm putting myself in the hot seat on the Sunday Scrapbook, at the mercy of the wonderful Domestic Oubliette as my interviewer extraordinaire...
I'll be reading a bit of a story, and a few poems... and discussing the theme of "Duplicity in the Writer" - a concept pinched from Dorothea Brande's excellent book "Becoming a Writer"
I do hope you enjoy it and don't laugh too much at my misguided attempts to be all wise and articulate which may well end up sounding more like an awkward platypus in a moth's nursery school.
The usual bat time, the usual bat channel....
(It's the perfect chance for all my past guests to have their revenge.... "Not so easy now, is it?!!" you can laugh as I stutter through my answers etc etc...)
I can assure you the musical choices are excellent anyway... 4pm (4am in Wellington) on Sunday... Liffey Sound.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Oops I did it again

So, you may have noticed, I had no photos of the wonderful trip to Denmark earlier in the year, this was due to the camera which was dutifully packed and brought, was exhausted from the constant dog videos and only took 1 picture before collapsing in a heap, badly in need of charge, and no - I didn't have a charger with me, so that way it stayed.
Likewise this weekend past I took myself off to visit Mr VC in the wilderness (where he's learning through arts, crafts, drama, dancing, craic, ceol agus ól how to be a primary school teacher), and took the same little camera dutifully packed again without the charger. And yes, it died.
So there's no pictures of the country roads that were more like walls in the way they leaned upwards, and the sea that was more like country roads in the way it rose and fell, and the little skellig covered in gannets swooping and exciting themselves around the deisel smelling tourist boats like self propelling confetti, and flying at mad hilarious speeds through the half tunnels in the sea that were made of waves. Nor the pint sized puffins on the bigger skellig looking like dignified puppy hobbits outside their little niches in the soft green hills, and the way they'd sit on the rock right beside you and look like idiots when they fly with the webbed feet stuck out at funny angles behind, and making chainsaw-like noises from under the stones and deep in the mountain, and the steps up the craggy rock, hewn by hand, shaped by mad determination, the monastery built on a foundation which was really the side of a mountain where they somehow built a big wall and then somehow filled it in.

Pictures mightn't have done it all justice anyway.

Do go some time, in the summer, on a calm day, and do bring a camera that works!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your duck billed platypus to Spar

Well, I couldn't let another wednesday go by without providing guidance for conscientious pet owners out there, who really need to know where not to bring their duck billed platypii, this is especially for Domestic Oubliette, who posed the question...

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your duck billed platypus to Spar

Don't bring your duck billed platypus to Spar

That trip, I'm afraid wouldn't get you too far,

With his unrealistic body, he's a freak not a star,

No, I wouldn't even attempt it

This flat footed friend has no need for a sambo

So there's no excuse for him to go in playing Rambo

Demanding nice biscuits, overpriced cans, No!

All your spare change, he'd have spent it

Sure remember the time that you took platypus

Over the one time to see 'toys R us'

and he said it was too bright, made such a fuss

Oh you wouldn't mind, only he meant it

So tell the platypus to shut his bill

It's not really that you'd wish him ill

But he might as well go waddle up the hill

No Spar for your duck billed platypus today

Sunday, August 1, 2010

NanU's Poetry Bus

This week's task was to use the word verifications as a prompt, a genius suggestion by the lovely NanU - more riders will be found on her blog here.

Here's what resulted for me:


They wandered, stray forgotten myths,

The half thought, forbidden golden thoughts

bits driven to survive for aeons

they’d scintillate – a fraught and

lying spark in someone’s eye

a precious drop inside a yellow box

they were free, they floated

All that ended when the web was wove

Empires of Elves and struggling Strings of Sprites

were meshed into, and gargled, smothered down

their magic subtervented, spells ran dry

kept in check by electronic ether

none free, all information soon tied down

and it was owned by those who bought the engines

sold tickets for a world of windows

to the whole-wide-world-wide-web

Only alive now in the tests for humans

They try to get their humble message out

Octydle, Fwhorb, and fjowie, kweerb and drueman

It comes across as nonsense, feeble shouts,

My mind twists a second, trying to catch the mean

But then a shiver later, it is lost,

hopeless as a dream