Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trivial Thursday/ The Mystery of the Missing Clap

So there I was today, driving towards the place that I normally spend 8 hour chunks of time at of a monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday or friday, when on the radio - appeared a song from the past "Radio gaga"

"All we hear is *clap clap* radio gaga *clap clap* radio goo goo *clap clap*"

(don't get me wrong I wouldn't be physically clapping in traffic, but I'd be clapping inside my head alright)

Suddenly I noticed, something was wrong.

One of the claps was missing.

It now seems to go "All we hear is *clap* radio gaga *clap*"

Now I'm not sure about you, but my childhood discos always featured this song as a high point of the 3pm - 6pm set, and everyone clapped twice at those points in the song.

What's gone wrong?

What has happened to the second clap?

I won't rest until it is solved ...........

(she says as she falls asleep at the desk)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Poet to the Meat Processor

Bet ye thought I'd forgotten... never!



A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Poet to the Meat Processor


Don’t bring your Poet to the Meat Processor

Not unless you want to obsess her

With blood yukky guts yukky gore, oh god bless her

What can I say to convince you


She’d write sonnets on tumblers, would rhyme at the trimmers

There’d be no end of trouble as she’d rip through the inners

And mourn for the animals, write odes for the sinners

Would sharpen noun knives with verb flints, ooh


She’d be so unkind would go endlessly quoting

Animal loving poets to the workers while noting

The scent of the blood and the decorous coatings

If you try to obstruct her she’ll mince you


For it’s a well known fact that all poets are vegans

And this is why too, quite a lot are Galwegian

They’d go ape in a meat plant, so don’t risk a lesion

No Meat Processor for your Poet today




Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Something from the weekend

we had a lovely weekend away - eminently reported on at the newborn 120 socks blog here

below - you can listen to one of the many creations that resulted - read by a mystery reader

group poem by variouscushions


And now the words:

Forest Tryst

Underfoot the forest floor was dry
And snapped and crackled as I made my way
In the dead of night
To the tall trees where they waited.
I heard them hold their breath, I hesitated
But knew it was best, I turned off the flashlight
And they stepped out, took my hand
Found my lips, found my kiss,
A memory of who we used to be
Was it really just a dream?
A dream of wilderness and stubble,
A smear of wild berry lipstick.
The forest opened to a clearing.
No branches stopped my way as I emerged.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rachels toy bus

see rachel and others here....

and my attempt (having just looked at Rachel's page again, I believe I have totally misinterpreted the prompt, this combined with the fact that the poem itself needs alot more work, possibly means I'll have to walk,,, ah well - it's been a busy week)

The games people play


Small minds molded easier than morla

Squeaky voices tell you what to think

Easy as remembered pink and blue

A home for me and a war for you

So simple even a 3 year old can do

Can find correct place in the world

Can stay blind to the traps

Trace lines on the maps and never go astray

Take on trust the enclosure is safety

Believe in Barbie or Bob the builder

And burst balloons, and fun cartoons

Beg a plastic iron to press tiny things

A tiny tears doll to care for

A gun to fight strong and dare for

Games people playing with small minds

Friday, September 24, 2010

Iggy McGovern on the Radio

This week's guest on the Sunday Scrapbook is none other than the very fabulous Iggy McGovern

Iggy McGovern was born in Coleraine and resides in Dublin, where he is Associate Professor of Physics at Trinity College. His poetry has been widely published in
anthologies and journals in Ireland and abroad, as well as in the popular “Poetry In Motion” series on trains in the Dublin suburban rail system (DART). Awards include
the Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry and the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary. A first collection, The King of Suburbia, published by Dedalus Press, was the winner of the inaugural Glen Dimplex New Writers Award for Poetry in 2006. A second collection, Safe House, is published by Dedalus Press in October 2010.

He has a blog, which he is careful not to overdo - over here

His selected theme is "Science and Art" and I know of few people better equipped to tackle the topic, so it should make for a profound and brilliant discussion (on his side anyway).

We are going an hour later than usual at the time of 5pm (1.45 pm in Barbados), the later time to allow for extra profundity, and you can listen live on the usual liffey sound button over there on the right, or follow up on the archive as always.

If you can't stand to wait until that late hour, there is another option for getting a little bit of "Iggy time" - that'll be on Culture night, you can find him in one of two locations, Sweny's fantastic pharmacy or the Trinity long room hub... along with a gamut of other talented writers - when? this very night. Get in there and enjoy!!

Personally I'm heading for the hills, so don't expect any cultural vulturehood from this quarter.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A real life poetry bus

I can't believe I forgot to tell you about my real life poetry bus experience last weekend, ok well, maybe I can believe it, just a little bit, (I'm pretty gullible about believing things that have actually happened, especially when they're in the past, but the future is a much less credible thing) but anyway
It was rather apt that Monday's bus prompt was one suitable for a wedding, since I had just been attending a hen weekend last Friday to Sunday, this included but was not limited to...
A sunset swim off Spanish point
A game of Cranium, badly lost by moi
A drenched soaking wet despite the wet gear walking tour around the burren, followed by the tour guide's mammy's apple pie.
Dinner out with 21 lovely girls in a restaurant that was just like someone's house out the country
A mystery tour landing in a huge pub in the tiny village of Doolin, complete with trad session and an overspill of merrymakers from the Lisdoonvarna matchmaking fest
ending with
best of all

Yes the super friendly bus driver that we had, refused to move the bus till party pieces got under way and so it was that when the time came I found myself saying my poems, into the loud hailer of the bus, in the middle of the night, hurtling around the back roads, somewhere in County Clare.

And the chocolate biscuit cake afterwards wasn't half bad either.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your pigeon to Douglas Newman Good

This week's purpose built glory is definitely going to be read aloud. Tonight, upstairs at Douglas Newman Good, in Lucan village. Lucan Writers and some very esteemed guests (including Eamonn Lynskey, Oran Ryan, Alma Braydon, Raven, and others) will be reading there as part of Lucan Festival. So do be there to cheer us on if you can....

DNG is an estate agents for those who don't live in the area.

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your pigeon to Douglas Newman Good


Don’t bring your pigeon to Douglas Newman Good

He wouldn’t behave like a good pigeon should

He’d home in on the staff, say he misunderstood

The request not to act omnipotent


He’d not be fancied, it would not be terrific

To hear him a cooing at auction, horrific

To see him scratch ads from billboards, dolorific,

Oh t’would be quite the trial, quite the torment


No the real estate agent’s no place for a pigeon

He’d nest in the rafters, if you’ve any smidgeon

Of sense you’ll agree this is no tough decision

Stay at home with your grey flying rodent


I couldn’t care less if he has a ring round his ankle

If his wings are powered by an engine called wankel

No matter the trouble, the pain or the rankle

No Douglas Newman Good for your pigeon today

Monday, September 20, 2010

7 signs

It's back to school time, and knowing of a few who are back into college, I have to remind myself of what has changed since college times for me

7 signs that I'm no longer in college

1. I eat more than just spaghetti on toast, all the time.

2. I no longer leave half cups of coffee in my room until they've grown crusts.

3. I don't marvel at the amount of people who are up at 8.00, and think of them as some sort of weird small subdivision of society.

4. Partys are actually occasion based now, not just a few drinks in someone's house.

5. I usually end up sleeping in my own house, and don't see other peoples houses half as much.

6. I can walk 50 yards without bumping into someone I need to go for coffee with.

7. I have less nights out than in, and nights out are less likely to go past 1am.

7b. There are hardly ever any bikes in the bathroom now.

So what's changed for you in the last 15 years?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Poetry Bus - DFTP via Argent, the lurve bus

UP CORK - WOO HOOOOOOOOOooooooo!!!!! etc... now that the fairweather fandom following the first 20 minutes of GAA watching of the year is over... on with the bus

Today's poetry bus prompt came from Don't feed the Pixies, who has unfortunately left blogworld for the time being, perhaps he'll be back sometime - the quote from them is over here at Argent's place, and Argent has kindly agreed to host the bus this week for the prompt that DFTP left us with as their last bloggy action.

The prompt was to write something appropriate to read at a wedding, non-religious.
I wrote the following - warning: slush factor is very high, so don't proceed unless you have a very strong stomach


Our meeting was an anchor

solid, lasting, plain and true.

We didn’t notice scrambling tide

yet I swam straight out to you

pulled out by an attraction

strong, magnetic, fine and fair

knowing only that I’d met one

almost perfect. One so rare

that life’s questions seemed less daunting

once you held me, close. I waited

for the feeling to get weaker

but I hadn’t calculated

on the way your strange pure self

and I, mixed up and made our pairing

mean more to us each single day,

here’s life, it’s made for sharing

Friday, September 17, 2010

Joe McKiernan on the Radio

This weekend, the lovely Joe McKiernan is taking the steering wheel of the Scrapbook ship. He's a Lucan writer (it is a local show for local people after all!!!), and it's his second appearance, after which he'll be second only to Oub in Sunday Scrapbook frequency... you'll remember him from his show on the theme of Travel last year, this time round he's taking the theme of "Seize the Day"

Joe was born in Walkinstown, but moved to Lucan 10 years ago, he has worked as a software developer all his working life, and has travelled - living in England, Holland and Australia. He's been writing since 2001 and was one of the founding members of the illustrious Lucan writers group. He has written short stories, memoir and a novel, and much of his writing draws on his experiences while travelling. Asides from that he has an interest in writing science fiction and fantasy. Joe is just into his first week of a full time arts degree in UCD which he has just begun.

You can listen to the show from the usual link on the right there for Liffey Sound, or catch up on the very fine radio archives... (does anyone out there know anything about itunes by the way - or setting up an rss so that I can do a proper podcasty thingy?)
Anyway Joe's show will go out at the grabbing life by the scruff of the neck time of 4pm on Sunday. Join us then, seize the day, why not? Why not indeed,
(she said mysteriously, thereby ending the post with a sense of mystique and enigma).....
(and everyone wanted to listen to the show right that minute)
(but couldn't because it wasn't on yet)
(the poor feckeens)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The things I do for my art

Yes, the other day I was driving home, practicing as I was driving, some of the noises that I thought might make for interesting listenable funthings. Sadly, the kids at the side of the coldcut road did not know I was an artiste working on a symphony, and merely thought I was making a huge grimace at them. Misunderstanding led to violence, and the passenger window that was opposite the broken into one a few weeks back was almost broken by the well aimed stone that my young friend jettisoned in my direction (he being the admirable kind of well prepared type, with a stone in one hand for those drivers that look grimacey) Anyway all the face practice has paid off and led to this magical number, a collaboration of sorts between myself and the dog, prepared to be shocked and astounded, moved to tears and breathless.

I'll say nothing more except that you should perhaps make sure you're sitting down when you press play

TheMix by variouscushions

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Moth to the Winding Stair

This week's poem to dissuade is a purpose built one. I am reading tomorrow night at the Winding Stair for the launch of the Moth magazine. The Winding Stair is a very famous and lovely book shop (though I've only been in it once, and felt a wee bit intimidated by the fact that I couldn't spot the staircase - no doubt now that I'll be reading there, they'll show me the staircase, give me a key to it or some such).

Anyways - very much looking forward to it, mean while here's the poem. Let me know if I should read it out or not, or come along tomorrow night and tell me yourself

btw - the infra red frequency that candle flames emit has been found to contain similar frequency to that emitted by female moth pheromones

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Moth to the Winding Stair


Don't bring your moth to the winding stair

He’d find the lights too blinding there

He doesn’t delight in finding rare

Books, he’d just flit through the bookies


No, moths can't seem to camoflage

among the assorted bricolage

in this sacred home of books, no courage

would be enough, no cookie


Your moth can't read by candle light

better keep hold of that door handle tight

This butterfly ancestor would amble right

into flames that remind him of nookie


So tell your moth he'll have to be patient

It's not that you're lazy, nor are you complacent

but this lovely shop's not for your fluttering agent

No winding stair for your moth today

Culture Vulturehood: Part II - keeping you in tune with what's cutting edge

Last Friday night myself and Mr VC went to see Republic of Loose, in the Academy theatre.
The Loose are a great crowd, check em out on youtube if you haven't heard of em, one of the happiest hippest bunch of cats in town (that aren't cats at all). There were some great moments, singalongs, jumpy up and downy bits, that didn't apply to us old farts, as we stayed sitting pretty (lazy daisies that we are) at the very civilised tables and chairs. I was in heaven for the mooosic song, one of the best songs ever written.

Twas a first night out in the academy - bouncers there think they own the place, maybe they do, maybe it's a co-op, they were itching for a fight whatever way you looked at them, so we didn't.

More culture to be found earlier in the night was at the veggie place opposite where we stopped for sustenance. Govindas it's called.
A chilled out little spot on a Friday night, the crowd there is eclectic, the seating looks like old bar sofas, worn and comfy with the type of pattern seen everywhere in the 90s. The food was great, and reasonably priced. Culture shock came when we asked for coffee and the man checked the coffee maker and there was no coffee, the machine had malfunctioned and no one had asked for coffee all day, so no one had noticed. This tells you all you need to know about the customers. No coffee asked for. All day. I'm not sure I belong in that world, but it's an interesting one to stop off in. We had tea and went on our way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

sound cloud experiment one

Pop by variouscushions

Cultural Vulturehood: Part 1

So I went to see Alan Stanford last Thursday night, giving his Beckett address at the Dun Laoghaire Mountains to the sea festival. Dissappointingly, Beckett's address wasn't mentioned at all, and me with my Christmas card list out and ready to add to, Alan was very entertaining and theatrical though so I guess that made up for it.
He started off with Occam's razor and parsimony, going to great lengths and along many tangents to describe how simplicity is better than complication.
He focussed in on "Waiting for Godot" and "Endgame"
He's been doing Waiting For Godot every other year for more than 20 years at this stage. Reckons that only one magical night in Shanghai the production was perfect - because they all just let the words talk for themselves. They added nothing.
The fight against bringing too much of yourself and your own interpretations etc is the biggest difficulty with the play, trying to overanalyse it is another folly according to himself. It is what it is. I haven't seen it, but look forward to it sometime. You could say I can't wait, but I can (and I must)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marion's TFE Colour Bus

This week's driver is Marion, who you'll find over here - with the other passengers...

The prompt was to do something on the theme of colour, so I'm sticking in a little picture that I made yesterday, perhaps inspired by TFE's Auction

anyway my ticket is below

What’ll be left


It doesn’t take much

for all the bands of colour

to appear

just a touch

of light to pass through mist

then it’s here


may think we’ll paint the world grey

with the scum of our own waste

the smoke smog reprimanding

the slur of coal disgrace


The tired world might blacken,

lives lie slacken with the pain

still colours sparkle sky-bows

after stinging acid rain



Fascinating fact learned during the research for this one: when there are two rainbows in the sky, the weaker one is always backwards versus the original in terms of the order of colours

Friday, September 10, 2010

Patrick Chapman on the Radio

This week I'm very excited to be welcoming the great Patrick Chapman to the Scrapbook Sofa. He is taking on the really interesting theme of "First Person Fiction" and will be reading some great poems from his upcoming collection, (as well as giving his side of the controversial bog cutting debate!)
PATRICK CHAPMAN was born in 1968. The Darwin Vampires is his fifth collection, following Jazztown (Raven Arts Press, Dublin, 1991), The New Pornography (Salmon Poetry, Co. Clare, 1996), Breaking Hearts and Traffic Lights (Salmon Poetry, 2007) and A Shopping Mall on Mars (BlazeVOX Books, Buffalo, N.Y., 2008). His book of short stories is TheWow Signal (Bluechrome, UK, 2007).

Also a scriptwriter, he adapted his own published story for Burning the Bed (2003). Directed by Denis McArdle, this award-winning film stars Gina McKee and Aidan Gillen. Chapman has written several episodes of the Cbeebies and RTÉ series Garth & Bev (Kavaleer, 2009/10). His audio play, Doctor Who: Fear of the Daleks (Big Finish, UK, 2007), was directed by Mark J.Thompson. It stars Wendy Padbury as Zoe and Nicholas Briggs as the Daleks.

With Philip Casey, he founded the Irish Literary Revival website in 2006.This brings out-of-print books of Irish interest back into circulation online, with the consent and participation of the authors.

Chapman has been a finalist twice in the Sunday Tribune Hennessy Literary Awards. His story ‘A Ghost’ won first prize in the Cinescape Genre Literary Competition in L.A.The title poem of The Darwin Vampires was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Catch up with us 4pm on Liffey Sound - link over there on the right, (that's 8am in LA) or catch up on the sunday scrapbook blog as always (sure I'm only spoiling ye)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


ok ok, so as correctly divined by the divine niamh boyce, perhaps i had a secret yearning, a wee desire for recognition, for my herculean blogging efforts, especially what with the new look etc
(Honestly the new look is taking some getting used to on this side of the screen - tis all snappy and modern looking, I feel too shabby to write my own blog for god's sake, I need a haircut, a new couch, curtains for god's sake, this blog needs a fashionable owner)
Anyway, thanks Niamh for the Award - the versatile blogger award.
Nothing comes without a cost, I'm told, and the cost for this one is 7 facts about the self. I'm quite shady on the self side normally, though this is a personal blog according to the irish blog awards, I'm always careful to keep my true self well away from all your prying eyes (a blog's a bit creepy after all, anyone can read em, even the not nice people in the world, though hopefully the pink keeps those ones from lingering too long). So anyway here's an exclusive 7 things about me that you'll never hear anywhere else...

1. I am watching last night's RTE news as I type this, since I am planning ahead for tomorrow's post since I'm kind of good that way.

2. I talked about myself for about an hour today.

3. I believe the koala should be allowed to be a bear as well as a marsupial - since it's just so cute.

4. I believe my dog should also count as a bear, because she sometimes behaves exactly the same as a bear.

5. I always wanted to be a writer as a kid until someone told me that meant I wanted to be a journalist, and then I found out what a journalist was and decided I didn't like that idea.

6. The surreal nature of blogging is probably one of my favourite things about it, ie answering comments re which animal shouldn't be brought where for various reasons.

7. My biggest problem is wanting to be the best at everything - see blog on aqua aerobics for more (ironically that's one of my many posts with no comments... people were just too impressed)

Right - the reward, I get to pass on the torch to 7 blogs that I love to read....

drumroll please.....

I'm awarding the award to


(loosely in order of their appearance in the comments on my recent post on not wanting any more awards, no worries folks if you don't have time to accept etc...!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Koala to Liffey Sound*

Advice for Spiderman who, in the above shot, is contemplating where he should and shouldn't bring his Koala Bear.

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Koala to Liffey Sound*


Don't bring your koala to Liffey Sound

There's little eucalyptus enough to be found

without him eating through it, he'd be browned

off with the community station


He'd be so unfit, your dodgy marsupial

he'd want to go pirate, just like a troupial**

Oh twould be very painful, even worse than rupial***

Listen there's no invitation


For teddy bears disguised with pouches

They're far better off hanging out on couches

He'd nibble the microphone, cause so much ouches

Don't let him enact desperation


Koala BEARS are far too clingy

for broadcasting, wouldn't be very singy

Tell him go way on a boat, a ship or a dingy

but no Liffey Sound for your Koala today


*Liffey Sound is a local radio station in Lucan for anyone who hasn't heard of it - hot debate on the classification of koala bears can be found here. - in Triona Walsh's show

**Troupial is a bird that specialises in pirating nests - ie pushing out other birds

*** Rupial is a skin disease occuring specially in tertiary syphilis

Monday, September 6, 2010

Picnic pics and monday's poem read out

Because of much popular demanding, ie 2 people wanted this, I'm attempting to attach a file here that plays monday's poem with some music in the background, and since the whole theme of it is music, sure what better accompaniment than a couple of snaps from Electric Picnic, where goldy leggings finally found their raison d'etre

Sure it's all fun and games when you're getting ready
Watching the genius Karl Parkinson on stage

The spice girls - just with more feathers, and we write most of our own stuff.

In truth we headed home after the Friday, dog minding, car fixing responsibilities dragging us away from the partying, why don't they have a dog's campsite there? Just a suggestion. They could have doggie day care, dog whistling bands, I'd be there for good if they did that.

Here's the link for the poem, found it wouldn't embed for me, so yez'll have to open that maybe and reopen the blog if you want to continue to enjoy the foteegrafs

Is purposeful mispelling of things the most annoying thing in the world or is that just my imaginacean?

No More Awards... please!

Just a quick announcement to let you know that I cannot accept any more awards for this blog.

I've never gotten very many of them in the past, but I've seen this kind of notification on other blogs and I always think it's very impressive, since it seems to hint that I've had loads of awards.
Anyway, I genuinely fear with the new look, sexy background and brilliant fonts on this blog that I may soon get overwhelmed with awards, and they mightn't go with the new image. So please imagine I'm holding one hand up in a dainty but firm "Thanks but no thanks" kind of gesture

Memes and awards both seem to have fallen off the edge of blogland of late... have we all got that mature? have we all got so many more important things to say? maybe it's just me, and the circles I mix in.
Here's a meme - name your top three favourite memes of all time
1. The one where you have 10 eclectic facts and one's a lie.
2. The poetry bus... though it's so much more than a meme and soon to be a magazine for god's sake.
3. Poems in Shops!! Coming again in December, can't hardly wait!

go on - sure for aul times sake.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Transformation poem for Pure Fiction's Bus

This week's task, set by Pure Fiction, (who you'll find over here, along with the other passengers) was a poem on a transformation of any sort. So here's a work in progress, I've been working on but not really progressing with for a while.


Sometimes a band on stage get in a drench

Their lips get locked at funny angles

Sweat runs their soft skinned temples

They hurl their E’s and Ow’s

Throw shapes make funny eyebrows

Tongues slip out – triangles of focus - sharp

And they writhe in their guitars

Or try to marry their sound systems, pretend they're harps

Strike out and pluck their own harmonics

Make love under the lights forget their cares

Their heads thrown back to fully feel

The sonic beat, the ecstacy, a fleeting sense that they are gods

In charge of everything that matters

Their eyes contort, they steal themselves,

And in the scatter

You can see what they look like when they dance

That intimate duet of lovers,

The slow smile, secret euphoria pulsing undercover

A fight to the top, a breathless-senseless working hard

Discarding shards of guardedness, all there witness

With them, climb the climb

Yes, the audience on lead singers back

In the ruck sack, breathing that thin air

Trudge tight inside that frozen time

To right up top the red hot liquid summit

All fall together back the mountain side

almost to despair, to silence

in the sway of that shy moment there's a newborn afterglow

That we know is held apart

Almost sacred to the hearts

of happy comrades at the show, amazed

A flashing concentration of life intrinsic splendid

Forever hooked ... we drift from concert, dazed

Something broken in us - mended