Tuesday, November 30, 2010
(God I've been blogging too long - aren't these crazes supposed to wear off after awhile?!)
The premise is this:
December is the month to spend time away from loved ones, stressed to the max, under artificial lighting, gratingly cheerful music mushing through your brain, counting your pennies in shops filled with sparkly shiny things that you cannot afford, fighting your way through the car parks, clashing trolleys with anyone who dares to stand in your way...
Why not this year, try and give something back to those wonderful places where we spend so much of our lives, longing for rubbish that will clutter up our homes and only make us worry that we will end up crazy and alone on a mountain of wrapping paper with no one left to talk to, and our insurance costs crushing our meagre remaining spirit.
So here's the plan: Take a poem, any poem, yours, or someone elses, just a poem that you love. Keep the poem short enough that someone can read it during the browsing process - 4 - 6 lines. Stick it up in a shop. Either on the noticeboard of the shop, as was the fashion in year one of this project, or on a shelf. This is the hard part - take a picture of your poem as it embarks on its new life inspiring the tired shoppers, brightening the lives of weary shop lifters and reluctant security staff. Let me know when you have the picture posted, so I can report to the eager IPYPIASM followers here as the action happens.
Good Luck Everyone - the last few years of intrepid poetry placement can be viewed here and here.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
This week, the bus driver is none other than Dana Bug, you can click here to find the other passengers
She gave us three options to write about
- Now, you might not be a religious person, but I'm sure that even so you have wanted to argue with God (or Allah or the sun or your own super ego) in some manner. If you choose this prompt I'd like you to tell us about that argument.
- Write about the place you dream of living someday. Or if you're lucky enough to already live there write about home.
- Write about leafless trees.
Here's my ticket for the bus, it's a bit based on No. 2, but kind of a negative version, a bit more about where I don't want to be than where I do.... With thanks to Shakespeare for the last two lines, he was a generous type, and I'm sure he's not averse to sharing...
I want to believe the tin voices of reason
sweat to unheave from the choice of disease n'
swim touching the eaves of a flooded disaster
a cruelty of thorns, a rumour of laughter
hope grits the cold roads and we're flying down fast
thick fog chaos holds, blinding, crashing at last
but if the while I think of thee dear friend
All losses are restored and sorrows end
Friday, November 26, 2010
She's doing a show on the theme of "The Phenomenon of Celebrity" - with a special focus on the lads themselves.
Hope you can join us then, 4pm (1pm in Greenland) on Sunday, Liffey Sound, 96.4 fm or link on the right should work. And if you can't make that time, you can catch up after wards on the aul Radio Archive - http://sundayscrapbook.blogspot.com There's another 63 other shows over there too, should the fancy grab you to have a listen.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I drop my work and hurtle up the stairs
Because I hear her crying in a way
She’s never cried before, a sudden spray
Of otherwordly screams, caught unawares
By – nothing worse – the first of her nightmares.
She’s new to this, I think, and cannot say
What she has learned, that there is hell to pay,
And from its depths a hopeless demon stares.
While fast asleep and safe, she felt the ground
Beneath her slip, and now she’s standing up
Behind the bars that keep her in the cot.
I lift her out. She throws her arms around
My neck and holds on tighter than a cup
Its handle, or a strangling child the knot.
How strange! And stranger still to realise
She doesn’t know my name. She isn’t mine.
I could be any mirrored ghost with eyes
Whose gaze she’s seen, whose weight she’s borne before.
I carry her, as water carries wine.
She is the miracle I’m looking for,
But what she is I am the spectre of.
There is no she. That she is you, poor Clare,
And you, some day, will die, and not of love.
The thought of that, it drowns me in despair.
I clutch you like a straw and start to hate
The floating life that you were born to lose.
How lourd death is. But then you press your cheek
Against my own and it’s both warm and cold,
And for this once I understand our weight,
As downy as the skylight’s evening blues,
And how these attic walls, like me, grown weak,
Can bear it too. One day – I hope you’re old
For both our sakes – you’ll wake and find I’ve gone
Back down the stairs and can’t come up again,
But when that happens, do remember this:
That on the night when you first felt the pain
Of other-dread, which can’t be woken from,
You had a father’s, I a daughter’s, kiss,
A functional emotion that lives on.
By Brian Lynch
Check out Brian's first Novel - The Winner of Sorrow - on the life of the poet William Cowper - it's definitely on my wishlist for Santa!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I know, in this day and age, it's hard being a Camel owner, trying to guess the rights and wrongs of their care, afterall - they don't come with a manual - here is a small piece of advice, for those who are seeking it.
A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Camel to Specsavers
Don't bring your camel to spec savers
You know he's not the best behaver
He's a diva, this ungulate, attention craver
He spits in the eye of opticians
His hooves are no good for handling contacts
He frowns at the sunglasses, chomps like a mastax
left loose on a rotifiers lunch, always detracts
from the mood in that home of good vision
He won't like the opthalmascope, it'll soon make him grump
He'll complain of the tonometer, call the whole place a dump
And forgive the pun here, but he will get the hump
He'll cause dents in the fence with allision
Your sweet dromedary wouldn't say "This is class"
engulfed not in sand, but with frameworks of glass
So better leave him at home, leave his whole biomass
No Specsavers for your Camel today
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Driven to seek out comforts
I steal to the cosiest spot of a messy room
Crave a smile through gloom
Want to see bright in all
Feel all there is
All textures, temperatures, tastes, triumphs, terrors
Kiss every face, wear every kind of lace there is
bootleg, dead queen, liquorice,
Dream of crazy races, paces, lifetimes in alien lands
the canned laughter, the over planned,
the fake wasted grandiose delinquent strands will grow out their bleach some day
Give way to wavy beaches, stony, grey – but real and speaking wisdom
Laughing back the spray onto the shore
Friday, November 19, 2010
A little about the star of the show:
Harry Clarke (1889-1931) created spectacular stained-glass windows for churches
and private patrons in Ireland, England, the United States and Australia. Born in
Dublin in 1889, Clarke developed a unique style and technique in stained glass that
combined deep rich colours with beautiful, elongated figures that exuded poise and
grace. His deep blues and ruby reds became the hallmark of his work. Clarke is
considered to rank among the masters of stained glass, with Tiffany, Burne-Jones and
the medieval colourists.
You'll find examples of his work over on their website http://www.harryclarke.net/
Here us all talking live about this marvellous adventure on Liffey Sound, this Sunday, at 4pm. (5am in Alaska)
Thursday, November 18, 2010
How do you kill a blue elephant?
Shoot him with a blue elephant gun
How do you kill a red elephant?
Leave him out in the cold till he turns blue, then shoot him with a blue elephant gun
How do you kill a green elephant?
Heat him up till he turns red, then leave him out in the cold till he turns blue, then shoot him with a blue elephant gun
How do you kill a yellow elephant?
Tell him about environmental issues till he turns green, then heat him up till he turns red, then leave him out in the cold till he turns blue, then shoot him with a blue elephant gun
How do you kill a pink elephant?
There's no such thing as a pink elephant
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A word of warning.....
A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Elephant to the Dáil
Don't bring your Elephant to the Dáil
I don't care if he likes Labour, Greens, or Fianna Fáil,
He wouldn't fit in there at all, 't all, at all
No he wouldn't fit in the Oireachtas
He'd be sure to annoy the poor aul Cheann Chomhairle
He wouldn't sit still, go to sleep, like them all, yeah
He'd be sure to vote wrong, then have to call ye
And say, "We did our best and they mocked us"
Yes, you'll soon find your Ivory toothed friend
is prone to the Royal "we" which no end
annoys all the politicians, who tend
to find trunks more inclined to get blocked, thus
There'd be so many problems, no bail out could solve
so pack him his trunks, tell him better evolve
get on with his life, cos you won't be involved
No Dáil for your elephant today
They'll also never know about the fabulous book of myths launching this week in Tallaght's fabby doo arts centre - Rua Red, Wednesday at 7pm.
Writers of the South Dublin County persuasion were asked by the brilliant Eileen Casey to contribute a new myth set within the area. It's a wonderful little book with fantastic flights of fancy, explanations of local places, names etc, and some of the writers will be reading from their work on the night.
My myth explains how Citywest got its name and why golf is still played there to this day.
It was a great and fun project to take part in, and one I think could be very easily and successfully transferred to other places....
Anyways - see ye there (except for the meany-pants quitter bird lover)
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Deciding to Go
Walls sang with mats from different beers
and I, curled up with ruffled thoughts
was thrown to chance of changing tunes
one sign post in the town just told the place
threads of drifting friendships were rewound
so, carefully I packed myself away
to seep back through the cracks on distant days
Friday, November 12, 2010
His chosen theme is "Magic in Literature" and you'll hear us as usual on Sunday over on Liffey Sound - link on the right there to listen live at 4pm (8pm in Tashkent), or catch up on the archive later, if that's the type of person you are. :-)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I propose that we start building cages NOW for next year, in an effort to keep the migratory (quitter meany-pants) birds in their places. They'll get used to staying around after awhile - and if they can be convinced to keep up the singing - then we can say goodbye to winter forever...
It's just a thought
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Tapeworm to Yamamori *
Don't bring your tapeworm to Yamamori
He'd end up feeling grey and hoary
The staff would shout "HEY! what's the story?"
Twould be just like dynamite
For Tapeworms don't like Japaneses
Preferring to ask politicians for cheeses
Or watch Ben Hur, the Passion, anything about Jesus
They'd watch those old films all night
But tapeworms don't have table manners
they're much maligned by wedding planners
and their scolex look like a bag full of spanners
no, keep home this bold parasite
He wouldn't be able to get chopsticks to work
And if he fell in with the noodles, he'd surely lurk
And no one could save him from a chef gone berserk
No Yamamori for your Tapeworm today
*Yamamori Noodles are a very popular and lovely chain of Japanese style restaurants around Dubland, for the international amongst you readers.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
You don't have to actually be there in person to throw tomatoes though, oh no, thanks to the magic of the universe and the high tech gadgetary of the genius Stephen James whose talents know no bounds, you should hopefully find us online, stuck in the tendrils of the sticky world wide web, at least for a couple of hours.
Tune in at some stage, (though there is no stage, or mic, or lights - but I like the lack of lights - kinda flattering)
anyway - here's the link - see ye then then
Oh and who you'll find there - apart from myself?
Well there'll be TotalFeckinEejit, Emerging Writer, P Nolan, Uiscebot, and many many more....
Can you really live with yourself if you miss it? Can you? Really?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I like to get some proper dirt
before I have a bath
I want to be worth washing
leave my mark
turn crystal water cloudy
steep in steaming suds
that turn to scum topped puddles
so leave me to my splash
I race my little ponies, manes billowing slow motion
round the track and under knees
a cloth squeezed beneath shoulders
gives the softest bubble massage
then plug is pulled with yank of toe
a naked body reappears
slowly rises carved from water
weightlessness sucked down the pipes
belly button last to hollow
I'm clean another week
Friday, November 5, 2010
Joan was an extraordinary person and it's really hard to believe it's almost a year since we last heard her laugh, got her devillishly fun point of view, or shared some thought provoking discussion with her. Her blog is still there thankfully, at http://dramaqueenjoan.blogspot.com where you can sample her fantastic thoughtful writing.
So - Lucan Writers past and present came in over the last few weeks and shared memories, favourite pieces and thoughts about Joan, and the result is this 1 hour tribute.
Featured are Joe McKiernan, Louise Phillips, Triona Walsh, Joan Byrne, Colm Keegan and David Mohan - there are also some clips from that show of last year - with Joan herself reading.
It will be played at 4pm on Sunday on Liffey Sound - link on the right there as always, and then put up on the archive hopefully soon after.
Thanks to Joan's family for their permission to do this, and don't forget to get yourself a copy of Joan's brilliant book -
Here's a nice little review of it
Thursday, November 4, 2010
the Stinging Fly.
(legendary Dublin based literary magazine)
Proof, if proof were needed is here - where you'll see my name listed along with the names of many much better writers than me. It's a crazy world.
I love the alphabet.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
With all this in mind I give you
A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Yellow Bittern to the Off Licence
Don't bring your Yellow Bittern to the Off Licence
I don't care if he offers you tuppence or Thripence
To bring him, listen to me, for this is my sense
The idea would be so far from sensible
Despite all the drink there he'd still end up parched
For it's only bog water that gets him on the march
Or he'd maybe eat reeds for his fix of some starch
No, vodka would leave him distensible
He'd nest in the peanuts and skulk round the cans
Oh he wouldn't pick up for you too many fans
This chestnut necked bird would disrupt all your plans
Your drinks order incomprehensible
Oh leave him alone, leave him down by the shore
Don't give him a shot, or a glass, oh no more
for this flyer would be left all hungover and sore
No Off Licence for your Yellow Bittern today
Background and academic notes:
The last time a poem of this beauty and originality referring to the yellow bittern bird was written would have been between the 17th and 18th Century in Ireland when Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna (more on him here) wrote his effort on the poor Bittern, an Bonnán Buí, who died of thirst, which resolved the poet to never let himself get thirsty again. The below is Seamus Heaney's translation, one of many.
THE YELLOW BITTERN
By Seamus Heaney
(Translated from An Bonnán Buí in the Irish
of Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna)
Yellow bittern, there you are now,
Skin and bone on the frozen shore.
It wasn’t hunger but thirst for a mouthful
That left you foundered and me heartsore.
What odds is it now about Troy’s destruction
With you on the flagstones upside down,
Who never injured or hurt a creature
And preferred bog water to any wine?
Bittern, bittern, your end was awful,
Your perished skull there on the road,
You that would call me every morning
With your gargler’s song as you guzzled mud.
And that’s what’s ahead of your brother Cathal
(You know what they say about me and the stuff)
But they’ve got it wrong and the truth is simple:
A drop would have saved that croaker’s life.
I am saddened, bittern, and broken hearted
To find you in scrags in the rushy tufts,
And the big rats scampering down the rat paths
To wake your carcass and have their fun.
If you could have got word to me in time, bird,
That you were in trouble and craved a sup,
I’d have struck the fetters of those lough waters
And wet your thrapple with the blow I struck.
Your common birds do not concern me,
The blackbird, say, or the thrush or crane,
But the yellow bittern, my heartsome namesake
With my looks and locks, he’s the one I mourn.
Constantly he was drinking, drinking,
And by all accounts I’ve a name for it too,
But every drop I get I’ll sink it
For fear I might get my end from drouth.
The woman I love says to give it up now
Or else I’ll go to an early grave,
But I say no and keep resisting
For taking drink’s what prolongs your days.
You saw for yourself a while ago
What happened to the bird when its throat went dry;
So my friends and neighbours, let it flow:
You’ll be stood no rounds in eternity.
And here's the original - now sung as a Sean Nós number, with a mournful tune in most versions that I've heard of... you'll find it too on youtube, if you care.
An Bonnán Buí
A bhonnán bhuí, is é mo léan do luí,
Is do chnámha sínte tar éis do ghrinn,
Is chan easba bidh ach díobháil dí
a d'fhág i do luí thú ar chúl do chinn.
Is measa liom féin ná scrios na Traoi
Tú bheith i do luí ar leaca lom',
Is nach ndearna tú díth ná dolaidh sa tír,
Is nárbh fhearra leat fíon ná uisce poll.
A bhonnáin álainn, is é mo mhíle crá thú,
Do chúl ar lár amuigh romham sa tslí,
Is gurbh iomaí lá a chluininn do ghrág
Ar an láib is tú ag ól na dí.
Is é an ní a deir cách le do dheartháir Cáthal,
Go bhfaighidh sé bás mar siúd, más fíor,
Ach ní hamhlaidh atá, siúd an préachán breá
Chuaigh in éag ar ball le díth na dí.
A bhonnáin óig, is é mo mhíle brón
Thú bheith sínte fuar i measc na dtom,
Is na luchaí móra ag triall chun do thórraimh,
Ag déanamh spóirt agus pléisiúir ann;
Is dá gcuirfeá scéala in am faoi mo dhéinse
Go raibh tú i ngéibhinn, nó i mbroid fá dheoch,
Do bhrisfinn béim duit ar an loch úd Bhéasaigh
A fhliuchfadh do bhéal is do chorp isteach.
Ní hiad bhur n-éanlaith atá mé ag éagnach,
An lon, an smaolach, nó an chorr ghlas,
Ach mo bhonnán buí, bhí lán de chroí,
Is gur chosúil liom féin é ina ghné is ina dhath.
Bhíodh sé go síoraí ag ól na dí,
Is deir na daoine go mbímse mar sin seal;
Níl aon deor dá bhfaighinn nach ligfinn síos,
Ar eagla go bhfaighinnse bás den tart.
Is é a d'iarr mo stór orm ligint den ól,
Nó nach mbeinnse beo ach seal beag gearr;
Ach dúirt mé léithi go dtug sí an bhréag,
Is gurbh fhaide mo shaolsa an deoch úd a fháil.
Nach bhfaiceann sibh éan an phíobáin réidh
A chuaigh in éag den tart ar ball;
Is a chomharsain chléibh, fliuchaíg bhur mbéal
Óir chan fhaigheann sibh braon i ndiaidh bhur mbáis.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Brand new company Béal presents its first ever festival. Through four events, nine new specially-written works of music will be placed side-by-side with readings by performance poets from the experimental wing of contemporary poetry. Come and explore with us the uncharted territory where text and music meet. Our concerts will be vivid productions with text-related artworks scattered throughout the space: new connections will emerge, no assumption about the relationship between music and text will be left unchallenged in this two-day celebration of contemporary music and text.
See here for the press release
- Sounds mind expandingly brilliant - esp the open rehearsal in Shebeen Chic on Wednesday night! Conversation drifts up the ventilation shaft, and many other adventures... go on, get out there.
Monday, November 1, 2010
a white plastic bag, turned inside out with a drawing of a skeleton on the body of it, only at the time I didn't know much about biology - and yes, it was I doing the drawing, and so I ended up with mostly ribs - all the way to my knees, and then ran out of the black marker I was using to block out the back ground, so ended up not going out trick or treating at all that year.
a black plastic bag, with squashed up beer and cider cans, used, unwashed (and many having been used as ashtrays) - all sellotaped around the entire covering of the bag. It was highly impractical, smelly, and uncomfortable when sitting down. In the nightclub people were grabbing at the cans, thinking they might be full - I ended up losing the whole outfit - thankfully had my fall back plan, "disco attendee" outfit on underneath.
So now - I've shown you mine... what were the worst for ye??
Rachel F - you are excused from this exercise :-)