Monday, January 31, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
A return to being
in an ever strange familiar
A laugh at meeting
mother on the street
A nervous day
of acronyms and awkward
A slightly warmer
soaking into atmosphere
Absorbing week of newness and adventure
Is ended now, the starting has begun
It was an interesting week and a fortuitous one for the prompt I think, for me anyway. I'm a bit wrecked from the newness of everything - the concentration and trying to learn as fast as possible about what's going on around me, although objectively all I seem to be doing is sitting around rubbing my shins. It has been really great in a lot of ways, the new job is very varied, the people all seem pretty happy, enthused and enjoy what they do. There's lots of chocolate around, and coat hooks. It's the first time I'm not working in a factory, so with no hairnets for bad hair days I'm actually having to make an effort on the appearance front, which is difficult when you're not used to it.
Anyway - we're still back to Dubland for weekends at the moment which is great, but very tiring too in terms of travel, and I'm a bit of a Zombie right now, and overall I just wanted to let ye know about it, and to tell ye not to worry too much if posts slacken off for a while, it's just that I've even less energy right now, and less time, but I'll still enjoy reading yours, and have a few more poems to dissuade up my sleeves, so Wednesdays will stay live at least...
On that topic - can ye let me know if you have any favourite poems to dissuade? I know it's hard to pick with all those gems in there, but which would you think should deffo make the book? I'm trying to do a shortlist for the illustrator. http://poemstodissuade.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Don’t bring your three toed sloth to Dunnes
He’d surely linger by the buns
Would get stuck on the sticky ones
It wouldn’t be good craic
He’d want to eat all the free samples
Through deli counters he’d slowly trample
And squash the fruit, his butt is ample
Before it’s too late turn back!
Yes sloths are worst in groceries
The choosiest choosers at the slowest speed
They only think of their own greed
When they browse the shopping racks
So tell the sloth he’ll have to wait
At home, or slowly at the gate
He’s not getting out there, no mistake
No Dunnes for your three toed sloth today
Sunday, January 23, 2011
We let the grass grow as it wants
Can wear bright coloured shirts
Make lists of silly things
Mix polishing with sliding stockinged feet
We talk for hours saying everything
and never wish to hear an other voice
can wash the wind until it shines
bring our own selves around with every step
See iridescent Tuesdays far ahead
Bedraggled eyes, the maps of long lived time
Split ended thoughts are ours, the things we fed
Are hungry still, and so our lines be thrown
Thanks too to the Fantabulous Mr TFE, Mr Poetry Bus himself who was my last ever guest on the Sunday Scrapbook today, the best possible grand Finalé to the series from my point of view and giving Mr Lynskey a great jumping off point for his taking to the airwaves. Peadar's show can be listened to over here along with all my past guests.
Friday, January 21, 2011
(Pat Inglesby wasn't available, so Peadar helpfully stepped in)
I am really grateful to Peadar for agreeing to come in and take us into his world for an hour of intrigue and mind-bending insight during his show, which is based on the theme of
"Certainty or Uncertainty, Depending"
Peadar needs little introduction to most of ye as the original poetry bus driver. He authors the World's Greatest Blog also known as "Total Feckin Eejit the people's lost republic of Eejit" over here, (a site that is frequently responsible for uncontrollable outbursts of hilarity in my life, and is safest read alone) and is an artist, poet and photographer of great talent. I am really priviledged to have him on the show as my very last ever guest, and know you're going to relish the time with him as much as I am...
And now the bio:
"Peadar O Donoghue, known affectionately by his online followers as TFE, Peadar is a photographer, sculpturist, figure skater, golden shorts wearing badminton player, three times winner of the "Drinking champagne without letting bubbles up your nose, while playing badminton championships", he once wrote an entire novella in yoghurt on the side of a hill deep in Co Wicklow - so deep that he had to use the yoghurt lids to signal a passing aeroplane to come to his rescue. His poems and photographs have been published in The Shop, Revival, The Stinging Fly, The Dubliner, Magma, Poetry Ireland Review, and he is editor of "the Poetry Bus" magazine and founder of the original poetry bus which has been touring the world since mid 2009 and is showing no sign of running out of petrol yet."
I'd say this one is unmissable. Tune in on Sunday, 96.4 fm on Liffey Sound - weblink to listen live on the right there, 4pm (11am in Miami), or catch up on the Sunday Scrapbook archive (http://sundayscrapbook.blogspot.com) as always, sometime after.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I wrote about 400 "so called" poems up to early October (before energy of all kinds deserted me while I began my current creative project). Of these I kept a record up to early September of how many I felt were any good and how many got published v's the dates they were written...
The best month for good poems was July, though I judged what poems were "good" fairly soon after writing, I haven't looked at alot of them since, so I don't know whether they actually were any good or not.
Reasonably good poems were frustratingly well spread throughout the week - I was hoping to see all good poems being written on a Thursday for some reason. The only slight pattern showed more good poems clustering on Monday, Tuesday, slightly less on Wednesday, Thursday - with weekends slackening off in number. Having said that - actual published poems showed more of a trend - being written mainly on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Perhaps suggesting that spending more time on the things (ie on a Saturday) sometimes led to better results. No published poems were written on a Sunday. So I'll be taking that day off writing in future. - or not - maybe my Sunday Luck has been out, but it's just waiting to come back...
So would I recommend it to a friend?
Why yes, it did definitely keep me in a more creative frame of mind, made me feel like I was writing something, gave me a home for alot of ideas and I have a heap of poems that I wouldn't have otherwise got, and there's 203 pages of junk to entertain me in my old age, perhaps I can read it at dinner parties (or more likely at dinner in the home), "did I ever read you my collection?... in its entirety?... I was quite the hot shot you know, Doris...."
As proof of that I can show Doris a live, in technicolour (though of course I wore grey) recording, made this monday night gone at the Glór sessions.
I'm at minute 17, second 52 of the latest recording, if ye want a laugh, though I'm cringeing too much to watch it back myself, hope you enjoy. There are lots of great acts spread throughout the night, so it's well worth a look through, and you can tune in live to that link of a Monday at 9ish - which is what I'll have to do for future look ins, since I'll be in Cork for the next few months worth of Glórs.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Friesian to the Moon
Don't bring your Friesian to the moon
Though she might say there's plenty room
Believe me it would mean your doom
For she'd surely attempt to jump over
There's no grass to chew there, please, for your own sake
You'd better be cautious, no lunar escape
for your 4 stomached friend, there's just too much at steak
Not a job for the bestest trained drover
She may say her leathery skin's good in space
She knows all the stars, won't make you lose face
But I've herd that her dung is a terrible case
Even though she lives mainly on clover
She might be laughing, and jiggling her udder
but don't be seduced, she can't stone you like budder
Tell her "Sorry my love, but your tricks make me shudder"
No Moon for your Friesian today
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A poem - to be viewed on Outburst, a relatively new online magazine that specialises in publishing young writers (average age of 15 here).
-regular readers might know the poem from a past poetry bus...
Anyway here it is, and there's lots more besides me in it, so should be well worth a browse.
Monday, January 17, 2011
More news I mean.
Myself and Mr VC are just over half way through that adventure known as pregnancy, and all going well, fingers and toes crossed, will have an all new member of the family joining us towards the end of May.
This does mean I have a current average age of about 15, so have an urge to make all kinds of silly and inappropriate comments, but I will resist.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Total Feckin Eejit, poetry bus founder and madman extraordinaire, with a recent birthday under his belt - has given us a difficult soulful type of excercise for this week's bus - don't think, feel. Be silent and think about breathing, existence etc etc... I'm not sure why but I found this rather tough (having said that I seem to find em all tough lately).. but here's the effort after a couple of goes - the other passengers will be found here
A mushy mind
A tired neck
frustrated eyelids droop again
slow brain can’t keep up
or think something to say
(apart from the usual nothings and moans, the tingles in toes and the hammering “no”s)
traipse blind and excited to a whole new page
here’s a thing
an escaped kitten, not missing the cage,
a sniff at the air, and follow the flow
dreaming, “sail on, there’s a reason
will make it – to a freedom”
little cat hands push on
push mushy mind on
little claws clutch for comfort
pink patches touch clean
the heart is rolled and jumped on for play
arteries, veins know what to say
about such an outrage
“Hey, you! Stop!”
even they are giggling helpless
because it’s just too cute
so they know they will let it away
with turning the heart inside out for a day
there’s always tomorrow, to go back to clay
Friday, January 14, 2011
That's alot of "ia"s and I am giving a free jar of lollipops to the listener who guesses the correct number of times that we will say "ia" between us. "ea" as in idea, urea, panaceaea - doesn't count towards the total.
Guesses must be submitted by 9 am on Friday morning, ie today, ie 15 minutes ago.
Now for a little more about Seán. He is currently working on an MA in Creative Writing with UCD. His original interest in writing begain in fantasy, but he has since moved on to socio realism. His first published story, Fate, was a short and somewhat depressing (he says) story of a man who decides to commit suicide, is saved but survives only to die by accident - succombing to his 'Fate'.
He has also taken some of his work onto the stage having developed an understanding of theatre from his own acting experience. His play "Debate" was produced several times both within the college setting and out in the big bad world. Another story that he adapted for the stage was 'Little Miss Muffet'. This received nominations for acting and script at the Drama Society awards that year, and was the most successful lunchtime show of the year
The current project, 'Down to the Bridge' is a novel that started life in many different forms (there is in fact a full stage play written last year, that he decided was simply too small to display the work that went into planning the novel). As part of his MA is enjoying the process of vigorously critiquing his work and learning from this.
Seán is a very impressive performer of his work and is a writer of some serious ambition, with some thought provoking ideas behind his approach. If you haven't heard of him already, there is no doubt in my mind that you will. He's well worth a listen at the usual time 4pm (6pm in Damascus) on Liffey Sound - link for live listening on the right there, or catch up at a later date on the archives as always. http://sundayscrapbook.blogspot.com
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Another common myth has been exploded this week where our very leader has admitted that himself and a top banking executive never once discussed banking while on a golfing day out (or stick picnic as they fondly call it), therefore the common belief that men discuss business while golfing has been shown to be completely false.
So what do they really talk about?
Luckily I happen to have the tapes, and can now provide a full transcription of the conversation.
B: Love your hair Sean, it's only fab since you got it done.
S: Oh would you stop, my straightener went down this morning and I had to leave it all natural.
B: Well it suits you lovely.
S: Ah thanks, is that a new bag?
B: Oh, do you know the last one was just covered in muck, so I went into McGuirks and they had a sale on their Mizuno Aeralite in Electric lemon, so I couldn't pass it.
S: Let's tee off.
S: What is it?
B: Ah, just that the phrase "Tee off" always makes me laugh, you know, kind of like "Eff off", but it's like as if you're talking about a cup of Tea, maybe one that's gone off with all mould in it or something.
S: Oh, ho ho, yeah, see what you mean. I used to think that in the early days, when yerman with the sticks, back when I was a caddy, I always thought when yerman said "Give us another Tee there Sean" - I thought they meant a cup of tea, and I'd always start walkin back to the clubhouse for it.
S: It's a gas world isn't it?
B: Just gas
S: That reminds me of the grass, the way it rhymes with it, did you ever think you'd like some grass like this in your garden?
B: I was thinking of asking each club for a bit actually, maybe as a tax. If every club in the country posted me a thumb tack sized part of their grass, I'd have enough to be practising my putting.
S: By the way
S: Those sock things you put on the sticks, they're only meant for the woods, like the thick ones.
B: Well I think it's unfair to discriminate
S: I suppose
B: And I like the way they feel
S: Did you.... eh
B: Go on Sean
S: No, it's silly, you'll think I'm weird.
B: Aren't we best buddies all these years? For god's sake having breakfasts, doing lunch, all for the joy of each other's company, how is there anything you can't ask me or talk to me about?
S: Well, did you ever try them on at home, on your own feet like.
*There is a silence on the recording for the next few hours*
B: Well only on special occasions
S: I knew it, the lads owe me a tenner
B: Who, you!? Ah ya fecker, c'mon and buy me lunch will ye, I'm starvin.
S: Yeah, you're wastin away there
And that's what really happened between B & S
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
So instead I offer some humble advice to those with fashion conscious prehistoric animals in their care, (the very worst kind of prehistoric animal is the fashion conscious one)
A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Hairy Mammoth to Peter Mark
Don't bring your Hairy Mammoth to Peter Mark
Whether he wants to turn his rustic fringe dark
or lighten his bangs, style his cut somewhat stark
This is not the right place for your Woolly
He's likely to rear up at the sound of the drier
Highlights make him think his whole head is on fire
The gels make him woozy, hairspray makes him higher
Clearing sinks after him takes a pulley
No, a perm wouldn't suit him, his tusks would look strange
with a bouffant between them, he'd be better to change
this madcap idea, they can't help with his mange
So please don't give in to this bully
And if he thinks a chignon would make him look elegant
you better have a word with this old hairy elephant
The phrase "Good Hair Day" to him, won't be relevant
No Peter Mark for your Hairy Mammoth today
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Like the littlest hobo, I'm on the road again, not yet exactly, but it's imminent, my departure from Dubland and alot of the lovely things that I have grown to enjoy here. I'm currently having the strange (and slightly ghostly) experience of watching myself be replaced in three different areas.
One is at the place where I've merrily stirred the gravy for a bit of dough for the last two years. It's a small family business, with a small but very friendly work force, some of whom I'll miss a terrible lot, if only for their crazy Dubland ways. People in suits and nice hair cuts are streaming in every day looking for the coveted place at my desk and bench and my soon to be former bosses are agonising over who they can get who'll turn out to be slightly more useful to them than I was.
Second Place is on the radio. I'm handing over the Sunday Scrapbook Earphones to a local hero and excellent entertainer called Eamonn Lynskey, who's just won a residence at the Heinrich Boll cottage, blogs over here and is going to take the show and shape it into something great. I've had such a ball doing it and meeting all those great writers, and I look forward to tuning in for his version. But first there'll be another one or two little offerings from my good self.
And the Final area is as facilitator for the Honey Fungus Group - aka Lucan Teen Writers. I've been enjoying their company, and getting truly inspired by their work for the past few years, and I know they'll continue to go from strength to strength. They took about two seconds to think of someone they'd like to get to replace me, (almost seeming indecently eager about it), and for the last couple of sessions we've had the company of a young, talented history and classics teacher who should see them safely continuing their journeys in writing for the next good while. As I was saying to them, it'll be great to have someone handy who actually knows stuff about stuff.
So like Mary Poppins, we'll be off when the wind changes - myself, Mr VC, the dog, the gold fishes, the potted plant...
But where to? and what else will I miss about Dubland? what other adventures await?
Well, that's another story and shall be told at another time
Monday, January 10, 2011
1.Name some lost classics – books you love that you feel are undervalued or have been neglected.
Elizabeth Bowen's House in Paris is one I found amazing - exciting and dramatic, written in 1935 - is that old enough?
2.Name the ‘great’ books you feel are overrated.
Jennifer Johnston is a pure pure genius. Colum McCann is getting there, but not fully there yet (I'm sure he'll be thrilled to hear I think he's getting there though). Paul Murray is really high quality and speaks very much from our times.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
There’s a lady well preserved
Striking cheek bones, make up light
Staying in a hotel
Over from Lisbon, overnight
Says art shouldn’t be about money
So won’t tell what she’s spending
To the funny one with clipboard
Who’s been commissioned to find out
What it’s all worth
Her husband rents a car
And she blithely turns away
And talks to her friends
The many famous writers
When I’m a famous writer
I don’t want any friends like that
Your name is after fading, it got drank up in a shower
magnetic lights through stadiums fly eaten in the hour
they came there once for sport to test their expert brawn
but ended up with lives cut short, with blood spilled on the lawn
Paper hats in dressing rooms and infamous quotations
phones going off in interviews majestic situations
refuse to sell what isn't there your brooding stare continues
your body is a theatre, of muscle, speed and sinews
Friday, January 7, 2011
Yes, Ireland's answer to Rolf Harris, the fantastic Don Conroy is gracing the Sunday Scrapbook this weekend, and bringing us through some of his thoughts on a passion of his that may surprise some listeners - the theme he has chosen is: "Gothic Romance"
I feel like I know him, since his days on 80's and 90's kids TV, teaching us how to draw a squirrel with nothing but a couple of circles and a few squiggles - he's like the MacGuyver of drawing, and I have lots of fond memories of drawing along with him, and reading his lovely books written from the point of view of animals.
His wikipedia page says this:
"Don Conroy is an Irish children's author, artist, conservationist and television personality. His artistic and literary work centres around a wildlife theme. "Uncle Don", as he affectionately known, is heavily involved in wildlife conservation work in Ireland and has made regular appearances on The Den since 1986, the longest continually serving member of the crew. He makes regular public appearances at various schools, libraries and other public places, where he entertains children with stories and drawings of various animals, in much the same capacity as his role on The Den. His favourite animal is a hobbit.
Conroy studied life drawings and culture at the National College of Art and Design and then worked as designer and illustrator for advertising agencies as well as in the theatre. A keen naturalist, he is actively involved in conservation. Don played an important part in the highly successful project to reintroduce the Golden Eagle to Ireland, as well as establishing a sanctuary for whales and dolphins in Irish waters (the first of its kind in Europe). One of his favourite items to draw is the Barn Owl; it has inspired him to write a poem and draw many pictures over the years and it was the subject of his drawing at a Vicar Street reunion of The Den held by Today FM's The Ray D'Arcy Show on 14 November 2008. 
His greatest literary works include the Wings trilogy: On Silent Wings, Wild Wings and Sky Wings, as well as Vampire Journal, Vampire at St. Michan's and The Celestial Child. He has also written Cartoon Fun with Don Conroy and a follow-up, Wildlife Fun with Don Conroy; both are intended as drawing aids. These are available for purchase at Amazon.com"
He will be on the radio with me at 4pm (4pm in Casablanca) this Sunday evening, on Liffey Sound - 96.4 - listen live on the web link on the right there, or catch up on the archives later.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your dragon to the fish bait shop
Don't bring your dragon to the fish bait shop
I think you'd find it quite the flop
as outings go. He'd soon say "Stop,
remind me why we came here?"
Flying Lizards aren't impressed by vats of maggots
Doesn't matter how well you dress or flag it
Not even preceded with a good glass of bragget
Your dragon will not find good cheer
Yes he'd rather face a witches cackle
or take on a swarm of swooping grackle
anything but look at all that fishing tackle
he'd find the hooks terribly severe
He'd find the worms all squirmy and yuck
In the one place where his fire breathing would suck
cos of flammable flies, you'd feel like a schmuck
No fish bait shop for your dragon today
Monday, January 3, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Advancing humanity to a higher level of consciousness - come up with your plan and post a poem - this is the quick job that Jeanne has given us as the price for a ticket on the bus this week - two other tickets were available - but this one appealed to me most. Check out all tickets and passengers here
However it's tricky. I spent a depressing few minutes the other night watching the very intelligent and funny Jimmy Carr doing a gig on a DVD - presumably the best gig he's done all year (in his own opinion?) where rape, domestic violence, racism, and general insults to everyone about everything made up the guts of the fodder. He's selling out stadiums (stadi-ii?) with this crap and people are paying to sit there and try to laugh at it. Uplifting? Enjoyable? Ehhh - No - more plain ugly.
So there Jimmy, I've said it. Ok different strokes for different folks, but when that is clearly what is working for him, and selling for him, it kind of makes me afraid for humanity, if that's what we enjoy.
How to advance us all to a higher level of consciousness then? Make everyone watch Anthony De Mello on youtube? Force everyone in the world to follow this blog? (I've a long way to go on that one). Get everyone one of those clichée a day calenders? Or make everyone sing The Duck Song once a week?
Well all of those are likely to prove impossible so instead I present to you here - the flimsiest of tickets, but sure I'll chance it. Happy new year to you all.
Advice for Humanity
Deep breaths and let
the thoughts dance light
Dissolve the web
and all that catches
Deserve each kiss
each touch entrusted
Delight in those
who sparkle true
let doubts fade far
Drink deep the spin
of another new
and hope filled
trip around the star