Friday, October 30, 2009

Brian Kirk on the Radio - and last night at the Olympia

My lovely guest this week on the radio is the brilliant Brian Kirk, Clondalkin poet, and writer. He was shortlisted for a Hennessy Award in 2007, placed third in the Peoples College short story Competition 2009 and shortlisted for the Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009. His work has appeared in the Sunday Tribune, Crannog and various anthologies, and apart from all that he's a very nice man.

The theme he has picked is

"Elegy, Lament, and sadness at the passing of time"

most definitely our longest theme title yet. The show should be fascinating, scary, and surprisingly upbeat - but I'll let you be the judges of that.

In other news, I was OUT last night, at the Olympia Theatre, seeing Biffy Clyro in action, they're a Scots band who say their influences are the pixies and nirvana. I liked them. Their die hard fans worship them, and it was a fun gig, like a humongous singalong with a superbright light show, crowd surfing (the surfers quickly being turfed out, it should be mentioned) and very very loud beats (I could feel the inside of my cheeks vibrating). The band were very theatrical with microphones all over the stage, great variation in their songs and a topless encore, lovely.

I really liked their support too, a troupe called Manchester Orchestra, who had some really amazing tunes, and two sets of drums - one facing front and one facing to the back, I don't know why - but it was really exhilerating to behold the two going at one time (I'm a sucker for a gimmick, any gimmick). Biffy's drummer appeared at one stage in one of the theatre boxes to watch their set as well - distracting the entire audience. The lead singer handled it well - informing the drummer this was Manchester's part of the show - and the audience better look to the front.

The band on before Manchester Orchestra were a gang of real young fellas, whose name I didn't catch, but whatever they lacked in musical inspiration they made up for in enthusiasm and death (or at least sore knee) defying jumps onto their knees on the stage - the bassist was cartoonishly thin and flexible with Moppy hair, and he clambered for all he was worth over the amps at front of the stage, that unfortunately weren't that big, making him look a bit like he was playing with overgrown lego. Fun night tho - thanks to my sponsor, who never reads this, because she claims I'd have no news for her if she did...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Laptops and soup

I was going to post a little theory tonight on the fact that I think a bad memory might actually be good for writing, since if you have one, you will be able to read really really widely, without remembering too much, so will always have your own distinctive voice. Anyway I decided not to blog about that because of a nagging feeling that I may have already done that sometime in the past, and I just can't remember it - which is ironic... or not... perhaps it fits in that song... (It's like thinking of doing a blooooooog, and then not remembering if you've already done one about memooorrray).
So instead I thought I'd blog about soup and laptops, both things that I like and have a keen interest in, but they are difficult to combine - in terms of enjoying the two things at once - which is also not at all ironic, but simply a cruel hard fact of life.
What two things do you wish you could enjoy together and you simply can't?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weekly Wednesday

Yes it's time for Wednesday again, that reliable day of the week that always squeezes in here when we most expect it. Why highlight and celebrate the routineness of this?
I don't know. I guess I'm feeling a bit threatened by my own insinuation that yesterday's philosophical blog question (by calling it Philosophical question Tuesday) might be followed by another philosophical question next week, on the Tuesday (and the pressure of trying to think of another philosophical quandary for ye might just be scrambling my head a bit), coupled with the fact that Monday poems seem to be drawing to a close, maybe I'm just crying out for more routine and predictability in my life... So yes - weekly Wednesday it is, once a week, every week... Happy Wednesday y'all.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Philosophical Question tuesday

I'm wondering which is the more authentic experience socially speaking - country living or city living - (am not even going to bring in the whole 2nd life, life online kind of thing into this debate just now - that's a whole nuther tuesday).

But here it is; if you live in a city - you will have the option to join clubs, go to particular places where there will be a collection of people into the same kinds of things as you, alot more so than in the country - so you end up clumping together perhaps with similar/ like minded types. (for example - let's say you're into comic books - you'll go to comic book shops and clubs). At the same time you are surrounded by more people - so you see lots of different types of people all the time, more diversity than you'd see in the country - however you will have no need to actually interract with them, and probably, mostly won't.
If you live in the country, let's say a small village or townland - everyone is bound together by being from the same area - although they may have little else in common in terms of outlook and interests etc. So if you live there, you are forced, if you are to have any social life at all, to find common ground with people who may be quite different to you, therefore you are more stretched, ie forced to explore parts of life that you might not have bothered with if you lived in the city. (ie if you're into comic books, you might be forced to read papers, or books from time to time)
Which one is the richer experience? Of course if you're very outgoing and live in a city - you'll go and delve around into everything anyway... likewise if you're single minded in the country - you might stick to what you know and stay inside your comfort zone. And I know there's lots of other considerations - pace of life/ quality of life etc - but just in terms of getting to know and understand LIFE and PEOPLE in general - which place would be better in your view?

Monday, October 26, 2009

TFE's weekly torture

I mean of course challenge. This week? A piece of music called Threnody to the victims of Hiroshima - 10 minutes long - during which time we had to write, and now post up the cheery result.

Sharp glints - incessant cries, a thousand gulls,
a heaving trainstation left behind,
out in country villages - sirens carried on the wind

She's locked in her room, can hear the frantic panting,
pedals outside the door,
and she fights the urge to itch, till a peace descends,
gazes out the window, wasteland brown and grey

a car approaches, we see a calm determined driver,
she sees him too and sits again on the white chair,
facing into the dresser, wants to climb into the mirror world -
looks quieter, warmer, safer than her own.

His car glides into the yard but when he steps out
he finds a hundred of them watching his every move,
little mice with tiny white gloved pointing paws

she brushes her hair upstairs, her hair floats feathery
straight as blades in cool, bright light.

he doesn't move until the head mouse does, and
taking his cue proceeds through the scrambled clean path,
they mooch and move, split and reassemble,
leading him inwards, inwards, rearranging, running, pushing him, hurrying him
before it's too late,
he sees the rest of the family, all are frozen in fear of him, and what he might or mightn't say
hearts beat loud in all their chests,
the mice run on,
a clatter and she gets up,
opens her bedroom door,
starts to descend,
the kids are quiet,
mice fade into dust, figments that they are,
and he
"Could I please see your television license?"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Emerging Writer on the Radio

So this week's guest on the radio is the Divatastic Emerging Writer.
Kate is a seasoned poet, both salt and vinegar, widely published in Ireland and the UK and has been nominated and won many prizes including The Francis MacManus and Hennessy New Irish Writing awards for both Poetry and Fiction.
Kate founded and runs the Poetry Divas collective, which I was honoured to read with twice over the summer. Her blog - Emerging Writer, on which she keeps us all up to speed with what's going on in competitions/ publications etc, is a great resource for any writer, and in fact I set up my blog in large part order to get in touch with her for tickets to a reading. So there ya go - she's to blame for this blog!!
Anyway - the theme this week is Divas so expect some funky tunes...
Sunday 11am - liffey sound - available live off their website - or you'll find the podcast on my radio archive blog soon after...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Computer is Cat

This is what my computer looks and behaves like nowadays... not that I complain, (I mean I can blame it for my lack of productivity lately, can't I?) but... it might be time to let go...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Something I found in a notebook

The best novels are written longhand, begun on black leather sofas with a mug of black tea in a hardback handmade decorative notebook and an author in a dressing gown with an uncomfortable back.
The best novels are also brutally searingly honest, so I must admit it's a black coffee in front of me on the wooden arty cube thing, I don't know why I said tea, I never drink tea. Nearly drank it yesterday at lunch time but always have coffee in the morning. I probably said it purely because this is in longhand, and tea is a shorter word than coffee. And anyway this isn't a novel, it's only writing practise. I already have two almost novels to my name, to my credit, two people (excluding me) have read novel one, no people (including me) have read novel two.
Lampreys, animals that look like a mouthy sock, drag rocks around the river bed, as foreplay, then they spawn, a strange fit of egg burying sperm squirting and then they are so wrecked by their love and children that they die and never latch their ugly mouth onto another animal in blood drinking bullemia again. Lots of things die for their kids, it's nothing new.
The best novels almost never digress into philosophical musings on lamprey fish while the author spills coffee on her dressing gown.

This machine is so loud

Another post while I wait for the computer to open up the difficult second novel. The margin has returned to its rightful place. All is well with the world...
apart from this blizzard of white noise, constantly pouring from this old old machine, like the noise of the lights and computers at work all day long - a headachey heavy noise, that may drive me away from this keyboard......
unless I can find some friendly ear slugs.

Laptopless no Longer!

Yes - reunited with my aul computer today. It seems there's an extra hamster running around inside it, making alot more noise than usual, and it's slower than before - but sure I wouldn't be one to complain really, except I just did, ahem.

In other news - I have just noticed that I now have 12 followers, aka disciples. I would like to invite you all around for supper some time, perhaps next Easter?

Apart from that - Mr VC is to be on the radio tomorrow - as gaeilge - a chat taped in the pub withMáirtín Tom Sheáinín - the Irish Language's answer to David Letterman. On Radió na Gaeltachta tomorrow at 2pm-ish.

Can't figure out why the margin has moved over here all of a sudden, must be that cheeky extra hamster playing havoc. Ah well - will resort to the tried and tested turn it off and on again, once I've saved the precious difficult second novel (not one word of which is saved or printed anywhere) onto a memory stick or something.

Back later no doubt.

Write Hawks

Everyone who can should try and get to this event. Tis for a good cause. Was at Glór Monday night for Colm Keegan's preshow practise run, and he was brilliant as usual, anyone who hasn't seen him perform has a treat in store.
Also saw Dublin Dave getting up there for his Glór debut - he was fantastic - as SJS says he's a big cheese in the poetry world at the moment and after listening to a few of his beautiful poems, I think everyone there could understand why he keeps winning every darned thing he enters.

Anyway - Nighthawks details below

Nighthawks at the Project Arts Centre(in aid of CONCERN)
Tuesday, 27th October, 2009
Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Tickets are €17.50 or €15 concession from the Project Box Office.
Booking advised, tel: 01 881 9613

The Line-up

Vyvienne Long(Solo)
Vyvienne Long first came to prominence a few years ago as the cellist in Damien Rice’s band. Then, in 2006, Vyvienne released her wonderful debut EP, entitled Birdtalk, and it quickly became obvious that she was a hugely talented singer-songwriter in her own right. Vyvienne is also a wonderful live performer, and, not surprisingly, she has sold out venues all over Ireland. Vyvienne is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut album, and her recent single ‘Happy Thoughts’ has enjoyed extensive radio play (and, yes, it’s used in that TV advert too!).
Pony Club
Put simply – Pony Club are one of the best bands Ireland has ever produced. (If you don’t believe us, then check with Morrissey, because that’s his opinion too.) In the last decade Pony Club have released three brilliant albums – Post Romantic, Family Business and Home Truths – and we would strongly encourage you to buy every single one of them – twice. Pony Club are definitely one of the most popular acts that we’ve ever had at Nighthawks, and it’s great to welcome them back for this show.
Foil Arms and Hog
In the last year the Nighthawks people have spent more than their fair share of time in Dublin comedy clubs, and we can honestly say that Foil Arms and Hog are the best comedy sketch group that we have come across in this city. They consist of Sean Finegan, Sean Flanagan and Conor McKenna; and they are guaranteed to make you laugh. They have just returned from a month of sell-out shows at the Edinburgh International Festival, and they were perfectly summed up recently, by Damo Clarke from RTE, when he confessed – “Foil Arms and Hog are the best threesome I’ve ever had.”
Jade Strings and Helene Hutchinson (Soprano)
Jade Strings are Aisling Ennis (harp) and Jenny Dowdall (cello), and they are regularly joined by the sweet voice of Helene Hutchinson. They play an exciting mix of classical, jazz and opera, and they recently released their debut album with a fantastic concert at the National Gallery in Dublin. This is one act not to be missed. They are the touch of class that we’ve been waiting for.
‘Lennon v McCartney’(A Short Play)
Since the dawn of time human beings have gathered in pubs and argued about who is greater – John Lennon or Paul McCartney. Now, finally, here at last (and not a moment too soon), is a short play that definitively sorts out the argument once and for all. Well… sort of. ‘Lennon v McCartney’ is written and directed by Stephen Kennedy, and performed by Robbie O’Connor and Seamus Brennan. This short play has recently been selected for performance at Beatle Week 2010 in Liverpool.
Tango Performance
Simona Zaino and Leslie Handelman (with music by Javier Criado)
Simona Zaino is originally from Italy, but has lived in Dublin for over a decade. She has been teaching tango since 2004, and has even danced with the great Pablo Veron (you may remember him from the film The Tango Lesson). Simona’s dance partner at Nighthawks will be Leslie Handelman. Leslie somehow came to tango nine years ago via Tai Chi, and since then he has danced all over the world, and is frequently seen in the tango clubs of New York. And we are delighted to announce that live music on the night will come from Javier Criado. Javier is a gifted tango guitarist and singer from Spain. He has performed solo at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, and played at countless tango venues in his home country. A combination of Javier, Leslie and Simona is certain to produce something very special.
Colm Keegan(Poetry)
Colm Keegan is a poet, a short story writer, a screenwriter and a novelist. He is also the seventh son of a seventh son and plays a mean symphony on the spoons. Colm has been short-listed for the Sunday Tribune’s Hennessy X.O Literary Awards on three separate occasions – so it’s about time he won it! Colm has just completed a hectic summer, performing at festivals up and down the country, and there’ll be no living with him now that he’s conquered the Electric Picnic.
Enda Muldoon(Stand-Up Comedy)
OK, let’s be honest about this, Enda Muldoon is probably insane; but he’s insane in a good way. A funny, insightful way. Basically, when Enda Muldoon does stand-up comedy you just cannot look away. The man has courage. The man has truth. The man has two bottles of Budweiser and a song about polar bears. Furthermore, Enda was recently a finalist in the prestigious Bulmers Comedy Competition at the Laughter Lounge in Dublin. Best of all, though, is the fact that Enda’s PR ends with the line – “The race to the bottom is over – come and see the winner!”
Graham Dowling(Stand-Up Comedy)
Graham Dowling insists that he is completely unsuited to stand-up comedy, despite the fact that he was a former finalist in the Bulmers Comedy Competition mentioned above. In fairness to Graham, he has genuinely tried to quit comedy many times, but feckers like us just keep dragging him out of retirement for ‘one last job’. So please, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Graham's last ever gig (again)…
Damon Blake(Stand-Up Comedy)
Damon Blake is one of the most intelligent and insightful stand-up comics currently working the Irish ‘circuit’. He has performed all over Ireland, and, in 2008, he had a very successful show at the Edinburgh International Festival. At present Damon is working on ‘Apartment Red’ – a popular weekly series of comic sketches for RTE’s The Den. Damon is funny and Damon is hip. Damon is heading to the top – so catch him now.
‘The Money Chair’(A Short Play)
This short piece examines exactly what can happen when torture goes badly wrong!It is written and directed by Stephen Kennedy, and performed by Padraic McGinley, Enda Muldoon and Damon Blake. Be careful where you sit in the auditorium!The show starts at 8pm. It ends at 10.30pm (approx).There will be one interval of 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

It's official - hairdressers only give other hairdressers good haircuts. If you don't know the secret handshake or worse start reading from printed A4 pages instead of the glossy mags in the shop they will send you out looking worse than you went in.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday is the new Monday

So lots of people are hopping on early, and since I missed the bus last week, am determined to get on quick, before it fills up completely.

Here is monday's poem, posted live from Chart busters while listening to Beyoncé and small children shouting in the background...

The poem was to be based on watching "Garage" the great film starring Pat Shortt, took inspiration from his character in the film - and without further a waffle -

B's Special

B's tongue protrudes between wet lips
when he's thinking something out,
when apple trees don't grow in his stomach
- no matter how many pips he eats.

He hums,
when a throbbing, tightening at back of his throat
isn't someone banging drums
it's something else
it's feelings....
He never shouts
but lets it dive down deep inside, reeling,
turns it over
watches the colour flurry of it,
he doesn't sit
feeling sorry - but smiles for miles and miles on his walksabout.
B lives in the clover
doesn't feel no credit crunching
when he's munching on another apple.

Some day one of em will work
- he knows
and everyone will go berserk,
when apple blossoms sprout from his nose -
when he has purée on tap -
coming from his ears -
and seven years supply of cider, and how it flows -
B will sweat the sap, the juice, the fizz -
and people will know then just why
and just how special
he really is.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stephen James Smith on the Radio

This weekend I will have the lovely Stephen James Smith accompanying me for my Sunday Morning Shenanigans on the radioooooo.
He will be familiar to regular readers of this blog as the host with the most of the brilliant Monday night Glór sessions at the international bar. He is a full time poet, filling a crazy schedule of readings and gigs together somehow every week, (you'll find him on balcony tv and all over youtube) and is a gentleman to boot.
He has picked the really great theme of "Mental Health" to base the show around, and I'm looking forward to his excellent poems, some eclectic locally produced tunes, and an interesting discussion.

See ye then then - Sunday morning 11.00 am - as usual you'll find us on the link on the right...

And no - my laptop is still not fixed, I'm still completely laptopless! (I know, it sounds terribly indecent), and there's no sign of any fixing happening, it's still sitting on the kitchen table - I turn it on the odd time, to confirm it hasn't miraculously self cured, but you can all rest assured that I am getting loads and loads of other things done, like ummmm, cleaning the fridge, and ehhh so on. So it's not a complete waste...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cork - at the cutting edge of technology

Ah Yes! I've landed home, to visit the folks and to avail of the mod cons handily located in their very house.
Being without the laptop for the last few days has been tough, felt like having an arm cut off, or a reduction in the available oxygen in the air. But here I am to recharge, and update. (with the parents in the background - offering such helpful tips about my own technical woes as "have you tried kicking it?") Am in the process of uploading the last 3 brilliant radio shows - and setting up a special radio blog where they'll all be there, in the one place, so you can meander a bit more easily. Mightn't be up till tomorrow with the speed of this computer, but as dad says "It's faster than yours anyway" - true for him.
In addition - here's the famous Coral Beach -

In other news - attended the fabulous Glór session last night, where Stephen James Smith sprung again - giving me 5 poems instead of the usual 3, with no notice. But it was alright, had a few half ready, and tho the gaps showed, overall people listened, it was a packed out crowd as well, so that was intimidating. Another intimidating thing was the knowledge that Laurie Leech was up later - had looked at some of his stuff before hand, and was feeling extremely out of my depth. Click here to see what I mean...
Domestic Oubliette also got up there, her glór debut - an honour to witness, and gave us her 3 am poem - jaw dropping intensity, read with great feeling - which everyone there enjoyed. We took off early - lots of sensible things needing doing today, and our fans having handled some of our hair to various degrees, but the most thrilling thing happened then. Laurie Leech shouted down the road to me, introduced himself, and asked me down to Galway to say some poems sometime at his poetry night. He liked my stuff and his stuff is brilliant... so yeah - bit of a weird feeling, but happy weird. And yes, if you were wondering, one of the TFE project's poems was successfully used too, so cheers Mr, will be getting back on that bus next week, somehow.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Liquid Crystal Glitter

Words from a Woody Guthrie song - apparently. They best describe the sound made by the fingernail high waves as they ran over the tinkling fragments on Coral Beach just outside Ceathrú Rua this afternoon.
I am still computerless but by the magic of being cheeky, am blogging from the computer at the local radio station.
Had a great weekend, and have some marvellous pictures of said Coral Beach, old style country houses with half doors, unlikely looking stones etc etc - none of which I can share, as there's no USB portal on this computer (nor can I upload any more shows - just yet - so you'll just have to relisten to the ones I have up there). I don't have any pictures either of the díoscó called Tígh Josie, that we were at last night, imagine a GAA hall, crossed with a hotel, crossed with a roadworks site, crossed with THE most eclectic fashion show you've ever dreamed of, and you're somewhere in the right area. Twas a nice weekend, in another world altogether. Now it's back to reality.... Laptop needs fixing, mobile phone is lost somewhere in work, I've shopping to do, so I'll get going and hopefully be back again sometime later in the week...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dublin Dave on the Radio!

I have David Mohan guesting on the show this weekend, he's one of our local treasures, and is talking on the theme of Passion. Nicked the below bio of him from this week's Poetry Ireland newsletter.

"David lives and works in Dublin and is a member of the Lucan Writers' group. He has had poems featured in the 2008 and 2009 Oxfam calendars, and his poems have appeared in various publications including The Sunday Tribune, Revival and the 2008 poetry anthology Night and Day. He won the 2008 Hennessy/Sunday Tribune Poetry Award, as well as the overall New Irish Writing Award."

He's had an amazing year - left out of the above are his placements in the Sean O Faolain International short story, Yeats poetry, and Jonathon Swift competitions, and the fact that the blurb was written because he'd won the Over the Edge New Writer of the year.
He reveals exactly how he does it - step by step - how to become a genius writer - on the show - this weekend. 11 - 12. This Sunday - Liffey Sound. Listen in if you can at all.

In other news my laptop has had another crash - so service here will be intermittant, I would imagine until the week after this coming one - since I'll get no chance to fix it this weekend. (Not that I'd be fixing it myself - but you know what I mean)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Back to Aqua fit

Now, you may think you haven't heard about my aquafit classes recently simply because I haven't been going - and you'd be absolutely right.
Last night went to Tallaght Leeeeshure centre for their class. The instructor was a boy - with a bit of the Cillian Murphy's (but with much much blacker hair - kind of that new EMO type of do) about him - but he should have been in boot camp. His theory and whole approach seemed to be - get em to do something really hard for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, while I jog around shouting into the microphone and dancing to my club hits of the summer or whatever the hell his cd was. Blue murder it was...
My arms hurt.

A Night in the Sugar

Sunday night was amazing. The Sugar Club is advertised on it's website as the most luxurious club in dubland, and I'd well believe it - red velvet curtains, wooden panelling, plush seats, waitress service, a classy joint as they say.

There were some brilliant acts performing. The Appalonia belly dancers with their hypnotic moves were on first. Then a word from Andy Spearman, of Plan, telling us about their work.

Then it was my turn, in the scariest pair of tights I could find - and that wasn't all I was wearing, but anyway - got up. It was weird. The lights were blinding, couldn't watch the audience at all, couldn't really see the reaction, no eye contact possible. They seemed to be listening, the dark shadows that were heads on shoulders didn't move much, but now I know why Bono wears sunglasses. One guy really got my special effects poem, laughing loud and clapping before I was even finished it - (which may go to show - you don't need alcohol to enjoy my poetry - but it helps!) Otherwise people clapped at the right places, I managed to still introduce the poems as if I could see people, and didn't fall off the stage or get the poems too far wrong.

Next up was Magdalene Eve and her band - one of whom told me he liked my poems before he went up, anyway they were lovely, Magdalene was the main woman of the night, being the organiser, yet she was so warm and down to earth on stage, you felt like she'd kind of just decided there and then to get up and give us a few tunes. Really infectious enthusiasm for the cause and some mean harmonica playing.

Then it was Aisling Quinn - with a big band and again a lovely unassuming manner. I have a new respect for how these artists with lights on them still manage to connect with a crowd, I felt like a deer in headlights - Aisling looked like she was having the craic with a bunch of buddies in the pub. Her songs were fab, one involving a typewriter, bicycle bell, and prodigious thumb-in-cheek popping by the multitalented Pearse McGloughlin. Then the Appolonias came on again - with rib rolling moves and fantastic feathers - an act that kept you transfixed.I missed the last 2 bands because I decided to be a sensible person and head home in time for bed - but I'm assured they were fantastic.

Well done to Magdalene Eve for helping such a great charity in such a fun way.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Poetry Bus - better late than...

This week TFE gave us a choice of 10 of his lovely photographs to choose from, and produce a poem. I knew I wouldn't have much chance over the weekend to write, so wrote something last thursday, then lost it, it's on a scrap of paper somewhere around the house. But it was rubbish anyway. So then I wrote this cheery little number - just before going to bed last night.

Winter Comes

Cold as rain, cold as blood,
river caresses cold grey mud,
tickles the oozes
- while smooth stone snoozes.
Old as patience, the air as sharp
as an essence, stabs into lungs,
beside my heart.
A freshness that is ever mine;
In memory dwells the humble line
Iced over etching in frozen time
A freshness that was never mine...

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Well, I have at long last found a way to share the radio shows. I have put the old ones up now, you'll find em on the relevant blog day. So if you wanna relive the magical moments of me interrupting Drama Queen during a reading, re witness the 38 times I said "Very good" in one hour with Domestic Oubliette, hear me make a total mess of the music with Matt Bolton, the shocking editing of the Uiscebot show, leaving you with only 30 seconds or so of the first song, the way I left the mic up for a bit of our chat during the music with Beedlemama or simply reminisce on the classic radio ads of august, entreating us to "Please save our Liffey Valley" - take a stroll back through the archives. Will keep adding them on as they become available, always on the post with the writer's name - a week or two weeks after the show airs. The first 5 shows are hopefully all linked up now. (Technology permitting).... Please use these podcasts carefully, I am at times so nervous and shaky in some of them (esp the early ones) that you could find yourself rolled up in a ball of empathetic embarrassment for me, if you're not careful.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cait Bohan on the Radio

This week Cait Bohan, member of Lucan Writer's group, is the guest on my superdooper radio show.
Her theme is "The Writer's Journey" and I know it's going to be really brilliant, as I've already read what she's planning to read, some really entertaining, personal and interesting pieces on the theme.
There will also be locally produced gospel music by The Gospel Project. Be there.
11am Liffey Sound, as per usual. link on the right. Am working on the podcast situation, think it'll be nearly sorted fairly soon!!

See ye then then

Friday, October 2, 2009

Poem from an instruction booklet

Thinking about my "how not to read poetry post"... I've been wondering what would happen if you did read an instruction booklet to a crowd... Now you couldn't just read an instruction booklet straight, but I was thinking you could adapt one, to be deeper, more poetic... Here is my reinterpretation of the only instruction booklet I could find in the house (I'll let you guess what the original booklet was for). I decided to reimagine it as an instruction booklet for handling children, after all - parents are always whining about how they come without an instruction booklet... here is the answer. I am offering this for free to the HSE for handing out with all new babies going forward

Let me know what you think

The "do"s and "don't"s

Do make sure that you are aware
of how your children should be
Do wash your children
immediately after you have eaten. If
you leave food etc on
children for any time,
corrosive substances CAN
cause damage.
Do dry your children
immediately after washing
ensuring all
moisture has been
removed - otherwise surface
rusting CAN occur.

Don't soak children for long periods.
Some detergents
and mineral salts
present in tap
CAN cause pitting
or staining if left in contact
with stainless steel children.
Don't scour with an abrasive pad
or wire wool.
Don't expose children to a flame.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Concert at the Suga club

So the Sugar Babes haven't yet decided on their new name, but the Sugar Club is to be renamed the "Because I am a Girl" club for next Sunday night's extravaganza. Organised by Magdalene Eve Buckley, the concert is in aid of PLAN's campaign to help girls in poorer countries.
click on the quote from them below to find out more on what they do -
"Across the world, girls face the double discrimination of their gender and age, leaving them suffering at the bottom of the social ladder. Girls are denied access to health services and education, and also face extremely high levels of violence, abuse, and harassment."
I am really honoured to be taking part in the event, as well as really nervous. It's going to be a proper concert, with lights, and maybe make up, and microphones and everything. Last time I was in the sugar club I saw Tycho Brahe, and the opening song of the Camembert Quartet, and look at them now, nameless late late show band... I hope in a few years that I am the resident nameless late late poet... saying a few lines about each guest before they come on, but somehow I doubt it.

It's true tho - girls get a raw deal sometimes. Here's something I wasn't going to tell you about, but it seems relevant, so here it is. It was November of last year. Lucan Writers were featured guest poets at the White House poets thingymajig in Limerick. They have a blog where they put up pictures and names of the poets. None of the four women that travelled down there got their names on the site, (their pictures appeared, but the names didn't) the two men that travelled did. It's a small thing, a petty thing for me to mention here, but it rankled a bit at the time. It was only my second ever reading, and kind of a big deal, (I even wondered was it because I wasn't good enough!): Here's the link, if you're interested...

Anyway - I should've just emailed them at the time, but they had named the local women, so I guessed they might've just happened to lose our names, and didn't want to be all "CRAZY FEMINIST" about it. Point? I don't know - it was just a small thing, but made me wonder do women struggle to be taken more seriously in writing. The answer is thankfully no, (I was reliably informed of this at this years writer's festival by the brilliant Julia O'Faolain) but it did feel a little like a hangover from the "ah girls, aren't they lovely, bless their little hearts" kinda times of the past.
Another little thing that occured to me earlier this year was when the GAA were having their late late celebration show, PK mentioned that GAA, the church, and politics were the 3 major things that make the Irish world go round. And then I looked at the audience, and the "important" representatives from all three of those organisations were men. Don't get me wrong, they had a panel of token "chicks who dig sport" three female sports journalists, who were suitably marvelled over as strange and rare creatures, but I suppose if things are still that teeny tiny small bit male dominated and controlled over here, it's even harder for girls to get a fair share where life is more of a struggle. Anyway c'mon and support the charity concert, anything that tries to improve girl's lives where things are REALLY tough has to be a good thing.

Now what the hell am I going to wear??? and what to do with the hair? (plans for a haircut were scuppered by the car's cunning plot to go on strike until it was washed at the weekend)