Friday, April 30, 2010

Peter Sheehan on the Radio

This weekend's guide through the hour of entertainlightenment that is the Sunday Scrapbook, is the imaginative Peter Sheehan.

Peter hails from a few miles outside Killarney, from a farming background, he studied English and History in UCC, where he became involved in writing through meeting some like-minded people, who remain great friends. He also did a Masters in Publishing in NUIG and has been employed as a Civil Cervant since graduating in 2000, in various Departments and Offices, writing mostly prose on the side. From 05-07 he took a career break, during which he spent a year writing, and a year teaching in Korea. He currently lives in Crumlin, works in the Department of Environment, and tries to grow vegetables and write poetry when he has a chance.

He has chosen the fascinating theme of "Art as a Substance" for the show, and we'll be swimming through that as usual at 4pm on Sunday - Liffey Sound - link on the right there. Hope to see ye then then...

4pm is noon in Boston (I think), but if I'm wrong and you miss it, don't forget you can always catch up on the archives...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your cat to Easons

Don't bring your cat to Easons
There are a hundred reasons
why, no matter what the season
it would be a bad day out

He'd wee on all the papers
Want to play with all the staplers
would have such crazy capers
if you brought him there - no doubt

Yes cats aren't known as readers
they're better off as feeders
leave em home, leave em with Peter
rather than a shopping bout

So let em yowl and cry away
ask to see mice, promise they'll be ok
with computers and dice, tell them NO WAY
No Easons for your cat today

Easons is a stationary and book shop for those who mightn't be aware

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

First Fast, Last Fast, Fast

An - up to now unnoticed (at least by my good unobservant self) - confusing conundrum of the Irish language has just revealed itself to me - hidden in the days of the week.

Wednesday is Céadaoin in Irish - or first fast
Thursday is Déardaoin in Irish - meaning last fast
Friday is Aoine in Irish - or fast

Could this be the true meaning behind "the Fast show"? How could the fast come after the last fast? This proves that we live in topsy turvy land. No wonder we're confused.

In other news

I am taking umbrage at historical slights - following Dead Acorn's cue -

Edmund Spencer gave out in Elizabethan times about the Irish poets saying that they were:

soe far from instructinge younge men in Morrall discipline, that they themselves doe more deserve to be sharplie decyplined; for they seldome use to chuse unto themselves the doinges of good men, for the ornamentes of theire poems, but whomesoever they finde to bee most lycentious of lief, most bolde and lawles in his doinges, most daungerous and desperate in all partes of disobedience and rebellious disposicon, him they sett up and glorifie in their rymes, him they prayse to the people, and to younge men make an example to followe.

He obviously thought they should be writing about bunny rabbits and flowers or something... you'd think he'd have had better things to do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Glór - last monday in April & the Dog speaks

It was hot, clammy, jam packed, on the busiest live poetry week of the month Stephen James Smith still pulls the crowd. Some of the reasons why:

A friendly atmosphere - he will introduce himself to you personally if you're in early and then introduce you to the people beside you if you don't know anyone.

Encouraging crowd - people are there to listen, and they give almost as much as they get, there's a lovely vibe of everyone just wanting everyone to be as absolutely great as they can be, and then they are. There was a lovely reading from Julie Nixon, only on her second poetical reading outing ever with some great lines. Ann Tannam* also wowed with some really heartfelt poems, and one particularly clever one on the theme of listening. While I'm talking poetry - Stephen James also treated us to his newest poem - one written for a piece of music - it sounded great - look forward to hearing the full package.

Quality - there's always, always some outstanding talent down there, this week Marcus Carcass* took my (secret not actually given out) top act award for his unassuming manner, lovely lyrics and ohmygod kickass guitar playing.
Extras: There's free food sometimes, lollipops, raffles, fun and frolics galóre.
Me? I read one bus poem - the life after death one, and a few other newbies - all went grand, managed to say em without reading from the page, so was happy enough with that. Sadly didn't manage to persuade anyone to sing Robbie along to the Alien Stalker poem (managed to ask a guy who HATES HATES HATES Robbie, so didn't ask anyone else after that) - but people still seemed to like it.
In other news: The dog is learning to talk. It's official. She does this cute long loud yawn thing before walks, and in the mornings, and I've kind of been encouraging her by giving her a big pet after it, anyway - now she does it when I turn away, to get extra attention, until she runs out of yawn juice. She'll be in the act soon. Watch this space.

*apologies if I've spelled your names wrong

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mickey Mouse wants his ears back

I've never shown you a picture of me on the Radio sure I haven't, and sure how could I? Well I'm not about to start, but the great poet, and raconteur Eamonn Lynskey of yesterday's Sunday Scrapbook fame has snaps of us both in stoodio up on his blog - you can see them here.
In other news, will be at the Glór tonight saying a few new poems, looking forward to it, as I haven't seen any of my co-performing poets before, and of the musical acts, the one I have seen is great.
Will also be at Mullingar fire festival this weekend, if any of ye are heading that way? Should be fun.
Other news is just that I'm all aches and pains from yesterday's estate clean up day, where I over vigourously attacked the ivy, and my Dad had a lovely surprise 60th birthday last Friday.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bus Poem - Lostness

This week's driver is the fantabulous Argent, and you'll find more examples of bus poems on that blog... here. The prompt was to write about being lost, or about strange relatives. Too many of my strange relatives read this for comfort, so I wrote a little lost Villanelle, but it got lost along the way, and I lost some of the repeats needed for a proper structure, they just annoyed me too much

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Eamonn Lynskey On the Radio

This week's Sunday Scrapbook has the delightful Eamonn Lynskey as our guide, complete with rather dashing author pic - here are some essential facts about our guest...

Eamonn Lynskey has had poetry published in many magazines and journals. He was nominated for the Sunday Tribune/ Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Poetry in 2006 and one of his poems featured in last year's OXFAM calendar. His first collection 'Dispatch and Recollections' was published in 1998 by Lapwing (Belfast) and his second collection 'And Suddenly the Sun Again' will appear shortly from Seven Towers (Dublin). He is an enthusiastic supporter of open mic performance.

Eamonn blogs at and himself and myself will be taking on the theme of Poetry and Politics
Be there, 4pm, on Sunday, listen online on the liffey sound link to the right there, or 1pm Greenlandic time...
or catch up on the show blog later...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In the Interests of Balance

Since I tried to dissuade you from taking your horse to Tesco last week, I thought I better attempt to dissuade you from taking your donkey to Lidl - so here it is

A poem that attempts to dissuade you from taking your donkey to Lidl

Don't bring your ass to Lidl
Just dose him with a needle
He'll only want the strudel
and other things that you don't need

Yes donkeys have a reputation
For making a sensation
when trying to get carbohydration
off a pallet of sugar or beets

They'll only root around the specials
want to buy big pots of metal
or the latest sun powered kettle
so listen, pay no heed

No matter how the donkey brays
What flowered words, or sexy phrase
Tell him that you refuse his case
No Lidl for your ass today

Monday, April 19, 2010

Essential Phrases

If the English language (or whatever language you speak) was being erased from history tomorrow, and you were only allowed to keep 5 phrases for yourself to use for the rest of your life, what would they be?*

Mine Are:

"Show me how"

"That's beautiful!"

"Be careful"

"Want anything in the shops?"

"Yes please, a coffee"

I think I could probably get through the rest of my days with just those...

Now - you tell me yours...

* credit goes to Mr VC as the source for this one, which emerged during a conversation we had in the home.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poetry Bus Poem - something a bit unreal

So this week's poetry bus is being driven by Pure Fiction... the instructions were along the lines of

"I want proof of higher life. I want uplifting stories of helpful spirits. I want stories of joyful moments of synchronicity that couldn’t have happened without the intervention of some higher power.
I want joy, I want tears, I want laughter, I want truth. I want moments or stories where the real world grazed the spirit one. "

Most stimulating and imaginative, I think you'll agree. So my little effort is below - I think I'm still recovering from doing the driving last week - so to find some even better bus poems - be sure to call over to Pure Fiction here...

The Extras

We, the hundred extras, we play a million parts

Tickets takers, people in the next chair,

At hairdressers, on the bus, we’re farmers at the mart

An exhausting tour, demanding schedule

We watch your every move, we read your blog

And we are cursed, damned to share your knowing smiles,

We compliment your dog,

Forced every day to follow you, we’re ready in a squint

To play soccer in the park, or stroll along the path,

or dressed nicely exit church, leaving pretend mass,

or stage a real mass if you choose to go

or offer you a mint

An endless show, the costumes, make-up,

Different walks, traits, all skills mastered,

Just as extras in your life, the people you won’t know

At concerts we’re the bouncers, late - the band,

Take turns at bumping into you, jumping tight and close to you,

The rest of the crowd are CGI, and traffic jams are planned

Remote controlled by the producers, we cautiously swap cars,

Keep a flow of angry looks, we look convincing

We change our clothes in time to queue with you

For a taxi driven by another of our number

Be nice to us, we’re here for good, and we’ll return the favour.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nuala Ní Chonchúir on the Radio

This week's generous writer in residence at the Sunday Scrapbook is Nuala Ní Chonchúir - you'll have seen her at the blog awards, with her top blog Women Rule Writer, or you'll have caught her on her recent poetry pamphlet tour, she is launching her debut novel "You" next weekend at Cúirt Literary Festival, and she'll be sharing some of her work (possibly including a peek at her new novel) on the show, along the theme of "The River".
I'm sure it's going to be a really interesting one, so be sure to join us, this Sunday, live at 4pm (that's 11am Lima time) on Liffey Sound - link on the right there, or catch up soon after on the Sunday Scrapbook blog

I'm pretty sure Nuala needs no introduction to most of you - but for anyone who doesn't know of her:
Nuala was born in Dublin, and reared only up the road from Lucanland in Palmerstown, she is a full-time fiction writer and poet, living in Galway county. She has published two collections of short fiction and two poetry collections - one in an anthology and has just published her first novel. Nuala holds a BA in Irish and a masters in translation. She has worked as an arts administrator in theatre and in a writers' centre; as a translator, as a bookseller and also in a university library. Nuala teaches creative writing on a part-time basis.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Me Me Meeee!!!

A meme from Poetikat's blog

My name is:

Never in my life have I been: an astronaut.

The one person who can drive me nuts is: not to be named here, for fear of them or people who might some day know them reading this

High school: was a funny, very spotty time, had no friends for most of it, but the ones I eventually made are still with me

When I’m nervous: I sound like I'm trying to sing while driving a potholed road, especially when trying to sing when nervous

The last song I listened to was: Macy Gray's new one - catchy

If I were to get married right now (renew my vows) my best man/maid of honour:
same girl that did the job last May for me

My hair is:
shapeless, boring and seldom brushed.

When I was 5: I started my first diary

Last Christmas:
my highlight gift was a jewellery making set that I played with for 2 minutes then forgot about - not unlike when I was 5 probably.

I should be:
doing something productive right now.

When I look down I see:
a biro protruding from my mouth, and a hairy dog.

The happiest recent event was: taking dog to park last Sunday

If I were a character on ‘Friends’ I’d be:
rich, or non existant

By this time next year:
It'll be 2011

My current gripe is: computers that won't let me comment

I have a hard time understanding: alot of things, life in general/ mean people mainly,

There’s this girl I know that:
has only ever been in 2 counties in Ireland but has also been to Florida

If I won an award, the first person I would tell would be: My husband

Take my advice: relax, be happy - if you have access to a computer - things can't be that bad

The thing I want to buy: nothing just now

If you visited the place I was born:
you could ask them when do they plan to put up the plaque

I plan to visit:
my folks tonight

If you spent the night at my house:
you would wake to the view of dog's crazy golf course garden

I’d stop my wedding if: Mr VC wasn't there

The world could do without: dog poo

I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than:
the belly of a rat

Most recent thing I’ve bought myself:
a stamp

Most recent thing someone else bought me:
a beverage

My favorite blonde is: Mr Blonde - reservoir dogs

My favorite brunette is
: Mr VC

My favorite red head is: Damien Duff-ish

My middle name is: Margaret Ann

In the morning I:
sometimes walk the dog

The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are:
donkeys, and I'd have a pet one, and I'd fly to work with it on nice days, and it'd talk too, but it still wouldn't be allowed into Tesco (see yesterday)

Once, at a bar:
I chatted up a man, later married him

Last night I was: watching Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore and was unable to stop watching

There’s this guy I know who: didn't do the lotto one night and his numbers came up!

If I was an animal I’d be: more energetic

A better name for me would be:
Pennelope - I did use that one in College days

Tomorrow I am:
attending a wedding

Tonight I am
: heading southwards to see the folks

My birthday is: 9th June

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A poem to make up for Yesterday's Shameless Product Placement

So, I didn't mean to feature "Tesco" coffee so prominently in yesterdays post picture, in response to that problem (because I think art should stay free of all corporate involvement) and because I kinda like this - here's

A Poem which aims to dissuade you from bringing your horse to Tesco

This poem that started all the poems to dissuade has found a new home - posting about that soon - ie April 2013 if you're looking to know where to find it....

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Key Handing over ceremony

I'd like to officially hand over the keys for the bus to Pure Fiction - keep an eye on her site for next weeks instructions here... this week's late comers/ stragglers will still get on this week's bus (on yesterdays post) if they want, so just let me know!
Thanks everyone who took part despite the most unpoetic type instructions, enjoyed the trip!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

When the Going gets Bus - the Bus gets going!

It's here! It's bus day! Happy Bus Day everyone! The following great and generous souls have devoted their time and energy to get some brilliant poems written out of the tangled washing line that was the writing prompt. Enjoy the trip...

Click here for Rachel's memory of metropolitan wanderings

Next with her timeless mobile phone, and a True poem - it's Revolutionary Jeanne

Next to join us with a tasty poem on the Indian Takeaway across the road - welcome to Evalinn

And here's that Crazy Field Mouse with a cryptic Friend Reunited

Up now and onboard is the Weaver of Grass with her poem of Fatal Attraction

And taking her seat now is Ragged old Blogger, whisking us away on a marvellous Weekend Away

Also just joining us now is Poetikat with a mysterious phone book poem

Now you can check out Titus's Twilight Zone Poem

Next on board is Karen with her Tuesday poem....(to keep things complicated)

Next weeks driver Pure fiction
is on with a hi, the number 55, and some classy art

Watercats have joined us, they just want to figure out who You are!

And here's Argent with a poem brought to you by the word Annoyed

Rachel's back, this time with a feast of writing links, and a second bus poem - this one inspired by "Some one else"

And last week's driver is here, claiming sleep deprivation, but with a tidally brilliant poem - it's Swiss

Enchanted Oak is next to join the throng with an intriguing Leap on to the bus

Peter the Poet is after climbing on with inspiration from his Inbox

Oubliette has caught up at the last gasp moment with a Wedding poem

And Susan Sonnen has joined us too with her Rootiful poem

Oh - and here's mine

How it Grew

You were on the edge of my world

Just one of those

The ones I see at parties

Friend of friends

Eventually over fifteen years

or so

by forces of magnets and magic

and wires and string

and drink and chocolate

and buttons and wings

becoming my friend too

And that means

we could talk

Not that we do

I could call you

If I'm in town

for a brew

If I'm down

or a walk

for my frown

or a chew

of a mound of limes

or amew-sing sounding times

who knew?

- how it grew

or where it'll end

me & an old new-found friend


Again a little pressie for those who made it this far!!

Bus Doors Open for Bus - Ness

So already a feast of poems, garnered from the very random and convoluted prompt, is ready for you to enjoy during your stay on this week's bus, with many more expected

Don't forget if you read this you're already on board, so you might as well join in. Instructions arehere...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Prebus poem

So - I would've liked to have pretended the following (slightly creepy) poem was my response to my bus prompt this week, but luckily remembered that I wrote it long before this week, and more importantly - already told ye about it sort of - it was in my list of favourite poems of the year so far...

Anyway - it might serve to get us in the mood of sorts. Bus will officially open doors to allow early passengers on tomorrow, or later today, depending on when people show up - but beware of the step - it's slippy, TFE has already fallen out the door on his first attempt at entering.

Getting on board with her timeless mobile phone, and a wonderfully True poem - it's Revolutionary Jeanne

Next to join us with a tasty poem on the Indian Takeaway across the road - a big welcome to Evalinn!!!

See ye later

Here's the bus posing with what's left of the exercise ball, and the "Claw of Doom" on the right of the photo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Anamaría Crowe Serrano on the Radio!!

This weekend I'm welcoming the fabulous poet Anamaría Crowe Serrano into the Sunday Scrapbook hot seat. The theme she has chosen to base the show around is
"Sound and Silence" a perfect theme for radio, I think you'll agree.

In her own words:

"I’m Irish and live in Dublin. If you’re wondering about the Serrano bit of my surname, it’s a long story. In a nutshell, it’s my mother’s surname. She’s Spanish, which means I grew up in Ireland as a bit of an outsider. I learnt to be comfortable with difference from early on. Sometimes I think it contributed to my becoming a poet.
My working life has always revolved around languages. I’ve taught Spanish on and off in various universities and privately, and have been a translator for about 20 years. More recently I’ve managed to devote myself exclusively to poetry translation (contemporary Italian poetry) which, to me, is about the closest thing to heaven I can think of. I feel very lucky to be able to do something I love so much.
A lot of my work is collaborative. It’s stimulating to bounce ideas off like-minded people. One person I’ve worked with is the Italian poet Annamaria Ferramosca. We published an experimental poetic dialogue in two languages, Paso Doble (Empiria, Rome, 2005), where part of each poem is in English (the bits I wrote) and part in Italian (the bits she wrote).
In 2008 Shearsman (UK) published Femispheres, my first collection of poems. More recently, I’ve had poems published in the second Seven Towers Census Anthology and in the Landing Places anthology (Dedalus Press). "

Join us on Sunday at 4pm on Liffey Sound - (link on the right there as always) for a feast of Sound with the odd bit of Silence thrown in for good measure. (That's 7pm in Novosibirsk!!!) or play catch up some time on Monday (OTHERWISE KNOWN AS BUS DAY!!!) at

Thursday, April 8, 2010

That's me that is.....

So this week.... for the bus, wink wink..... nudge nudge...., write a poem about someone you don't know at all at all, get what I mean? wink wink... nudge nudge.... whose phone number or email address you don't have at all at all, and make up some new completely imaginatory totally fictional poem that has nothing at all at all to do with anything or anyone in your real life.

NOTE: This is only a decoy prompt post for use by squeamish bus poets who want to pretend they didn't write a poem even vaguely inspired by anyone they actually know, because they don't want everyone they actually know to be reading the poem thinking "Oh that's me!" "Oh they mean me there, that was my knitting needle they're talking about there" "Oh I bet that's my third cousin twice removed" etc etc etc. The real official real prompt is to be found two posts ago. For super dooper extra bonus points (which don't exist and which I've just made up now really), call up the two people or businesses that you were prompted to write about - use those conversations in the poem.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bus Bus Bus Bus.....

If you're reading this, YOU ARE getting on the marvellous, spendiferous, world famous TFE poetry bus this Monday coming... I insist! It's my turn to drive and I'm as excited as a dog going on a walk (and that's pretty excited let me tell ya)....a ticket is but a piffling poem or any work of art inspired by two people or businesses you may know well or in passing, plus a random piece of text - see yesterday for the exact instructions.
You post it on your blog monday, I post a link from here - fame, fortune, hits, comradarie and the unending love of your busmates are but a click away.
If, like me, you're beginning to worry about people (person) who read(s) your blog wondering if they are the inspiration for your poem when you mention what the prompt was, well you can stop worrying right now... If you really want me to, I'll even put up a fake decoy prompt up tomorrow which you can link to in pretence that it's the one you're really following, or it could even be really a second prompt and if can be really up to you which one you go with, but then that might confuse things even more, might it?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TFE's Poetry Bus hits Lucanland

So, the Poetry Bus is back in Ireland this week, and who knows where it'll take us this time?
We've spent the last few hours picking up the petals from between the seat cushions, scraping the medical charts off the windows, and windows and clocks have all been replaced with the original parts. Swiss was an excellent driver, and has entrusted me with the keys, (the power! the power!) complete with stethoscope keyring, it's hard to know how to top his great trip - so instead I decided to do this...

Before we begin you will need:

1. A list of people you know - either use your mobile phone phone-book, or your email inbox (with each sender counting as a different name), or a little black book if you have one.
2. A number between 5 & 10 - write this down
3. Another number between 10 & 20 - also write this down
4. A word from the last text or email subject that you have recieved - write this down too
5. A headache tablet of your choice

Now -

Take the list - using your first number - go down that amount of people in the list - eg - if your number is 6, and your list reads: Ann, Ben, Dad, Elf, God, Ike - you pick Ike - because he's the 6th person in the list.
Then using your second number count up from the bottom that number of people, and again note down the name.

So - you end up with two people's names (or you might have a person and a business say - ie Ike, and a pizza place) plus your word from the text or email subject.

Now -
Take the headache tablet if desired.

Now -
Use some or all of these as prompts to write a poem. You don't have to use both people - ie if one of them reminds you of a strong memory go with that, or one of them plus the word evokes a strong idea, or you could meld them together in your head, imagine if they were one person - what are their strongest personality traits? what kind of mix would you end up with? Would you get any interesting contradictions? Or you can imagine them meeting if they've never met before... or use the text as a starting point to think of a scenario which might involve the two of them and/ or their relationship to you - or just take them and fictionalise the hell out of them.... Don't forget you don't have to reveal who the people were that prompted the poem, or indeed the piece of text... they're just the jumping off point after all.

There ye have it... no one said it had to be easy...
or straightforward...

Good Luck!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Poetry Bus - Flower Power

So this week Swiss was our expert poetry bus conductor... and he gave us these images to inspire some poetical wonderment.

Here's what I got

Friday, April 2, 2010

Edwin Kelly on the Radio

Yes - another weekend, another great writer to generously share their thoughts with the world.

This week I'm delighted to welcome Edwin Kelly to the show. Edwin is originally from a small townland called Garryarthur in county Limerick. He began writing as a teenager and joined the English Lit Society in UCC while studying for his BA, many many years ago (though it feels like only yesterday to him). He has worked in a variety of jobs since - including teaching and book selling, and has lived in Dublin for the last year, where he is currently completing the UCD Creative Writing MA.
The theme he has selected is "Trapdoors of Childhood" and he says "I spent my own childhood playing soccer, football and computer games, all the while avoiding anything to do with hard work, an activity I became quite adept at I’m sure my father would say."

Join us in avoidance of any hard work this Chocolate Egg Sunday at 4pm, or 3pm old time, or 6pm for those of ye who live two hours that way, or tune into, as usual soonish after the show to download your very own copy, complete with or without the day's news, depending on if there is any news, because you know sometimes no news is good news.

(My computer doesn't want me to comment on anything today by the way, in case you're wondering about me not answering your comments of yesterday, thanks for them though, and hopefully I'll get to answer ye later)