Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween triolet for the bus

We never heard of Nutcrackers and you wouldn't lend us a hammer

Nuts wouldn't crack without a hammer,
And we had only uncle's shoe
No matter pitched the yelp or yammer
Nuts couldn't crack without a hammer.

Beside the fire our skins grew tanner
And all of it was lost on you
Nuts wouldn't crack without a hammer,
And we had only uncle's shoe

with thanks to Liz for the prompt - other bussers can be found here

Friday, October 29, 2010

Aideen Henry on the Radio

This weekend the great Aideen Henry is our guide for the Sunday Scrapbook adventuring.
She lives in Galway and works as a writer, physician and lecturer both in Galway and Dublin. Her poems have been published previously in several literary journals and magazines including Crannóg, the SHOp, Ropes, the Cúirt Annual and Southword, and she has given many poetry readings around the country. She was shortlisted for the 2009 Hennessy X. O. Literary Awards. She has just published her first collection of poetry, "Hands Moving at the Speed of Falling Snow". She also writes drama and short fiction and is a member of the infamous Atlantis Collective - click here for more on them.

She has chosen a mix of themes; Young Love, Loss & Singularity

We'll be there, in the usual place, at the usual time, with the usual... y'know.

(96.4 fm/ liffey sound live online - link on the right) (4pm) (writing and conversation - what did you think?!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ways to combat listlessness

1. Place some glittery stars on the windowsill of your upstairs landing... see how long one of them takes to reach the bottom of the stairs unaided by human intervention (4 or 5 weeks)
2. Put molten (but not hot - just not fully set) jelly mix into one of your ears, allow to set. Voilá - you will have a perfect little replica of the open-est path to your brain, conveniently also doubles as an ear plug. For completeness - repeat on other side. *
3. Pretend you're an actor that's playing someone who's really into their day job, only do this at home. At work behave as normal.
4. Probe the reasons for why all the things on this list begin with the letter "P" - is "P" simply the letter of excitement, the letter of fullfillment? Think deeply about it - Perhaps this is the key to life.
5. Ponder the things you would add to your own list in order to avoid list-less-ness.

* of course don't really do this and don't come crying to me if you do, ya crazy maizy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Iguana to Apache Pizza

Like Monday's romantic poem - this one has special resonance for me, Apache Pizza being the site of Mr VC and I's second date. No wonder I was smitten

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Iguana to Apache Pizza*
Don't-a bring your Iguana to Apache Pizza
It'll lose it's-a dewlap, get tomato on feets-a
This is one little-a lizard who can't take the heats-a
Better tell-a him now, you-a better not yeild
They won't sell him wine there - mixed or varietal
And the staff there won't discuss no problems societal
He's as well watching TV through his eye that's parietal
Or to blend with the grass in the field
And Iguana's are rarely served nice pepperoni
So your little fella will likely get moany
No he doesn't live there, níl sé ina chónaí **
Apache yells hurt his subtympanic shield
So tell your Iguana, it'd just hurt his gizzard
Twould be less fun than meeting a tired Eddie Izzard
He's not like a turtle, it's home for this lizard
No Apache Pizza for your Iguana today
* Pizza place in Dublin City Centre
** He is not resident...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If you want to feel good about how tidy your house is

Go to see Winter's Bone

It's also a damn good film about a hidden and fascinating part of middle America that I for one have never seen represented so believeably and completely before on any screen big or small.
tis tipped for oscar success too, but don't let that put you off.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back on board - the meeting bus

So, I fell off the wagon for a couple of weeks there, but am back on board now, ticket in hand - this week Argent set the task of writing about a meeting of some sort of shape or size....

I decided to write about meeting a special someone... - it is a little vomit inducing, but I can't think at the moment, so for me this is about the height of it.

When you meet


Let shyness slip, like sunlight off a lake

you're home and can sink into

long longed for warmth


and feel the thrill of spilling incandescence

an essence of acceptance

a nameless need for more


clutch with your grasping fingers

linger on the trace of folding

when you find the magic, hold it

keep it safe, and keep it fast

your very life depends upon it

feed it, love it, make it last

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rebecca De Havalland on the Radio

This week the fabulous Rebecca De Havalland is our guest on the Sunday Scrapbook.
From Granard originally, Rebecca was born as Eamon Tallon, later took the name Ross for professional reasons and finally became Rebecca in more recent years - having become at the same time Ireland's first transgender person to complete the full sex change operation. She has had a rollercoaster of a life story - and she tells it honestly, and with great warmth, in her memoir "His name is Rebecca" - which was cowritten by Evelyn Walsh and was published earlier this year.
The book is a great read, and I look forward to talking to Rebecca on Sunday at the usual time (the usual time is 4pm), in the usual place (liffey sound fm - link on the right).
I'll probably have to wear a hat though, Rebecca's a real hair and beauty professional and I fear my birds nest/ mass of split ends might be distracting for the interview.... for fab beauty and fashion updates you could do worse than visit Rebecca's blog over here

Rebecca's chosen theme is "One day at a time"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


As anything I advertise on this blog seems to immediately get overrun with thousands of enthused fans, I would like to take this opportunity to beg of you to come along to this, but arrive early, don't be dissappointed if legions of various cushions t-shirt wearers (there's a t-shirt? you mean you don't have one?) elbow their way in there first. Mention my name at the door if there's a problem and I'll hoosh you in.

Two young Irish-based writers invite you to join them
in celebrating the launch of their debut publications.

Kathy D’Arcy, from Cork, will launch her first
collection of poetry, Encounter.

Erika Meyers, from Ohio, USA, will launch her novel,
Strangers in America.

Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Sq. Nth, Dublin 1

Friday 22 October, 2010, at 7pm

Both authors will read from their works.

Wine, tea and coffee served

RSVP quantumsofa (at) gmail dot com

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your parrot to knobs and knockers

Oh, I've been terrible lazy of late... Anyway, looking forward to Joan's Book Launch tonight - eloquently introduced over here. (not by myself needless to say - eloquence, and anything else that calls for a scintilla of energy is far beyond my grasp just now)

In other news - hope you will enjoy the following -

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your parrot to knobs and knockers
Don't bring your parrot to knobs and knockers
the name alone is bound to shock her
and asides from that she'd loose her flock her
sense of direction would be all distorted
While the shiny door handles might be sure to excite her
and the songs of the various doorbells delight her
I've no doubt the knocking on doors would just fright her
She'd lose all the colour she'd sported
She'd peck at the letterbox, imitate all the doorbells
No the staff wouldn't be under her feathery spell
They'd get her down from her roost and send her to hell
Such a terrible mess you'd have courted
So sit Polly down, tell her she must be crackers
if she insists on looking at claxons and clackers
Tell her you will not bring her, and no one will back her
No Knobs and Knockers for your Parrot today
See here for more on the wonderfully named knobs and knockers emporium

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nessa O'Mahony on the Radio

This week it's a great pleasure to welcome the wonderful Nessa O'Mahony to the Sunday Scrapbook Sofa (but there's actually no sofa - Nessa if you're reading this don't be dissappointed when there's no sofa...)

Nessa was born and lives in Dublin. Her poetry is collected as Bar Talk, (Dublin, iTaLiCs Press, 1999); and Trapping a Ghost (Bristol, Bluechrome, 2005).
In 1996 she was joint winner of the Kerry International Summer School Poetry Competition and was short-listed for The Patrick Kavanagh Award. In 1997 she won the National Woman’s Poetry Competition and was short-listed for the Sunday Tribune / Hennessy New Irish Writing Award. Her verse novel In Sight of Home was published by Salmon in 2009. She teaches creative writing with the Open University and is a regular facilitator of creative writing workshops in Ireland and the UK. The theme Nessa will be taking on is that of "Writing Home - Diaspora Writing, and identity in Poetry".

You can listen in on Sunday at 4pm, that's 5pm in Tunisia, on Liffey Sound - link on the right there - or catch up as always on the archives - probably Tuesday night.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Joan's Book

Joan O'Flynn's collected writings are being published by her family in aid of charity. It's a fantastic book with a great spread of her work - arranged in seasonal order it takes us through Spring to Winter and back again.
It is a beautiful book - and anyone who's read her blog - Drama Queen - will know Joan's writing is always thoughtful, sometimes hilarious/ outragreous, and often uplifting. Along with her poetry and prose, the book is sprinkled with pictures and details of her life. It's a thrill to see her on TV, or in her Aer Lingus uniform. A must have for Christmas. A lovely book by and about one of the most brilliant people I ever had the priviledge of knowing.
Her book will be launched next Wednesday night in Lucan Sarsfields GAA Club at 8.15pm.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your laptop to the swimming pool

A common sense kinda poem, providing evidence for and removing all doubt on the theory that laptops should not be brought swimming

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your laptop to the swimming pool
Don't bring your laptop to the swimming pool
I know it can cope with a modicom of drool
while you snooze writing blog posts, but don't be a fool
You'd soon be ejected by life gaurds
For logging on in the deeps or the shallow
you'd find your notebook as bad as a mallow
for sites, no matter how worshipped or hallowed
would be blurred by the chlorine so hard
Yes laptops have no place 'mong swimmers
They won't float or slide, won't sparkle or shimmer
they'll sink like a stone with their damp damaged inner
and the LCD shattered and charred
So put your laptop on hibernate
Don't care if your best friend says it'd be great
Put it away before swimming, today's not the date
No Swimming Pool for your laptop today

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brain Teasers

For your coffee break tomorrow, or your midnight snack tonight - why not have a crack at one of the following little mathematical proofs... link down below there

There's prizes going for the person who gets them out first...

I just hope you'll remember where you first heard about em when you're claiming your prize

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Bus is here

Roll up roll up - here's everyone on the bus this week, enjoy the trip. I still have till the end of tomorrow to post a poem, but I have to admit at this stage it's looking dodge. Thanks all you wonderful passengers, I look forward to reading you all!!! Keep on coming stragglers too... there's plenty of room still at the back

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Surprise on the Radio

Yes, this week I'm too lazy/ dissorganised/ tired/ flakey/ allergic to thought etc to be making a new radio show. Spent all my energy on Wednesday's poem to dissuade and setting this week's bus task - which is still up on Tuesday's post by the way - there's still time to get on.

However - I would hate to leave you all at a loose end for the weekend, so... for the first time ever... I am replaying a show. But I'm not telling you whose. You'll have to tune in to find out - I can only guarantee that it is brilliant as always, and if you do tune in on Sunday at 4pm live on the liffey sound internet button thing, you will be richly rewarded. If you don't, you'll never know, I won't be putting it up in the archive, since it's already there somewhere.

Have a nice weekend everyone

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Get on the Bus or the Raft

The Bus is already up and running, can't keep a good poet down, can't stop enthusiastic rhymers, texters, poeticisors and why would you want to?

Here's who's had the courage to climb on early already - reward them, gentle readers with lots of visits and comments...



The Bug

Doctor FTSE


In other news - I can now reveal that no less than 6 of my poems can now be found on the inaugural edition of the delicious new online magazine Raft. They have lots of audio of poets reading their work, and it's a very pretty looking place.
One of the poems was a swap for the talented Jessica Sweeney at quotidien photography - link on the left there, who recently offered her pics free to lucky readers in return for a teabag. Her picture of San Francisco Hills has also been included. Click here to see the lovely new mag.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your hummingbird to Starbucks

You would have thought that a serious allergy to thinking that has recently developed in me and may be all too clear to my astutest readers would cause me to give up my regular date with delight that is the weekly poem to dissuade. Yet I know how much you all yearn for it, live for it, how it lifts your little hearts, brings you joy, and makes you feel like the world is a better place for its advice. And so I soldier on for at least one more week - any brain power I once had - replaced by italics in an attempt to make it look all highbrow... I give you....
A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your hummingbird to Starbucks
Don't bring your hummingbird to Starbucks
Not in cool trainplanes or warm cartrucks
You'd find out soon your plan by far sucks
Leave him at home being minded by Hector
Your flash little bird that can fly in reverse
Would soon find that a visit there would be cursed
I don't care if it means that you need to be terse
For your sins you can go see the Rector*
For Hummingbirds can't drink Cappucinos
Not with an old man, not with a bambino
There's not much for protein, not a single amino
and there's no syrup flavoured like nectar
Yes, you'll find his metabolism is quite fast enough
and another dose of caffeine would be just too rough
you could bring in your robin, your wren or your chough
but no Starbucks for your hummingbird today

* or other religious type guide of your choice

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Bus Bus Bus - tickets on sale here - get yer tickets

I'm back in the drivers seat once more this week. Thanks to NanU for leaping in to save us all from certain nonbusness there over the weekend, and Watercats - hope all's well with ye, and that ye're back soon.

Now for the ticket.

Pick a newspaper, any newspaper. (I don't actually buy newspapers.. would you believe I rely on blogs/ facebook/ the tabloids in the work canteen and my 6th sense to tell me what's really going on) - but anyway - get your paper. Find a small little story - you know the kind - no more than 2 inches of print "Boy saves dog during thunderstorm" "Man lives to be 1000" - those kind of things... ie a really short little news item - nothing majorly important.

Make a poem inspired by it - either write about it, or as if you lived it, or that it's gonna happen, or what the consequences of it would be, or how the journalist found out the story, or if you were a friend of those concerned etc etc etc etc...

I heard somewhere once that this is where Bob Dylan got some of his songs - so maybe have him playing in the background for extra mojo while you're writing.

Good Luck folks - will get the bus up and running on Sunday next for those who want to hop on. Until then I'll be cleaning windows.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Poetry Bus - driverless

No one's driving the bus this week - anarchy reigns! So what better poem than a memory of a nightclub where anarchy first became reality in my own little head anyway... This place was legendary, and was knocked down a few years back - I think the other passengers might be found on NanU's blog here



A dirty wall sweating and dark endless place

The rhythms the friendship the fire

The smoking in corners, the girl off her face

Toilet Mags handing rags to the choir

The puking in sinks, the spilling of drinks,

And dancing of limbs that were crazily light

The pulsing of shapes, the laughs, the mistakes

The typical mad Henry’s night

The mud on your back, lollipop in your hair

A kerb that you sat on outside it

Made friends with a whole world each friday night

An innocence that never died

And they knocked it, destroyed it, demolished it down

Full of drugs, full of song, such a low reputation

And the bouncers were thugs, and us all only mugs

Getting sucked in along the sensation

Of the music, the money, but twas only one P

Some nights and we went in pyjamas

It was dirty and rough, but we sure did fly free

‘mongst the beer, and the mud, and the dramas

Friday, October 1, 2010

Helena Mulkerns on the Radio

This weekend I have the very fabulous Helena Mulkerns joining us from the Sunday Scrapbook hot seat. Her career to date and credentials are terrifically varied and interesting, and I think she's going to give us a really brilliant show with her chosen theme "Behind the Headlines"

Helena Mulkerns
has worked mainly as a writer, journalist, editor and photographer. She has written for Hot Press, The Irish Times, Rolling Stone, Music Express, Downtown Magazine, Elle, New York Perspectives, The Irish Voice, The Irish Echo, Irish America, Film Ireland, Cineaste, Irish Tatler, The Sunday Tribune etc. etc. She has also contributed to two non-fiction books, The Irish In America, (published in conjunction with the PBS television series of the same name) and Motherland, from William Morrow and Company .

She completed several seasons as live New York presenter on the popular prime-time Irish television series, Gerry Ryan Live, and has organized and performed at many readings and literary evenings in New York. She hosted a regular Saturday night cabaret review, The Clumsy Cabaret in the Café Sin-é with Elizabeth Logun and Deanna Kirk, featuring music and comedy, and organized special events there such as The Bloomsday Jaunt and has since performed several times at Isiah Shaeffer's Symphony Space event, Bloomsday on Broadway. She also participated in the organisation of music festivals, rock concerts and literary/theatre events and literary readings, such as The Guinness Fleadh. In June 2009, she performed at the Bloomsday event organised by Colum McCann in New York. She thanks her grandfather Jimmy (The Rajah of Frongoch), a strolling player, comedian and revolutionary, for her lack of reserve in the vicinity of a live mike. She has spent ten years working between Afghanistan, Guatamala and Ethiopia with the UN Peacekeeping forces. She now runs the celebrated alternative monthly arts night "Cáca Milis" in Wexford. She was a founding member of New York based arts collective Banshee - for more on them go to . She is a fantastic photographer and singer on top of all of that.

Lookit, be there or you know what'll happen* - 4pm - Liffey Sound.

Squares can catch up after on the archive as always.

* you'll be a square