Sunday, February 27, 2011

TFE's Poetry Bus!!!

This week TFE is back at the infamous wheel, and I've taken a prompt of one of the photos he has put up there. He put in the rule too that we had to trim down to 14 lines, but I'm afraid what I wrote was far too genius to cull at all, so here it is in its entirety...
I'll understand if I don't get included on the roll call because of this boldness and disobedience. Find other - much better - poems that might more accurately respond to the prompt here

Laa Laa Land

In Laa Laa Land, we have cocktails on demand

And the flames of lust are fanned

By a master on the grand, who sings songs of sorrows banned

With a walk along the strand

Eyes unhurt by grit or sand, we are gorgeous, in command

Of spontaneous joy and planned.

There’s a bird in every hand, and the bush birds all are grand

So we leave them – they wear brands

That are never seen as bland, they so please the fashion gland

For fine feathers can be scanned

From a turret that is manned by us. Don’t misunderstand

At the end of Laa Laa Land

There’s a wake up call, a scandal of unsteady quiver hands

Where the yobs are often vanned

So they’ll never more get tanned, listen to a rocking band

And the only fruit is canned, no more to take the upper hand

Far from dreamt of Laa Laa Land....

Friday, February 25, 2011

Strongly Worded letter

Dear Mr Muscle,
(if that is your real name)

I would like to inform you of a most disappointing result recently achieved in using your product. I started buying "Mr Muscle - All Purpose" 2 months ago and have been faithfully applying a squirt of the lime and vinegar variety to my biceps and triceps daily since then. Despite having persevered through the rashes and pain that co-incided with the initial use (after all - no pain no gain, or so I hear) I have seen no noticeable improvement in the level of muscle in my arm. The overall diameter of my arms seems to have hardly increased at all.
You claim on pack to be "Tough on Grease and Grime". I have not seen "Grime" but in terms of "Grease" I can hardly be said to exhibit even the toughness seen at the Pink Lady's Slumber Party, much less capturing the brute force of Danny or any of the T-Birds.
Please respond asap forthwith or deal with the wrath of a weak and weedy, acidically scented and dissatisfied customer. Pictorial evidence will follow if necessary,

Various Cushions, bodybuilder.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Earthworm to the Polling Station

Some hopefully timely advice

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Earthworm to the Polling Station


Don’t bring your Earthworm to the Polling Station

T’would only lead to great frustration

A wriggly struggle for emancipation

Won’t result in democratic rights


For your slithery, slimy, humus decomposer

Would tick none of the boxes, the malaproposer

He’d say the erection was rigged, a muddy eyed dozer

Your lazy old hermaphrodite


He wouldn’t research manifestos of parties

Wouldn’t check independents on their work or their smarties

He’d sit back, and complain, mock with all of his hearties

All his politics kept super light


For everyone knows he’ll just moan, and I quote

“Sure they’re all only parrots, singing lines they’ve off rote,

I’m gonna go in there now, and spoil everyone’s vote”

No Polling Station for your Earthworm today


Possibly not one for the book!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something I just had to share

There's an online forum for pregnant women, called rollercoaster dot ie. Like a lot of fancy shmancy websites this weather - it has targetted advertising.

Guess what's up there now?

"Vote Labour"

Made me laugh...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Special Report on Poetical goings on in Cork land, with a bit of meandering

So now it's time to document my first venture into things cultural since my return to Cork. (No, I don't count the film from last week as being worthy of that title)

I am referring to a reading with Ian Wild, Pat Boran and Alan Garvey at the beautifully programmed Cork Spring Literary Festival last Thursday night. It was held in the Metropole Hotel, a venue I last graced during one of the infamous Jazz weekends of my college days, this one in particular being a weekend of damage, myself out sick from where I worked in the chipper across the road from the hotel, as I had cut deeply into my finger at the time, acquired during a fancy dress at Sir Henry's some time in the previous few days, where I was appropriately dressed as a nurse, and got a good ribbing from the bouncers who surgi-strip-stuck it all back together, while craftily getting me to sign the "I will not sue this place" form at the same time.
Anyway - the metropole was the only place to recuperate from such exertions and boyfriend at the time had a free ticket for me and I remember it being an absolutely crazy dream-like place with jazz and vibes of all types going on in every room of the whole big place - from huge luxurious ballrooms, to the nookiest nooks and cranniest crannies - pure celebration and devastation. Anyway, I digress.
In a somewhat more mature frame of mind I entered the reading room. It was a small setting, but there were plenty of seats, and video cameras, and microphones - high tech. I was impressed, but then, I'm easily impressed. Ian Wild - an editor of Southword and judge of the upcoming Sean O Faolain prize was first to take the stand. He read to us from a novel he is working on, in which a bunch of old timers set up a punk rock band somewhere in a gentle rolling village of England. I can see the film already in my minds eye, and yes Bill Nighy is going to play the lead. One of my favourite parts of the reading was when an elderly rebel in front of me tried to light a cigarette, and was warned off this course of action by his companion, he then responded by saying, too loudly, "I know sure you can't smoke anywhere now, can ye?" It was like the hero of the book had come to life in the audience. The best parts of the reading were when Ian read the lyrics of some of the oldies pop songs, including lines like "I hate everything but especially you" and "Young people are crap"
Next up was Alan Garvey who quickly dispensed with the microphone altogether. His reading was a variety of poems, most of them about real people, whose pictures he had brought along with him, and whose stories he told us in brief before he said the related poem. The pictures and the stories about the people were so fascinating that I found myself impatient during the actual poems, waiting for him to get on to the next hero. They were all historical and sobering stories, the 15 year old girl shot while she tried to help a friend, a hungarian poet who died in a death march whose last 10 poems were found in his rain coat perfectly preserved years later. I found myself curious to read the work of the people he wrote about too, Keith Douglas, for example, who died only a couple of days into his Normandy invasion - again my friend in the row ahead provided comic relief during that one when he started getting annoyed about a reference to Cambridge, "Why are they always giving out about Cambridge like?" He was taking umbrage to the tone of the reading, "what's wrong with Cambridge like?" Anyway, Alan finished on a light note - with a poem about Lingerie, which was probably my favourite actual poem of his, though I had found the whole reading fascinating.

Finally we had Pat Boran, he's been on my book shelf a while in the shape of his creative writing coursebook, but we won't hold that against him, anyway - he was definitely a happy note to end on. He gives the feeling that he hasn't planned what he's about to read at all, in fact he gives this feeling by stating it as a fact, but he seems to have a vast repertoire to choose from and in his own modest manner was the one performer of the night to give me that hairs standing on end sensation that often makes live poetry so well worth attending. His poems all seemed to be from and about his own direct experiences, some about things mundane as a car alarm, and finishing with an epic and lovely one about the place you grew up and all the reasons you ever couldn't walk down main street that especially rang a bell with me. A gentle, but very satisfying poet to listen to.
Then it was nearly nine of the clock, so my tired self and mini me couldn't wait to get ourselves home to bed, and therefore that is where we went, missing the rest of the night's readers, and indeed the whole rest of the fest, but it was plenty to be going on with.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Sock's poetry Bus

This week socks is driving and she gave us a range of options to choose from for our bus ticket - I went with the prompt - Write a poem beginning with the words "I knew a woman who"

The result was the following silliness - better poems will be found here over the next few days, so be sure to click over and check em out.


I knew a woman


I knew a woman who always kept an arm outside the covers

The right one mostly, kept it cool, infuriated lovers

Who’d be woken by an icy limb at 3 or 4, the morning

Or find the quilt a captured, twisted, taken without warning

She kept her head aloft and rested high on fluffy pillows

While her arm pit forked the duvet down, she thought it was just brillo

One night her husband begged her for the sake of his own sanity

To stay wrapped up, but she said “Love, spare me the inanity.

What would you like? A law abiding, boring Mrs Proper?”

“That is my name” he muttered, “But..” and before he could stop her

She’d stood up on her head in bed, her nightie upside down

And juggled several night lights, sang a cheerful Jackson Browne

The neighbours banged the wall, and shouted “Propers, are you serious?”

“Oh neighbours you should try this” said our woman, “I’m delerious”

And she looked oh so pretty, happy, doing her own thing,

That Mr Proper laughed and joined beside her with one spring

The pair, they sleep like that each night, and life’s better than ok

Though neither seem to get much done when time comes round for day

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A new way to deal with poor service

Don't get mad, get crying.

Yes folks, when a so called "shuttle" bus does not appear inclined to be particularly shuttley at the airport, in fact doesn't appear at all and you ring up to see when they might find time to come and bring you from standing outside said airport in the freezing cold and night time, and they say 20 minutes and then don't show up for a half an hour.... you'd be surprised what a great revenge crying can be.
I could have been nearly home by the time they got me to the car, but it was easily the most enjoyable awkward silence that ever fell when the driver asked me "how are you" and I just about choked out that I was "not so good" and he faced forward as if he was driving a banshee home while I sobbed to myself.
Of course do not attempt this without copious amounts of hormones in your system, or you may possibly just die of embarrassment first.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Dolphin to Argos

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Dolphin to Argos
Don't bring your Dolphin to Argos
The catalogues would make him go "Aargh", cross
Glossy pages of catalogues that are dross
No it wouldn't impress your Cetacean
Though there's hot tubs and spas for the garden
I'm sure you'd see his Flipper face harden
The shopping trip would be most marred on
that sad day, the awful occasion
For nothing is out in the open
it's all in the back, even rope 'n
all DIY things, staff go grope 'n
there's no use for for his echolocation
A dolphin feels useless, almost as a purpoise
can't get a go at the furnishings, or play with the toys
leave him home with his blow hole, and dolphin song noise
No Argos for your Dolphin today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Films v's Live Entertainment v's Life

Films can irk me a little of late, especially those ones that everyone’s seen and everyone’s raving about.
They’re too lazy, too easy for the makers. They do something once, right, and that is served up hot and cold, moth eaten and old and weathered for years after to the millions. Someone tells you they’ve seen it, and you go to see it and you’ve both seen exactly the same moments, recorded.
There’s something magic about seeing people doing something in person. Even if you’ve seen Hamlet a hundred times, each time will be different, sometimes radically, sometimes just a tad, even the same production won’t be exactly the same, two nights in a row. Live performers writing their own stuff can be even more exciting, maybe no-one apart from (and sometimes including) themselves knows what they are going to say next.
The ultimate in live entertainment has to be, I suppose, talking to a friend or family member or stranger on the bus. What you are going to say during the exchange is totally unique, unplanned, anything can happen. The other person reacts to you, and you react to them and it’s all instantaneous, chemistry can make it brilliant, fiery, frustrating, funny, moving, or someone can drop a clanger and make it all fizzle out and die, when no-one knows what to say about what’s been said.
Facebook is like the movie-ising of our personalities, our quips and thoughts mass communicated. I don’t quip on facebook, I don’t know if I even like it as a thing (and no I haven't seen the movie about it yet), I guess I do, but it feels like marketing. Maybe mass communicating and marketing ain’t a bad thing – hey blogging is the same only longer, more monologue-al - as the tunnel I drive through every day now reminds me I can sometimes be a “South Bound Bore” and a “North Bound Bore” on the way home. Just once they should change that to “North Bound Scintillating Personality” – maybe on my birthday...
Re the Marketing – I guess we’ve all been doing that too since the first cave person ever thought to themselves,
maybe I should put that Bear Femur through my matted hair, to add a little je ne sais quoi - that'll catch Ug's eye for sure”
– but figuring out what’s going on with all of that is another exercise in brain work and will be left for another time.
Oh, and the film that sparked off this whole rambling post? I hear you ask... none other than "The King's Speech" - the much acclaimed film that has the happiest ever World-War-2-kick-off related ending that I've ever seen, and is all about how one man got over his issues enough to be able to perform live which was the one most important aspect of his job, and yet, I bet the actor in question didn't have to worry about getting it in one take, and I bet he doesn't care that I bet that either. Shoulda gone to see the amateur drama production of "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf" in a city centre community hall instead, but it was only on the once at 7, tickets not guaranteed because you show up on the door, hall possibly unheated, whereas the cosy
Mc-Cinema conveniently had the same things on at all these different times we could choose from....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Bug's Bus

This week the lovely bug is driving the poetry bus. I wrote a poem for it two days ago, based on the sofa in the meadow, but lost it this morning through the magical mystery of the interweb, so here's a rewrite. Don't forget to call to the Bug, just here, to see the other passengers.

So Far Sofa

We made a fort of furniture and blankets

And lifted legs while someone else vacuumed

Pushed two odd ends together for a bad night’s sleep

Clinging to each other in a friend’s rented rooms

The foamy arms that held us all the way through

Soaps and sickness, the rich and poor of rented videos

Have found damp love with ferns and mice and hedges

Invading wilderness with civil sitting down

Friday, February 11, 2011

Things about growing new people

You lose your mind, very quickly you turn into a shell, controlled by remote from your centre of gravity by a little shrimpy thing that doesn't like what you used to like and has no interest in the things you used to care about. The battle begins.
Your self gets unruly, parts start doing things and making shapes you were never used to, it says "you must have cycled 10 hours today", though you haven't seen a bike in weeks, or says "it's nearly midnight, time for bed" - even though it's only a quarter past eight.
You look forward to being kicked from the inside, it becomes a routine entertainment. You're relieved, as it means they're still there, still busy being.
In the big scan, you hold your breath while the nice girl in uniform runs her supermarket scanner over you, delving through the depths of your depths, and goes through the checklist, "yes there's a heart, good, 4 chambers, ok here's the right kidney..." too long a silence "...and here's the left". You leave it shaken, not having thought of all the things that could go wrong.
Most of all, you look forward to reaching the end of your belly button, you wonder if you should get a tattoo at the bottom of it to prove you were there at least once...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Hornet to the Jeweller

Just in case you were planning to bring along your winged friends when heading out shopping for "Compulsory be romantic and spend lots of money" day.


A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Hornet to the Jeweller


Don’t bring your Hornet to the Jeweller

She’s worse behaved than Ferris Bueller

Like Cruella De Ville, but even crueller

Twould be a deplorable sight


Your silk spinning flyer, all dazzled by diamonds

Would be sparkle-seduced to a life-time of crime and

Not rest till the nest is all golden designs and

Fancy things for her nuptial flight


She’d want rubies and jades for the entire colony

Would argue for emeralds on her arguable knee

This flashy queen would owe a fierce alimony

For the grubs in their combs snug and tight


You’d find that her Vespa-ness surely would sting

With every watch, she’d want a matching fine ring

And bracelets and bangles, in fact everything

No Jeweller for your Hornet today

Saturday, February 5, 2011

TFE's driving the bus again!!!

Well it's almost that time of week again, and since I'm not in Kansas any more, having mad dreams in Cork....
(and when I say mad, I mean barmy, I mean like dreams of people breaking into my house and leaving the fish outside the fish tank and then leaving a mouse bound and gagged inside in the water - though he wasn't drowned, and then also leaving a kitten's head in a lunch box, also in the fish tank, again inexplicably not dead - at least until I opened the lunch box lid at which point it looked over at me accusingly and then died - not unlike dominic rivron's lizard in a lump of coal - anyway, very Murakami - analyse that)
..... it suits well to have a mad challenge - this week's was to visit the lovely Photograph Prose website and submit a poem to suit an image. I wrote about a photo by our very leader, Mr Peadar, and i hope you will enjoy it - over here

It's a sonnet btw, a fact I'm unreasonably proud of.

Unreasonableness goes with being a 15.5 year old on average.

Other bussers will be found over here in the fullness of time

Here's the poem, though the link seems to be working ok for me now. Can't seem to steal the image from the site, but it's a park bench on the beach beside the waves.

Alone At Last

The sky is cool, soaks fevers from my feet
and I am drawn with surer lines today
My shadow trembles where unclouded sands
with grains can spark or lie like mud, like clay
Low groans and grumbles of machines that pass
They cursed the road then licked up through my fears
and tired tyres splashed pools of broken glass
It all was changed, yet stayed the same for years
The park far off, I’ve left the slides and swings
and carried troubles through the windless air
In pale sunlight I sing out to the spray
and in the waves cold fish watch on, don’t care
For how one bench departs where edges meet
Cool skies look on while fevers grip my feet

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Opinion Poles

Here is my opinion on poles. Most of them are alright. They're like columns but without a roof to hold up, like lazy columns if you will. (not unlike the acres of newsprint currently dedicated to them in our national presses instead of making up a really good story (and speaking of really good stories - I woulda probly got the Henno this year if the Tribune Paper hadn't decided it had to close))
Back to the poles. One particular pole will be fondly remembered by readers of this blog as the slippiest pole in Dublin - one that was so slippy the "caution, slippery sign had slipped down it - unfortunately I'm no longer in the region of that pole, so can't update you on it's progress, but last I saw of it the area was still too unstable to allow for safe removal of the 2 year old "caution, slippery" sign - read more here. My uppermost opinion on poles though is that they are far sexier in the nude without giant passport photographs/ wanted signs plastered all over them.
Hey, Poster Putter Upper, Leave them Poles Alone!!! (To be sung to the Brick in the Wall song)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Cougar to Harvery Norman

In case anyone hasn't heard of them - here's their ad - the shoutiest shop in the world

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Cougar to Harvery Norman

Don't bring your Cougar to Harvey Norman
You wouldn't get him past the doorman
No chicken tikkan or chicken korman
could convince me this would be a dream
For Cougars cannot bear the shouting
One hiss would have the staff re-routing
You'd soon find yourself bemoaning and doubting
the wisdom of panthers in shops that sound mean
And younger cats would be at risk
with cougars stalking mini disc
players, and he won't like being frisked
this cat that can't roar - only screams
He wouldn't have time to browse any appliance
When his fur is too staticky, all his defiance
would go into his panic, not a feline of science
No Harvey Norman for your Cougar today