Sunday, December 25, 2005

New Love

The child who dwells inside me
has placed her dreams in you
and she is calling her beloved
from the faithful honeyed waters
running there below the surface
of her soul.

She trusts you’ll be a kind friend
who’ll play a truthful melody
and sing along
to gentle lilting love song
beating in her breast.

And like a raven mid-flight
in brilliant sun,
a whitethorn bush
in the shadowless dead of night
and a phoenix at rest
on a rose-ivory river bed
in the moments before waking

her heart is moving
through the geography of love.

Desmond Swords

Saturday, December 17, 2005







I got this from Noel to put up. I would have him live recorded in perfect digital stereo, but unfortunatley the gremlins were out on Tuesday night in Dorans weekly warble and me, Noel and Rob McKenna never got it onto the hard drive of my Mp3. However I did get some others. This was the first time I had recorded via the line in option instead of the dictaphone like microiphone, and the quality of sound is CD like; so I have been up the last few days playing with the new software toys and cobbled together a 7 minute show, half of which is Damien Davis singing one of his songs, "The girl with the ten blonde hairs."

Damien was the original Paddy Casey and Damien Davis, coming out of the same scene, but he never sold a million because he is older than the other two and not as photogenic, but his songs are truly inspiring and he is a well respected songman.

I will have to wait a few days to upload the new audio as I have to wait till after Tuesday.

Next week I will have finally captured Noel and you will not be dissapointed. Any one who hears him says the same thing, namely that he is the main man live, but Noel being Noel and not one to blow his own trumpet, is completely off the mainstream radar and I hope that by bringing him and others like him, directly to the audience, then this will play a small part in democratizing poetry. Audio can cut out all the rubbish thhat the commercial poets and their patrons waffle as everyone can judge by their own ears and no longer have to put up with the fictions Emglish language poetry furthers in the name of truth.

Until then dear reader au revoir.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Listen to Write and Recite poets 6 Dec 2005 - Dorans Pub

Hello Houston, we have lift off. Click and listen to Write and Recite from

  • Write and Recite poets recorded on Tuesday 6 Dec 2005

  • Patricia Farrel - Raven - DJ God aka Mike from Meath - Mr Incredible & Ovid Yeats

    Yes, it's 12.37 pm Saturday 10 December and I arose under the mistaken impression that it was 2 hours later, at 11.30, thinking it was 1.30. Intolerably early for rising I know, but the day demands it due to the special nature of the occassion. It is my sisters 40th and I have to go and help put out the fairy cake and salmon paste butties at the Yacht pub in Clontarf.

    But the good news is that the Write and Recite poetry grouping is out there live for the first time. These are the poets whose voices can silence the chatterring drones of poesie pontificating from their toff and wannabee posh towers of critical omnisience, clinging to the fallacy that the greek and romans will give them all they need as poets.

    These poets at write and recite are by far the most cohesive, vibrant and exciting grouping in Ireland today, and will weave their words anywhere, at the proverbial drop of a hat, very much following the Amiri Baraka ideal. He says if you think your stuff is good then go tell the men digging the holes in the road. These poets will do that and they develop by challenging themselves in the real world, not in the artificial envoronments that the usual heavyweight wafflers do, torquing up the lingo and trying to make limp encounters at university conferences sound like weekend bare knuckle free for alls in Ballymum chippies.

    The reason we have to read the bores in traditional mass print media is because they are the educated ones who have the werwithall to get their words out. The Write and Recite grouping of poets is headed by Gerry McNamara who has run Write and Recite for the past 2 years and is a breath of fresh air in literary circles, as he has none of the usual pretensions which some open mic and local poetry organisers have. No inverted snobbery or designs on a knighthood, just down to earth Irish sense of fair play and equality for all.

    Next week we will hear one of the best buskers singing in Dublin, Damien Davis, who is the origianl Damien Dempsey and Paddy Casey, as he was their tutor during the International days when Paddy and Dempsey were but raw. The reason Damien missed out on the recording contracts, even though he is just as talented, if not more so; is simple. He doesn't have the face for teenage bedrooms. So he will open next weeks show and blow you away with his work.

    Clcik and Listen. I must be off to the Yacht pub.

  • Write and Recite poets recorded on Tuesday 6 Dec 2005

  • The night is Write and Recite and occurs in Dorans Pub, Temple Bar Square, Temple Bar, Dublin every Tuesday after 8.30pm. This in the city centre on the south side of the river Liffey. You can not miss it.

    Saturday, December 03, 2005


    Yo Lah, Scalljah cumin' at Ya quicker than an AK47 workin' overtime for George 'n Dicks "In the Desert Possee".

    We are now up and running on the audio. I have just added a very interesting track by Delta O'Hara, who is a very gifted poet from the West of Ireland. Click the link and start listening. This was recorded at Chaplins Pub - The Poetry Cell Group, which meets every Tuesday in Chaplins pub opposite Trinity College and Pearse Street Garada station after 8.30pm.

  • Live Poetry From Dublin's Finest

  • Write and Recite has moved to Dorans Pub Temple Bar Tuesdays after 8.30pm and the current genius is Mr Incredible, aka Ciaron Philpots from Artane, who is Irelands best gangsta rapper, who creates his magic in his home based bedroom studio with QBase music software and is going great guns. He can genuinely extemporise in the gangsta genre with witty and sharp lyrics. Write adn Recite truly embraces all genres and ages, so come on down and be apart of it.

    We will be bringing you the Write and Recite vibe next week, with live recordings from it, so stay tuned.

    Sunday, November 27, 2005

    Top Up George

    First, da word on the war of an immensley talented all new langpo language maestro and full time party host MC Megagag.

    George, Swifty and their not so incredible mates are on software medication; pop ups, light tablets and full time injections. Their only desire is to ask for more, with black and white certainties in bullseye tosses, throw after throw, every time, to go beyond and become constantly alive in a tastefully engineered practical frame of pure spectacle.

    Not the disposable ones, the freebies and throwaways, the ones they don't want. Not like Dawn's recyclable wrap-arounds; the shiny see through accessories at the OT fashion show. Glasses like that never go out because they're always in, just like George and Swifty and the teams of consultants at the war veterans hospital, the Vale, on ward 11; viewing, watching, making a difference to planetrary affairs and taking a tiny part in the show themselves just by being there on-ward when it's going on. Plugged to the full top up.

    Bullsye tossers; addicted to work, play, tlc, a PC, biscuits, tea and a few games of Bully, where they tip the mask and become avatars to deport through fibre as leaders and top bottle-washers heading a cypher mass of conquistidors in lone rule; dominant elites, bossing about all day and the state in welfare others connect with via George, the sling and mockney barrow boy daring himself in the words of lingo laws.

    One of Georges many bum lickers, Swifty, is thinking of chancing his arm on a sonnet, as long is it isn't just a jumble of loosely numered lines with between 8-10 syllablles, which the straight "A" gang of Full Dollar, DJ Dazzle, Ron the silly man, and Swifty's fellow colleagues on the rap crew are happy to call a sonnet.

    A bit like naming a cardboard box a house, thinks Swifty, just because it has six clearly dilineated boundaries keeping out the terror shapes of a beyond the Full Dollar is scared of, touching cloth about, going beyond, uncontrollable and kacking his load over.

    "No," he writes

    "they are not the same. Both are seperately seen and their presence noted, should there be a need to do so."

    So why do they waffle their wonky words which fool no-one but themselves?

    Because the current "debate of dare" lies with 2005's recent TS lecture, which Swifty has just finished reading, and already his thoughts are firming up. His first impression, after he read the title, is that this year's seer in speech speaking his blather, the TS reader podium god; was attempting a Frostean register, because the legend of "figure" appears. George Siertz starts well, thinks Swifty. He can not speak, all is not there as his recorded life begins and he chuggs along great guns, but after finding himself a fair way into the seer's maxims Swifty gets to the proper doings. The twinkling tingle and jolt off full gen. The biggy that won't hide, Swifty learns, is that George began his career in poesy at 17, in a far off past when life was one eternal day of Tir nOg commerce at Poetry PLC HQ where George was a new nobody who new orbits of reality connect through undying, to love always in bloom.

    The seer in Siertz is at his physical peak in a paradise of the mind where only thought can roam, when he is shown the identity of an "other", in a piece of text he, the unamed "other" dares to call a poem. The poem of a faceless contemporary, shown to George, by another unamed acquataince playing the linguistically small but syntactically big role of being, just another no-one. He who shall remain nameless; for to do so is just not George's natural way. He does not have that kind of false minstrel mask to don, for within his ouvre there is no make-up and paint bag of the shaman and charlatan whose works on paper are utter bollocks. Not the full top up.

    After reading this text George Siertz is outraged at the impertinance of the nameless phoney poet and impulsed to wallow in poesy himself. Show the fakers "what's behind the dream", as the poet Rody Ryan might say, by writing a response. Present himself to the world having "read the commentaries...appearing informed", staying "topped up", and wishing only to motor along like the Mossbawn bard, making pretty shapes in lots of lingo. Dance at disco Parnassus, the posh place with real taste certificates and an upmarket jiggy vibe, getting with it according to the rules, the ones in the cannon, knocked up by the greats who found the edge of mental but weren't bonged out to the bonkers state that gets described as

    "superb, wonderful and brilliant" by professional chatterers professing a deep concern with the well being of poesy and her slaves.

    It strikes Swifty, that Siertz uses the exact same dodges which he moans about in the first part of his TS essay; about sophistry in language and how

    "The terms and turns of speech are part of a discourse that determines outcomes and controls debate" and "language is not a tool but a medium"

    George Siertz gave a great long spiel about how language can be corrupted and used to keep the serfs, like himself, downtrodden; the usual guff designed to give off humble word merchant vibes, hinting that he is only interested in truth, beauty and pure art. However when it comes to the turn and the two unnamed bit parts of annonymous poet and unamed fellow youth roll on his stage of page he begins "giving it the big one" about wanting to write because someone he was connected to wrote a crap poem. His relationship with this person is not dilineated or given detail; he is just the blur and smudge Siertz is asking us to trust him on, that he was "lousey", in the Don Patterson way.

    George says that this was the first poem he had read written by someone he knew, and it was so false to life his being was overtaken by another worldy spirit and he was forced into action to redress the balance.

    Swifty, however, reads it another way, believing it to be an obvious reaction in the jealous 17 year old he imagines Siertz was back then, getting miffed that another may be gifted, just like Swifty is jealous of George? Swifty finds this a more credible plot, as the Siertzean spin George gives is too far fetched for him to swallow whole. Swifty asks

    "How many 17 year olds are really wandering round like Byron, Shelly or a young Wordsworth, siezed by outside powers which compell them to right percieved injustices on behalf of art?"

    Swifty contests that, the kernel at the heart of this TS delivery is but windy arguments put up by a dreamy youth whose imagination is fizzing on overtime, cluttered up with the flame of fancy and weaving its dream into blockbuster epics where he is the central protaganist, free from moral blemish and here to save the world.

    Siertz has a few pops at the Don of last years prattle, and furthers the idea that the poetry world's one constant is the cut and thrust, dust ups, scraps, spats, chance scuffles and protracted battles that occur when poets present themselves through print.

    He rehashes the tingling Astley angle about publishers being poets who constrict the market and, in the same breath, says how great and wonderful and how much he respects his own publisher. Cor blimey, knock me down with a lanky streak of soft hair, George Siertz, daring to be different.

    But the Full Dollar, the one who Swifty switches off the comment box for because he is a stalker talking scary; beyond the usual. Not the usual anglo, but a born druid and full time wandering bore, with 24 hours of piss poor play in the day with which to entertain his fallow bards, regular readers and fellows at the academy of madness bringing life to deposit. With smoke and mirrors, moonshine, black bag, ops, purple rain by Prince, before slipping into the moniker of artist, formally known as the trotting pompenjay plodding his words, some might say, in the background of sound in the record of Swifty's mental illness, written about as part of MC Megagag's ongoing occupational therapy.

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Here We Go Again


  • Click 'n Listen to Scalljah poem

  • With a Chaucerean plot choca full of gags striking chords of national wit registered in the ancient state of a natural literature brimming one step before knowing, and at the teetering edge of a first understanding of the nothing that came before us all, the Mad Craic Comedy Basement Collective

    War on Tour & Laugh Session Salon Presents - The Live Wit of

    Sweeney - Raven - Sloppy Bob - Mr Incredible


    Comedy Hip Hop Duo (Leo and Aidan)


    Special Online Party Recording Guests

    DJ GOD


    MC Megagag

    so Cum, Guffaw



    Ladies and Gentlemen

    Irish poesie afficianado and editor, Ms Mimi Misery, has listened to

    "Basho's Gift of Instant Enlightenment"

    Told - in Haiku no less -

    what is unknown, yet

    about to begin

    and punters making pronouncements on topics
    of interest,


    "what falls before and will again
    are those unknowing how
    things arrange, or
    how to call."

    For her fern seed
    will land
    where faith has a home
    and stories untold
    await the teller who'll
    pocket reality
    from her fictions

    to create a belief of what lies
    within the lone dream her dead lovers
    pour still as liquid spirit into many minds.


    An Irish Poetry Knobhead Squad was out in force last night, prowling a gallery of art, puffed up in an all weather jacket the operative felt unable to remove, due to her unhygienic state. For the last forty-eight hours, "Dick Tocker" (lurking undercover in the guise of a balding white-slum male officer agent on duty for the Global Poetry Coalition's Intelligence and Enforcement Agency) has been sporting a dress and calling himself "Mimi", fully equipped to capture and extol the showtime vibes crucial for honest poesie to thrive, and; he, as a she, had a right old dust up of things

    So much so
    that the muse whose balance weights his reality
    - in the critical pieces of incisive reportage crewperson Tocker has been contracted to produce -
    is no longer communing with Dick/Mimi, and so arrangements have been agreed with an alternative memmber of staff which are now in effect.

    The role of author
    exploring where language may lead
    has been handed over to the mind of MC Megagag
    Lovidia Yeats,

    who wields
    through mechanical pencil
    and keyboard
    what thoughts within her allotted span
    will breathe in print towards
    unmarked borders winding through the breeze unchecked

    to a point of light calculation
    - now gadget measured -
    but once a knowledge vast generations
    of ancients guarded in the temples of their gods;

    on the cusp of getting brought
    within a complex of arbiters
    whose practice of symbol
    ritual, truth, 24 hour a day unemployment
    and full time leisure opportunities

    takes place continuously
    here at the Helicon Heights HQ
    of Dublin Quays

    where the Liffey river urges you to drop in, turn on and tune out. For a strange thing is afoot in the world of verse, and art-hewn bulliten boards straining under the leish of trivia are informing us of tremendously important developments in the world of Irish words and, as one night's tale can be told as anothers let me recount how

    In a sea
    beneath some steps
    the shorebound salmon
    listens to nuts talking of fish
    swimming through squalls

    and an audience of water falling sedate
    as its force lifts bouyant
    affirmnational rites.

    a lone headlamp collides
    with alert rabbit-like eyes, alive

    unable to hop through space
    bouncy, unexpected
    pressing and real.

    So it merges in absent connection
    tasted or told,

    and the animal sticks up its paw
    cutting figures through air
    searching for the centre-point
    of dawn's eternal love

    in a flame of life
    timelessly tick
    tocking homeward to a cool
    faced glow where modernity's edge

    sits atop of nature
    kip grim

    unable to hide or stop
    from flopping completely
    in frozen shatters
    as its meek clop beat bop
    bleats chip silent from the clock.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Colette Nic Aodha - Sundial Launch

    I've just come from Damar Hall, the new venue of Poetry Ireland on Stephens Green, listening to Colette Nic Aodha from Mayo and currently living in Galway with her three sons. "Sundial" is the title of her first collection in English. She has had three Irish language poetry volumes published by Coisceim as is this one. She read six works which all displayed a verbal sense of sound that is a trademark in most Irish poets. The natural way assonance is patterned in and the inherent musicality of the lingo weavers over here suggests that the thought structures of the old tongue must still be knocking about; in basic mode - like the emergency lights after a power cut stay on - always there as the linguistical outline, which Peter Fallon would say "is in the DNA."

    Unfortunatley I do not have her book to hand, as I didn't have the purchase price, but I had a quick scan of the bloke's next to me (there to support so he would have to "buy a book") which was enough to soak in a basic appreciation of the assonantal Irishness we are unable to escape from even should we want to. The six she read were

    1 - She sold soap on a rope - This was a mildly satirical list poem repeating the refrain "Avon Women are"..blah blah blah, who the poet has idealised as all being a perfect "10" hot blondes with busy lives and shallow minds.

    2 - Next up on the set list was "Career Change" about an old woman of 78 changing careers, with the line "we farmed our bodies out to sea" sticking in my head at the time.

    3 - ? Oops, journalistic error, I couldn't hear what she said so had to write a question mark, then forgot to ask her post bash as we all had a gargle of the Poetry Irealnd white and red. However this was quite a powerful piece of satire, slagging off all and sundry who had provoked her ire, certainly not an affirmation poem. She has imbued the spirit of satire completely and would seem to be a tough cookie to go head to head with in a slanging contest or iomarbháigh, as it was known in the bardic days, when they had formal counter-boasting competitions. Being out on the West Coast raised on the myths of Ireland means she has a knowledge of the gaelic system of licensing satirists; and their power was feared throughout the land, much like journalists today wielding influence in the showbiz columns.

    Picture the scene. You are a wannabee celeb of Tom Cruise proportions in China Whites and you spot the Daily Mirror 3am girls quaffing back the ale. You are attired in a sheepskin shirt and sieze your big chance at tabloid advertising by sashaying over to weave your aura round the scantily clad hacks, but the vibe is wonky and the next day you get a one line mauling taking the Michael at your stature, maybe sticking a nickname on you, (ail - in bardic grading means a piss take moniker that sticks) say "the sheepskin shortarse."

    "Woe is me" you would lament over your coco pops and hangover the following afternoon whilst recovering from the blunders of the night before.

    The old Irish satirists were much in this mould, gaining patronage through fear as much as anything else. Quick wits on the piss wanting free scoff, could we say?

    In addition could some claim to record around 12 levels of "official" satire in gaelic Ireland, from -

    aisnéis: "insulting speech, without harmony", which was not in metrical verse, right through to the ultimate biggie -

    glám dícend - a full magico-religious ceremony involving 100 people, and done to bring about the downfall of a king. Here is a quote from this site -

    "The satire ritual of legend, that blisters the face. The king is fasted against; counsel is taken with 30 laymen, 30 bishops and 30 poets about making a glám dícend. The king is warned once more. If the king refuses the satirist's request, none of the 90 who were consulted may hinder the glám dícend."?

    So pretty scary; unlike colette, who was attired in post-theatre cocktail blacks and a diamonte chandelier necklace, a wisp of hair falling foxily about her face as she gracefully moves through the seive of air to reach the final line of this satirical work -

    "eternal engulfed falling black hole......this poet never forgets her detractors." I'd better keep it nice and lite otherwise the supernatural forces which surround poetry may beam me up, chain me to the naughty chair of the cosmos and subject my spirit to an eternity of Kurt Schwitters Titter Mix Vol 1, eight euro CD.

    4 - Open Letter to Billy Collins - another softly satirical poem where the narrator gets wobbly over one of America's main wordman, recalling an encounter with him where less load and heavyweight collide and spark to light a poem of him being, like many a poet, a bit of a "Jack Daniels" man.

    "...didn't wash for the full revolution of a moon" the narrator says, who we are led to suspect is the author herself, for we discover the composition of the letter is being worked after her career arc hits the height of an appearance fee for being present and reading at a literature event, and the big time of getting into paid print.

    5 - "Speaking Minority Languages" - Distracted at this point by the inner sound of my mind which stole attention away from detailing Collete's full register, I indulged during this rendition, the thought of a muse escaped and had a brief mental time out moment from pinching lingo from the other's sounds, weaving public as the fibres in what societal fabric of needs which order our lives and timetable our routine of, eat, work and shop awake etc.

    6 - "Sundial" - Her collection's title - Her great-grandfather built a sundial in a Mayo homestead. The poem is of his daughter's dying.

    7 - "The Mob" - A kaleidoscpic jumble of classical gods from antiquity are tossed in the air, as she tells us of the cultured phonies she has no time for, finshing on the line

    "They can shove their gods up their kaleidescope"

    I detect this work may be alive in its own right as a text, possibly with an audience agog; as I, prior to my first hearing, became informed from her un-horse like mouth with first hand knowledge of any potentially expected explosion in the wow and dazzle factors that baffle outsiders unable to grasp what absence is apparent when some of the cultural code and sensibility comes in an ancient "nod and wink language" where a central laissez gaelic faire doctrine exists and watches time mangling its quantum codes, incalcuably uncracked or computed to exactness elsewhere, but finely infitting with an island where any compact between two parties is implicity overt, in the sense of that there is a natural state of awareness that all future projections, from island peace breaking out to popping round your pals gaffe for a jangle, contain no guarantes of coming to pass as reality.

    Maybe because of an inherent logic in the psyche which states that when Irish people speaking English arrange to drop by around 8pm, it is understood, unstated, to expect an estimated time of arrival for 8-9pm,as the usual running order is to ignore the start time, because nearly all events, from posting letters to national affairs, inevitably kick off fifteen a minimum of minutes later than advertised, in person or print, so a mini wave of Manana is constantly breaking its way towards a shore alive with rushing matters. Ooh, I need a lie down, before I continue with the serious critical blather about how this collection is somewhat satirical, satire being the dominant strain I detected in the current ouvre of Nic, who is also an organiser of the IMRAM Irish langugae festival, which takes place in Dublin every October. In addition to this Collette is on the board of Poetry Ireland Directors, keeping an eye out for the good health of Irish poesie in general, undertaking directerly duties.

    She left and went on the lash down a Grafton Street boozer whilst I slaved over the limp computer to bring the gossip and tattle straight from source. Another event bashed out and begoned.


    However, the night is but young and there are a very attractive couple of Italian internet users seated next to me who need assistance finding some sense of themselves as artist, so I am thinking of introducing myself, by way of saying

    "Good evening, my name is Ovid, would you care to dance with my readers and be their inspiration to trip it down the disco and bust shapes like we three could should we all agree on the formula life holds, in a yet untitled poem I am yearning to write once you convince me to sit by your smile moist in the west wind shedding its wetness. Any suggestions?" I am going to ask

    Honest faith is everywhere, awaiting
    collection by those who find belief in
    flammeble bits of life's lumber which sheds
    suspended until their ignition tells
    those wanting to share shelf paper crack thin
    rafter packed hut stacks, to prepare with
    dizzy array, undead woods dry dazzle
    and pray their cinder sparks will blend as one
    should a soulmate on fire prime the cannon
    of love to blow instantly tender once
    a force fans light to where its flame has gone.


    Ovid Yeats

    Sunday, October 23, 2005


    Irish Poetry had an outing on the evening of Thursday 13 October in the Dublin writers centre, where the main event of a five day Irish language arts bash occurred. The IMRAM festival of native literature decamped for the night to witness the gifts of Welsh poets Menna Elfyn, Ifor ap Glyn and Irish/German poet Gabriel Rosenstock, read poems. Elfyn read her work in Welsh and English, ap Glyn read his in Welsh alone, and Rosenstock read translations of both of their poems in Irish.

    I have an absence of both languages, but this made no difference to my full appreciation of these three poets. And although Rosenstock was on duty wearing a two hatted stance of festival organiser and reciter, he was on great form all round and exuded a sense of the wider positive affirmation poetry brings to its initiates and submittants. The Welsh visitors were greatly moved by the warmth of welcome from their fellow celts; and just before the book buy and sign atmosphere began at the termination of the reading several poets came all over a bit goo goo’ish about the shared culture and genes. "We are of one blood" was the wrap up line; and with that the business of cracking open the gargle began in earnest.

    ap Glyn has some seriously good word think ups which fulfill the Amergin attributed "binding principle" of "good poetic construction", and he also has a unique bardic register of suburban concerns which amply demonstrate his competency to fill the hot seat throne at Cymru's poetry flame HQ. Being reared in London to speak Welsh makes him a pretty rare breed, and he quoted a Welsh historian whose name I omitted to write, as I sat there nicking what sounds struck me as they moved through the air of that Augustan room, where the colour brown has been newly rolled upon the walls once aqua green, and where many a phoney and artist have made their stand and wowed or bored whatever audience was there.

    And whilst I am unaware if the paint job was commissioned especially for this night, I would not be in the slightest surprised where it the case; for another interior development had also occurred, the stationing of tables with, as I recall, tasteful tablecloths upon which the audience could lay there glasses. Usually you have to use the floor, or abstain until the readings end and then join the rest of the throng or thin crowd supping vertical.

    The Welsh historian ap Glyn mentioned, famously said of his homeland -

    "Wales is an artefact we have to make and remake every generation, if we want"

    And ap Glyn is certainly committed to doing this and his beatiful poems show that he is doing it in a vital and vibrant way, the true voice obvious and "there", as Paula Meehan would say. Also true to his poetical heritage, he was completely off the page; all his work being delivered by memory, which demostrates his complete commitment to the poet's craft, which I suspect is more than just a job to pay the rent, certainly his life's passion. We had a brief chat after the do and I told him that he must be a pretty unique bird and have the London-Welsh poet market stitched up. Born to Welsh parents in London until 20 years of age and then Wales till now, over 20 years later. He was chatty enough but not really a full throttle social butterfly, unlike Rosenstock, who took my hand and chaunted an ancient bit of verse by way of sussing my credentials. After I spun him a faith poem he declared that fate had decreed our paths would cross; that our lives were intersecting at that point not only because we were both having a few snifters. I told him he was correct and picked his brain about my "Cauldron of Poesie" ideas, and we both agreed that everyone had it wrong but us.

    Unfortunately I have no ap Glyn work at hand at this moment, as I sit in the office here at Indisub Internet cafe on the Quays, although I do at home, and I may return to this later, but at the moment I need to tell you of a more recent event, which took place this evening.

    Four members of the Irish Poetry team have been performing their work in Temple Bar, at the weekly, Sunday "Speakers Corner", drawing a fair sized crowd and aiding those less fortunate than themselves find their voice. After we all randomly bumped into each other in Temple Bar Square and did our bit for the public, several marginalized voices were inspired by our performance and found their confidence and had their say; as they supped their gargle and staggered befuddled up onto the staging. Yes, the homeless drink gang whose native spot is Temple Bar, where they live the simple life of sitting with a cup, day in, day out, wind rain or shine, waiting for the off-licence to open so they can get their ale in and begin the day in true dosser style knocking it back without much of a break.

    These voices where the perfect foil with which to ply our peal, and the loudness of register and overall audience reaction was very positive. Bemused English people on their weekend pissups stopped and gawped unable to take it in. Spanish/Italians/German/French/Dutch/Polish and a veritable United Nations of gawkers, found the true bardic vibe was alive and well here in the heart of that place they know from…erm the telly and that, where everyone’s begorra begod, but a right laugh on the ale. Yes, they found the Ireland of their dreams was real; bards on street corners knocking it out full belt, causing them and their European fellows to make a wish that they could take the week off work in Holborn, the Hauge Huddersfield or East Ham and stay longer to wallow in the vibe. After the show at speakers corner Noel Sweeney had to make tracks to the Auld Dub pub, but Mr Incredible (Ciaron Philpots) myself, and God (Mike from Meath) executed the busking. This is the first time I’ve worked with God on the streets, but Mr Incredible and I have been occassional colleagues on a number of occasions. During the early part of the summer myself, he and Theolophis, an LA poet here for a few months, worked the magic together and kicked started the Irish Poetry commitment to bringing quality work to the audience direct.

    Theolophis’s leaving party was the first time the gang got evangelical, an atmosphere I imagine would have been the norm for Jack and Allen Ginsberg when they had their beat school bashes, ram jammed with a poetry loving set of misfits reality could not invent. This was a night no one who was there will ever forget. Raven, Theo, Mr Incredible, Sweeney, God, Jerry, Fintan, Birch and too many others to fill a list. This July night marked the arrival of something special, much in the mould of what Menna Elfyn said, just before being informed that Welsh and Irish Language poets were "of one blood".

    She said that poetry is "affirmation"; much the same as Heaney and all the poets who had, and have; what Brendan Behan believed was essential for a poet to possess, "a loving heart."

    Saturday, October 15, 2005


    Shall we pray as one united entity -
    try our best?

    Or are we all programmed
    to explode upon contact with the creator?

    Like atoms at fissure curtailed no longer
    or, free from doubt?

    Do we choose in the end - make an effort
    or make no difference?

    Fibres in the fabric of absent matter
    awaiting its slot of exposure to the god-
    head gushing as its meant?

    Or as close to no consequence as is possible
    to get without having lived and left a trace

    wherever life leads, wherever we tread

    before its shell returns what spiritual
    force we imagine ran true when drawing up our breath?

    What blueprint's mapping the conceptual landscapes
    as we post thought from a lectern postured
    stance of academic sense?

    Does a lettered gown within there curl outward
    sans serif?

    Straight lines anchor to a thread of fixed alertness

    woven as one mesh of presence adorning the seive
    of whatever filter perculates the essential sketch

    discerened as we cross the egg yolk film thin threshold
    and surrender our souls to the void of death?

    Will we notice if we sink or lift in the evenly weighted
    balance of passageways linking the extremities and depths
    inherent in joyous sorrow to the earth upon which
    ineffable order unfolds our flesh?

    Are we campaigners in a familiar yet ancient faith
    environment, ideal to situate the practice of managing
    language made artefacts, whose restoration

    comes through the simple act of allowing our
    reverance an outlet to access the mystery
    in a climate laid bare of waste;

    where vectors of dispersal are a
    continual Yeatsean deportment of the gyre's
    gyrational flux
    which emanate the role of beings we play

    in the characters breathing creation
    through lines this life demanded we took
    from the pages our eyes came to rest on
    as we read the self wrote book?

    Desmond Swords

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Murder of Crows; the story

    Having been active in creative protests and direct actions addressing the rights of the dispossessed in my native California, upon moving to Ireland I became interested in the history and plight of the travellers. I have only lived here for seven months, and it has been shocking to me that the Irish, a people once so maligned, marginalised and persecuted in their own country, would turn and do the same to their own -- in their own country. I do not say this as an indictment of the Irish; as a newcomer I do not have the right and I am sure that in my limited understanding of the issues regarding the travellers I may be mistaken on some of the finer points. But I have seen the same and worse in my own country often enough to recognise prejudice and the anger/violence it strikes up in people who are afraid, distrustful of or perhaps simply embarrassed by elements in their society that they feel are not in accordance with the social norms.

    The xenophobia that exists in Ireland is by far a milder variety than that cultivated in the United States; Ireland doesn't have the same history of utilising racism as a means of maintaining a capitalist structure ( a comic strip I read once back home had Uncle Sam saying "We don't practice racism... we've perfected it!") The variety that does exist here, however, has existed long before the rapid influx of immigrants, and I dare say may represent a kind of self-hatred -- because the faces of the travellers are the faces of the Irish. As an African American, sadly I have witnessed this same kind of attitude amongst middle and upper class blacks with regard to their sisters and brothers in the ghettos. Indeed, it is an attitude which poisons even some in the ghettos. I have witnessed the same here in working class people who have voiced a hatred for the travellers that is perplexing only when the surface is seen. Dig deeper.

    As for the poem itself, my wife and I were engaged in several conversations over the course of many weeks regarding the travellers, the historical plight of the Irish in general and her family's place in that history (she's Scots-Irish); those conversations were the genesis of much of the imagery in this piece:

    Murder of Crows

    Fly from here
    this land is steeped in alcohol
    the fermented borders
    of the whiskey road
    make a man's feet drunk
    and the finish overstays its
    welcome on the tongue, like the
    biting backwash of light from
    houses where you and your own
    are unknown

    Welcome to the verging rain; those faces
    the torrent broken reflections
    of what will not be forgotten
    huddled on the edges of the black pool

    Without you we spin
    like the taught and tarred skins
    of coracles in that dark eddy
    and history becomes
    what oracles tell:
    the secrecy of owls in their nocturnal parliament
    the murder of crows in their riot
    the shrieking jackdaw and magpie
    in their arc
    across the verdant rise
    to fill their bellies on scorn

    Many deny but
    all know the taste of it
    in the hard crust
    of our daily bread
    and all the things a
    mountain of butter
    cannot rectify

    October 2005

    Monday, October 10, 2005


    We are training as language artists
    in an alluring Western based ambience
    where pastoral and urbane intersect

    vectors of cultural flux mesh serendipitously
    and there are bards enough proclaiming of posie
    from the page to station on every street corner
    mountain peak, in all wooded glens,

    and working every sector of the poetic spectrum
    poets' compose with to reach "there"; be it

    - quantitive, syllabic, accentual stress, combined metric
    slam, L=A=N=G=A=U=G=E, open form, tragic
    confessional, comedic, write-through or mental composition -

    Techniques we have come to possess and will deploy
    with varying degrees of success, failure, loss and benifit
    in the aquiring of skills which increase the consumptional
    capacity of our appetite for language

    until such time that we feel capable of, metaphorically
    eating the alphabet

    a goal acheivable in 15 years hence

    when we dream of scoffing knowledge on lingo binges
    feasting on linguistical fare
    lashing our eyes full of letter nosh
    sucking soundgrub into our ear's gut

    and ingesting text for regurgitation to "other" voices
    who passenger on the shuttlebus of love;

    where we are all gourmets gorging on blather
    in one united assotment of sound, from

    a quick smooth swoosh of solid reliable speed hulks
    hurtling into a deep unconscious order of unkowable tune, to

    freight laden trucks labouring in gridlock on
    clogged access routes to the sublime fleeting energy;

    whose jolts can compact galaxies to black
    holes vacuum packed with an absence of time

    tracing our concept mark of living as one with the infinite mind;

    and bestowing by its thrumb
    seer gifts of prophetic possession
    to some poetic depositers of text, be it printed or binary coded opticle
    data bits travelling through fibre to gozzy gawp gawk fests yet to begin.

    We are the knocker uppers tapping on the window pane of literature
    fitting up the page with poesy of all genre and form

    from recognisably life affirming
    to the unrecognisably banal barren mind space of knowing
    if a singular discharge un-owns creation.

    And between these two extremities
    is life itself
    replicating and assembling its note of busyness
    demanding access to profess that you wander
    round the kitchen like a two bit twok till all from
    Ballymum to Ballsbridge sing

    "The salmon you seek swims ineluctably upstream
    to bind complete the continuum's principle impulse

    returning through a labyrinth imititive of bioscape
    brainshapes recording the pictoral quiver flue
    of a life force unborn but spawning wisdom"

    Shall we look into beyond for the faithfully inclined
    unhearing what tune of belief to sing as they rise to begin their song?

    Friday, October 07, 2005


    Here's a thing from a kids book I never wrote. There's this sort of creepy reclusive Willy Wonka figure who's been held captive most of his life by his wicked uncle who has persuaded him of the evil of the outside world. So this is his song:

    Fred Farkle’s Fear of the Outside World

    Outside is very cold and very dark;
    And goblins squat and air-spurred spectres ride;
    Killers fill the shadows in the park,
    And in street corners, murderers reside.
    The wind whips savagely and, cutting wide,
    Raises deadly creatures hid from sight,
    Who slink and creep and plot and snarl and slide.
    The demon dances blackly through the night.

    The dogs howl blood and poisonous the bark
    Of stunted trees to sick birds, mucus-eyed
    From weariness and horror and the stark
    Evil of nature bleached and terrified.
    The ghastly air blows thin, a deathly bride
    Wed fast to Plague too thick to let in light.
    And through it all in screeching wrath and pride,
    The demon dances blackly through the night.

    This is my only refuge, this my ark
    To keep me from the wicked blood-dimmed tide
    And thick-lunged horror, sick seas where the shark
    And strangling snake and slimy spirits glide.
    So here I am, and here I must abide,
    Where I am safe and things are warm and bright;
    For out there, mad, with evil by his side
    The demon dances blackly through the night.

    Fintan Higgins

    Saturday, October 01, 2005


    Now that's what I call entertainment
    we're witnessing history in the making
    written by the winners and the
    people who say wherever there
    is money to be made it's
    all there for the taking

    You may have read about it in
    the papers
    there's kids trained on arcade
    games and space invaders
    who get target practice at home
    aiming pistols at their
    playstations, and now they're
    taking all their orders from
    George Walker Texas Ranger

    knowing that if they don't do
    as they're told they'll get
    called traitors, even if it means
    they'll be hated by their neighbours

    but why on earth should they care
    they're laughing in the face of danger
    doing what they do best just to
    make the world a little safer

    So when they get killed crippled
    or decorated and some of the soldiers
    start to wonder where the
    hell the parade is, they'll have to
    learn the hard way that it's been
    going on for ages, that there's
    lots of money to be made in a war
    that rages

    so who pays the price?
    who's the hole in their pocket?
    because someone's loss is always
    someone else's profit

    It happens right in front of us
    but we don't watch it
    just shit Bruce Willis films
    that make a killing at the box office

    I don't mind preaching to the choir
    when freedom fries in friendly
    fire, time after time it's no
    surprise, it's an eye for an eye
    until we all go blind

    This summer's biggest blockbusters
    don't have big name stars or much
    of a budget, just a bunch of bandits
    with camcorders and swords and
    some heads to chop off on the
    cutting room floor

    We never give in to kidnappers'
    demands, if we don't pay them
    ransom we won't look that bad
    because we know that the rest of
    the world understands and together
    we can all wash the blood from our hands

    But as for the Arabs we have other
    plans, they'll be smoked out of
    every right hole in the land
    till we're sure that they're all dead
    and buried in sand

    where one day our big business
    skyscrapers will stand
    it's hard not to seperate fact
    from fiction when faced with a
    monkey like man on a mission

    a leader who learned all about
    his religion from Mel Gibson
    films with his evengalism
    whose not even capable of
    taking his own decisions
    whether it's abortion or killing
    people in prisons

    He's about the right size and
    daddy's shoes fit him
    if he's going down he's taking
    all of us with him

    I don't mind preaching to the choir
    when freedom fries in friendly
    fire, time after time it's no
    surprise, it's an eye for an eye
    till we all go blind

    Cameras can shoot nothing worse
    than the truth, it's a tooth for
    a tooth, we've the pictures for
    proof, and it's coming home to
    roost, so that's all left to do
    is dig up Bob Hope for a morale

    Yeah GI Joe is gonna have to do
    some explaining, coz photos of
    abuse by troops sold a load of
    newspapers and caused a sensation
    across all of the stations

    Just think what a third world war
    would do for the ratings
    you may have read about it in the
    newspapers, there's kids trained
    on arcade games in space invader
    who get target practice at home
    aiming pistols at their
    playstations, and now they're
    taking orders from George Walker
    Texas Ranger.

    Leo Crowley

    A couple of new voices turn up at the now Monday night warble poetry open mic/workshop, upstairs at the Duke pub, Duke Street, second left off Grafton Street as you walk up from Molly Malone's bronze figure. It's a few down from Phil Lynots one outside the Bruxelle Street boozer of the same name.

    This was a few weeks ago when the Monday night session was on Tuesday at the Left Bank Bar, Oliver St John Gogarty's Pub, before the move to another past heartland of Dublin literary life still in use as an art mine and gallery where occur theatrical displays of poetic performance by writers today learning the art of "earning a ryhme", as Mossbawn's bard calls the business of "professing poetry", an occupation one stressed "I" lighter than "prophesying," which is an interesting word I hope to write 3000 words on and deliver from the podium at a poetics conference in at The Disembodied Impossible Poetic College of Higher Education, very soon becoming a university, so effectively I'm going to a University next summer, and one of the topics up for potential blathering on about is "Prophets and seers". A 3000 word essay read from the page and a potential 20 minute tour de force piece of stagework work for the actor prepared to memorise his text.

    But what are "prophets and seers" and do I have to be either one or both? Do these positions involve altering the mind through drugs or chewing flesh of some kind? Do I have to deliver prohecy in order to book the hotel? Will I have to make any explicit predictions during the address, and if so can I get away with making up an episode of divine inspiration if one is not forthcoming between now and then?

    I will prepare by reading George Calder's 1917 translation of the Irish text "Auraicept Na N-eces/Scholars Primer"; which I have been wanting to lay my hands on for some time, but have been unable to because of laziness and the general difficulties involved in finding a copy at public libraries.

    I know none of its contents, although I have a very dim idea that it was some kind of basic bardic instruction text used in the numerous pre-17C civil judiciary academies were the lawyer/poets with a flare for analysising words, trained in acquiring skills which increased the consumption capacity of their appetite for language, until they were capable of (metaphotically speaking) eating the alphabet

    I stumbled across Eryn Laurie Rowan's translation of an Amergin attributed poem she has titled "The Cauldron of Poesy," which appears in the "Auraicept Na N-eces/Scholars Primer."

  • Scholars Primer

  • I will have to wait until I have a copy of Calder's book to compare his version with Rowan's, but as a stand alone poem this is an interesting and accessible read, whose narrative, or more accurately, its ruling poetic of "binding principle", lays out what is essentially an explanation of why not every poet's compositional methods will advance to a point where their skill of practice draws from the higher poetic grades or "streams" that have traditionally been associated with prohecy.

    But all this is for another time and will not be of interest to the general poetry buff only wanting to wallow in the shallow end of poesy's pool, and a book I can recommend for the paddlers who are drawn to light literary entertainment is Anthony Cronin's aptly titled "Memoir," first published in 1976. It's a riotous assemblage of memory, jolting back to life Patrick Kavangh, Brendhan Behan, Julian Maclaren-Ross, the painters Robert MacBryde and Robert Colquhoun and Brian O'Nolan, who wrote under the pseudonyms of Flann O'Brien, Myles na Gopaleen (Myles of the Small Horses) and George Knowall.

    Brian O'Nolan, a notorious man of the forties and fifties hit the bigtime of his literary success as a brilliant new writer; a recent University College Dublin graduate whose absurdist style of satirical fiction appeared in various newspapers and books during the course of his life, up until his death in 1966. He is painted by Cronin as a stickler and straight man who had been knocking about Dublin as a literary heavyweight from the 1920's, and he enters Cronin's full tapestry of gags around the time the poet had become a qualified barrister ready to strut his stuff as a member of the recently independant Irish judiciary. However Cronin's big break was not to be into the courts or law rooms of 1940's Dublin, but an office job in retail considered a good number for a man of his prospects and station in mid 40's Ireland. However Cronin only wishes to become an artist and so withdraws from from pursuing a commercial career, eventually washing up in a back garden shed, one of a sucession of residences he shared with Brendan Behan.

    Behan's paternal grandfather was a music hall artist who had written Irelands national anthem and passed on the musical gift to his grandson, who breaks into boistrous boozing sessions with Cronin and into the story right at the start, offering his own literary ambition as succour to Cronin's, and in their quest of becoming writers, embark on an alcohol fuelled grand tour to renaissance sites in order, they hope, to suck up Art's vibe at source. The only problem they have is an absence of money with which to fully execute, what turns out to be Behan's masterplan of defecting to Chekoslavakia, in an effort to acquire instant confirmation as capitalism rejecting artists in search of worldwide success. Behan's scheme is revealed to Cronin once the sojourn has reached France, but after a spell of days in Paris they split their seperate ways under a cloud of mutual annomosity; immediately dispelled after a few weeks of Cronin hitch hiking to Northern Italy and hearing, upon making his way back to Ireland through Paris, his name being called by Behan. Behan fills in Cronin on what happened since they last spoke, of him joining the Foreign Legion for a night and being allowed to keep his signing on bounty as he left the following day.

    They are both nearly broke; Cronin more so than Behan, but pleased at the prospect of a joint return to Dublin they go on the lash and doss under a bridge for a few days whilst waiting for a mystery benefactor Behan claims wants to give him money. Whilst under the bridge Croinin paints one of the funniest scenes to enter my mind, when he wakes to find his size 11 shoes missing and has to slide around his small area under the bridge for three days sheltering from the constant downpours in the spare size 6 pair Behan had brought along for the defection party when he crossed the Border in Austria, whilst Behan runs round the city on the scrounge. Eventually he gets a touch from who may be Simone deBeauvoir and Cronins foot saviour leaves a miracle by the side of the road to Rouen as they are leaving Paris, in the form of a discarded pair of cut off wellingtons.

    They return to Ireland and carry on chasing the muse in McDaids Pub, The Palace, the Duke and numerous other watering spots in the city, where Kavanagh steps into their orbit, as a poet approaching middle age and a descent into alocoholism. Rather than rehash it here, go, read the book and let me tell you of Leo Crowley and his pal Aiden, who did an excellant duet after Leo did the above poem, which reminded me of Amiri Baraka's mid 70's marxist stuff. They came along because they had bumped into the rest of the Left Bank locals at the Saul Willimas memorisational poetry show at Crawdaddy in Dublin the week before.

    The duet was called "No Show" and was delivered balanced at the precise centre of the dividing line between speech and song, which I had not witnessed before in any living persons in such intimate terms.

    "Tonight tonight to

    L - Well we couldn't catch a train there was a nation wide rail strike
    so we caught a cab because the taxi blinked a tail light and
    we got aboard a bus and gave ourselves a little high five

    A - Well I had to man because I couldn't take the stage fright

    L - Hold tight
    A - Come on alright
    L - We got a play a gig tonight
    A - I know I know
    L - I know you know
    A - Well then shut up and let me go
    L - Relax
    A - I am relaxed
    L - Well then relax
    A - Just shut up and get off my back
    L - Oh what, you don't have to shout like that

    A - Push the button for us all to be dropped at the next stop
    L - We hopped off at the wrong stop, walked and got lost
    A - Found ourselves broke without a penny to toss
    L - In our lives
    A - In our pockets
    L - How do we cover the cost

    Oh how did we ever get ourselves into this

    A - I don't know
    L - Well keep an eye out while I'm taking a piss
    A - I think you should have thought about it more before you made a mess of things
    L - I didn't
    A - Yes you did and now we're gonna miss the gig

    Oh no you know you know you know
    tonight it's gonna be a no show

    You know you know you know you know
    tonight it's gonna be a no show

    A - Well maybe we should call upon the band to help us
    L - They're probably on stage right now doing a sound check
    A - What d'yer wanna tell 'em
    L - Tell 'em wind up the crowd
    A - But how they gonna do that


    You're right we'll have to get ourselves together and go
    coz we don't wanna be no no show

    Bliuppp Bliuppp

    It's the lads

    You know you should have been here 'bout and hour ago?

    Well we'd be there right now if we were any way professional
    but I guess we're not as tight as we might like

    You'd better not be expecting me to take all the blame

    oh real mature Aidan

    The alternative to mainstream poetry possee of Dublin

    We did a Patrick Kavanagh celebration 2005 in the Palace Bar Dublin, which is where he held court with the hacks and Leanne O'Sullivan and Maurice Scully came along. The night was about putting established and emerging artists on the same bill and to this end it went great. We all ended up back at gods place (ie mike from meath due to his flowing locks) having a poem session, and the night brought home some powerful realisations, namely that poetry is ultimately about a basic human need of wanting to belong and be loved.

    Thursday, August 18, 2005


    Hi Y'all, this is where we will post the stuff that gets podcast.