Saturday, December 30, 2006

Simon sacking Mandy.

I am listening to Ian Mackellen and Simon West sound Simon Armitage's rendering of the Annonomously authored alliterative romance - Sir Gawain and the Green Night, the 14C poem written in what is known as an alliterative revival style of that period.

It is the finest revisiting of the old-school I have witnessed since reading Derek Hines interpretation of the world's oldest tale - the Sumerian Gilgamesh myth - from a few years back, and I suspect that this classic tale, expertly rendered readably poetic in the contemporary vernacular, will be a commercial cross-over, critical smash hit and cause for his reputation to slide up the Anglo-Lingo pole of the mainstream readers mind, so he will be matched as a contendor from officialdom - amongst the volunteer Laureates intriguing to get their hands on Mandy Motion's butt of sack - for the hot seat in a flowery dell at the oracle where state-bards and professional bores slug it out for the UK's chief crown of eloquence.

Of course, others will be scheming for national recognition of their own gods. For JH Prynne, Bob Cobbing or Sebastian Barker to be dug up and posthumously knighted and interned at the abbey; or engaged in continual and covert leakings of Vicki Veaver's credentials for the post when politicking at the wine and cheese tables of London poesy with the top brass.

There will even be cranks and crackpots on the various campaigns mon compadres. Daftos advocating Sir Ken Dodd for Emperor at the Poetry Society or Ian McMillan for the chair at Harvard.

Hopefully there will be some ruthlessly engaged with losing their senses when self-promoting, in their quest to be cloaked with the mantle of Ard Ollamh - in the White House pub, Limerick - this October as part of the International Cuisle poetry festival. Attempting to inveigle themselves into the inner sanctum of the executive commitee and influence members of the selection panel of the inaugural All Ireland Live Literature Championship, by grace and favour, brown envelopes, back-handers and bungs in bog cubicles.

I certainly hope so, and if anyone out there wants to curry favour and inprove their standing with me in my official capacity as Chairman and senior derelict of this commitee, please get in touch by way of a cash bribe.


This is Annonymous/Armitage at the very end of the poem, when Sir Gawain explains how he came by the girdle the wife of the Green knight gave him.

"Through this I suffered a scar to my skin
for my loss of faith was physically defaced

what a coveting coward I became it seems.

I was tainted by untruth and this - it's token
I will drape across my chest till the day I die

for mans' crimes can be covered but never
made clean. Once entwined with sin, man is
twinned for all time"

So that slanting green stripe was adopted as
their sign. Each knight who held it was
honoured forever.

An adventure which happened in the era of
Arthur. And ever since Brutus gave birth to
the British - once the seizure, assault and
slaughter at Troy had ceased - our coffers
have been crammed with stories such as these.


Anyone who has read this poem in it's original form must agree that he has done a beyond brilliant job Mon amis, non?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy St Stephen's Day

I no longer live with noisy neighbours from life's lower orders who muck with the aesthetic flux, but in a bardic attic 15 feet by 45 - and glad to be out of the plasterboard coffin called my previous home, as those who read the last missive will know.


The stuff I'm interested in has just started to be appear online and it's written by very knowledgable historians.

The net is ideal for those who specialise in something so high-grade, antiquated and unread, It is the perfect outlet for publishing their work as it brings a wider audience than a handful of colleagues and friends

I've been full steam ahead here as I can just read till flopping. I've been reading lots of newly posted research material, so the brain-slog is simplifying as the guiding information I'm after comes to my fingertips to - hopefully - thicken up the poetry. Getting it beleivable by getting to know the historical facts in Ireland from the earliest printed record. There is a truthful picture to find beneath the haystacks of traffic and I'm gathering the needles which will unpick the fiction from fact.

The accurate information coming online helps me speed up the process of seperating myth from reality in Irish manuscript, as info which used to take a lifetime to access and assimilate starts getting Wikipediad up by academics. This is the latest draft of a piece which is part of the process I hope will continue and control my learning mon amigos.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Great Brits in pieces or wha?

Planet. Listen to the future's bald versed reality in Winamp at Poetry World Radio

Mail me your details Pascale Petit, Moniza Alvi, Adele Geraz, Lucy Newlyn, Helen Farish, Esther Morgan, Jane Duran, Jen Hadfield, Vicki Feaver, Kate Bingham and Amy Newman - should you fancy a date with London's premier derilict in room 2, 4 Ghetto Grove, the Sin King's Estate, Camberwell, London - who is dreaming of a verbal love fest with some Guardian vixens lusting for raw sound and no-holds barred live oral action. Mind-blowing satisfaction guaranteed . Monster talent with a huge appetite for text needs unblocking.

If you promise to be my designated carers for the evening - make sure I take my tablets - and do not fumble with me by the photocopier - should I become a danger to myself and others through excessive drink and drug taking; which will be rife on the night - I will list you as my guest on the Poetry Society's pub crawl next Tuesday - when festive booze will flow and a hot flush of creative electricity crackle between Britain's soon to be pensioner greats and us young-fogey imataters, who'll be freely boring for England - all within earshot - during the PS Christmas piss up in Covent Garden.

I need desperate attractive femminists for a textual relationship; 18-99; height - average; body type - average; marital staus - available; ethnicity - any.

You must be generous, love shopping for friends, be a bird-lover, have a GSOH, solvent, interesting, artistic, willing to whip out the binoculars and get whisked off to twitch with the watchers anywhere on the planet at a phone call's notice, and - for a nice gent who'll take your mind away from those tough working days - be unvomiting and upright by my side when the annual sup-fest ends in a subterranean arch at the Punch and Judy pub, where I ply my trade as an unfunny puppet string puller with a long career in substance abuse and unemployment to draw from in my capacity as Professor of imagination, teaching trainee colleagues from the global office attempting to entertain mon compadres in the 21C play-net - how to stay bouyant when on the job gassing about the gangs fighting for ownership of poesy's flame.

You must also find the threat of physically fending off drunken advances and/or abuse from Carol Ann Duffy & Co highly arousing - who will no doubt pull her usual stunt when I out Anglo Mandy Motion the mediaevalist post-operative pink punk who salt poet Andrew Ducan in the Black Cat Camden Town later this weekend will - with fellow femminist Benny Hill's son Tobias - tout as the managing hair system floppy lock look of the cutting edge - from a container of verse offering consumers total control of last generation's next generation product, hot to bugger this bard's ars-poetica when cruising the astral plane exchanging text in his quest for consensual re-connection with a Titaness Leto to father my very own Apollo, who'll speak as a post-Simpsons age poet on behalf of all faiths praying the one real Homer vibrant with Ogma today is a bright comprehensive kid who'll shine in the Footlights like Cressida Trew or Khalid Abdalla.


On a more personal note, I am moving out of the bardic besit into somewhere which is very quiet, and I can't wait to relocate as this place is far from ideal. It is in a dodgy area and the residents are all from the lower orders, often noisy and vaugely intimidating. One Friday evening several weeks ago a small travelling tribe were disgorged from a large van for the monster party which took place in a bedsit directly above my shoebox lodgings here in a multiple hit zone.


The new centre of operations is three times the size of my current coffin and like a bohemian Parisian garret with central heating and sloping walls. The calm port from which to carve up a fictional empire at my own pace online in the lofty attic space where dream's are uninterrupted by an insecure front door continually being burst open by any passing smacked-up scanger at all hours of the day and night, usually the wee small ones.

The door has a busted receiver, so anyone can push it open whenever my fellow tenants forget or can not be arsed to lock the deadbolt, which is all the time - and the drip drip effect of living with unsupervised wannabee victims has frazzled my mind to a spiralling madness of continual paranoia and desperatness to escape.


Winamp has cut out so I've set adrift Chuck Perkins from New orleans and switched to last Saturday's online and archived The Enchanted Way - RTE's poetry programme hosted by Pat Boran, who is discussing poetry and paintings with Michael Longley, Thomas MaCarthy and Katy Donovan. We have just listened to WH Auden's 1948 recording of his poem Musee de Beaux Artes - inspired by Breugel's painting.

"I stand in front of paintings with deep pleasure" says Mick, before Kate interupts

"In my 20's I had time to go trawling through galleries" and used to buy postcards of sculptures and stick them on her wall, then write in "the slumbertime before actual sleep."

But enough of state-sponsered poetic regularism. What I want to say is - that the other week the theme of the programme was Drugs and poetry, in which Tony Curtis told a great anecdote about WB Yeats. The godfather collossus, who single-handedly set about laying foundations and steering the course of Irish poetry in the English language into the highest artistic stream of public consciousness.

Silly Willy - the Coole, Dublin, Sligo, London dreamer - national ideological visionary and hashish pill popper - who weaved the incoherent jumble of his life to a full capacity. Ireland's top langauge artist. A fili of the first order and an oollamh whose "never there" is an otherworldly Tir na Og of Ireland as a triple goddess - or the three Tuatha De Dannan sisters and queens to the three kings who held power in the country a few thousand years ago - preparing to do battle with the Milesean brood of Mil's offspring and their army at Slieve Mish in county Kerry.

Yeats - when being offered to choose from a vast array of different donuts in the donut shop on O'Connell Street and asked how he liked his - said

"I prefer my donuts dipped in opium."

I prefer my opium injected by she who signed herself - last year in numerous abusive texts sent as part of a campaign to have me ousted from my usual spec on the cobbles - Caz, and made innapropriate comments about all of the above taking bungs to talk up each others books.

Oh come Kathleen my terrible pleaser who'll advance or retreat if you tease out life's music . Let us make love in this moment of hearing how alphabets rattle their answer the ear cocked like a trigger to now hears though all others fail.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monster Truck Winter Readings Resumed

Last Monday the Monster Truck Art Gallery readings resumed after a break and the next one is this coming Monday - 11 December.

I took my computer down and recorded the session directly onto the hardrive and finally captured in CD quality some of the poets who I believe are among the most competent contemporary verbal artists reciting today.

Kerry legend James Kelly - San Franciscon Raven - Tim Costello and Noel Sweeney where all recorded live in the intimate ambience of the art gallery and it is clear to any listener just how skillfull and experienced they are in delivering spoken art bang on the nail. Have a listen to Tim Costello reading.

This link will take you to the esnip site and to listen to it on the player at this site you must wait until the file fully downloads, which will take a few minutes. Alternatively you can download the mp3 onto your own computer. I will be posting stuff up on soon, which streams so there is no waiting time, but until then, all good things are worth a short wait.

The Sunflower's Musings


On Friday Orla Martin hosted a reading at the Winding Stair bookshop on Dublin Quays - by the Hapenny Bridge - which Tim and I read at, along with many others and afterwards we decanted to Fintan O'Higgin's house to attend a goodbye bash for Manny Blacksher, an Alabama poet who's just finshed his Phd at Trinity. It was a great night with everyone spinning a few works and giving Manny a warm send off back to the States.

This Wednesday there is a poetry and music night in Carnival - a goth pub opposite the Village on Wexford Street - which all are welcome to attend.

This photo was taken outside the gallery during the summer run of readings and we now have the back courtyard open for smirting - smoking/flirting so if you want to experience some of the best poets and singers around, come on down.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Movie News

On Tuesday night I watched the Wind That Shakes The Barley, a movie with a message from the mind of wealthy Liverpudlian Ken Loache. The plot is set in South West Munster, during the last days of the Irish war for independence and the civil one which followed. The entertainment in Ken's socialist lecture was great and with a depth of imperialist realism marred only by the costumes and hairstlyes of a cast of 1920 Corkonian soldiers who looked like they'd just stepped from Brown-Thomas on Grafton Street, dressed and coiffered for a night at Lillie Bordellos across the way, rather than from cottages whose en-suit bog was outdoors in the hilly ground round Bandon.

The protaganist's pristine clothes and top salon hairdo's washed the versilimitude of 1920'ness from the characters in this outing; who would have made it a classic if the stylists who organise my comb-over at the 6 euro salon on Dublin Quays were working on-set and the thespians donned suits stocked at Oxfam instead of Versace. A full suspension of my disbelief was thwarted by razor edged tailoring and - not exactly the lack of bad skin and poor dental hygiene of 1920 Ireland - a health spa tone of flawlessness in the flesh I suspect was not as prevalent in the populace then.

I cannot imagine any of my Macroom forbears pitching up to Sunday mass after an hours getting ready session, with performance enhancing hairwash and control systems managing their locks and wearing newly purchsed bespoke suits, immaculately pressed so the overall look is suggestive of Keith Duffy and Ronan Lynch at a Westlife re-unification press-conference.

Apart from this minor satorial whinge Ken's vision ticked all the right boxes of a sensible art-form, which drew from the well of reality which created a filmic bouyancy whose wash furnishes the audience with some military figures and economic facts from an imperial relationship which is not fully over still. As the movie gives a general idea of what went on in a portion of what became the free state 86 years ago, it was successful for me as - like Ken - I was born into the tradition anti-imperialism.

Loache skillfully directs an energy of injustice into giving the entire class-system a near fatal hiding. He got across the ferocity and ill discipline of the black and tan para-military by having his rank of privates act like soccer-hooligan squaddies on cocaine, losing or off their heads at all times.

Military personell of the lower orders shout themselves deaf in a breadth of UK regional accents from Manc and Cockney to Scot, yelling their voices hoarse and sticking the verbal equivalent of a steel toe cap boot into "micks"; with the relish of a rabid pack of professional torturers - who bully their way through this flick and crash into scenes at random, in a permanent state of; bug eyed battle readiness and in a continuously aggressive "british" state of constantly going ballastic, bollocking and shouting orders at "paddies" in a way impossible for the natives sense of national pride to comply with.

This is political movie-making at its most sophisticated. Loach has had years practicing and crafts his message using a set of unambiguous historical conditions which allow him to use wide artistic license in the characterisation and plot itself, which is essentially an articulate screech broadcasting the position of Ken's anti-imperialit mind and world view, in a piece of celluloid that will help top up the love level for the Irish race in the international community.


The night before I watched a small Irish independant film - Intermission - with Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy, who played the lead in the Wind That Shakes The Barley and is the smoker in the photograph.

Intermission was written by Mark O'Rowe, whose 1999 stage play Howie the Rookie mirrored the brutal cartoon realsim in the writing of Mark Ravenhill's groundbreaking 1997 smash hit play Shopping and Fucking, which kicked off British theatre's short lived In-Yer-Face movement, the year Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction heralded a similar shift into the new ground of a beyond-realsim genre.

O'Rowe's Howie the Rookie is a narrative in two monologues from the character of Howie Lee and another from his mortal enemy Rookie Lee. Howie is a junkie scumbag who recounts his tale of catching scabies - the catalyst which leads us through a typical day and night of drugs and violence in the Dublin criminal underbelly. This play was the smash hit and critical award winner which brought Dublin scanger vernacualr to a global audience.


In Intermission we witness thug Farrell smacking cafe staff and duff up Kelly MacDonald from Trainspotting, in his role as a doorty scumbag and scamp with the bankable intangible "it" - around the time he made the porno, just before the rehab he did.

Colm Meaney mimicks the voice of RTE's General Gerry Ryan and gives a subliminal masterclass in piss take acting. His character is a maverick garda detective with a dirty Harry complex who dispenses his justice in bare knuckle straightners with scum who cross his path at work on the frontline of street crime. And he does so in a citizen field-marshal vibe Gerry Ryan exudes - on the radio when running the country - which Meaney nicks and has a giggle in. Colm takes Gerry's gravitas on a joyride to its logical edge and pokes the funny bone with his satirically spot on performance of moral outrage from a man bored with his work as the mid morning millionaire wind machine blowing forth a one of the people aura as he shares the wisdom of his mind with a nation, breezing from real-life horror to comedy yarns and yawning inside and in torpor behind the mask of mid-morning radio - keen to retreat and park his arse on the throne at Killiney and await orders from Bono on the hot-line phone - Hewson the shaded power pulling strings of both Gerry and Joe Duffy as one.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Stranger Danger - A Marker

Here apart,
Dwells one whose hands have wrought,
Strange edolias that chill the world with fear,
Whose graven ruin in tomes of dread hath taught,
What things beyond the star gulfs lurk and leer...
Dark Lord of Averoigne,
Whose windows stare on pits of dream no other gaze could bare...
Between the Pedestals of Night and Morning
Between red death and radiant desire
With not one sound of triumph or of warning
Stands a great sentry on the Bridge of Fire.
O transient soul, thy thought with dreams adorning,
Cast down the laurel, and unstring the lyre:
the wheels of Time are turning, turning, turning,
The slow stream channel’s deep and doth not tire.
Gods on their bridge above
Whispering lies and love
Shall mock your passage down the sunless river
Which, rolling all it streams,
shall take you, king of dreams,
-Unthroned and unapproachable for ever-
To were the kings who dreamed of old
Whiten in habitations monumental cold.


"...thus, from year to year, the plundering and killing went on, until there was nothing left to plunder, and very few to kill...Munster was utterly depopulated. Hecatombs of helpless creatures, the aged, the sick, and the blind, the young mother, and the babe at the breast, had fallen under the English sword. And though the authentic details of the struggle have been forgotten, the memory of a vague horror remains imprinted in the national..." literature



Love hustlers follying lost in a daydream give me your yo-yo – 13’s the price of a forty poem book from my Fitzgerald bard, speaking for all who find this reciter knowing the price of his verse at a post-warble wallet splurge; where talk is cheap and time less so let's share as we queue our way forward, learning the tune of Gofraidh O Dalaigh - one of the most eloquent ever to live, laugh and lose a son of someone he seeded, at Bothar-an-Iarla - where Gerald Fitzgerald's headless corpse was tossed under an old tree trunk by Daniel O'Kelly.

He's kin with the one whose mind drew my blueprint from the Cauldron of Posey – and swirls Amergin's ars-poetica in my business of bardic personae - done without warm words or kind glances but cuts - slicing the dilemma of "acceptance" or "rejection" to an irrelevance in one who won't fail to succeed with this profitable "I" or be blinded, collapse or go under and fold - for this print is internet and commerce a vanity whose coffers his eye mine refuses to draw to on the principle of preferring my vanity published low-key and writing of life freely. Oohm.

The shelf-centric scribbler shifting 3 - 400 per annum through shops is an average and it’s easier to sell this number himself - at a net profit of 8 yo-yo's a book – sold after readings in places where the competent open-micer's "I" can move these units gobby, in an appropriately live market ambience a mob shell out in as one, for this rightful Lord of 800,000 Munster acres and heir to the 15th Earl of Desmond, who was spotted at dusk and slain at dawn in Galnagenty, the 11'th November 1583 by Daniel O’Kelly - a kern for the Clan Moriarty – who rushed a cabin where the forebear Earl's party lay. All escaped but an old man, a woman, and boy.

O'Kelly aimed a sword blow and half severed an arm on the old man, who cried: "I am the Earl of Desmond: spare my life". O'Kelly cut off his head and sent a skull of my Fitzgerald blood to London where it got spiked on the bridge.

His "I" demands a return of my lands and title with immediate effect or I’ll keep him a bondsman in poverty till next years holiday in Scarborough at Summer time - with critical death the distinct possibility, should he jump from a cliff where I unlock.
an intricate song of the seagull whose wings ring in simple melody a true, kind and continually lilting lullaby lifting the dream of love.

Desmond Swords

Friday, November 17, 2006

While Away

We who were born at this time of the year in 1966 are now 40 year old Scorpios who one must remember to keep in their good books and not post up any intrusive snaps we've taken of them with a telephoto lense when monitoring their movements via google earth.

A middle aged Taurean woman from the comfort of her bedsit in Antartica now has the technology to undertake such invasive acts. Imagine that? A Scorpio's most astrologically ill suited sign becoming obsessed with our doings and zooming in to drool at us from 25,000 miles away.

But do not fear, I am a reformed oddball, here to help prevent wierdos tracking me from space, by posting a picture I doctored with photoshop - of Berite and Tony bumming around the pink voters banjacksed up in Railway End of Croke Park - canvasing their ideas on next years election and just asking the question, if a GAA manifesto on rugby was lost in the Pussy Cat bagel shop on Phibsboro, Fairview and Bridlington turning near the late night bakery where a poet on stage at the open floor spoke.

Pucker up for one's forties are really one's twenties or - depending on how our candle's burnt - ones sixties come early. So if you're poised for poetic success or just a cardiac arrest as you wait on the call for your word hoarde to shine bright as a new fifty year old talisman claiming 20 hundred's poetry as your own, here are some birthday messages I can send about hope and humanity to colleagues at the Poetry Review or West Lancashire Champion



"A truly historic event"

"The new Geoffrey Hill"

"The gift of Carol Ann Duffy deconstructing Sean O'Brien's male vernacular in a wave to Stevie Smith"

The talent of Pattern and stature of McGough"

"The complete poetic competent with the professional confidence of an off-page Aoife Mannix or suitless Nick Laird in receipt of state benifits and busking a monkey a weekend with only his aura to magnetize a throng upon the cobbles at Covent Garden ..."

"...his live pulling power has the mesmeric allure of Gearoid MacLochlainn winning the bi-annual Bloomsbury slam by skillfully revealing the geneology of his linguistic DNA with a tigerish Irish noblesse only those whose eye can reason, rhyme and sense what riddle from the celtic fit of ratios found at home will speak a code of sound that breaks the syntax..."

"....the purity of Don Patterson's inner meloncholy mixed with Motion's most hypnotic rural line to create a comedic felicity - equal to, if not beyond, the sublimal wit of South Yorkire's only living troubadour and the people's poet laureate, a hopefully soon to be, Sir Ian McMillan....."

"....these poems draw from the cultural core of language, a flawless energy whose combustible force of internal zeitgeist motors the engine of an incredible art."

"...The next Muldoon. A difference of similarities in titterish grace, double take, wonder and cock a doddle doing to bog Gods from that ancient and mythical place of profund diddlee dee where consciousness meets itself in the entropic mysteriousness of a continually collasping mind.."

"..exiled understudy and heir to Durcan's arch potential of mystic urban notes from the facial-hair free Dennis O'Driscoll mirrored with inplaceness by a Mossbawn bard devoid of a dayjob, paddling in vast pools of knowledge and experiencing heights of unemployability only the most articulate of verse-makers reach to speak favourably from...."

"...his enthralling voice bears a hallmark of clarity and commitment reminiscent of a younger Mahon, Longley, Paulin or Carson - whilst Kennelly's honest echo lilts to ground this harmonious experiment in metrical chiming sprinkled with Ayres' commercial fairydust, striking its note of pure aurality and sounding one lone call from truth's trench above the swamps of contemporary verse..."

".....the image of Sister Gwendolene beheading his hamster during a brutalised childhood in Limerick's Magdalene laundry has a startling effect. Memory- flashes daring us stop, picture, question and sense if the cosmos shops its way seeking balance for our spirit's short drag through life's technological trance."

"Unlike anyone else writing today. The next Sir Nobody."


Only joking. I am using a Scorpion birthday as the excuse to lose myself in a bardic bedsit and bare my experimental self, stripped and in search of an audience by posting reportage and the torture photographs from Al Jazeera's website I've uploaded to my new political anti war blog.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Talk Space

I have set up a poetry discussion forum all are welcome to talk on and post links to. I have just got online indoors and am slowly discovering the huge amount of recorded material out there, from the speeches of Martin Luther King to the poetry of Yeats.

Feel free to start a discussion on anything you want. The site is very user friendly.

Poetry Forum

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bi-Polar Bob

In the beginning was Playschool and the World at War
Jackanory Happy Days, Swap Shop, Magpie, Tiswas

- with a more risqué group of grown ups -
and Spit, the fictional dog of
a comedian Bob has not met

although there was time
during a prolonged bout of Z cars

or was it Van de Valk?

Bob barely remembers
because he’s hooked to TV
Henry Winkler in a scuffles leather jacket
as the perfectly quoifered gentlemen
and utter dream to watch.

Happy days are yet to come
and Bob keeps detailed notes.

Fonz is in 70's sit-com, playing it
straight in welcome Back Cotter
as Bob; up to his eye-balls in schizophrenia
his first upward swinging
bi-polar episode; composing a letter -

"Dear Mr Winkler
you do not know me and never will
unless you visit ward 11, the Vale hospital

where, in this gallery of corridors
and locked wards, I wish to connect with your prescence
via the telephone.

I will be unable to speak, due to an ongoing medical
condition which prevents me from doing so;
but I can be there, listening to you
silent, alone and willing you on, as the man of my dreams."

Not the Nine O’Clock news is on
- a comedy unknown to watchers
of war veterans
and seniors
sat behind desks -

Standing up just wasn’t on in the days
when news was more sombre.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Tonight's the night
showbiz is coming
to take me away
and shoot me to the stars

Who's that in the corner?

Is it the head of Sony,
Music for Pleasure

here to make my fantasy breathe
and become as real
as the stout swill
my foot has just stepped in?

And what about her?
The blonde just sat down on that couch
ferreting around
in a minimally chic otter-skin suitcase?

Is she fishing out a contract?
My pact with the devil?
I'll sign on the dotted line

as long as I'm made to feel wanted.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Departed

In Martin Scorcese's latest hit movie with Leonardo Di Caprio, Mark Whalberg, Matt Damon, Ray Winstone, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen and Jack Nicholson playing Irish-American gangster Paul Costello - Jack gets to wear a range of hats and dark glasses as he swans about the Boston underworld being filmed in a soft light.

Slipping into his faithful psycho-joker persona, pensioner Jack kills, giggles and cusses with a stella ensemble of crooks and cop scumbags, two good men and a colleen police psychologist who slips between the sheets with both bent dick Damon and honest plod Di Caprio in this flick with a plot full of cops, toppings, choppings and sock-cookers swapping insults and banter as they chase each others tails in Scorcese's take on the Irish-American gangster myth.

Jack's kindly lit scenes occur in dark, deserted and dodgy areas. In abandoned industrial estates smoky bars and dim-lit alleyways Jack oozes his OAP allure of sheer unspeakablness to all within his orbit of violence, drugs, murder, conspiritors and a rat in his crew - in the form of undercover old bill Di Caprio.

But Jack too has his own man undercover. A goodfella in the shape of Matt Damon - his mole in the elite detective unit of Boston PD, who he’s been grooming for the role since childhood. The perfect way to keep one step ahead of local law enforcement as he goes about his business of crime and cocaine fuelled debauchery with young women in their full flush of human beauty. Well this is la la land

The cat and mouse plot moves with a pouncing pace as the charachters romp through quickly changing events acting at the top of their game, keeping us on our toes and guessing right up to the final twist.

So deep is Leo's undercover no one but Martin Sheen and Mark Whalberg know who he is and Whalberg is on red hot form as Mr nasty cop to his nice plod partner and boss Martin Sheen, hamming it up as the only one of two honest police officers in the picture, Di Caprio's character being the other one.

Ray Winston turns in his best performance yet in a yank accent - as second in command at gangster HQ and Nicholson's chief chopper, shooter and executioner of those who piss off crime king Costello, who runs his empire with the cunning of Michael Collins and the morals of a cartoon villian.

Scorcese set the precedent for screen-violence with his true story of mob supergrass Henry Hill in Goodfellas. A classic flick some claim is his best - certainly one of his finest - which reigned undisputed until the deliciously horrid imagination of Tarantino topped the king of seventies indie-realism with Pulp Fiction and redrew the rubicon for comic book banality on film.

Even the able - but usually pedestrian - Baldwin earns his paycheque and carries full thespian weight, with a decent performance of a detective who embodies the moral essence of Scorce's corrupt vision, where everyone's a huslter for cash or glory, and usually both.

This wheeels within wheels outing accurately reflects a brutal force spinning at the heart of the Irish condition. A place where verbal sport is the national art and the serendipties of life so unbelievable they're an invisible DNA in the ambience of a didlee dee reality too complex for most outside the culture to grasp.

Well worth watching.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bardic Bulletin

I fought tonight at a front line of love - O'Connell Bridge - in the basement trench of the Westmoreland on Westmoreland Street and sought shelter with others wanting to sing so strongly of survival we left as one.

All are free to attend in any capacity they so desire, be it verbal artist setting the air ablaze with speech alone or a listener seeking to hear live poetry - in all its formatts and shades, from the downright dire to the most entertaining wafflers warbling in Ireland - dedicated and doing battle in our capacity as the soldier fighting for love.
at a front line where dreamers practice their public oral craft.

It's on every Tuesday and tonight was my fourth time back after an extended 10 month absence. The crucial fallow period in a part of one's poetic cycle in which the real and unconscious work is done by an annonyomous, absent voice - when all is undisturbed and the elements of chance and time work on silence in the environment where ghosts decide.

Gerry was there - as always - MC, heckler, stand up oral brawler, lover of the word and Dublin's premier abolotionist of the state subsidised wine and cheese brigade at national poetry HQ in the Iveagh Gardens.

The right to open one's gob and speak freely is the is the only one we share and Jo Jo was there with Birch, Fintan, Natasha, Jeremy, Mike and many others. It was a full house, much better than the first week when only four of us spoke.

Raven did a new one and is still number one in the absence of he who shall remain nameless, also absent tonight. Raven is from San Francisco and is Saul Williams stage partner whenever he's in Ireland. He holds his own with Saul and his performance sensibilty is second to no-one and when he speaks you listen enthralled. He is an old pro who cuts it live every time, almost. Tonight he was in the best form I'd witnessed for a few weeks and nailed a new one he wrote in the last few weeks.

Mike spoke of our contemporary poetic culture written in a verbal ink - with air on the stage to a sound of cheers and - by the end - jeers, giggles, wise cracks and bellylaughs.

Deep print crushing victory of making words echo ones inner feet treading its brew from humanity's turning cauldron of motion spinning upright bardic personae - some barred from the party for speaking of a stock jaded character routed to a truth in a million.

Come on down, all are welcome and I strongly advocate you attend as this venue will play host to the Leinster heats of the first All Ireland Live Poetry Championships in the early part of next year.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Would Brenton gum mug go boom to a one woman audience dancing her reflection as shades at the nemeton stir?

Let us dip under the polish glossed radar and blip them as we booogie in anima mundi. Go star in his mind and reverse its polarity with a bit of oogum boogum


throwing shapes on wet pavement outside the Mixer or Vinyl, six o'clock Sunday morning at an apple stall on Inverness Street in Camden, London.

Brenton the unsweating luurve god in de riguer poser mode and his electric posse from the ballroom, flared to thrill all and couffiered

poised on the inch between sinking or floating, perfection or failure
a film of lacquered grace.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I cycled along the coast from Sutton to Dublin. It was dark, around 1am and very windy, but I heard a tune out to sea, though it was so softly sounding and the wind so raw, that I could not sense where it was coming from. Maybe it was coming from Howth, 1500 or so meteres to my left over the sea. Maybe the wind was blowing it over from there from a session on the hillside. After a short while I began to suspect it was not originating from an outside reality, but from the otherworld - sirens out at sea communing, or the first glimpse of a blueprint delineating what score beyond human consciousness my soul is tuned by as it plays in this world.

I was hearing a tune - no doubt about it - and whilst the first two notes where always the same, after they sounded the tune played a few more - very swift notes - and then trailed off beyond the edge of hearing, but kept returning, never playing the same snatch of tune twice.

Once I passed Bull Island I sensed the force disappear and it only came again once more, twenty minutes later as I was moving out of a wind swept Dublin bay and into urban shelter - after I thought the episode had ceased - and I took it as the sigil for me to engage in the act of writing poetry from the source who sung to me in Sutton when wind and dark where one.


This is a found poem. I got the text from Sanderson Beck, who is a 59 year old peace activist advocating non-violence and love as humanity's only way. He has been in prison many times for campaigning against war and murder, most recently in 2003 after speaking out on Bush's war. In March 2003 Sanderson was arrested whilst advocating love and peace outside Vandenberg AFB, where they were using computers and the space command system to direct the shock-and-awe attacks on Iraq.

His writings cover the full span of human history and his knowledge is vast. The perfect library in which to learn accurate information focussed and aware of how it all fits together. A real life saint amongst us now, whose life has been nought but promoting goodness and learning of the wider human relevence and spiritual love .


Zenophan said Pythagoras stopped
the whipping of a puppy because he

recognised the soul of a friend in

is not a self-proclaimed wise man
but one who pursued wisdom

through friendship. A philosopher
with knowledge of

Egyptian - Chaldean - Magi
and their spiritual secrets.

My constitution in
the Italian city of Sybaris taught

immortal mystery - understood in
souls returning til harmonious peace

is all they construct. That art won
number is the universe's law and

unity the law of God.


Plato's three component psyche of
appetite, emotion and mind

trace to Pythagoras's wisdom
through friendship

(philia means freindship - sophia

and a spectator seeking truth
has the best role in life's game


Diogenes Laertius when put up for
sale as a slave - cried for someone

wanting to purchase a master for
themselves and Socrates addressing

"Don't stir the fire with a knife
the passions and swelling pride of the

great or step over the beam of a balance."


Philo heard

"If the soul is diverted from its course
it enslaves itself and makes whose soul

it is a slave to a host of masters."


Did Diogenes love of goodness
transcend his fear of death or think

Euclides colic - Plato a bore, Dionysian
performance a peep show for fools and

that the bad - even if prosperous - still
live badly?


Zeno - godfather stoic - taught while
pacing back and forth in a collanade

stoa is porch and

"A friend is another I" he said.


Senneca was a Quaestor in the reign
of Tiberius and Caligula - jealous of

his oratory - tried to kill him, but
Claudius banned him instead until he

was recalled from Corsica by Empress
Agrippina - tutored Nero, appointed

Paetor - got rich and counselled

"No matter how many you slay, you can't
kill your successor."

Senneca commited suicide at 65 -
believed love and fear do not mix

"live for the other person if we wish to
live for ourselves and no-one can strike

terror into others and still enjoy peace
of mind."


Climb the hill of understandinbg
walk easy with learning - study forward

and back - for friendship between the gods
and the good exist and the primal source

of all mind is spirit.

"Vanquish ignorance with good sense,
gain freedom from slavery and the gift of
ruling well."

Diogenes said


Dio Chrysostum the sophist was loved by
Emperor Trajan

" himself though I do not understand
what he says."


All sound a tune unique to them
and a whistle plays within
the gift of hearing how to play it.

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2006


    Linear stigmata of addiction
    Tomorrow's scar tissue constellations
    disfiguring the body of work
    Phonetic glyphs
    of abstract correspondence
    Their outlines traced in blood
    Shrinking from the spike
    or splattering across the page
    A ring a ring o' rosies
    Moments when the final things are said
    Exposed in a brutal waterslap of clarity
    In the coupling of the sinful
    and the divine
    There's a fine line to be crossed
    Sequences of discrete
    but regular consummation
    inter-penetrating the punctured bodies
    with the syrup poison
    of transgressive desire
    Wasping decorations
    Fading in time from some
    Long lost personal campaign
    Along cablestitch flesh
    Lesions where the world
    has entered us
    These tender spots
    Rubbed by unconscious gesture
    Til they stand chafed and pert
    Prized in their shame
    Less they scab over
    With our ability to be touched
    Behind the scenes of the crazy ward
    in all cried out lucidity
    Doubting Doctor Thomas
    Pressing our wounds
    in the chemical light of analysis
    The marking on our skins
    The words we choose to speak
    The nettle of awareness we nurse
    Haphazard paths through the wilderness
    Creasing the undergrowth with bruised stalks
    Discernible only by the spoor
    of some animal long passed
    Tiny clues to unknowable awareness
    Patterned sigils in the drying clay



    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Tim Costelloe & Mark Madden.

    Dubliner Tim Costelloe and Belfast man Mark Madden are both writers whose live poetry humanly connects with those hearing them speak their work to life as air and in the ear. They are two  committed artists in whose lives an ongoing lifelong search for the centre of ourselves is conducted through the act and language of poetry.



    Nowhere to sit to ponder days
    no silent loss which time betrays
    the flutter and flame inside your
    breast is not the same.

    Nor can you once more emerge
    to greet this eye
    beautiful and dumb as any flower
    a lie
    a hidden power

    sulking like distance under lilac skies
    between deliberation and an urge
    between the living and what dies
    in this the crucible of our expiation.

    Your prayer the fist which silences me
    so that I can't pray or even see a fresh
    sun licking rivers in the East

    Tim Costelloe


    Make up your Mind

    The lapwing calls across the gorse
    The air is sweet as wine
    Spring grass is rich and cool
    But you’ve made up your mind

    Before the senses sweeps a world
    Both graceful and sublime
    Full of all that was ever real
    But you’ve made up your mind

    Made it all up from what you were told
    God and Country, Space and Time
    And the glittering screen of the vacuum tube
    Where They make up your mind

    And you’ve made up your mind what’s important
    And you’ve made up your mind who you are
    And you’ve made something of yourself
    While your true soul floats in a jar

    It’s not the world your reason sees
    Dissected and defined
    Pressed and flat on blank white sheets
    Because you’ve made up your mind

    Mark Madden


    Clover in the Dusk’s Light

    There’s skulls and muscles sewn into this cool
    earth they cut scant harvest from: shall, like
    the sea they scatter, rise tall, slender, golden

    and a greater sun than that which lit their grain,
    went down from heaven fires, will rain on
    blackened blocks which splodge
    the sky’s already ugly grey to ash.

    Already in a distance
    in a distant light their ghosts are waiting
    and with spectral hands they gather this world
    its sighs.

    Fergal waits for the clouds to start parting
    fade to a blue haze.

    He awaits the stars torching the sky’s wide
    plains of silver.

    It’s spring now. Already scents of her brilliant
    summer scatters through the breeze. At night

    you can rest – discuss with oneself the janglings
    of the day.

    Fergal muses on how the awkward curvature
    made what her body found proportion shine. 
    How the red of flame rose like a real fire

    from the black locks of her hair. How meeting
    her too was a judgement
    and when all beauty must be secret, you can’t

    afford the luxury of sighs. Ghostly fizz fills
    with the colour of his apprehension – specters
    kiss the air around him with their smile.

    Tim Costelloe


    Canto I - The Twins

    Heavy wuth lunch the adults drowse
    In the conservatory's verdant warmth
    Lull themselves with tory cluckings
    Belched aphorisms and loose diatribes

    Languid you stifle a vaugue ennui
    In the folds of your collapsable chair
    When from the garden the twins appear
    Darting eyes bright, and sure of their prey

    Lucy pleading
    And Stacey leading
    They pull you up and bear you away.

    Mark Madden



    More the plural of same
    though fissure-points ungrasped
    through scan in rubble

    his splash will peel - reveal
    and smudge as much these ruins
    toa blur - so seek not black spots

    on a pink dress as they flutter in
    some foreign breeze - nor the
    cocktailed eye's florescent paint
    brushing antique lights to a modern

    Justify no lie roller-balled over
    diarying night - have mercy, for one
    day I too shall pardon, Lord, these
    indiscretions of a savaging time

    while raindrops sparkle hair
    in mirror, while fork caresses
    sausages on plate and hands move

    innocent at least if not sublime.

    Tim Costelloe


    Canto IV - The Twins

    Finally tiring of their prize
    They lead you dazedly back to the house
    To where the adults loll around
    Flushed from a recent game of croquet
    All Pimms, white canvas, bestial grunts
    Toothless and puce as long-caged wolves
    Awaiting the expected dinner bell
    To which of course your asked to stay
    BVut Lucy Fretful
    And Stacey regretful
    Point out that your trousers are on the wrong way
    And just disappear.

    Mark Madden

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006


    There is an old saying here, along the lines that "it's through the shelter of each other we survive..."

    ...the we


    heard above on Fodhla, Banbhu and Eiru's shore. Look them up. They're real dealers in a genuine craic factory cum casino. Making it happen on demand in their home where live poetry is living. They come from all nations and have the combined passions of a big apple, Birmingham, Alabama, Clint Frank - saw by KFK "...score four touchdowns in less than two quarters, against a pretty good Princeton team." Playing ball in Boston College. An alumnae of Cardiff dockers at punch up in a pub with Leeds miners

    and Manchester's Arsenal
    supporters. Hear Celtic 'n Rangers -
    Giants 'n Redsox, Yankee stadium 'n

    LA Hells Angels singing in the
    Sydney opera house Newcastle,
    Belfast or Liverpool Empire with U

    two. United to roll our sound of
    sheer reality. An all-inclusive one.


    Dublin. Friday 1 September.

    Patrick Kavanagh Celebration 2006 - Fleet Street - above the Palace Bar.

    Second year. A lot of hype. Photographer in attendance. 5' 5" tanned and toned 'n with a fella. A fellow photographer, upstairs in the Palace by accident. Lulled in off the street by our night's energy. Arty beyond belief. In Dublin myth happens. This home of dream. Joyce 'n Beckett - Wilde 'n Shaw. Freud said the Irish were un-analysable because life to them was just story, tale and talk. These four Dublin writers nailed spoken word to page with a true ring. Snapped "the passionate and transitory" reality from which we draw for poetry and fictions on the page. Shut the books up and speak our print to live in ear and off the page.


    Druid Paddy. Dominic Taylor. The White House. Limerick pub hosting weekly poetry Wednesday night. Broadcast in CD quality, online several days later. The world's very first one. Stunned us to silence with only two of his works. One, a love poem to his wife. Humble and honest and a true spirit of Munster. SW Ireland. Rugby. Limerick. Thomond Park - 31 October 1978 - Munster 12 - All Blacks 0. Incineration ground. An event for the plot of John Breen's global smash hit play - Alone it Stands. Humanity as one unbeaten at home in the European cup for well over a decade. Utter fanatics.

    Dublin. May 2006 - Lansdowne Road. Munster V Leinster semi-final of the 2006 European Cup. A unique game of Rugby. Immediately fabled into an all time classic. Munster fans sung Low lie the fields of Athenry through electric megaphones. No Shit.

    A proud steward and Leinster fan tried to fix a withery stare upon the main Munster man singing into his megaphone, leading a gaggle of war-painted bodran players. 20 in the heart of the hardest of hardcore support. Upper stand V. North end of the East stand. Munster fan's are 110% unaware or caring of the Leinster stewards desire for less enthusiasm at sporting events. Munster's passion seized me and we hollered at full cry. A joy to watch. Munster. Michael Collins. Keano. Play to win.


    Higgins - O hUgin is a premier name in Bardic literature, particularly in the West. Sligo, Clare, Galway. Kevin Higgins is a class act. Leader of the pack. Total poetry, direct and without apology. Life’s knowing wink of intimacy in immediate connection. One main force for good in Connacht. The wild west of Ireland. Atlantic crashing home after its three thousand mile run. Mayo beating Dublin for the first time in 100 years, at this years All Ireland Football semi final at Croker. 80,000. Sheer mesmeric nature. He does not wilt beneath the flame. The real thing and man for a crisis, with an unflappable poetic sensibility Remember the Artic Monkeys? Beatles? All the cool bands you dreamt of being into at the start?

    Nor Ulster man Mark Madden, who has made it happen as a poetry organiser in both Copenhagen and Vancouver. Total commitment to live poetry. Owner of the Arcadia Coffee House Belfast. Have you experienced Gearoid MacLochlainn on fire yet? Mark's red hotness gushes from the same source. Weekly live performance and desire, to horrify straights with sheer talent and total commitment. Forget the idea of poetry being a lonely wandering, on a cloud above an unconnecting audience. Saying how wonderful the entertainmnet was when all were bored shitless. Bluffers beware.

    Have a Gander


    Making it happen. Aint seen nowt like it. His life is write and recite. Now. As we blather. At the Patrick Kavanagh Celebration 2006 on Friday night. Mark swinging from a stair platform at the Palace Bar in Fleet Street Dublin. His posession beneath the glow on our warm inclusive stage, plugged us all in as one mad zapped bunch of pure class poetry lovers. Mark Madden was completely electric, as were many others lashing out art and living poetry to life from 7.00 - 10.30pm.


    Glenn Gannon. Son of a sixth generation Dublin flower seller climbing Kilamanjaro for charity. Yeah, that’s right. Venturing up a mountain. One man and a dream so insane and positive it was just meant to be. Reading from his award winning autobiographical short story My own Isolde. Just one of the stars who shone there.

    Andrew Clark, a flute player working on the front line with bandaged fingers and who sung one of his own ballads, which welded all there in a oneness rarely experienced at most gigs of poesy. No shit.


    The ballad's central protaganist was Balor - a one-eyed god of myth his eye a laser gun eye, killed by Lugh, who is the sun deity of the Tuatha de Dannan, who came and did the talking here around 1500'ish BC. Vanquished by the Sons of Mil. Milesians. The final wave of mythical invaders to appear and reality as we prove it begun.


    Terry Cosgrave said he was there as a poet, only in the sense of a Latin American country boasting the most ratio of poets to population on earth, 100%. It's the law that all citizens of the state are poets, until proved otherwise. Like here.


    Razoring up a throng to enthrallment with his magic, was Mark Granier. Tales and gags in adundance. Sinking bullseye ‘n urban reality with a feline one liner slinkiness and smootherity, all there tittered in as one.

    This was raw and amazingly live poetry. We grains containing galaxies of void and light thermaled there last Friday. Spells were cast and launched at the centre darling in lar, so say coz we're all feeling it now my toys. We all whirled away in mythic contemplation of how life's blueprint letters in the roll. Rock me not to torpor, for I am at home in a space station orbiting earth. Now. At this mo - so stop, in the name of love. What more in the nameless surrender of we folk and tiddlers, toddlers and teasers weakening a bond with the local community watch tower concentrating energies and monitoring what moves.


    We gave a serious account of ourselves. I was at the door ushering in gob-smacked normal people, unable almost to believe reality beckoning from our stage.

    The crammed venue physically forced a spotlight of corner to occur. A speakers corner of full inclusion. This is why the night was a success. Because all were treated equally. Everyone got their moment in a spotlight, however humble they be. PJ Brady made sure of that. PJ played Kavanagh for twenty years in a one man show. Played him on his hundreth birthday in the church at Innnerskeen, Monaghan. Cavan man Patrick Brady from a few miles down the road - playing Patrick Kavanagh on his centenary day, just yards from the grave.

    The Heart Laid Bare was the play. The monologue culled from Kavanagah's own poetry and prose. A reconstruction. As close to the horses mouth as can be. Kavanagh came onstage that night, and on Friday. PJ

    "Are there any here who have not spoken and wish to do so? Please come, share from the stage. This is what the event is all about. To show reality. Give a platform to the dis-possessed. Folk who feel and love. All of us."


    Poetry happened.


    The butterfly and hawk eye of logic wrestled accident. WB dropping muffin forks, tea cosies and a goldfish bowl upon the floor of Lissadel in summer. Window open and a giraffe shaped tree draping its branches either side of the two doors. Like a tucked swan-wing.

    Patrick Finnegan, like Kevin and Rita Higgins, a superb Galway poet, but unlike them, not in the first flush of manhood - with a fair few knocks along his way, but still a legend for those lucky enough to hear his work. He sounded a mesmerising poem and gifted his huge live talent to give all there a fair jolt. Literally in gasp at Paddy.


    I have been going mad alone here in front of my screen Gloria Jenkinson from flat seven 306 Fleet street London, circa Scottssboro maiden.

    Come fly with me. Bring an apple flower scented with a Du Luc full bottle region, where we spent a winter wrapped in one another's arms. The whirlwind approaching did not ruffle us. Curled coiled critical of only the cold and uninviting tenderness of a seven day holiday and work-break in Bayside.


    We had harpist Brenda Molloy and mandolin legend Sean Og dipping in and out of the mix with the perfect timing of one whose life is nought but sound. Music, poetry and song in the Palace, whisked to life and literature by poesy's vibe and Kavanagah's spirit alone


    Under the tunnel sheltering from a whirlwind.
    No doubt it will happen one day if you come again my sweetest of Scottsboro roses, scenting Alabama in white cotten. It may well be much cooler when you touch down this time. Fleece are needed. A warm jacket, hat and gloves to fully prepare for what happens in the day.


    Now are the last days of summer.

    Sunday, September 10, 2006


    You too

    love in print. Desire. Speak. Affirm reality and myth, hear
    "One" in the music of what happens. Thermal reality.

    Earth and the Unforgettable Fire. All nought but a good sun,
    warm, dry, wet and never cold. Nirvana.

    You too.


    All because of you who move in mysterious ways. Gloria.
    Even better than the real thing, believing life returns

    when we breathe no more and pass to shade. You be loving
    first fan

    companion letter. Me and you two'ish proof that in print life
    is nought but confusion, sh! Listen, knowing-ones rattle and hum



    "All along the watchtower.....All I want is you." Too
    logical a signature from an artist of sound

    believing music is a gift bestowed by a good -



    I am he. God of sound - music in Irish myth.... Group?
    Tuatha De Dannan - pronounced two-a-haw-day-donon.

    On the land?.... 300 years, circa 1500'ish BC.
    Knowing-ones. Know about sound. Spells. Do magic

    in language. Change physical shape with words
    The Sons of Mil? Orphan's. Invaders from the sea who
    came and seized power -

    circa 1000-500'sh BC...Vanquished then banished TDD under-
    ground. My clan - now faery or wee folk. Sons of Mil? Fifth
    and final

    "wave of of invaders." I taught them to write in Ireland from 5C on. First
    recorders of her civil law, written as myth "happened." Fresh from

    memory onto pages time forgot. Fact.


    I, me, we, Ogma - call me what you will - plays a simple 3 string
    instrument of magic. Each sound has the same effect on all listeners.

    Sound from String one. Listener feels joy and only love. Boogie.

    Travolta happens; action, natures force, dancing to Jacko. Off the
    Wall. Thriller. Springsteen at Superdome; Lansdowne or Croker,

    String two. Utter sorrow; terminal misery, zero jiggy - torpor
    of all time; the sound for suicide. Ballymun flats 100 feet up,

    Pluck three? Lull all to slumber with this note, strain - string
    call them what you will. I sound reality.


    My trained-noise-workers had a thousand years in print.
    Before that we were druids. Made magic with voice only. No ink.

    Filidh. Plural of ,fili or "poets", who scribbled an unbroken path for
    centuries, until the 17'th
    collapsed society abruptly and we stopped for a hiatus or caesura


    We paused. Scorched earth forced us to flee and surrender beneath my


    wave when a take-over bid with lots of teething troubles kicked in
    and we lost generations, as Penal law replaced the code. 100%. We

    became outlaws at home when a stroke of the quill on a bill made it
    illegal to speak in gaeilge. Our native tongue. A simple contract

    written in plain English for subjects, unable to speak it. What about
    Status Quo?
    Only on paper; making a show with no native fans in attendance, happen.

    Anglo had to import his own. Plants. We were driven mental by a support
    act's demand for top billing on our stage. Anglo, ceaselessly plucking my
    string of woe.

    "Subjects" begging monarchy to stop. Calling for "play-fair" and the
    return of ourbono life. Ogma to stop the misery

    chord. Noise joy; in the uninterrupted status quo of a good
    reality conjured from myth Anglo made illegal. No shit.

    All Because of You

    Monday - Mount Temple School notice board, Larry puts it up.
    Saturday - September '75. Seven kids in Mullen's kitchen. There
    about the ad.

    -1985 - four onstage at Wembley. Live Aid. "I have climbed the highest
    mountain, I have run through the field.."..from the dressing room,
    through the wings

    only to be with you. Up the scaffold. Silent; hugging a world
    who came that day. Larry wasn't happy. He thought of walking off

    stage. He wanted to play; for me to sing. Let the planet hear Gloria
    "in the name of love.."... Party Girl. I Will Follow. Us. U2; who

    at Landsdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Yankee Stadium, Redrock - latest hit
    from the catalogue. Mid-eighties. Miami. Crocket and Tubbs undercover

    in a speedboat. Don in white linen. Wham at the height of their power
    Bowie and Jagger "dancing in the street" - Phil Collins to Boston by


    Peter and Ivan only lasted two weeks after first rehearsal;
    or was it a month?
    Dick's brother - Dave - who happens from the platform - Edge

    happened in the core that July weekend. He too is part
    practice; life, creation; call it what you will, Larry.

    Love deposit here; immediately, please. "It's a beautiful


    drop beneath my wave, stay addicted to faith
    sound the magic. We’re all - word for word - as

    good when spoken simple, direct and kind.

    Sincerely Yours


    Julie Andrews and U
    2 on top of Howth hill.

    Over and out for now; lover, letter-in-law. Go beneath


    break feet and walk with St Paul and I. Mind that bag
    of mint imperials; or are they the oil-rig toffee Jackie

    Stewart "doodle doo"d about; in the pit-stop on
    Saturday Grandstand, or was it Tiswas?


    Mirror-mirror on Arthur Scargill's wall, make Art fairest
    of them all.

    Answer in song; if Arthur was " a
    hotel room in New York City, round about the time a

    friend of ours, er - Little Steven - was putting together a
    record of Artists Against Apartheid..."


    ..or at the miners conference in Scarborough at a Wheels
    of Steel disco? Rod Stewart on the karaoke? "Wake up Maggie

    I think I 've got something to say to you...". Hollering for
    benefit night at the train station, Doncaster branch;

    or was it Maddison Square Garden, Art sung "..about a
    man in a shantytown outside of Johannesburg, who is

    sick of looking down the barrel of white South Africa.
    A man who is at the point where he is ready to take up

    arms against his oppressor. A man who has lost faith in
    the peacemakers of the West, who argue and fail to


    support a man like Bishop Tutu and his request for
    economic sanctions against South Africa."

    Arthur was heard - at his bungalow in Scunthorpe, for tea
    and a Sarnie. Chicken in a basket later that night, when

    he starred on the picket line with Billy Bragg,
    demanding a bitta wedge. It was only a quid.

    "Am I buggin' you? I don't mean to bug ya..."

    or was it a tenner?



    Dublin dusk; getting together, darkness imminent
    at the canal.

    "OK edge.. (David Evans) the blues."


    The Edge's sound; music, what "happens," call it what
    you will Larry and Adam

    is "a preacher stealing hearts at a travelling
    show;" hinting of an, in the air

    at Phibsboro. Croke Park. Croker. 80,000. Monday
    outside the ground.
    A full house. Pride. "This song is not a rebel song,

    this song is...the news today; I can't close my eyes
    and make it... New Years Day. Not one a dud. Totally

    amazing; or was it, flat? Not happening? No, no it was
    the night love came to town, leapt around the stage in

    crepe-lifts and transported them through a prism of love
    to Van Diemens land - where the streets have no name

    and raised a silver lidded keyboard, in the snooker hall
    on Camden Street; where dolls hang out, sniffing my talent.


    I forget her face; pale, refracting daylight through the
    candle we lit to commemorate the B52's, Vietnam, Ned

    Kelly and Wham, or was it Wigan with Culture Club supporting?
    He does not keep loaves and fishes in a fridge near Killiney

    Boy George does not go the Forty-Foot, New York, Red Rock.
    In Benidorm He is incognito, in shades and baseball cap

    under the blood red sky of Alicante; at a water park, Bono
    John Lennon - Helter-Skelter - telling Bono go back to

    the top of the slide Then you stop and you turn and you go for
    a ride Then you get to the bottom, then you.. see me again.


    The Beatles

    Bono and you too want me to love again. Hear September daylight, cool
    breeze at Sandycove. A dream to be the free man "who come in the name
    of.." Bono

    Love. Touch the ground where JFK, his brother Bobby and Gaybo spoke
    "Mrs Byrne got diamond eyes.....what more in the name of.."

    ..JFK, mobbed from New Ross to Phoenix Park in '62. The Late Late
    live. Gaybo; in the ruck, squeezing to get near. Have you read

    Gaybo's autobiography Marilyn Monroe? Read behind the lines or
    tossed off some to Clarke Gable, Ralph, Larry Lamb, Olivier
    Elton or


    Lord John. In the Hyannis Port compound? Sixties. Bee Gees,
    Massachusetts, Miles Davis and John Coltrane at the Mixer. Down

    to the marina in shorts and a kagool. Picnics, on the beach. Swim.
    Ball games; sandwiches, find unrehearsable, love

    "All I want is you,"

    and two cans of gargle?


    Or was it ten, that night at Croker by the canal Gloria. Beautiful
    Day. One. The one that goes on and on. The White Album

    Abbey Road. Regents Park. Zoo TV. Tourists take pictures of the zebra
    crossing. It's pissing down; Shaune Ryder's no smack.

    Sir Bob - "One" is on the radio, sing

    "I don't like Mondays"



    gives and is as all should be. Ogma the good god is the one you
    want to be

    Peace upon you too; balance of grain containing galaxies of
    void and light, guide me to the music of what happens, please
    be good.

    Happy Monday's, here to happen.




    my servant
    awaiting a cipher to number for a modest sum, "did you

    come here for forgiveness; did you come to raise the dead,
    did you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head"

    and plagiarise? Poesy's Page - arise Larry; Bono, Adam, the Edge
    and please.

    You too?


    or is it U2?

    I know


    Edge is not the Bono and Bono not the Edge. Adam is not Larry or he
    Adam Ant.
    Larry made it happen. He put the note up; I accept Mullen is

    nothing without me, or me him. Only voice, gifted lyrics, Ogma's



    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Enconium for John by Mahon and Cronin

    Dear Reader

    The piece below is from a few weeks back. A blip in technicals means my current stuff's moved href="">here

    Monday - Church - 7pm

    God of speech Anthony Cronin joined with literate deity Derek Mahon in a prime piece of church property (built in two years at a cost of £5000 and opened for worship on Sunday 14 June 1863).

    To make John Betjeman speak on Monday evening? I hear you say?

    Off course
    those dividing iambics which tick bombs of opinion to explode on-screen in various free-of-all-verse forums throughout cyberworld,

    were given an hour long airing;
    fifteen minutes after I arrived on foot and realised my destination was a compact walk-up prayer-hall on the SW corner of Stephen’s Green, and outside whose doors a trail of suits assembling in obvious number, witnessed a man unseen for some months in such ratio.


    When Cronin comes to work it's a full house of gossip lovers who relish the real thing,

    and Deggsy’s global reputation mixed with Tony’s gags meant many came early to guarantee a spot at the lock-in.


    Both A list repositories of their nation's poetic lore;

    one of whom staggered ducked and dived round Dublin,
    London and Paris with literary legends in the first swill

    of his manhood, 20 years before many senior
    warblers were anonymous newbies learning to rope
    poet's at the Palace Bar.


    A frisson of potential exclusion briefly fused through the thickening queue of punters on the pavement below the large gothic stone portal with doors designed to withstand a battering-ram,

    due to abruptly shut when evening prayer began,
    so I thanked creation for guiding me to exit my flop hutch of composition 10 minutes quicker than when non-gods appear in more quotidian and emptier space.


    A liminal flux was palpable during the 30 seconds in the go-slow bottle-neck I mistook for a dash to basement seats

    and breathing a sigh of relief as I left the patient and orderly autograph mad punters entering their names in a visitors book

    peeled off from the queue to a stage
    where Ogma's word moved through two who connect

    with the last rites of Greg's beatification at the gobs of Chris and Mick in the Surgeons,

    as so many so desperate to attend a reading
    I'd not witnessed since then

    John Betejeman
    - massively popular poet and hack's ghost
    emanating an odour of iambic ectoplasm I whiffed when a plural god kicked off behind a pillar blocking my view.

    The perfect position to leave with no fuss, should boredem call or a need for the jacks.


    Cronin is an icon whose fantastically long poetical pedigree and orbits are unique, varied and have accessed all ear and tongue from Taoiseach to tramp. On a generational scale Seamus is to Anthony as Cronin to Betjeman.

    But whereas John B’s gift -of/mak/ing/verse-cause/un/ease- is underrated by those who do not work in this form and can not write in regular iambic for toffee, Tone C's prose equivalent ability is conjuring up cut-glass barbs of
    windy intellectuals blow in fear of

    a talented cypher cutting their quill.


    Cronin and Mahon are not legends in the first flush of youth like Aisle 16 or the thick crop of bruisers on net-boards new talent writes on, so vive voce was never a backable odd in a religious space built for a few hundred.

    On an international stage Dek's poems are read and Tone by comparison is unknown; but his influence here is instantly audible for all who witness this remarkably real-life conduit offering poetical insight for all; whoever they are and however they write

    and although he got lost in a line or three, his sound of sheer sincerity and acceptance when collapsing mid-stumble served to convey only extra layers of vocal poignancy on a day whose celebratory depth of meaning filtered through loud-speakers to even the most cynical of butt-parkers crammed on the pews avid and rapt listening for myth being lured to life from seven pm.

    This hot bed of tolerance was a congregation of all ages, from geriatrics down; there for a service from two maestros speaking John’s word at a temple,
    whose art I heard Ogma invoke in an hour long enconium.


    Just hearing them both blowing breath was instruction enough; and with Tone in arch-poet mode to a faster younger understudy doing it straight

    John Betjeman spoke to me through Mahon and Cronin, the octogenarian colleague whose speech god gifts a laboriously acquired form few write in

    but plenty who do not, or will not

    dismiss and
    as they cannot

    find faith or write verse
    in the hard won line drawn
    from John's page lots don't write
    of or on.


    tell me what ratio
    of silence to sound

    will burst a poem
    and lash out your sense
    in my world

    "I betcha da moan
    and not laugh with a metrical system
    second to none and unknown to"

    the middle man of English verse who seems
    so tame

    when he does not bluff but
    presents a logical system of


    Disable this BBCode

    notify me to post off
    and syphon your mind
    in his signature style,
    smile and

    profile attached to a
    public 'n iambic view of
    life on a train from
    Tufnell Park station
    moving through Highgate and

    to woodland, heather and a
    hearthland on heath near
    an ocean our two
    feet dip in and
    out of at will.

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006


    Hi to all the people I am trying to get invites off. Mary my sister painted this and I would be very grateful for any assistancce you can give me in coming to your event. I need a pretty quick reply as I have to give at least six weeks notice. Thank you very much.

    Sunday, August 20, 2006



    Monsters trapped in human bodies jostle
    war with world peace and un-tether your song
    of hollow moral concepts swaddled
    in a bright cloth of defunct language gone
    daft in the spirit of this modern age.
    Neo classic pillars of abstraction
    with your artless blather of throwaway
    lines, sow fear with the proliferation
    of words like right punishment, vengence and
    retribution. Bruiser gods raining word
    shells upon our consciousness, blow minds bland
    and sanitise banality to purge
    your hearts of accountability when
    debates cease and the naked dead return
    your dividend of talk in crisp cold flesh
    packaged in body bags and draped in the flags
    you have hijacked. Come, hoodwink citizens,
    lead them to believe your cause is just and
    unrelated to commerce or cash black
    gold below the surface of desert lands.

    Monday, August 14, 2006


    Let the mask slip and
    see the goddess of your mind's
    mirror reflecting


    Written rules of life
    in true poems no eye can
    dismiss or reject


    Just like the sequin fella with coulouring felts who uses public consciousness as a canvas to re-draft and re-draft until the instinctively mathmatical backwash is freed from wrong computation and the last post radically different, in syntax, smoothed to an ungrabbable ergonomic.

    Is that a word? Have a butchers. Lets talk of the afterlife and those navel gazers caressing the seeds of time free druid pawns and playthings of love-mating irregularities under the thumb of t'other half, tell of in tales of Tony at chequers and Marlon starring in a Hotton pub.

    What plots and intriques on the dark bank of Acheron when we cross with our oblos eagerly thrust to the boatman.

    Shall we talk of the dead?


    Sunset strips filter through window slats
    edging across a bone white wall

    and beech wood floor with mole knots
    dotting the faded grain.

    As dusk draws darkness in
    peeling back the pith of light

    opaque forms appear in pale shadows
    and cast a chill spell in the night air.

    A ghostly clan seeping from the
    otherworld through pictures on brick
    visit the room

    filling the hours before dawn with an aroma
    of spirits, spectres and long silent ancestors.

    Their fuse of flesh life lit and left as
    a pyramid of past we’ve no cognisance of

    is the human history of reality chaining our
    existence to an unfathomable entity.

    A void of unconsciousness
    no man or woman will speak of until they
    speak no more.


    Love you all more in the otherworld.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Vicki Feaver - Guardian Poetry Workshop Siren

    The monthly Guardian Newspapaer poetry workshop is very prestigious.


    To hygienically stick your mental jizz in the bonces of the bores on that board, be skill-less and tick boxes in one of the numerous contemporary dot to dot career manuals lost minded rhyme-smiths and fully homogenized poets of the lyrically pedestrian unfunny line swear by, for inspirational instruction.

    Randomly add a pick 'n mix content of your colour-in influences, then order (un-mangled) a syntax by numbers in dum-de-dumbed down, dim mind-numbing "I am"s, whose relevance can be immediately read as an example of the school whose one compositional method produces oeuvres instantly appraised by the oolamhs we imitate in our poems, original and interesting or cack-handed crap.


    I posted a recognisably simple fledgling piece to Vicki Feaver, flapped it in past the midnight deadline of July 31. Sent because I desired to swipe for myself her visible poetic gift, coolly exuding from a highly professional online portrait. From this picture I deciphered her crackable psychological code, which the remote power she yearns to encounter when scribing her speech, revealed to me through a working method Amergin supposedly spoke and wrote of over ten centuries ago when Celtic rhyming was a craft akin to quantum mechanics; harnessing electricity an ungraspable concept and television's logic, a magic whose truth only extraterrestrial gods could blueprint.

    Audience unable to believe what you are reading, see

    the de rigueur smoulder of her stark, no-nonsense, full frontal mug-shot in natural black and white, like some still life sixties siren slipping into a post office on pension day. Gasp as the massively frozen ability behind her straight lipped chilled out stare overpowers you with OTT visual audacity and cold raw talent; oozing from her unashamedly age loving face, framed by a superbly creative hairdo, nestling next to what looks like leaves; themselves appearing to burst with vitality merely by basking in the nearness of such an unadulterated aura of pure “Vicki” vibe, fissured to nuke your post-modern mental motor when gawping at her poetess head-shot.

    When my eyes first fell upon that light-generated representation of her physical form, I became instantly impelled to toss her a hand of thin-line free-verse, written last year during late spring when composing a draft idea for a bird sketch, as I stood waiting at the railings of Russell Square one Saturday morning in May, at 3am. A love god called Aonghus came and deposited a sustainable splodge of lingo jizz my mind then propagated to the finished poetic thought-flash of words my muttering mouth formed as a mechanical pencil wrought along the page doing its thing.


    Two months ago I sent a ghost poem to the editor whose inaccurate spelling accidentally lobotomised the hard-drive of her mind and re-configured her inner pen to automatically craft bland-on-demand dribble she’ll leak when asked to come 'n hack for the rags.

    As you may not know, I have an otherworldly nodal-implant harvesting the mental technology our scribble through time programmes, and was hoping to impress Esther with my universally unique state-of-the-art hardware, which has an unlimited capacity for telepathic upload.

    I was serial-stalker keen for an online relationship to occur, but alas, her system allows only wrong-word psychological software now, as all the poetic bits from her brain were removed, which, due to an IQ down-grade in the subconscious section of her grey-matter-motherboard, I now possess.

    Unfortunately, Esther is a black-hole of poesy at the mo and won’t be capable of running up goods from her gob for the foreseeable future. She is in desperate need of any verse-cells from those with a spare poetic intelligence, who can help correct the cock up via the medium of reading this text.

    Make sure she's topped up to her previous capacity by sending your unwanted language skill to her non working areas at the earliest opportunity. Until she’s re-booted, all her opinions remain obsolete and have been safely debunked by a knowing one at the edge of life's barricade.

    Feeling somewhat glum at my blunder which inadvertently deprived Morgan of her talent, I fell into a mild depression, significantly deepened when the net-negative benefit of her poetic transplant became apparent - and after drinking heavily for the several days I spent alone in the attic foolishly gazing at a 10 foot blow up of Ed's face, extorted from a terrified trainee at Supersnaps - I came to mistakenly believe that the one constant my life lacked in the upswing of its manic state, was a textual relationship with Jane Duran.

    This was because I misconstrued the instruction of my Devine Emanation Council operative who oversees the recruitment of human beings, like me, who work for their various business organizations, trading and trailing a blaze in telepathic communication markets throughout the galaxy. My psychotic state, coupled with the chemically altered parameters of my consciousness, meant I imagined Alan - a middle-ages Moorish instructor who bashed out Yeats’s wife's automatic blather - instructed me to jerk some hip 'n savvy electric text her way. But I mistook the message when under the influence of a 2 litre torpedo of 9% ABV scrumpy, and his actual advice was -

    "Don't bother. You've no chance of scoring. She needs a full re-bore which may fail and render her an unworkable write-off."


    Such is the state of my mind, it is constantly hallucinating a group of composite Guardian poets having continual inconsequential coma-thons; the most immortally minded egos engaged in terminally dull intercourse with a cultural void and textually insatiable artist who was the banal verbal star of a spectacularly unexciting group borgey at "Dim Slob" Loink Oxley’s funless depression festival in a North London cellar last November.

    Gushing forth from lip 'n nib that forgettable winter night, was Jean MacMillan, boring all within earshot to slumber with her pointless genius for putting people to sleep whilst extemporising nursery rhymes and simultaneously remaining cognizant of seven different conversations, occurring in the filthy and fully equipped dungeon hot tub during that comatose night of non-stop torpor.

    As Jean held court in the centre of the whirlpool she told the ghost of Edward Hughes to remove a jester's hat from Laurence, Hardy, Hemmingway or Auden's oeuvre, for her to wear in the joke-free Jacuzzi. A hat, of course, was semblanced from Pam Ayres' daft heyday and Jeans plainly crafted art and Barnsley wit regaled us unconscious once again until we woke and weirdly found she’d morphed into a fascinating she-male character whose talk no longer bored us but explored the boundaries of earthly existence.

    S/he said telepathy's just mental adventuring into the unknown, and as s/he told us of what comes when we dare surrender blindly to the word by instinctively stepping into a circle of faith reserved for us alone, an unknown poet in the corner conjured up Ogma, a word-deity meaning the good god none there had heard of till that night, who enlightened us with the hardcore uncut logic of creation as s/he fell silent and Ogma spoke -

    "Oh all ye genuine thinkers who flap language revealing the methods your muse revels in during the joy gushing forth speech, come surf to my one stop language shack stocking genres from Langpo to metrical verse. On offer - verbal compatriots - is free and safe lunacy top ups with every fibre spent believing..." -

    ~ will be fun to compose as many poems on this board as we can when the next Guardian bore appears offering us their insights into and examples of poems.

    Basically have a group writing session where we e mail our efforts to whichever personality poet's mug-shot is pasted up on the least wanted page; not written with a view to submit them, but to generate material we may send in subject to our desire to gift in stuff anytime up till the deadline. I will send my efforts in to whoever's picture pops up next.

    It's just a thought I want to warm you with, as this place could do with a bit of group action and effort for the mutual poetic benefit of all who will chance to give online writing exercises a go. The concept of failure or loss is factored out, I sincerely believe, when groups genuinely engage in a joint artistic enterprise of this nature.

    I sent the poem below in with I LOVE YOU VICKI in the subject field and this pre-amble

    Hi Vicki

    Please forgive me for being late with my work, but I was seized last night by several drunken transvestites who wanted to dress me up and shoot me in an outfit which may have meant I've made it onto page seven of the Big Issue. Out of fashion section. A pastel number which really accentuates the line of my arms and waist, in such a way which doesn't draw attention to the fact that I am 27 stone of sheer flab.

    I was also high on heroin and crack cocaine after being abducted at straw-point by a number of christian milkshake enthusiasts who got a bit carried away when they saw me waving me Wotsits at two very well known nonentities I will not mention here, but who have been saying untalented things about online dominoes.

    This confident dice I currently seer falls favourably. It is steered by an accurate eye and makes straight aimed throws cast at the intellect’s bullseye in a tossed offering adhering to the creature ethos of your online poetry workshop. Verse-truth pervades where words lie folding in dreams blown real by breaths of imaginary air Vicki


    A fluttering
    in the skin
    soft slither thin
    leaves of a
    beech tree

    alerts her to
    a bird in the
    an oak bench.

    A grey
    feathered fledgling
    awkwardly flaps
    falling to the pitted
    tarmac and nestles

    its downy breast
    against a coping
    stone border of
    the oval green. A
    cricket match ends

    as the birds first
    flight from its nest
    into the unknown
    traffic of a new
    world view

    begins. The creature
    takes its bearings
    from earth level

    and looking into
    the depths and
    complexity of

    anchors an
    eyeline securely
    on the confusion
    life's nexus of
    glimpses distills

    across the freshly
    stretched backdrop
    of a silent dumb sky

    offering no
    foothold of slender
    wood poles with
    which she can measure
    her ascent through

    up to God's hand.

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Basement George

    He knocked at two am; a light rap on the grey door accompanied by an incoherent voice strung out on cocaine, mumbling a request to

    - open the door; let’s talk. -

    This was the first time George had made a personal call or crossed the hitherto strictly amicable and neighbourly divide Ray had expounded so much mental effort on attempting to create, with diffident nods and friendly smiles calculated to ingratiate himself with George, in the hope of creating a social buffer built on mutual respect.

    Ray wedged in the earplugs trailing from a small plastic radio, turned up its volume and began praying for a different reality; one sound proofed to insulate him from the dysfuntional behaviour of nutters like George. He tried to focus his mind on a drunk radio-caller mapping out his booze fuelled vision of tackling anti-social behaviour to Pat, a snappy sounding jock manning the graveyard shift at the decks of Talk-Sport Radio, station of late night chat.

    - Well, sure, they should be making laws against it. Ban the lot of them completely. Street rats going about the place terrorising honest hardworking people just for the fun of it, thinking it’s brilliant craic and a great gas all together. Filming it on their mobile phones and putting up websites about it. Scum, that’s all they are. -

    Unimpressed with Ray's failure to respond, George struck his fist on the door and re-entered his room with a muffled curse, loudly slamming his door and, as he threw himself onto the bed, hurling a tirade of abuse at the flimsy partition wall he kicked upon landing.

    Pat was engaged in his usual routine, playing devils advocate to an idiotic caller named Terry, his voice effortlessly oozing the soft bland burr of sophist reason weaving along its 107 FM path to the ears of insomniacs and night-shift workers throughout the city. The background moan-fest and signature of Sport-Talk’s early AM show.

    - So you think the government should introduce legislation in relation to this problem Terry? Some kind of anti-social behaviour law? ASBO's maybe? That’s certainly one way of addressing the issue, and one which our listeners will no doubt have opinions on. If there’s anyone out there who want to have their say on this topic, give us a call on the usual number. -

    It briefly crossed Ray's mind that, if he possessed a phone, he could call Pat and acquaint him with his own anti-social situation of being the unlucky neighbour of George and closest witness of his slide into chemically induced madness, fuelling an aggressive paranoia now directed at Ray through twenty millimetres of jaded plasterboard the colour of dog dirt fawn; functional, like a dump. A picture came into Ray's mind of holding up the phone so Pat and his fellow listeners could hear George's routine, imagining the manufactured concern in Pat’s glib response as a hollow empathy filtered out of the radio’s tinny plastic speaker to scratch at George’s deaf and drunken ears next door.

    Trying to remain silent Ray began dressing as Pat and Terry continued to chat about the possible connection between hooded tops and anti social behaviour; one which Terry believed to be obvious and the intrinsic links of which he began to expound upon with all the eloquence of a man trying to argue the existence of extraterrestrials from inside a portable toilet.

    - What do they be wanting to have the hood up for when its warm? They can be only up to no good. -

    - Could they not have the hood up because it’s wintertime Terry and they, understandably, have the desire to remain as warm as possible, which is what the hood is there for in the first place? - Pat, not unreasonably countered.

    Terry seemed oblivious to this interjection of sensible comment, blithely waffling on and unburdening his load like a conspiracy theorist railing from the stump of Speakers Corner.

    - Well, I watched a news report on the RTE about a gang of young ones in Westport who do nothing all day but happy slapping and now everyone in Mayo’s too scared to go into the town for their shopping. Pensioners and disabled people too terrified to leave the house for the fear of it. Grown men unable to walk the streets because of it. It’s complete and utter madness. They should be shot. -

    As Ray slipped into a pair of lightweight mountain boots whose robust clunky soles and stout tailoring offered full comfort and equipped the feet of the wearer with a trusty sense of protection, Pat began working up to a predictable denoument, preparing to cut Terry and his unconvincing argument loose; discard him into the ether after a a last word salvo of synthetic outrage had completely rubbished his opinion.

    - But Terry, you can’t tar everyone who wears a hoodie as scum, - said the record spinning chat king, in a register of professional insincerity honed by years of late night blathering to oddballs and weirdos,

    - I, and many others, including numerous friends and family have worn hooded tops on many occassions and neither I, nor any of my friends and family, as far as I’m aware, have ever mugged or felt the urge to physically threaten anyone when wearing one. Do you not think, Terry, that you are going completely over the top here; that the opinion of making hoodies illegal and shooting people for attiring themselves, in what many people consider practical and comfortable clothing, is an extremely illogical one which can serve society in no beneficial way whatsoever? -

    But Terry was unswayed by this artificial voice shifting through the gears of midnight reason and told Pat he was firm in his conviction that hooded tops should be outlawed and withdrawn from the racks and shelves with immediate effect.

    - It’s the only way to stop it. - Terry said, impervious to the critical flaws Pat had isolated in his theory.

    He sounded drunk, lonely and increasingly deranged. Another sacrificial lamb from the dial chained masses, functioning as Pat’s verbal punch bag; a fish in the barrel-offering to be slaughtered at the altar of late night radio.

    - If it was up to me I’d be making them illegal tomorrow. It’s too dangerous not too Pat. The whole country’s going to the dogs through young ones who’ve got no control and can only think of mobile phones, burgers and runners; hiding themselves and smashing the place up. Vandalising, sniffing glue and taking all sorts of mind bending drugs. -

    Terry was beyond redemption and Pat began working up to the inevitable blow off, crunching the logistics of Terry’s vision by concentrating on the fact that criminalizing hooded tops was a very impractical enterprise to embark upon.

    - I’m sorry Terry, but I don’t think that’s a sensible idea, or one which has a chance of working in any way whatsoever. I would strongly argue that it is in fact a pretty stupid idea and one that no rational normal human being should hold, as it would be an incredibly foolish and effectively impossible undertaking. -

    The first sound of Terry's attempted rebuttal was instantly cut off as Pat disconnected him from the airwaves and cast him abruptly into the night with all the aplomb of a pub landlord slamming the door on a sozzled patron. Ray pictured Terry's booze befuddled brain taking a few seconds to realise what had happened and imagined him aggrieved; like the kicked out drinker who had spent his money and time boring a pub manager before the sudden pushed exit left him facing a locked door instead of the late night lock in he had been expecting. Pat’s voice effortlessly segued into a flirty timbre for the next, female, caller; switching to a register leaking an homogenised brand of airwave magnetism male DJ’s aspire to imitate in their quest of becoming radio emperors and housewife heart throbs.

    - OK, we’re going to have to leave you there for now Terry and take a call from June somewhere in the South of the city who wants to tell us what she thinks of hooodies. Hello June your though to Talksport. So, June, what have you got to say? -

    Ray slowly laced up the boots and reclined back on the bed fully kitted out for a night street roaming. Excellent footwear to keep out the cold November chill of a windswept seaport.

    June began pouring out her opinion with a cliché, telling Pat how a few bad apples were giving the rest of the kids a bad name; but just as she started to warm to the theme by giving the example of her own teenagers, who were all law abiding hoodie wearers, "Hot Legs" by Rod Stewart drop kicked its way from George’s stereo and through the wall in a sonic boom, drowning out June’s voice and Pat’s sudden switch from love god to attentive asexual conversationalist. Pressing the earplugs tightly down with the tips of his fingers Ray tried to suffocate wrinkly Rod Stewart and concentrate on June telling Pat about her perfect family, closing his eyes and searching his mind for faith.