Sunday, May 21, 2006

Nuns Having Fun

I have a dream


It is Sunday and I have just returned from a lesbian orgy in a convent, purely as an artist you understand; filming documentary-reality-show footage on a camera phone for an upcoming short film exploring the changing face of vocational life in a habit and how sisters are doing it for themselves. The film is an innovative new reality programme, provisionally titled Nuns Having Fun and I am currently in pre-production negotiations with Living TV and The God Channel.

It's all about nuns, riding around the countryside in Cork and Kerry, testing their vocation to the big fella upstairs by going on dates with hunky farmers. Hand and neck massages along with intimate hot-tub moments should show the TV powers that be that this isn't just another manufactured idea mining the depths of depravity and cultural debasement, but a forward thinking and educational show which will open up a serious debate in this country about what happens when hot sisters and scorching farmer boys get up close and personal.

Nuns are just like anyone else, they need a piece of prime time because they are underrepresented on the telly and they also need to modern up their image and show its not all about praying and playing with the vicar.

We did the publicity shots last week. The nuns were put in miniskirts and suspenders and the art director hired a tractor and had them drinking babycham on it at Stephens Green. Glenda Gilson wanted in on the gig, but we thought she would not be appropriate, as she would have given a wrong, too tacky message to our potential viewers. After the shoot we all went to Ron Blacks, and I must say, once nuns kick off on the bevvy, they can’t control themselves.

I left early at 11pm as I was up for an appointment with the social welfare officer, but four of them tried to get in my room in the nightshelter at 3.30am on Wednesday morning after they’d staggered out of Lillies after being taken there by Bono, who wanted to talk about saving the world over a few quiet bottles of bubbly and how the nuns could help relieve third world debt by doing some charity photo-shoots for Hustler.


I awake and write this poem about Biddy Early, a faery healer from county Clare. Born 1798, the year of the failed rising. It is titled


surface the end-name talisman
  of this shade's edifice
who lives in the other world
  above consciousness.

Brand the word-leaves
bob fixed
turn the air psychic and extract
   a ghost
lulled from space by sheer desire.

Tickle the thought door
  splice open
and stick straight to mainline
    a soft
some say non-existent
plucked from Tir nOg.

stomp sodden belief underfoot

risk the frozen crushed fish
   tower above trout gut

let logic be mangled
and this looking glass
conjur a woman married four times

who cured gout-limps in
Clare's bleak mid-winter.

A white witch herbalist
living in Feakle
whose piston-sleek mind
or weighted
read an empty blue bottle reflecting light.

Her mind will steer this absurd straight track
and sense will depict

   - twenty yards from the Q Bar
 ten feet below the Liffey tide mark -

a cormarant perched on the foundation base
of O'Connell Street bridge
pulling fish from green water
as neon-struck rust-cans float by

to reveal a world lit
by the art of Biddy Early from Faha.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Dear Reader

If this is your first time on this site, welcome, and please, do not think the poetry below is all I am about. The example here is in a form called L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, or Langpo. This is basically the cutting edge of avant garde and can be traced to one man, Charles Bernstein, who I have spun poems with in Dublin. That's the top and bottom of it. One gifted genius is all it takes to start an Art movement.

I also write in other forms from slam, strict metrical, open-field and basically any genre going. Many poets stick to one, but the more the merrier I say.

The whole idea with Langpo is to be a bit disruptive with the lingo, so take it nice and slow and if you get bored, flip down to the next piece and read how I got my black eye for Ireland.



and pluck comfort bones banal?

Wanna dilineate reality's cultural force
in an ASBO scribble

encrypt an electronic watermark
through the continuum's digital blueprint
and write with the ink of memory?

step across the divide
tailor the mind
and cut to a schoolyard platform.

a violent memory train chugs love in

silence stops
      sound drops
and joy is a fight
attractively flesh
in the sight of deja vous

as sound shuffling through the seal of surface
fills a magic carriage with fresh-right raindrops
     unbreaking to forgive

Heard it before?

Reason crashing out in a journey to the underworld

ghosts that disappear once light is shone

    cute gods sensing leather hell
      in a milk-break lunchtime

who always remember Morley V Mad Ox

each headbutting the little brick
  basin after lunch had settled
when one chipped the chewers in his gob
as his skull crashed onto a white bog rim?

Youth's unintentional masterstroke
was stout shunted schoolkids
  and the guards of entry
were wild coarse cognizant and weightless

convincingly set aside
like a congress of persuasive conmen
caught up in tossing back whisky
at a marquee saloon of weekend mayhem
all at sea and misunderstanding


the inconsequent watch-word
passing through the spirit fallow
and pastured now
in the omniscient realm

know all
lacking in taste
with ski-boots tailored by Nico

urban footwear
worn by a Shepards Bush maestro.

Friday, May 19, 2006


There's been quite a bit going on here Dear Reader. I got a bashing on Monday two weeks back, in the early hours of the morning. Just the one blow, to my left eye, which went completely bloodshot and so this injury means I am not looking at my best at the mo.

It happened in the early hours of the morning, and too be honest the exact details are a bit hazy, I just remember coming too in my bed the following morning with a sore face and realised I must have got a clump, but didn't have a clue if it was as a result of violence inflicted on me by another, or an accident on my part. However due to a cut just below the eye that looks like it may have been caused by a ring, I have decided to retail the fact of a large man punching me once.

The original tale was that I stepped in to save a crowd of heroin addicts from mugging a group of nuns, but no one seemed to believe it, so I dropped the nuns and changed them to tourists, which was far more acceptable to the objective listener.

It's been nearly two weeks now and the redness is fading, and it looks like I will have a faint scar to deepen the bag under my eye, but such is the life of a bloke who boozes a lot and talks about poetry non-stop.

I can imagine the scene.

Monday AM - Desmond Swords -Pissed up poet talking loudly about Irish mythology is appointed as a suitable target by a large man who likes the odd spot of recreational violence. Some folk like to go dogging, others play chess, some want to hit others for sport, it's entirely understandable innit?


Last night I went to see my Jazz Duo play, Gavin and Sarah who are going to be backing the poets who turn up to the poetry night I am setting up at Monster Truck Art Gallery, the very bottom of Francis Street Dublin, opposite St Patrick's cathedral D8.

Every other Thursday, that's fornightly, starting on May 25, there will be poetry going on and the Jazz Duo were bonus I bumped into by chance last Monday (a week after the eye bash) at the back of the Irish Film Centre whilst looking for Sweeney or Fintan, two poets I know. I don't have a phone and always just bump by chance into my Art pals, usually in Temple Bar Square or the back of the IFI, and was thinking we were overdue a random encounter, or more hoping because I wanted to see them in person to give them all the spiel on the Art Gallery do. But they weren't there, Gav and Sarah were instead and we got chatting and it turns out they are studying for a BA in Jazz at Blackrock College and are well up for the collaborative venture.

Last night they played the Boom Boom Room above Conways Pub, Parnell Street, which is the building from which Patrick Pearse surrendered to the British army in 1916 after the Rising.

Yeah yeah yeah. More later.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Yo ho ho nipple me not whats Dear Reader coz da word on the scene here in Liffey land is that an art gallery has just opened at the very bottom of Francis Street, going downhill, and I have been appointed as the Director of Poetry and Chief Executive of the art collective's page and stage department.

Al and Tom are the two young art school graduates who run Monster Truck gallery and are expert in multimedia and a whole host of things happen there. On Wednesday I attended a short film showing of three movies. Very new media and totally on the edge of experiment and style. The first was people doing a lot of tapping and banging in an orchestrated performance art piece that covered the kitchen, bedroom, lounge and bog. Surreal and wacko, but such is true art dearest ones. After that it was a very violent french movie minature of three men slapping each other across the face and calling each other unrepeatable names unprintable in such a respected rag as this. The final one was a cut up of the Japanese comic book feature length cartoon Akira, and it were bonkers but brill if yer get me. The original cartoon is 2 or 3 hours long and set in post holocuast Tokyo and the director had cut it up, spun it through the computer and was also able to superimpose imges at will over the found version he created, tinkling the keyboards as though it were a piano of images.

This was a highly avant garde outing and the best bit is that you can bring your own ale and the off licence does four cans of Hackenberg five percent proof for a fiver, so a tenner means you get to be in the coolest art gallery in Dublin getting tanked up at a fraction of pub prices. The other benifit of this free shebeen house of Art is that you don't have to listen or watch the lesser Dublin drinkers who do not journey on the shuttlebus of rareified thought where we do readers, so get yourself down to

Monster Truck
Francis Street

Right at the very bottom going downhill.

The Thursday night poetry gigs will be held every other week and this will be the melting pot where stage and page meet and reconnect, as I firmly believe that performance poetry as it is called is going to impact on the print world and there are two ways of dealing with it. If you are a print poet you can ignore it as Z list filler and if you are a slam poet you can moan about not being taken seriously, so the natural order of things on this score is simple. Bring the two camps together and both sides will drop the acts they perform because the real physical people will be there all in the same room and they will realise, like the smoking ban, that Ireland can steal a march on the world and be number one at the old waffle in new performance form. The world will follow suit and I will keep taking my tablets to supress the fantasy on which I float, sometimes too high, like the other night when I spoke with Kev, a tramp at the canal who told me about a divine plan he knew of.

As I sat their swigging my Hackenberg, Kev supping what looked like port, he let me in on a few facts, he claims are all part of the plan. Thinking I had met a fellow magus I kept my wits about me whilst pumping him for the real gen, but not wishing to fully connect because I was scared that Kev would seize my spirit.

I have been meeting people lately who tell me fully formed stories, and I have found that the more interesting and bizzare ones come from people like Kev the tramp, but the only way to tease them out is be genuinely human with these people; the waifs, strays, layabouts and societal write offs who many, if not most, would actively steer clear of. They are everywhere and their stories could not be made up, but as I say the only way to hear them is take what they say seriously, so when Kev started on about Satan and him being the messiah, I made my excuses and withdrew, but he gave me some cracking lines.