Friday, July 28, 2006

Finoula, Caoimhe and Nyree

Let me twist you the tale of Finouola, an amatuer rhyme-smith and TV hack who attempted to pull a fast one by having a gas time at the expense of Caoimhe Masterson outside an art gallery, after getting the hump when her right to be the sole bore drone and over-sensitive moaner who got upset if the tounges of others weren't permanantly ensconced in licking her praises, was questioned by the mere fact of Caoimhe's existence.

Caoimhe had heard Finoula's ouvre several times over and indulged Finoula's predilection for pontificating to all within earshot about what's what according to a philosophy of reasonable sounding bollocks and plausibly carted out bullshit, but had kept her counsel on the socially disruptive manner Finoula displayed when putting people to sleep with her outpourings of unrequited love and doomed relationships, because she detected that behind Finoula's mask of bonhomie and good cheer was a soul suffering from a desperate case of human inadequecy, due to the tragically unfemminie condition of alopecia clearly balding her pate.

To compensate for this Finoula invented herself as a Neo-Romantic dreamer; a twenty-first century Christina Rossetti, who concealed the less savoury tenets of her rampantly misogynist amour-dogma by constantly kissing hands of the opposite sex and acting to the hilt the role of a genteel gentlewoman who places personal integrity and honour in personal relationships at the nexus of all things.

This however was a cunning mask, constructed after a lack of romantic action during those all important and formative teenage years had left her with a highly developed sensitivity to failure in the realm of love, which manifested itself in the cod-Romanatic manner only a full strength dreamer could sustain over a prolonged period.


After a poetry gathering in the said art gallery, Finoula invited the meagre assembley back to her gaffe around the corner, with the sole aim of plying an Armenian Irish teacher with wine; the modus-operandi of her unsophisticated seduction technique. Nyree had been imbibing the cultural vibe of Dublin to a full capacity during the course of his 6 week long sojourn to the land of myth and poesy, obstensibly with the intention of assembling ideas for lesson plans, but behind his academic facade beat a heart in search of writerly excitement in the place with a hot claim to being a significant global home of the imagination.

Finoula, believing that Caoimhe's presence at her scruffy bachelorette pad posed a threat to her creating a drink clouded tete-a-tete ambience in which she hoped to get intimate with Nyree, had suddenly and casually mentioned that Caoimhe was not on the guest list, by attempting to conjure a bogus set of, what would no doubt be delivered as, acceptably persuasive reasons for inviting her to stay away. Finoula's strategy was based on informing Caoimhe of some petty slight Caoimhe was unaware of enacting against Finoula.

But Finoula, whilst acknowledging the seemingly trivial nature of what she had now termed "the insult", would attempt to dress it up as proof of Caoimha's inherently gross and uncivilised nature.

For this contrivance to be executed successfully, Caoimhe would have been the sap of any exchange, blithely nodding and taking on board Finoula's commensenscally sounding comments, no doubt with a parting shot by Finoula about

"Have a think about it Caoimhe. You can't insult people like that. You are quite welcome to come around in a day or two, but I feel I have to stand my ground on this point."

Caoimhe would then wander off disconsolately homeward, pondering and searching her mind for the defects Finoula outlined. No doubt inwardly promising to try her utmost not to be the insensitve oaf of Finoula's depiction as Finoula staggered back to operational HQ, the surface epitome of artistic decorum. But beneath the placid facade, her mind peddaling furiously like a bitch in the fullness of heat, plotting to steer Nyree onto the outside sofa on her extension roof, where she could begin the pawing assualt on Nyree's matrimonial integrity in earnest.

However, sensing the utter phoniness of the moment, Caoimhe felt a surge of anger and injustice and was unable to stop herself from forcefully telling the several stragglers from the poetry gathering, when asked by Nyree

"Why has Finoula barred you?"

exactly what her take on events was, which involved informing Nyree in a short sharp burst the truth behind the subterfuge.

"Because she wants to get you back on her couch and give you what for before you go home in two days time."

Caoimhe then flipped her index finger at Finoula, with the parting shot,

"Go fuck yourself you prick."

Caoimhe stepped away, diginity intact. Another tale in the personal myth kitty she could recite over the coming weeks. Finoula's limp attempt at hot airing up some lame comment, broken before it began, the slow realisation only a true insult brings dawning on Finoula's shocked face as the eight second whisp flung by Caoimhe took effect.


The life of a poet is a funny thing. As Yeats said, the more sincere the life the more sincere the poet, and Caoimhe tries to uphold this as a central philosophy. But one aspect of the writers life those at the hack end of the business fail to fully grasp, is that there are two components to poetry; talk and text. It never surprised Caoimhe how seldom the supermarket minded dot to dot poets, the non-oolamhs who struggle to understand the true calling of the craft and vision the fountain well from which it springs, seize this salient point.

Whaddya reckon?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's another hot one today. Probably going to be a record summer here, as it is very unusual to get it so sunny for such a prolonged spell.


Another litany of disaster has occured which gives me the perfect opportunity not to post. My computer crashed a few weeks back and I eventually bumped into the guy who bult it and sold it me and saw him for the conman he is. Then I sat on my Mp3 and bust the LCD screen, and it will be three weeks before I get it back. Then when I went to upload my first podcast from the art gallery readings, I discovered I would have to shell out some dough to continue.

And the irony being that the week before last was the busiest and best yet. A singer songwriter breaking up the spoken word, lots of new voices and there till 1am; smoking indoors and having our fill of ale from the offy, which is 4 times cheaper than the pub. Plus all the arty vibe of painters and their politics.


I read the rest of Heaney's ouvre over the weekend, and got a much clearer handle on him. I only knew up till 1980'ish and after reading Station Island, his trajectory as a poet becomes very clear, especially when read in conjuction with his prose. His essay on fellow contemporary Northern Irish poets Place and Displacement was written in the same year as Station Island, which is the transition of his voice into the higher stream of poetical thought, where he manages to free his mind from the cultural bind of his own part of the world, by invoking an alternative realm equal to but apart from the actual: a world he can sidestep into and strike, as he says, his "own note".

This is effectively him "at the top of his bent"; the langugae of an oolamh coming through and plain for all to see. I learnt quite a lot from this read and only wish I had my computer on which to work, instead of this public space whose novelty has long worn off. Now it is only a place in which to avoid the stares of giggling tourists chasing chimeras of real Irishness one can so easily conjure, stun and pull their minds to mine with. Like Dunleany's Ginger Man seeing life devoid of pretence and unable to escape the cold reality of its transient warmth, via linguistic magic understood in all its naked form. Stripped from myth and uncertainty so many believe its essence is imbued with and clouded by.

Maybe I am just giving myself a summer off after five years hard graft. Starting in the dunce stream without a thought in my head to call my own, and now managing to convey a spiritual realism via the imprint of emotions which are moving away from poems of personal concern and towards the cynosure of an unexpected and previously unthinkable force. The originating "fountain" of spirit Heaney's Station Island finishes with. The outside-of-self silent raging light of creation swimming fate strokes upon the life-lone canvas of time we move through.


If I had my books to hand and time to ponder I could explore this more fully with a greater insight and eloquence than at present, but I can feel a change upon me. A taking stock and gathering. Once my computer is fixed I will gather together the entirity of my 100 plus poems on one document and start on the next phase. Wind up the curtain on the getting published stage and send out a manuscript to the names I know cannnot critically combat me to unbelieve my gift.

If any publisher out there wishes to harness their reputation to mine, please contact me with an offer.


Actually, I detected a cooler breeze when crossing the Liffey after lunch in Focus Ireland, the homeless charity restaurant, where a dinner costs but 1.50 euro. Today I had a chicken salad with bread and butter pudding and custard for desert. If I went a few doors down it would have cost 20 euros for inferior quality fare, such is the topsy turvy way of gaelic culture. The alternative was roast chicken, spuds, carrots or fajita vegetable wraps with cajun sauce, all fresh ingredients and delicious, but only available to the very addicted, poor or enlightened.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The poetry has been flowing thick and fast, as I have been a very busy bore of late, witnessing and reading the word. As I type I am listening to Brendan Murphy, this years Cuirt slam winner. He is from Liverpool and will be going to Chicago in October; the prize he won.

This is as part of the Whitehouse poets podacst, which was recorded in June.

In the last few weeks I have seen Paula Meehan, Evan Boland and numerous others, unknown in the main, but a lot of them, red hot. The art gallery gig has been going well and I have a podcast ready to go online once I pay up the dough to the blogmatrix site. I cut up the readers poems into verses and have snippets of 20 seconds or so, alternating male with female and backed by a trippy Led Zep intro I looped.

Last night we had 15 turn up and the week before around 25, but as I sat on my MP3 player last Tuesday and it is getting fixed in Germany, I was unable to capture the magic of Dave the singer, Raven the San Franciscan genius, Bashra the South African and all the others who commune in that Francis Street Temple of Art.

Tonight I will see the Salmon poets at the Writers centre and tommorow I will go to the Yeats exhibition at the National library.

Monday, July 10, 2006

More of the same

Dear word lovers

Monster Truck Art Gallery
corner Francis Street/Coomb
opposite St Patricks Cathedral
Dublin 8
city centre

is now hosting a weekly open floor and poets workshop/rehearsal night. All three of the fortnightly ones have been a great success and there is a good vibe fizzing up, with all the poets and audience enjoying themselves no end. So this means that the next one is in a few days time and if anyone is up for it, come on down, share, work and imbibe the ambience of language spoken in a space where learning and love are the watchwords in which we bathe our art parts and seek to commune with the true end of creative endevour. Taking my cue from He who shall remain nameless, Peace itself is the unconscious order of unknowable tune moving me to write this message.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


This Thursday 6 July from 8.30pm - Guest Poet and Open Floor@

Monster Truck Art Gallery
bottom of Francis Street
opposite St Patricks Cathedral
City Centre
Dublin 8

Guest poet

Orla Martin

She speaks a superbly luscious language which investigates a space of accident, chance, heartbreak and relationships, armed with only a modern imaginative flair for spinning from the air between listener and reader, a pure poetic fabric as light as silk polished whitethorn blossom softly billowing, moire and smooth down the outline of rock dolmen beds which litter this wind drenched land like wheat husks shook empty of myth. Orla is also a prize winning poet with pitch perfect delivery and a talent that shines from every pore of her being like butter gently rubbing in a glow of golden warmth, advertising the fact that a hot and sticky existence in the summer of 06 will be dripping in the Liberties come Thursday night.

All are welcome in a totally PC compliant ambience, fully in line with ministry of cultural affairs legislation implemented for the benifit of all citizens of this land where words tumble from thought to speak with a clarity born of swiftness and precision passed down from a language incomprehensible now we can remember when we laughed at life square on, in days existing as only memories held inside, distanced from this moment by rotation measured time we'll never halt or with any words define.

This session will be recorded on my Mp3 and with a new condenser microphone, which means we will have a radio standard recording for a special edition of the Enchantingly Gay Way hosted by He who shall remain nameless but has the perfect face for radio.

Come on down and bring your own booze.

Open Floor for all to spin their lingo on.


Da Dreamer

Doings of a Dublin Phoney

I have been a frequent audience member over the past few weeks, regularly injecting myself with a maximum dose of poetry, like a singing superstar of sensational pop sticking in the smack spike straight to mainline at a backstage rock ‘n crack fest.

And not content with wallowing in the verse energy of live readings, I have also been spinning the odd work or three of my own to any who indicate an appreciation for the cultural validity of wordsmiths wishing to fluff and ruffle their linguistic plumage in the name of that cuddly good time art vibe poets attempt to tease from their ouvres for the benefit of all mankind.

And as addicts of peace reading this will appreciate, being a full time ambassador of Da Word and dispensing mental love drugs to those whose orbits ooze to intersect with active language maestros, bards and ovates, is a tough number. Indeed, it’s a full time affair just keeping up with the sheer volume of blatherers who explode or bomb their gift beneath the hot glowing spotlight circling the druidic podiums which litter this wind drenched land like wheat husks shook empty of myth.

If I were to detail every one of the wafflers I have come across since my last review of the Monster Truck Poetry night inaugural do, the word count would run longer than the full treatment notes of a junkie soap-star’s detox programme at a ten star treatment centre for the semi famous. So I will toss only a précis of what aural treats I’ve witnessed in recent weeks and offer a pick ‘n mix skim through but two of my doings during the last month or so.


First off was the Sunday Hungover Session at Monster Truck Art Gallery, Dublin on 28/5/06.

This was an exclusive, intimate and informal gathering of two wordsmiths, a singer and a painter, congregating in an imaginative assembly and sharing ideas, work and words. Visual artist Alexander Reilly, musician Hugh Deanie and poets PJ Brady and Desmond Swords (now referring to himself in the third person) held a short symposium where the current and flow of discussion was interspersed with poem, song, suggestion and an all round mixing of minds on what contemporary life and art is all about.

Hugh was there in his capacity of an auditionee for the third Monster Poetry night, which occured on Thursday 22 June, with guest poet Namaya performing the Irish leg of his Sex God and Politics world tour. This event was a great success, with a 50/50 ratio of sexes reading and it was all captured on my new Mp3, which I had to replace after the other one was stolen on Valentines Night, just after I had left a letter for Ralph Fiennes at the Gate Theatre, asking him if I could stick it near his face as he read some poetry. Ralph must have been too busy attempting to save his marriage to Ms Annis, as he did not reply.


Hugh was accompanied by his Barcelonean bitch Ratfink, who He rescued from the streets of that city whilst squatting in a castle and writing songs, during his Mediterrainean phase a few years back. He is currently enjoying an extended run of gigs on Grafton Street, Meeting House Square and other locations throughout the city centre, wowing pedestrians with his soulful, low-fi style. Using the streets as his public rehearsal space is a savvy move and Hugh’s guitar bag attracts a lot of cash action, complimented by the beautiful Ratfink stretched out in slinky pose to draw out the humanity on the laneways where converse and craic come easy to those being truly themselves.


Next stop was Tuesday 30 May, Damar Hall, Stepehen's Green, the Poetry Ireland hothouse where talent from the Irish bardic orders launch their books. Irish poetry mirrors its society, the hallmark of which is the state of constant flux summed up in the William Butler Yeats line - minute by minute they change. This is because, whilst some characters from this rich poetic strata are ascending the shadowy laurel pole as their voice comes through and they hit their true vein, others are slipping down as the force of their muse retreats and pales out.

The blip on their radar of wider poetical awareness slowly spluttering to go completely on the blink until the shrill sound of a flatlined career is heard at the post-read gossip tables supporting the bottles and glasses which constitute the most important component of any night where words twist to snag the ear's attention, or switch the listener off to sleep.

The prime cause of a poet's amour propre delusions are years of state and academy sponsored funding for the supping of free ale on the poet’s merry-go-round of identikit library readings and star billing on school visits, garden centre gigs and a plethora of unchallenging mortal audience members whose servile natures only serve to addle the once sharp language artist's innovative and urgent minds of inquiry to a totally delusional state.

Luckily on this date Mairide Woods, a Northern Irish poet of rising buoyancy with an obvious and competent ability, was on the up; there to set forth her latest collection, The last roundness of the world.

Introduced by Dáil Éireann TD Liz McManus, Mairide proved to the large assembly that her well-spring of lingo is gushing forth freely and she need not worry about her word combos. Here's a found poem snippet wrought out of the gems I plucked from the air between us -

I have been unkind.....Oh most gerry mandered city.....but I hope you'll let it go by.....Losses did not come singularly.....the day the county fell.....the place upon your brain.....swam back a century.....Flash of flambouyant.....clear sighted verbal objects.....encouraging me as a fledgling.....Derry.....flapping my wings.....cut a deal on eternity.


Mairide's humanity lit up the night and her basic poetic philosophy of life was summed up in a saying which translates into English from it's original Irish form as -

It's through the shelter of each other that people live.

Wise words indeed. Which brings me to my next review, up soon. This will be of the 22 June Monster Truck do, and the truth will be heard when I upload the audio of that night at the end of next week onto Scalljah.blogmatrix. Here one of the hottest debates of recent weeks will be laid to rest when sound outs.