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.