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