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.