Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sidhe Lennan

Eye the chasm of a heart.
refuse to look past
a pool, cloud drawing
love to force a tide of will.

Storms of white horse water
whip the dawn and
sleeping the beggar
scattered his dream.

Love is a neighbour
in this mirror of broken
blossom rippling in night
scented silence and divinity
crying within us, rises
in the remembrance of a ghost
flickering beyond love,
the momentary illusion of a lost
son who fled when passion
beneath his hooded caul web
wrapping the night above us,
enmeshed her fragrance
of memory tapered
to what passed between us,
what drop from the scaffold
befell us and why the platform
will claim a green glow.

The red lipped lady envisaging
Ballsbridge and Tara, marching
the ancestral flow of his heart less
rendered to hate; shocked to the state
of bemused imitational grace.

Flit free soul
steal the shadow of my home
and make love with none but
your own, cool breeze we move
through in sandy cove, moss
siding on the wall, complicit the windless
sidhe is here.

Strike up the tune, smith
bellow and humour, the spiritual show
before last moon drop, first rain falling
is lost now in wetness, the cool slow rock

No longer will i wait for the sensuous skin
of a princess who held an image for me
trembling to turn and leave, fading
as a wheat field waves beneath an August
moon, the lip red life of her i will discover,
the eye beholden to no other.

Who loves me and shows wonder
in the words making love for her, hear? Us
an illusion, we the air and world through
which sidhe move, and the girl
i will become when the womb of life
surrenders and sea claims my energy,
releasing the feat of gods who craw
no longer on Fodhla's shore for humanity
to come.

Sidhe told first, of love blind in a silly verse
sincerely writ which hit me, stripped me of anger
and now we learn together as man and wife,
split no more, the goddess unseen
devoid of flaws and a soul of grace,
a heart who cares, a women who made me
believe again.
You.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Angel, voice in the head.

Angel is a person online who is a regular voice in my head and i learnt today s/he smashed up the telly:

"I wouldn't advise anyone else to do this as I was surprised how thick the glass is and had to hit it a few times and the splinters fell around the place."

Angel is a real force promoting literacy, and s/he fears for going mad, as s/he feels like a number. I think s/he lives in Manchester, near the Derbyshire side and s/he has been a force for good in my life. I met this person first on the Guardian books blog when i was researching my po-mo practice based on the ogam alphabet and David, who i fancy coz he looks like he might bin posh off and settle down wiv me in my bedsit, now the voices have come, to instruct me how to send orders to my butler in the intellectual womb of the anima mundi, which the heavy user of cannabis, william yeats, details in the distillation of his own research, the head crunchingly baffling and superbly logical book, "The Vision".

This was never finished by Yeats as it was his bible of self, the seriousness with which he took his life and work, all there for the reader to enjoy, or rather, shake their head in bafflement at, for yeats was gyre mad, going on about them like angel does boom boom and the bbc being gitz.

Angel sent the governement a letter, but they fobbed angel off, after s/he had told them s/he wasn't paying it, and would smash the telly up if they demanded money with menaces gain. Angel is a very cultured and civilised person with a few pet hates; one being the aforementioned "boom boom" music that anti-social people play when doing drive bys and gangstering about wiv da faeries, like posh and rebecca, who fancies me coz i am the worlds most successful nail extension practitioner on the planet. The voice in my head Angel wrote:

"The letter said they would call so I wanted to leave them in no doubt. I had told them I'd smash it if they didn't give me time to sell it as I just would not pay again for what has become a pain in my ears and a phobia. I took a few pictures of it to send to them but I think they're going to call and torment me."

So why do they do it, the BBC gitz? Do the boom boom? and the bbc wiv all that rubbish they put on the telly.

The poor quality and declining standards of the official apparatus, is another bedbug of Angel's; and is the reason i do not watch, as most of it has no point beyond having a rubbish excuse to pay photogenic people who can appear to be interested in what the rational mind says is rubbish; lots of money. Why do attractive chefs, gardeners and other bores get paid thousands a day by the tax and licence payers, when a less photogenic but better candidate does not? Sheer prejudice based on the most shallow of human whims. A desire to see only nice lookers. Why do airheads get lots of lolly for being stupid and convincing the rest of us this behaviour is worthy of imitation?

"I hadn't switched the thing on for months from a phobia that developed as a result of the drumming that invariably accompanies every programme. I've had to drop my favourites one after another from the drumming soundtracks. Then I wrote and told them."

The bbc are hounding my Angel and it's not on and s/he is the victim of a conspiracy between the bores who pay themselves ridiculous amounts of cash to have people fawn over them for doing what we do for free. Create. And they create boom boom bull..ahem..pimping up playschool next they will, getting jackanory on the go, reading Hunter Thompson and William Burroughs to five year olds...

"Some times I wish I had the courage to hang myself because once these civil servants get a hold on you they never want to let go.

I hope I won't go mad when they start poking their noses around in my home; that I'll be able to stay sane because they way they treat me is nothing less than persecution and I don't know what it is that sets them off. But I'll be living on a knife edge until this torment and ordeal is over. I just don't want any more BBC, or any others, in my life anymore."

Angel likes having civilised conversation, reading, writing, hot baths, cooking and basically enjoying life as a normal person without any weirdos ramming it down our gobs; da bling and moan manly macho stuff, that life is crap and that we should all kill one another to get what we want. The pimp my life bbc reality presented to us wiv da hoes and playas in a forest of weeds. A thick and doomed Male mindset i find offensive as a femminist spokesperson.

I do not have a tv licence, coz i do not have a telly and and the one thing i notice is the dearth of bad news. Even the radio is not listened to, or newspapers bought. I was buying the irish daily mail for the first few months of it appearing, as it was only 20 cents or summat daft, and quite a lot of text, and as it was new, the editorial team would have been wanting to appear different than the rest of the comics like the irish star and irish sun; and when the irish daily mail came, i was surprised as the one papaer in england i bought, was the mail.

And some of my irish friends reckon the mail was a good thing to happen, even though i was moaning it was just another step for the west brit mentality to be twisting our heads.

Carol Malone, i think it's her, i'm not sure, but the editor, nolan his name, unsure how to act, what tenor to go for. I mean this is as brit as it gets innit, the mail; and now i don't have a telly, or listen to the radio, when i pop to the shop, i only have to glance at the headlines to get the picture. But nolan the ed, he is a young fella and does the regular grave address to the nascent readership which its parent paper promoting the british agenda of tip toe tally ho aul chap, does. But it's has gone up to 70 cent now, so i stopped buying it, so i don't know if nolan is getting it any more irish or not.

The commentating hacks are D4 headz moaning about the school run and try to sound exciting, and the one thing i love about here, is that all this new west brit act, of aping the english mores, for a tip ho jolly chap, is too comedic to take seriously, and cannot root really, the materialism which will see us being greedy gitz and inhumane to one another; in the sense of shared cultural currency being no more than a tip ho jolly nice mansion there biffo me beano laah, and really when i think about it, i don't fancy carol any more, not since i learned about her obsession with how posh looks and a hopefully soon to be single dave, who fancies me.

Carol i always admired a bit, for looking good, having her make up on in the right way, and generally, being a hack who photographs well, but nolan, well, he fancies me i reckon, and after i saw the cricket match at trinity between the theatricals and the teflon headz, that was it, i cracked the code of how to make Englsih an acceptable cultural fling on the lawns of Oxford, who also fancies me, i think, but either way, once cricket gets took up by us, and we start all getting behind it, once we we start winning stuff, then that is the culture cracked and tara stands...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

H.E. Bates: Fair Stood The Wind For France.

1979-1983 were my secondary days, from childhood to ones youthful coming of age in a time, just like todays.

The kids, as they are now. Some bookish and studious, swottish and "stiffs". Some smoking and swearing at the square ancient gitz over 16, who just didn't get it; could never be hip, as one being young whose horizon of time was eternal and wrongdoing didn't exist.

As a teenager who knew Duran Duran were really nought but a flash in the pan. And words, came at my command, as "king of the one liner" who dispatched all with a quip off the cuff that came from ...only God knows where..verbally dueling and never beaten or bested; until the first flush of full beauty had gone, as i turned 31..32..33 and slipping into forty, facing down the OAP barrel, i never thought i would live to see today, but did so; and for this i give thanks to God.

A good looking gob no longer, alas, O woe is moi, with only a costume of masks to prove ones humanity and bluff with in the search for a soulmate who'll Love being a pensioner with me, when all's said and done.

For this is all i have. Literacy, dear readers, colleagues in Love looking for peace to move us prosperously forward, no longer looking down the barrel of a gun, needle or bottle, but wallowing in September sunlight.

And as one casts back to the time in class, one can hear a work of Literature that moves my hand here, now.

Fair Stood The Wind For France. The characters were a RAF crew who crashed and got sheltered in a farm house by a family with the Resistance, and the central love between Franklin and Francois. She with an unshakable faith in goodness and God. He, an agnostic loner, detached from all around him and trusting no one, till she came along. Frankie was a philanderer, losing himself in the bottle during a brutal wartime England.

His untrusting and world weary assumptions on humanity, challenged for the very first time when coming into contact with the French family, trusting still, faith in God and the moral duty of acting on the side of goodness in a treacherous time of collaboration and resistance to the nazi foe, which was the perfect scenario for Bates to explore the fundamental nature of humanity. Between the material and spiritual.

The gun Frankie keeps with him at all times, is the symbol Bates used to convey the essential intellectual core of Frankie's mental world view. One were the ultimate power resides with man, and the gradual dissolution of this psychological state came as he fell in love with Francois, and is exposed as a mirage in this passage:

"Frankie looked to the revolver and saw it suddenly as a useless and pathetic thing. He had become so used to handling a weapon as big as a house, and carrying enough power to wipe out a small town, that he had forgotten there were other sorts of power. He looked at the three people sitting in the lamplight waiting for a sound. He saw them, the three generations of one nation, as part of a defenseless people, as part of the little people possessing an immeasurable power that could not be broken...He knew it clearly now as a more wonderful thing, more enduring, and more inspiring power than he had ever believed possible: the power of their own hearts."

The story's surface had terror, war, drink and yet was not in yer face wound sharing, but deft storytelling, revealing an intelligence at work and the author, calling on the ineffable light of human goodness within, to maneuver the eternal.

I think that my passion for English as a child, was pot luck, as i had a great teacher, and played Malvolio at 13; the high point of my theatrical career thus far. It was downhill all the way since then, but still, introduced me to the joy of language. And i suppose mastering the intuitive nuts and bolts of it, depends on how much effort one puts in to acquiring "true" linguistic knowledge; which is..?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I suppose if prose is the light ale of writing, poetry would be the heavy proof gear, which most writers would agree is the creme de la creme profession, and the reason it attracts all sorts of chancers, deadbeats and those looking for the easy option.

And I admit, I was the same, as when i started writing i looked at it logically, thinking there are roughly four genres

Short story

Novel

Script

Poetry

And thinking the first three beyond me on a purely word-count basis, first opted to have a dabble at the fourth one, poetry. My reasoning being that, though the intellectual feat of juggling multiple characters and narrative involved in churning out the thousands of words needed to create a novel was beyond my ability, the creation of a hundred or so word poem; even an idiot like me must be capable of that.

Obviously this was in the mind of an untutored man approaching middle age; and to balance out any charge of amateur intent as a writer of poetry; my first ruminations on this topic led me to the decision, that i would rather write one formal sonnet whose quality was on a par with the worst of Shakespeare, than a thousand poems of disposable free-verse.

To this end i began a poem - still unfinished, in the sense i am not happy with it - which represents my very beginning in the dark art of bluffing in print that i am a poet.

Always in the mind, dreams and abstract thought
Just beyond where our conscious grasp can reach
And seldom is a complete meaning caught
When we try to give these glimpsed fragments speech.
If I, awake and able held a dream
In place so long that reason cuts the form
Would then the mind reveal through nightly stream
All of the inner truth with which we're born?
Would daylight's waking hours to us bring
Reality as such when slumbered warm?
Or would dreams be mute without voice to sing
And stay unlocked to keep a constant form?
Such thoughts as these have often been before
And leave our mind to ever search the more

So this is one of my semi-stone poems, its companion piece not yet written (hopefully) will be the final one i ever write; and casting an eye back six and a half years later, the most obvious technical point which betray this piece as the work of a beginner, is its lack of enjambment.

The syntactic sense of each line, ending at the terminal point of it, like a ship or train labouring along in regular and predictable short bursts. But still, this is the truth of my beginning and whatever the aesthetic properties of the piece are, I do take the tiniest crumb of artistic comfort that my desire to write was not occasioned by the negative impulse of jealousy and/or arrogance.

Twice i have come across people who began their foray into the poetic Art after reading, what they considered to be, weak and unaesthetic specimens written by another, in their opinion, less talented, fellow human, and being in some way offended, decided to re-dress the aesthetic balance in favour of Culture; which - rightly or wrongly - strikes me as another form of snobbery and an exclusional artistic rationale.

I have heard this argument twice now, the last time a couple of days ago, when someone told me, of the few poems they have ever written, the first was done so after reading an attempt by someone, which they thought so poor, they decided to write one in reply, to balance up the inferior art with what they considered to be the real gen, from their own mind.

I have always been suspect of this argument, no matter how convincingly it is presented. That the origins of ones Art can legitimately begin in this way.

Though i suppose the theoretical nuts and bolts will allow it in some form; it's just that it always smacks of a desire to write which is first occassioned by the impulse of jealousy. And again, as I write this i become aware that it may not be as cut and dried as my thinking would have it; seeing that there is such a thing as very poor poetry, and the collision of time, chance, and an individual life, the gods may conspire to arrange in such a way that a poet's career can begin in such circumstances. Who knows?

Can there ever be an answer to such a question?

I suppose at the final cut, we are all unique and have a singularly original path into the Art of verbal mimesis, the making of - what most would agree, on the face of it appear to be as - incredibly pointless acoustic objects; which serve no purpose in existential affairs.

Except perhaps as a spiritual stay, a psychic plea for Love and peace, and it is the level of logical, demonstrable faith the individual artist has about their "poetic" or critical blueprint on the whole shaboodle, which will imbue their work with what sense of gravity the reader detects or decides it possesses.

And poetry being the archest Art of the linguistic chancer, where several poems a year can be got away with; indeed bluffed up to being the output of a shamanic magus of the spaciest order, so the heights of self and public delusion are at their greatest within this - to my mind - laughably monickered; "profession."

A profession whose majority of contemporary practitioners have no unifying thread of technical agreement. Indeed there are a plethora of schools and cliques, all claiming bragging rights for possessing a hot line to a linguistic messiah, to speak from the pure poetic source of shade and light, and to be connected to shadows flitting in Plato's cave where the eternal Muse exists as the cosmic vibration detectable to only the most highly trained of instinctual artists bestowed by a divine Bard with the otherworldly gift as rare as hot snow.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Save Tara Gigs 29 September.

Dear Diary.

Another sunny day saving Tara. Cycled up the coast to Howth in the morning and then back to the homeless canteen for lunch. A small piece of pork and spinach and chick pea curry with rice and mash, and a slice of carrot cake, 1 euro ninety cent.

Spent the afternoon writing e mails and catching up with who is saying what in the various poetical chat joints from which i am barred for speaking of bardic lore. A name none dare speak, for fear of having to acknowledge a poetic truth too complex to cognise without much study.

Sad, but we all need our campaigns to keep us in active service at the front line of WaR, the writing and recital which forms the basis of a serious bores career in creative unemployment and a full time life of total work avoidance.

Then to the Royal College of Surgeons for 6.30 to the Denis O'Driscoll launch of his new book. It was in the ballroom and packed to the gills. I was on the lookout for a big fish after nearly finalising the bill for the Save Tara gig on 29 September, which I am organising the poets for as part of my MC duties. I was three short and had a feeling the real job would be finished there.

One of the female poets I had written to but had not got back as she only checks her e mail once a week, Bernadette O'Reilly, was there and agreed to do it, so two more to go. At this point i had four women and two men, the idea to have an equal balance of sexes..

I asked one poet I knew, but he wasn't keen to do it without payment, then asked Pat Boran, RTE's answer to Ian MacMillan, but a much savvier and gifted operator. He immediately agreed, until told the date, which clashed with another gig he has booked, there in black and white, printed in the Poetry Ireland newsletter.

He suggested asking Peter Fallon, and Gabriel Rosenstock, Ireland's premier Irish language poet, with over 100 books to his name, and at this point got speaking to Tom Conaty, who was advocating Rosenstock also.

I met Gabriel first at an IMRAM event in 2005, which is the Irish language poetry festival, and his method of introduction was very novel. He waved his hands around my aura chaunting a bardic Ohhmm, and said a few words in Gaelic, and i spun him one of mine when he requested me to, after which he took my hand, solemnly looking into my eye saying that our meeting had been written in the stars and was meant to be.

Rosenstock was only one of three poets I have spoken to who know of the Amergin Cauldron of Poesy poem, Conaty bumping up the number to three tonight. I said to Paul Casey, who is co-ordinating nationally, that I thought O'Driscoll's launch would be the place things were nailed down, and that the list would come by bardic methods, as we wanted poets who care about Tara, not the ones with books to sell first and Conaty is perfect as he is very modest; proposing i ask Rosenstock do it when i first spoke with him. And it was only when he started talking of myth and i asked him to do it, i realised he was mad keen to do it in the first place.

Conaty is a Cavan poet and senachie/storyteller and childrens' writer, who is as mad on the myth as i am, and we had a good long chat, and just as Boran re-aired his thought about asking Peter Fallon, Fallon came through the door with Heaney, and i decided against it as the two heavyweights stopped at the top of the stairs and shay and i made direct eye contact for the very first time, on the fourth time of our orbits intersecting, a number the bardic mind could go to town on as regards interpreting the psychic foundations of this whole shaboodle; the just meant to be'ness of it, saving Tara. And it is fitting that the bill was finalised in this space, where all the Irish mob from the Mossbawn magus down were milling about.

Heaney threw his hat in with the agitators on Thursday's independent and any true poet, as Boran and Conaty did, would immediately recognise the worthiness of such a cause. Not to promote the selling of books is this, but to keep the dream and keep the memory, tell how the throne room there at Tara was called the "Réalta na bhFile", "Star of the Poets."

The four cycles of myth can be poo pooed, but in a wider context, the global one, this island is the HQ of poetry and we are rightfully proud of the true ones who spend six years swimming home to the Well of Siegas, the source of the Boyne, as no other country has the poetic we do, and learning to be a bardic poet, takes the same effort and length of study as to become a doctor, and just as difficult.

Don't confuse the real Irish poet with their English equivalent, a pointless rent a bore employed to hang around libraries or infant schools chanting the cat sat on the mat to disinterested five year olds. We are the best in the world, with the most respect. Look at Heaney, Yeats, Kavanagh, all touched with the otherworldly crush the English mob can only dream and get green about, so Love and peace, the toxic shock has gone and so think on, Save Tara from they who believe it is worth trampling on 2000 years of culture to shave an hour off their journey to the commercial centers they only want to accrue material wealth in, and for what? To have two houses instead of one? Three cars instead of none?

Three generations ago, we were all in the bog, and look at us now, greedy bastards pretending we are connected to they who did have it tough, my mothers great grandmother tossed on the roads of Bohola, Mayo, in 1847, she herself hearing second hand the tale, of they who dies in their millions, and for what? So we can sup in Starbucks and moan about the weather and what shit is on telly, what material goods we deserve? I am a poor man and always have been, never had a penny, never missed it, and on 29 September in seven locations on the island including Dublin, Derry and Achill, Save Tara gigs will be happening.

Have pride in your island and attend if you can, voice support for the real Ireland, not the millionaire mindset, the expectations of our dead generations, ran to a full belly and a roof over their heads, a song in their hearts and ...yeah, simple life untroubled by a mass of material wealth