Saturday, August 30, 2008

Simple Vidz

During the final weeks of university four years ago, i purchased a video camera after seeing a show at the National Student Drama Festival in Scarborough (which won best show) that used pre-recorded footage the two performers interacted with, flawlessly.

Ian Shuttleworth the theatre critic said it was easily the best of its kind he had witnessed and this was a spur for me, seeing the possibilities. I got the camera but hocked it to raise the ferry fare, because money was tight and I only thought it would be for a short time. And now after 48 months, i got it back and have finally arrived at the point i intended to four years ago.

Soon after coming to Dublin, I saw Seamus Heaney deliver a lecture on Patrick Kavanagh, the central thrust of which was the Kavanagh idea of a Poet's journey being the way "from the simplicity of going away to simplicity of return"; which has been a consistent and central critical plank in Heaney's own poetic.

He said that the development of a poetic soul is one whereby we start out knowing little and after a few years, rack up a lode of knowledge and reach a point where we think we are a bit handy on the poetry lark, and then, as we cast out into deeper intellectual pools, certainty deserts us as our learning increases and we realise that, in the grander scheme, the sureness we thought we were heading toward is merely an illusion and we know little.

And once this is accepted, there is a return, another cycle of learning with the simplicity of knowing we can never know it all. And eventually

"In the final simplicity we don't care whether we appear foolish or not" as Kavanagh said.

This is what we work towards, to follow our own star and dance as if no one is looking, like an actor in the magic circle who blots out the audience and behaves with a child-like simplicty.

And poetry being as it is, with nothing ever forced into the frame by a person's will -- indeed the more we try to engineer a poetic career with the resolve and style of a banker or careerist, the less likely it is to happen; so we trust what will be will happen and if it's meant to be, so be it, and now after four years delay, the gods delivered and the next space is ready. Live poetry on the vidz. Have a gander here

Father Ted trundlin homeward

Have a gander at a drunk in a shopping trolley being pushed home by two salt of the earth Clondalkin Dubs, filmed by a guard with his colleague in an unmarked car who stumbled across them. It makes Father Ted look like real life.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ulick O'Combover

Thursday 28 August 23.52

Hi M.

No probs if this is not the sort of caper appropriate for yr page, but we have just got a new computer and the camera purchased four years ago before we came to Dublin and which i hocked for the ferry fare, has returned and, thus this new direction on-stage here in the guttered back-lit glow of a dark Augustian soul hamming it up.

The days of spamming high on legal head shop hash are gone now, and spamming legit again after 18 months interruption, in a final five year push into that ollamh zone gods above, below and there, beyond the tube that place we'll never go, may ho ho ho for us, has thus begun.

The next five year study-jag jangling in free-play at the intellectual arena within, came after ten freakin novels worth of text took us there, 95 percent of our output we wrote last year was the worthless write-off Yeats did when he was high on blow and donuts dipped in opium, back in the golden days of our beginnings, and remember, as this is just an attempt to detach,

peel back the pith of light

as a s/he mind/intellect closing in on what god-head we have as the sidhe split gender God i read has just been located in the earliest Torah texts, as genderless s/he..



was the name of a poem you wrote in the third yr, after a session with BS the Sheppard of verse, in Ormskirk, after a class where we had to use the Edmund Waller poem

Go Rose

as the piece impelling our response.

We all wrote parodies, of course, as voicing our deepest thoughts on the eternal theme from four to five on a Friday afternoon, in a small class of six or so, five young people and a man nearing fifty with a full head of grey and a broken potential long since gone south, was not really gonna happen.


You will always live
buried in a deep beyond
and beckoning to me...

this was the first of it and from that day, a standard in the canon from a course of which well, i do not know, but there some sidhe bell rhymes explorative still in what stood-chance rough pledged, and a stolen part imitation, part half yearning to sing, stitching itself inward and learning to trust

spoke of rhyme

wheeled throughout a throat and made it onto our page

Dear married M

I think i have fallen in (out of?) love with your imagination, due to quitting drugs, for which i wish to sincerely re-apologise and ask a big ask of you and yr very important colleagues over there on the NE seaboard where superbly synthetic united fakes faffing about with my head, smother me here in Kilmainham.

Please can i have my talent back?

I know you stole it in Cork the night of PC's fortieth. I conferenced with him at Dumb Leary festival of World couture in Seapoint last Sunday, the first and only day of summer here in the place i know you think i stole from under yr nose, but you had re-located by then ms M.

Do you remember the days far gone and the life we had?

The extemporised rants into the ollamh zone with Amergin Bergin shaman of the sally oak grove gardens where AE had the visions and WB spoke of then, later, much later, after he and M fell out over John Mac B, dearest cipher.

Hear too modest for a simple sum, innovatively singing the score of what may be when Sean MacBride comes back, back, from the grave of postmodernity dearest MG, managing director delivering us:

AE MB 3:1 DS WB 18:17?

Do you remember the time we made love in the goal here? The night before they took you out and shot me for ripping off Fat Frankie the Drimnagh drug lord under contract by dissident Ruskies, for depriving them of a stash his accidental labours wrought to insignificance by acts of de-cap latte, huddling in cloves and behoven to trouve for mystic trove on Eustace Street, Focus for the one euro fifty dinner the day s/he became homeless, invisible above us with sidhe gods complictly winging their wee way through air to the Gweedore and Donegal Daniel crooning of it all, mythologising eternity and a chap down and out in the jiggers of Temple Bar, Maud?

You lived a well ordered life with barley fed horses to sport with, in far flung revolutionary days back when George and Bill rustled through the night high on hash pills, armed and dangerous intelligentsia to the old leary faux fools and slow druidical silence saying it all, dearest M, let us love again.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gavin Turner Video Diary

Please turn the volume right up to hear the sound on the video below.

It was made in the final days of my time at Edge Hill College (now university) in my home town of Ormskirk Lancashire, but I only managed to get my camera out of hock a few weeks back after going to the Ledbury poetry festival and meeting Neil Astley and Michael Schmidt at an orgy of the imagination and receiving a sixty euro advance after a bidding war (for me to not send them stuff) ensued at the Prince of Wales open mic slam on the final night; in which I came last.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

just thought i'd deposit a stream of consciousness.

Frostean ice melting in warmth, stipulating what alliterative rivets
course back a shell, recovering behind the fire behind an eye

behind the hand behind a man behind the *I* inveigling consciousness
syntax flipped back, reversing one and zero, fed through gozzy eyed

optical data bits fluidly distancing an eye hung detached behind a door
upon a hook the six coloured tungen cloak shifts in short gasping jabs.

Rote memorised french existentialist philosophy aired in the wisdom
through friendship driving alan bennet and ginsie, jack and all the chaps,

bent hungering beneath the finest intellectuals a generation hunkered
down to clasp, truth-streaming human form and what came out. Closed

the NE seaboard in a mother load of visual transmission, impelling
Humanity to course through this waxed orbit of Icarus, sun driven, rose

winged into an air pool and dropped


onto a hill which never cometh racked in shredded shade and crepe lift,
mister bono, good sir Edge and Larry who Ardoyne hurt into poetry.

They too knew even you few as intimate with the gods of sound and
stone, are fixed in the frequency of silence rocked, beating forth and back,

back and forth toward laws of language contained in the locked box
beneath an academe oak grove of the bohemian paranoiac dress,

coaxed up the fair moaning wind wound in mummy tower and daddy Gia
stretching red rocked to ask -- what more in the name of us breathe

placebo and cipher; elevate in the flood and love they who carried
the phoneme of furniture genetically, bio-teched our kids lunch pack

and believe three towers collapsed uncontrolled, fell from phoenix dust,
and all the evidence spirited away, all the papers from building seven

smote to a no-trail of dust, new word ordering this American Century
of roaming imperialism dressed by Neitzean priests elevating

the observation Darwin made, into a geo-con sleight of hand backers
pulling strings of president and kings administer in sound gone,

striking out of kilter and the sky above bog

bless still America?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

M&M -- Ledbury Melton Mowbray XI report.

"Your Soul

Your soul has three names;
the mirror, the holdall, the word
you dare not read.


A poem might be said to save the world by preserving something -- an insight, narrative, or historical moment. I write poems partly as an attempt to gain understanding of what I don't know or have only a vague sense of. I then hope that other people have had similar feelings and questions and can relate to the poems because of that."

Rob Mackenzie


Mackenzie is a Glaswegian poet in Edinburgh for the last four years (i think) and has a blog Surroundings

In a recent post, Rob deposited a poem by Italian Gabriel d'Annunzio, who was a mentor of Mussolini's and a rival intellectual combatant, one of the few who could play this dictators' game by using a gift for Decadent writing gripping Europe in the 1930's - to elevate himself a position with a mass to care about him, to ask questions and defend him, if his leader decided on a whim, to turn from friend to foe.

He is one of the many who wrote then, and d'Anunnzio's work is clouded now by the taint of his Fascist associations, but who can deliver a morally binding judgment --- with an accuracy we believe possible to clearly detect in the principle actors -- inhabiting this darkest time - upon bestial we, you us me or him, dear hearts?

d'Anunnzio was a Futurist poet - and artist whose Movement ultimately doomed itself. Hung from a scaffold erected with hot air nihilism brought on, when the first wave of modern mass technologies aimed at what - until then - had been the illiterate mass of sub-class and simple God fearing yoe-people, we the mass of peasantry where targeted with and by it, shaped into dangerous hate filled micro-cosmic compact mobs whose binary cultural philosophies the mass media print revolution and brand new form of Journalism, New-writing, formed.

Thus the base now resting on a genderless s/he-goddess race of gods, in neutral force who good and bad, light and dark within Creation, within each soul, most of whom just wanna have fun; but when on; divide Humanity into the pyramid of language lost and opportunities of finding one's inner Civilisation language-act in this language known as much about now as the poem d'Annunzio wrote in --

L'Ala sul Mare - which Rob translated and I used as a primer, along with the Italian original, to compose a very loose re-rendering of a (re-rendered) translation. But before we reach the revealing of a current piece, what immediately struck me, and detonating reason impelling this exercise --

The Wing in the Sea

Ardi, in the sea’s haze a wing,
cast adrift, shudders like a wreck.
The feathers, severed and scattered,
ripple in the air’s uneven breath.

Ardi, I see wax, the wing of Icarus!
When its creator served the king’s court
he built a hollow, wooden cow –

...are the first two stanzas (scot-gaelic bardic tradition - rann) . The first stanza, it is my contention to contest, reveal across the four lines creating it, the opening stanza's hypnotic sonic underlay and overly palpable design on drawing us to be impressed ---- nest in the waves being Happy, and this rann as the verbal machine enacting what self-remembrance writ its purpose to exist on a plane of Reality via fiction and make-believe, some poetic pretense by the poet, which doesn't fool the author who created it, but does our collective eyes, works the first stanza into a phonologic power immediately, in the opening first of these four lines, imposing itself upon us -- because phonemes acting collectively, as the very sophisticated whole - exercise in phonotactic constraint displayed - in what reads as --- an effortless acoustic groove, running both within each line and pattern of sophisticated metrical complexity, such as to be suggestive of perfect balance, or the Art Straight (dan direach) approximation (in my mind) and effortlessly interlocking a wholly linguistic made, most delicate and yet truly, (and i mean this sincerely) fulfilling the laws of flawless flight perfectly poised.

The first line

Ardi, in the sea’s haze a wing,

Clashes the image in, deceptively. Being the first line, we have nothing to constrast it with, but they beneath it, we are unaware of the first time we read it.

The three masculine stresses, act as an opening bell ring, ee ee ay. Because three of the eight syllables are held together by a fairly central and solid spondee - sea haze - which with the dee of Ardi (in this reading) contrast starkly with the twenty three feminine syllables following the eight clangorous first eight above them, below which

cast adrift, shudders like a wreck.
The feathers, severed and scattered,
ripple in the air’s uneven breath

...the feminine dash sounding far more fluid in swift swallow water wing movement conjuring a sense of acoustic descent, fleeing the arresting first three masculine stresses the first line creates, as a surface splash, acoustically heralding itself, some bell beneath which the meat and veg of -- not in yer face verse - but what as words beneath the sonic surface, and a verbal object - changing immediately as it sinks to flight and (apart from *like* in the second line) into a regular softly stressed - and what could equally be - a rising or descending zero quality of balance this work of invisible silence, weights in the twenty three feminine syllables that appear -- and twenty four beats down from a key masculine stressed image *sea haze) - the stressed *ee*in uneven revealing the underlying sonic architecture to be that of a bell jar or ski-jump top- (or bottom) of a heavy weight and within it -- as zero gravity, above/below - the object floats, finding its note of English language balancing, descended reflection through water or air; vacillating rooted weight-stress beginning to detonate in rising or falling flesh, flashed after the propulsive force release - into fluidity a word as sound and meaning caught in equipoise between intellect and imagination.

An interesting balance, the arresting images of this object i ask; as if some
instinctual linguistic Belief or faith in O delivers to one, an unconscious zero cipher placebo of intelligence and creation made visible in that measurement of flight; crated interchangeable and the mind alone eying neutral, a s/he The Critic balanced and eyed i which declare a pen we the US all possess, hones a balanced listing or too fluent, slipping clumsily stumbling -

-- flourishing and perishing text that unlocks first within art, the Poet brain a there our S/as if ---- in four coded fineries honor and need to read --- wished thrice upon the response thus -- privilege what share the self-enobling craft of language brings, expressing outer as eye-sun and reflection affording the intellectual soul-jahs' decor in such gravity, balance of its brains and beauty in effect -- is noted and The object its measure, unit, phoneme and human breath enough to get worked up about declare (in the post-poetic completion high of state of the wholly inner religious self), affirmation by gods of chance trained instinctual our whimsy

Dear Reader/s

...only can willing, these lines into perfection propel, a telepathic ship of rules crossing translation and desire -- fulfilled into our eye mastered being proof alone it careers the Frostean ice upon a stove of life, messers leonard cohen, robert lennon, all the greats, appear here heard and as ones' Friend of the Intellect Ninius knew, mister and miss.

And funny it is Dubliner Billy Mills, Mackenzie's Guardian blokes blog colleague with the weekly Friday free for all workshop -- mentioned Icarus - within days of this friend/rival robber on his call for a poem written in response to some rigorous visual art flagged twice in short succession, and in the outer beat return this occurence of an object correlation of the hill and mountain to a sky-riven bardic gasser on the one true Craft tuned to freedom B tones of free hug me at a hub across molten, what wax of ewe and birch fettered ask a poet return them,

ask to take us back
breath, and breathing beckon

forward in halting call, grievances
s/he begged, pleaded to be spared

and knew the sacking none relish;
returning no call, silent chains

fettered to make within a prison
provision for synonym and letter

(scripted live each act a folly)

Whether this deliberate act of Idea theft occurred, only as two fictional protagonists in this object drama imagination creates and life re-ran -- or as two only they who answer canned what force creation wrought together upon pages far, far away, so lit time all forgotten that a head weighted luna orb pitted by the base sun, sitting there with a cat and spoon, three times fifty otter-skin suitcases and Funny, funny how Mills also mentioned two other topics which up the telekinesis quota of evidential measure -- sorrow's natural clowns Mackenzie, Mills and i must in some three way tangle of perfect psychic balance be - of what until the beginning of last month, was a near specious guild -- happy poet AND visual artist.

the visual artist Poet i admit to holding a fairly vicious prejudice toward as a cowardly human being capable of acting totally childish where Art questions occur, because the first famous one i met, overwhelmingly more viz than bhard, dressing as s/he did, in all sorts of cloak and garbled raiments, had no tungen but one from do you know who i am (not) cut ups mashed thrift and throwaway, nor link to a definable source beyond some vibey academic source of their island within where all alone, all alone our free winds moan o'er the i that hadn't met the eye of a visual artist and poet in that 50/50 balance so clearly and genuine; that until having the very great honor of meeting another happy one, he were only the second i've met, befittingly at the poetry evening of Ledbury Scribes, on Monday 7 July last, at Black Pepper restaurant, where it was created such a species do clearly exist and flourishing in the first bloom of the second wind youth deliver our future artist-intellectual striving to attain some faith in something within us alone as an individual member; a human collective rest of us alone, all art pieces divisible and yet All source Thing all around within and without us, our eyes decipher reality in a realm of five (sixth?) senses Instinct and i we all are living it, second to minute, forth and back beat the we oscillate collectively vocalising Creation's want for us to create who reveal his name is Roland MacMurran, a young chap who exited from academe with a first, several weeks before our lives collided in the heady mix that magical Herefordshire town concots.

Unaware of Herefordshire's local strong ciders, it was a pleasant bonus to discover Henry Westons Vintage Special Reserve, two seventy (pounds) and eight percent local cider and three of these a night, over short run, was the magical brew which possessed and fostered an Englishness about the Horshoe pub (integral inn at the top of Homend) that is not greatly urbanised and a very attractive allure for city dwellers. If only everywhere in England was as balanced as the finest ciders, its culture would be perfectly balanced. And it is easy to see why Ledbury poetry festival reflects that.

A third synchronism Mills mentioned, is Elizabeth Browning (nee Barrett), whose family owned slave-run plantations (though she wrote against this and for many political emancipation causes all her life) and who was also Ledbury native, reared in Homend, which is the very center of Ledbury town life, and where MacMurran and I attended the Homend Poets poetry event on Tuesday 8, in Ice-Bytes internet cafe, which charges a very reasonable two quid for half an hour.

Roland and I recited a selection of our work there, and bought The Homend Poets' anthology, with poets like Mike Andrews, Julie Louise Jones, Guy Malkerson, Med Snookes, Dave Turner, Charles Eden and Nick Halligan -- very committed poet and retired teacher who carved a way into our guild of eloquence, at the coal face of secondary education, and whose lines -

"A ship in a bottle, a black ash-tray owl,
A barrel for spills and bent copper bowl.
Everything worthless, yet all have a place
A friendly reminder, the familiar face "

..affected me Live, in a way which brought goodness and a sense of the communal, us, the Ledbury Scribes, the Homend Poets and the three other events Roland and I as poets in residence of the open-mic series, in which numerous local poets from Herefordshire and beyond, came together and celebrated the verbal art, shared our songs and took an active role in our communities of average working poetry lovers attending the work-shops.

And the fourth and final connection the very human blogs of these two men, caused and immediate association with, a visual object, viewing through the triple lens, the likeness in which we attempt to import and link with an original sonic heft of what original essence (as I discern it) third hand, is very beneficial for any practice; offers the opportunity of working in a way which allow all access to the one store in which --

Far god cast off above the sea,
feathers drift, an airless evening

And the rippling wings of Icarus
severed with a single breath

hollow light above the sky he sought
to go beyond, his flight sun-courage

driving waxed wings high above
a lone sphere, glow Too hot beyond

His normal orbit and attempting
to reach and reunite, raise feathers

in our greater mind
to write; into the whirlpool Icarus


thank you very very much for the honor of sharing and learning messers M&M.

Monday, August 11, 2008

An empty ice-box emits its guttural buzz,
sparking light at twenty five past one

onto a kitchen clock. Nothing came out straight.

A cupboard; stale bread, chickpeas,
can of Guinness; and beyond a window,

the garden seemed to unravel - patterning
wheat (no milk) two cigarettes

and last to feel regal under striplight,
a cellophane reflection glowing awake -

swimming in the lone dark vat of night,
pitching a planet last to walk -

a light into the door of a UFO.


The above text came out of a *write-through* exercise, which is the natural evolution of the cut-up method Burroughs made popular. Working with the word-processing mouse technology, we can move electronic-text about so much faster than with scissors and paper.

This means that the standard unit to work with in this form, rather than being a line of text, we are thinking and working at word-level, shuffling them about on the screen with space-age fluidity.

The PC has revolutionised how we can work with text, and this form comes under many names, the latest being *mash-up*, and now there are Poem softwares which we can feed text into, and it returns a computer poem, thus cutting out the middle person of our mind.

The software applications are really a novelty, and it will be a while yet before we can purchase technology which will recreate in poetry, the Human experience.

The source text for the above is here.