Wednesday, December 31, 2008


New tunes to match the occasion. Here's a challenge fer ye, try to listen to these dudes without feeling:

A) Calm

B) Sad

C) Reflective

It's like trying to eat a sugary donut witowt licking yer lips, or trying to eat fruit pastilles without chewing ,or not yawning when ye catch someone else doing it, or not throwing yer shoe at da telly when teflon Bertie mugs at ye, or not swearing when Killkenny lift the Liam McCarthy yet again , or not comparing the number of christmas cards yer neighbours got, or...........
Anyway TFE's cartoon caption contest has been postponed so this weeks exercise is to listen to the music and write whatever comes into your head,give it a lash !

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Before I begin may I just say , AAAAARRRGGHHH, F***k, B******s, P**s and S***e and AAAAAARRRGGGHHH! Two years of photographs have been lost from my computer.Most of everything I have ever had published is gone and perhaps even more devastatingly every photo I would be hoping to submit/exhibit over the next year or so has gone.I have been locked in a war of attrition with my aged Dell for many years but I think this may be it's decisive killer blow.My only hope now is computer repair man Brendan who will come and have a look next week sometime.Till then I am in bits, although I don't think the enormity of the reality has sunk in yet.Okay nobody has died and it isn't the end of the world but when I think of all the places I've been and all the hours I've spent and all the hope ,excitement and expectation I had built into those pictures,AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!! Again my pics were never going to set the world alight but I had just begun to find my own niche and that meant an awful lot to me. I think I'm gonna go for a walk, I think I may be some time.No not that long! I'm a great advocate of St Jude so all may not be lost but i'm kinda hoping there's going to be a new canonisation next week, come on St Brendan!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Yes, folks it's that time of the week again when I announce(2 days late due to the yuletide festivities) the winners of TFE's world famous cartoon caption contest ,back again due to overwhelming public demand The judges report that the standard was very high indeed again this week and are sure that alcohol was largely to thank for that.After many hours of heated deliberation in a locked vault at a secret location deep in the Wicklow hills,the judges managed to whittle it down to 3 ,yes 3, finalists in a dead-heat.I have great pleasure in announcing the names of these finalists as follows. In no particular order they are, wait for it -wait for it......Dave King......... apprentice........... and.............. Liz! Many congratulations to da tree of ye I'm sure 2008 is now complete for ya. As per usual protocol in the event of a tie, donations to TFE are invited and the digger-outer with the most lolly gets the first prize outright.The caption contest as per usual may be upgraded to a major literary prize at TFE's sole discretion subject to the bung being big enough to buy him a used,late model, low mileage scooter with pizza attachment.Many congrats again to the finalists.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

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I headed for bed at 3 O'clock this morning and before I fell into it ,I went outside to put-out the candle in the lantern over the doorway.Nearly polaxed by the cold as it emptied my lungs I gawked up at the sky through the plumes of my own breath .Beautiful doesn't do it justice.The Bull was up on one twinkling hoof ready to charge across at the yoke of the plough, every star, alive or dead ,was present and correct, studded in the blackest of inky skies.In the silence of the hoarfrost I could hear the distant thunder of the sea,or maybe that was just in my head, but I remember thinking/hoping poems are like stars that shine on long after we or they are dead.

(Pretentious? Moi? Surely not?)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas tout le monde

Wishing you all a very happy christmas comrades , and all best wishes for 2009! I've only been blogging a couple of weeks and have to say I've been given the warmest of welcomes so many thanks to Nuala ,Liz , Barbara, Dave, Dominic, Anna, Pete, Kate and anyone and everyone who has dropped by, mucho appreciated. we are all going to soar like eagles next year and our dreams will come true , I can feel it in me water,or maybe that's the Guinnesss ,anyway here's to us and ours God bless us everyone, Slainte.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Christmas comes early for the eejit!
Totally delighted to have a photo in the January issue of 'The Dubliner'. I thought it would only be small -if it got in at all, but it did get in , and was the only one to get a full page! Fair play and many thanks to Editor, Nicola Reddy, and art director ,Fiachra McCArthy. I hope Santy is good to da paira dem too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Here it is ,the competition you've all been waiting for.
Right, I'll get the spherical yoke rolling.
1) Though buried up to his neck in sand, George soon discovered how to amuse himself.
2) Guess which one is the half-arsed ,smug ,pretentious, untalented little shite ,that by pure chance got a photo into The Dubliner?


Well the phone lines are now closed here at eejit headquarters and we have the results.The winner of The TFE cartoon caption week ending 20th Dec 2008 is....... (cue drum roll, long dramatic pause,tumbleweed blows across left to right, even longer pause-ALL OF YOU! Yes, incredibly, Liz, Womenrulewriter, apprentice, Barbera S and Dominic Rivron all polled the same amount of votes.To settle this situation calls for traditional time honoured methods, so each of you will be issued with a brown envelope as an opportunity to voluntarily make/give a donation/dig-out to TFE.The participant who gives the highest amount will be deemed winner. An extra dig-out on top of this would see the cartoon caption re-zoned as a major literary prize.So there you are comrades,dig deep, your literary careers may depend upon it.In the meantime, current winners and everybody in the world please have a go at the latest edition of the TFE cartoon caption contest and may the best man/woman/hybrid win,

Friday, December 19, 2008


Our caption competition ends tonight at midnight so get in there while you can.The phone lines will then be open for voting till Saturday afternoon when the winner will be finally announced.The whole world is waiting with baited breath on this one and I have to say the standard of entry has been extremely high- the highest ever in fact.We must be mindful though that not everyone can win and there will be bitter disappointment among some of those who have their hearts and souls set on winning this premium accolade.It is with this in mind that we will be posting another TFE cartoon caption contest every week until such time as we can't be arsed anymore or we get no entries.So I wish you all the very best of luck and remember 'keep on writing humourous captions and posting them on the TFE blogsite next to the cartoon bit'

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This from Mythical Ireland.....Once again the Winter Solstice illumination of the Newgrange Chamber is to be broadcast live on the internet. It follows the first webcast last year which was an outstanding success, marred only by the fact that 300,000 people tried to see it at once and some people were unable to view the event.
It gives those who are unable to make it to Ireland, or indeed those not lucky enough to be in the chamber on the morning, an opportunity to witness this 5,000-year-spectacle.
Newgrange was constructed around 3150BC by Neolithic farmers who had a cosmic world view and who attempted to enshrine their beliefs in monumental fashion along the banks of the Boyne. Their endeavours resulted from a crossover between science and spirituality, and ultimately saw the destination of the soul as being fixed among the stars. View the webcast via the link below between 8.30 and 9.30 21st December.

Hope it isn't cloudy!


Or, more acurately, there's too much in it.Where do you start?Never mind the boundless internet and unlimited blogs and where they lead (Barbara's bleugh or Emerging writer or womenwrulewriter blogs alone have enough interesting links to last anyone a lifetime) And what about all the books, films, stories, plays ,poems? What about other choices- all the places to go (Paris ,New York, Carlow) and all the places to live.All the questions all those answers.How do you know you read the right book , or turned down the wrong street? So many houses, how do you know you spent all those years in the right one? Life may have been unbelievably good in the next street /town/country.Billions of people, did you snog/marry /kill the right one? It's like that film about this Piano player(Legend of 1900) that was born on a boat and he can never leave it because there's too many places to go -how could he choose, where would he start? Then there's all the photos and paintings in all the galleries and I have seen hardly any of them, no matter how I try. Then I'm on holiday walking the bridge over the Thames to Tate modern and this fella is kneeling down nose to the ground and he's painting on the miniscule trodden flat pieces of chewing gum .Tiny(albeit shite, but that's not the point I'm making) intricate work that if you didn't see him do it you would never know it was there and my poor auld pissed-up pea-brained head is wrecked before I even clap mince pies on a Francis Bacon.

(By the way yer man paints on bubble gum because it not part of the bridge it's just attached to it and if he painted on the actual bridge/pavement he would be arrested. )

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

TFE's CAPTION CONTEST - C'mon have a go! Finishes Friday- hurry beat the Christmas rush.

(prizes and brown envelopes may be involved)

Seems I'm not eligible for the New Yorker caption contest(American residents only) so we'll have our own.

Right, I'll get the ball rolling to break the ice.

1) Either you're a very large bird, or I've been at the magic mushrooms again.

2) I hope that's not feckin pork!

3) That's it.! I'm never flying Ryanair again!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This is a picture of a man carrying his 12 year old grandson, who has cerebral palsy,up to their flat. He can make this trip up and down 42 steps 6 times a day.No lifts, no shed to store the wheelchair.Posted by PicasaThree generations live in their small flat, one of 36 families living in scandalously overcrowded conditions in Croke Villas Dublin whose rehousing has been cancelled due to the 'prevailing economic climate and global credit crunch'.My question is why weren't these people rehoused during all those glory years when the country was dripping in money? I'm sorry but the next person who tells me about the house/houses they, or their wonderful children, are renting out, or about their lovely duplex in the Algarve, is going to get a box in the snot and woe betide any Fiannafailfinegaellabourgreennredplaid politician that sticks their beak anywhere near me ever again.


The bad news is that I buy a newspaper every day.
The good news is that I do not read it.

(Paul Durcan from The laughter of mothers)

Friday, December 12, 2008


Ok, the world can live without me or, more specifically ,my writing(the words spoken/written and yet and yet?) The writer or, more specifically ,the poet ,operates in,and broadcasts to, a vacuum and to a certain extent that is good and proper. Poetry is best when created in isolation and reads in isolation.It is, to a certain extent when the poet believes he has a (larger) audience and /or expectation that the precarious house of cards falls to the ground.The ego balloons and the desire to conform, to please, ignites.The vacuum, the void, suits me. I feed off it and it feeds off me, SYMBIOSIS.And yet ,and yet, the needling the subtle craving(can craving be subtle?) the need for recognition the pat on the back, so shallow, so hollow, so-desired. Anyway , listen(ye absent hordes ye) I was trying to define, to coin a phrase, that might explain the creation, the genesis ,of a poem and then I was listening to short story podcasts from The New Yorker and I came across this story by Lorrie Moore 'Dance in America' and she trying to persuade about the importance of dance and describes that 'dance begins when a moment of hurt combines with a moment of boredom' Now if that isn't what I've been trying to say about the genesis of a poem , then I don't know what is. Ps. Perhaps, or indeed, we should count ourselves lucky that we can attempt to write.I wonder what does the rest of the world do when the moments collide?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The genesis of a poem

What is it? Where does it come from? Why do we write poems? I don't know how I write ,it just comes over me, like a mood or a hunger and I have to satisfy it.Ted Hughes-a great thinker- goes further, he puts it as 'a facility for expressing that complicated process in which we locate, and attempt to heal, affliction-whether our own or that of others whose feeling we can share.' He sums it up perhaps in one more line. 'The inmost spirit of poetry, in other words, is at bottom, in every recorded case the voice of pain..'
The resulting poem then is the physical treatment by which the poet attempts to reconcile that pain within the world.
My old Pal Dylan Thomas says similarly that a poem is a process that begins with an image based on the emotions which then breeds conflicting images within an intelectual framework until the contradictions are resolved in 'that momentary peace which is a poem. ' Cool.
Janey Mac, I don't know where to start,so maybe I'll start at the beginning.In the beginning, there was the word and the...well maybe not that far back.Let me see now, to start maybe I should explain that I was most certainly not a poet (or a photographer for that matter) in the last millenium.(some would argue that I'm still neither now,quite correctly too, but sure, they can look up my hole.) I had no earthly connection with either books or poets, apart from a few books at school, I was totally ignorant of the world of literature in general and poetry in particular.Even now I have probably written more poems than I have ever read, and I haven't written many. So anyway here I am in Hebden Brige Yorkshire England on a warm summers day with my girlfriend(now wife) Collette and we are taking this incredibly steep cobbled path up to a place called Heptonstall . It's like with each step we are going back in time ,or at least away from time,it was a slightly surreal feeling, a bit like going into a different world,not through a looking glass or a wardrobe ,but slowly step-by-step, cobble-by-cobble. Heptonstall is/was (this must have been about 15 years ago) a fairly remote village and like something out of a Dickens novel-apparently. I can't vouch for this as I've never read a Dickens novel,but I can confirm that it is a dead ringer for what the BBC portray on TV as a village from a Dickens novel.Phew, this is hard slog I wish I hadn't started now. Might try again tomorrow.
Posted by Totalfeckineejit at 2:03 PM

Monday, December 8, 2008


Does anybody out there know of a blog by a certain aspiring American writer(short story writer mainly, I think) He has sent lots of stuff off to either the New Yorker, or more probably, The New York Times ,and describes his protracted negotiations with the paper who seem to have lost his story.I can't remember who ,or where it was ,or how I came across it.But I'd like to look it up again to see how he's getting on. Any clues or info would be mucho appreciated.Talking of the New Yorker ,another rejection by stealth today as I was not in the cartoon caption showdown, sheeyat! But nil desperandum comrades- it's straight back in the saddle and off we go yyyyeeeehha!!! By the way, seeing as I am a man and this is cyberspace- does that make me a cyberman?..... Delete! Delete! Delete! I should also point out at this juncture that I only Know about all things Dr Who because I have a 10 yr old son and he makes me watch it- honest. At 107 years old I think I may be a century too old for it. Incidently I am also in the Guinness(dont ye just love that word?) book of records as the oldest, one armed, Pizza delivery boy in the world! One arm is no bother to me except that it is a bit harder to get a tip and hand-over the pizza at the same time. Also I must remember not to wave back when friends recognise me on my Honda 50. Have you noticed the subtle way of highlighting key words in desperate attempt to make my post look more interesting? No, it doesnt work , does it?

Sunday, December 7, 2008



Along Capel Street I stagger into Slattery’s
and stagger out again to be sure I have my wits.
What the hell have they done?
Is nothing sacred?
Is anything safe from their blandiose renaissance?
A curse on them whoever they are.
I barrel on to the Quays singing or talking to myself,
corpulent with drink and struggling
to re-inflate between bursts of song.
Filled with stupid elation
and fuelled on pints of stout,
I gaze wide-eyed and blowing,
at the new found beauty of herself,
Anna Liffey.
Spanned by an arch the whiter shade of pale,
her waters are expressive fecund and inviting.
With undulating, warm, open arms of green
she calls to me in clamshells of desire.
Wanting to be smothered within
and bursting for a leak,
I express myself,
let fly the floodgates,
a stream of pee to the pea green below,
relief and satisfaction in equal measure.
They’ll never take the piss out of Dublin.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rejection's icy blast and Irons in the fire

Nothing but rejections recently.Not only did Theo Dorgan dismiss my breathtaking collection of poetry (Paddy K award) he by coincidence also rejected a beautiful portrait of mine for an exhibition, bad enough the poetry-but at least he was a good judge of that ! The art exhibition went ahead sans my genius ,but with some not so good photography.A rejection too from THE SHOp,quick, kind and encouraging, as ever.I was also rejected by the RHA which was fair enough.I was up at the 178th annual exhibition last week and it is totally brilliant, I loved it.Can't wait to have a crack at the 179th next year. Go and see it if you can ,it is the exhibition highlight of every year, but more so than ever this year. Some great photographs, cool sculpture, stunning portraiture. Among my favourites an unusual painting of a Peugeot 10 speed racer, most of the photography and some quirky stuff including this strange kind of 3D photographic head, by a Spanish artist I think.It was handed in at the same time as my stuff and I thought then that it would be accepted .Funnily enough the few I wasn't so bowled over with were all by members of the Academy .The cutting edge stuff was by all lesser (and un) knowns. Thought the catalogue a little pricey at €20 as it didn't include pictures of everything and especially as there was no other price list.I could never afford anything but I'm always really curious to know the price of things I'm looking at. On the bright side a photo of mine made it into The Dubliner magazine's Day and Night exhibition in Temple Bar last week (it was also in 'the stinging fly' a while ago).The only Irons remaining in the fire are The Rialto, Revival ,West 47 and a quirky little online mag that is so cool I really want to be in it but am keeping to myself, for now. Oh, and a couple of entries into The New Yorker cartoon caption contest- just for the craic.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I came fourth in The Patrick Kavanagh Award !

Well not officially (or in any kind of earthly reality ,obviously), but as Ireland's greatest living poet and in the absence of any comunication whatsoever, I can only assume that this is the case.Clearly I'm disappointed that I didn't get the top spot but perhaps my collection was too good and the Judges worried that I might just end up winning everything all across the board and this would not be good for the poetry scene in general and the morale of inferior(to me) poets in particular. Interestingly I got neither an acknowledgement for my entry nor a rejection which I think is poor show for the €20 entry fee.Such a lack of feedback does make you feel like you have just made some kind of donation rather than an application. I am also beginning to feel that , a bit like the lottery, you've as much chance of winning without an entry as with one. You see comrades ,we are aspiring poets, the lowest of the low, in the cut-and-thrust of literary market forces we are crushed by the laws of supply and demand.They have us over a barrel. The only peole who read poetry also write it, there is no huge market out there for us.We are the poetry equivalent of a million bees buzzing around trying to land on a prize bloom that accomodates about 5. But do we give up - do we feck, because despite it all we are poets and we believe in hope.Never mind the long months spent watching for, and waiting on ,the post only for the bitter sting of rejection to jab us in the arse, forget the sleepless nights toiling away at the keyboard, those long dark nights of the soul, the sweat blood and tears that go into every letter of every word,, forget the all consuming envy for those faceless anonymous smug bastards that top the poetry echelon in my warped imagination, we are the workers we are the warriors, words are our weapons ,hope is our saviour and we will overcome coming 4th in The Patrick K. Remember my friends there are only two letters between whining and winning!

Thought for today

I am nobody. Nobody is perfect.

Here endeth today's thought for today and tomorrows may look after itself. Amen

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Welcome, welcome, and thrice welcome.

Welcome comrades to an intermittent diary and /or ramblings of a third- rate, or aspiring ,depending on your perspective on life, poet/photographer.
Tonight it is dark (natch) and lashing rain, ideal conditions for the creation of poetry, so I am off now to create. Slan leat. By the way the time is 12.30 am wed, so I haven't a clue why it says 4.13 pm below, unless Dr Who is right and time is wibbly wobbly stuff. On second thoughts not so , time is one eternal moment that we pass through at our own pace so any time you choose at all will be just fine.