Sunday, April 12, 2009

Poetry is shite .No it isn't. Yes it is.

So poetry is shite I'm thinking as yet another competition rears it's ugly head,ugly because I can't waste the dosh to enter it.But then I always thought poets were supposed to be poor? well looks like you have to be fairly well off to be a poet these days. (Unless you get grants or buraries but then it seems only those who don't really need them qualify for them.)The gas thing is I bet if the Patrick Kavanagh award had been going on when he was alive -he wouldn't have been able to afford to enter it.So I'm feeling pissed off with poetry and prizes and books and bursaries and awards and accolades and famous seamus and his birthday and I take a walk with the dog just before midnight and it's cold and clear and you can see every star in the cosmos and a moon low and huge and orange like a fat pumpkin.But I'm thinking of the lies of the skies glittering, glistering, just like fake jewels like poetry.Half those stars are dead and this moon does not shine ,just reflects the light of the sun.A cod.Then a street light goes out and I'm plunged into truer darkness and in the same instant - a shooting star overhead full of last second vivacity and I'm struck by the fact that the street light was man-made but the stars above are not and perhaps poetry is not.And I'm full of enthusiasm again (ok and drink) and rush home to get my camera for in my warped perception I see photographs as poems and I want to capture this blood orange orb bleeding across the sea and it's rising behind me as I rush and losing colour and by the time i get back to the edge of the trees and begin my beachward descent into black it's not half the picture it was.I crash on through the bushes but the dog won't follow in the dark, loses where I am and runs off so i run after her and take 10 minutes to find her and coax her as far as she'll go, open up the tripod and one leg keeps sliding down and I keep tightening and it keeps sliding and i keep tightening clockwise anti clockwise and back again till I figure it.I haven't a feckin clue what settings the camera is on but being smart I have a torch, one of those minilites that you see in action films with guys/gals holding them in their mouth as bathed in sweat and against the clock they cut the right wire to diffuse the bomb and save the day.I puts it in my mouth but haven't switched it on and go to grab it and fumble and its gone into the black never to be seen again among the long invisible grass.Fuck it and now the moon is boring white and high in the sky and I was right, all poetry is a sham.


John Hayes said...


I've been thru that-- in some ways, I've gone thru that off & on for the past dozen years, & then in different ways for many years before. It's hard. But what you wrote there isn't a sham.

Jeanne Iris said...

I'm laughing so much, it's difficult for me to write a response. But here we go...composed, she comments:

Perseverance is yours, TFE... The true mark of genius!

Moon Shine
I whimper and whine
cuz the moon doesn't shine
so I decide to recline
on soft grass devine,
when something benign
finds its way to my spine:
A flashlight with a beam so fine!

I look up to see
down the road from me
a man muttering obscenities
of the moon's reflective quality,
tri-pods, dogs and poetry
I shine the light, but he doesn't see,
and the moon shines on
reflecting serenely.

Heather said...

I only partly agree with you - some poetry is shite, but parts of your post are very poetic. I know what you mean about entry fees for competitions - some of them are very excluding and prevent excellent work from being made available to a wider audience.

Pure fiction said...

Brilliant post. I can't work up my usual resentment against famous Seamus's success, but I do kind of wonder what Jesus would've felt listening to RTE and reading the papers this weekend. He doesn't even get a look in - it's all about Heaney this Easter.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am a silence nut - I found it so hard to read your blog with the music going full pelt!!
I recognise the dog/camera/tripod experience though - I have it often. Is there a way of making dogs come to you when you call without hesitation/contemplation/argument/downright disobedience? If so will you e mail it to me right away then I can put the theory into practice. Meanwhile, shall wear my earplugs next time I visit so that I can concentrate and write a sensible reply.
Thanks for visiting me!

Jeanne Iris said...

Wow! Beautiful shot of the moon! Happy Easter, TFE!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks for that John,much appreciated, it's good to know I'm not the only one that gets like this.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey Jeanne , cool poem and so astute of you to recognise that I am in fact a genius of the highest order and not a third rate wannabe who drinks too much drops torches and gets bitter and twisted and writes stuff in his blog as it's the only outlet available that doesn't require any standard of talent at all.

Totalfeckineejit said...

You are right Heather and tomorrow and tommorow and tommorow I will again be full of poetic beans; enter once more unto the beer, my friends, and my flatulence will sing of roses and hosts of golden daffodils :)

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hello Weaver,welcome to my humble ablog and apologies for the noisification.I too by and large crave silence and more particularly solitude. I find of late that the pleasure of a walk with the pooch is inversely proportional to the nuber of people I meet.I crave a cave or a rustic retreat, but then on the other paw I sometimes love a bit of music and music was made to be played LOUD.That said, next time please pause my player, wear ear plugs, or turn off your speakers if you like and thanks for dropping by,you and everyone are as welcome as the flowers in May.

I'm just looking ar 'wear ear' and though familiar looks awful odd , you know like when you notice a step going upstairs and then you stumble where normally ye fly up them.Ah well, I'll look for the medication.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Pur Fiction, I'm sorry ,i left ye out and ye thought my post was brilliant(you were right)and were generous enough to say so.I'm just a moody bollix and hold no grudge agin Heaney .I even paid real money for a hardback 'District and circle'and liked it very much.His star just happens to be in the ascendancy as mine is digging a hole in the back yard so he copped for it.There are a hundred better targets out there, but why slag when ye can praise and I am indeed as you (in a rounabout way said)brilliant, well done me! Joking aside Jesus didn't get much of a look in did he? - And I couldn't manage without him.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Jeanne Happy Easter to you too and everyone.

Niamh B said...

The music actually kept me here longer than I might have otherwise stayed. Haven't heard the doors since last night on phantom fm. Ah the memories.
The blog itself is very entertaining as well, stayed for the music, will be back for the writing...


Iggy McGOvern has a poem with the lines (I'm paraphrasing):
'Even Patrick Kavanagh couldn't win
the Patrick Kavanagh Award'. :)

Totalfeckineejit said...

See? There's no such thing as an original thought.Thanks WRW, Iggy can be funny, must try and find that poem. :)

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey Niamh B welcome to me humble ablog,call in again someime - The Doors are always open!

Poetikat said...

Star Trek (original) is in my left ear, so bear with me (I say that a lot apparently).
You've had a good deal brewing inside you these last few days, haven't you? I know what that's like - a percolator, bubbling up and spilling over, covering the counter and the floor and then dripping down the stairs until someone mops it up.

Poetry. Yes. Why? What? Where?When? Why again and again?
Because we MUST! You MUST!

Without it we fester and ulcerate and rupture and die. That's why.

Never mind the contests or the accolades - it's all for naught in the long run. What are we doing? Looking for some legacy so when we're gone, someone will say, "Oh, that was a great work of art, wasn't it?" Too bad they didn't get recognized while they were alive, but now we know that what they wrote was pure GENIUS! (We, in the know with our novo-techno knick-knacks - we're plugging directly into our brains now and the waves are REALLY streaming onto our screens and being transmitted to the skies where the whole world will rejoice at our long-dead genius.

Am I mad? Sometimes I do wonder, but at least I know that my madness has a purpose. At least I'm getting things off my chest. As are you.


(All this with no caffeine or substance of any sort - just mad exhaustion from a bad night's sleep.)

Totalfeckineejit said...

Wow thanks for that thoughtfilled response Poetikat.Star Trek is in your left ear? I always wondered where it went to. And I know you're right- that we are compelled to write, (it's what happens after it's written that I have the troublo with) which depending how it goes can be a blessing or a curse or both,but but but.... something that I can't articulate or even recognise is still at me about whats the point?

Poetikat said...

Because, at least one person is getting it. That's all it takes.


P Nolan said...

Love that second moon shot above TFE. Do you exhibit your photos at all?

Totalfeckineejit said...
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Totalfeckineejit said...

Thank you Kat ,you are of course right.Someone else said that to me once and I had forgotten.It is nice to be reminded. My head knows you are right too, but my heart.....?

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks PJ ,glad you like that pic, maybe we could do a swap or Part exchange? Haven't exhibited since 2005 , though I did throw my hat into the RHA's ring the last 2 years-without success of course.Would be just amazing to get in to that.Hope you get good news on that front. I Will definitely have a pop again next year.