Thursday, December 31, 2009

Festival of Light, Let it Shine!

New Years Eve, temperatures plummeting, the fire flickers in the grate and a full moon outside about to be eclipsed, partially.A decade is dying and 2010 is upon us, a futuristic date for the present, how lucky are we? (Wasn't Sharon Doherty in Beverly Hills 2010? hee hee) Anyway, a happy, healthy, peaceful New Year to one and all, I raise my glass to each and every one of ye. Pip pip!

Talking of which [the pip pip bit, I mean] my maternal grandfather, Frank, wilder than a bush and as kind as you could meet, used to say, Pip, pip! and also, ' We'll rise again' (him being an old soldier from Sligo) every time he raised a glass, and he raised one often.

He fought as a teenager in the first world war and The Battle of The Somme as an Irish guard, ate dog in the trenches, saw many horrors and survived (physically) without a scratch, apart from one-eared deafness from a shell burst.He came home and fought for Ireland in the war of Independence against the very people he had fought with in the trenches, again without a scratch. Then he fought for De Valera in the Irish Civil War against the very people he had fought with in The War Of Independence, against even his very own brother.He was shot twice, one bullet in each leg.

By the age of 21 he had fought in three wars, been an athlete, won a gold medal in the Olympic trials for the triple jump[alledgedly], played soccer for St.Mary's, Sligo and had his left leg amputated, married his nurse, was destined to spend the rest of his young life drunk on crutches an athlete no more, his later life drunk in a wheelchair, and eventually to die a sane man in the horrors of St. Colman's lunatic asylum in Mullingar. He outlived the wars but the wars outlived him.

To him and all those gone before me I raise a glass tonight and light a candle tomorrow. Pip pip!

Here's a list of other people lighting candles.
Hilary Wakeman
The Watercats
Granny Sue
Dominic Rivron
Susan at Stony River
Susan Sonnen
Sandra Leigh
Jayne Harnett Hargrove
NanU, Moira , ArtSparker ,Mrs Niamh ,Femminismo ,Junk Thief, Rachel Fox , Poetikat Phoenix C and Jeanne have written posts ...




Mrs Niamh


Junk Thief

Rachel Fox



Phoenix C


The Parting Glass

I hope ye are all getting the candles ready for New Years Day Festival of Light, if we all light them together the scientists will think it's more evidence of global warming. The photo is of Lough Mask in County Mayo. I fell into it the next day but, despite being unable to swim ,miraculously survived. Then nearly killed myself laughing.

I always tell people I never learned to swim to give me respect for the sea, even though the only boat I have ever been on is the ferry to Holyhead. Actually I was on another boat once in The Clyde Estuary and nearly drowned that day too. Oh, and a canal boat on a weekend holiday in Staffordshire in FEBRUARY.I didn't nearly drown that time but I did fall on some ice down into the canal on the way back from the pub.

The locals were the strangest people I've ever met in my life, they also bought me pints of Barley wine and I had no idea how strong it was.

We left the parafin heater on all that night and got sick with the fumes. We had also travelled way , way, too far down the canal to get back in daylight , so we travelled through the pitch black night. The others stayed snug below while I was at the front frozen to death holding a torch and a bottle of whiskey and shouting directions to my cousin who was steering at the back. A freezing fog had descended combining with the black night to give zero visibility. We seriously annoyed all the bargees moored up and asleep, the engine slowed to less than half it's normal pace because nobody had listened to the boat hire man telling us to keep it topped up with water. We sailed(?) at less than a snails pace through the long night but got back too late for the morning check-in deadline and had to pay extra. Least he never checked the engine.

I realised then I'd left my wallet with train tickets and house keys back in the pub. My cousin had a car , it was only a 2 seater but he gave me and Miss EEjit, sitting on top of me, a lift back to the pub.The Landlord (Fair play to him and the people drinking with us who found them) had given my wallet and keys to the police station. So we drove there and hid the car around the corner as we didn't want the Police to see three of us getting out of a 2 seater car. The friendly policeman explained that all lost property is taken to the police station in the next village, that he was heading there and we were to follow! So we dawdled hoping he wouldn't notice what car we got into, but he kept coming back, it was like something out of Mr Bean. Then eventually he fecked off and got into his car and we followed him from as far back as human eyesight would allow us, again hoping he didn't twig. We got away with it, I think he did notice us all piling out of the tiny car (Fiat x1-9) but either felt sorry for us ,or couldn't be arsed. Anyways my cousin drove us back to the train station but I'd missed the train I needed to be back on time for work. Already on a warning for always being late, I asked the ticket man when the next train was due hoping it would be ten mins, or half an hour at the most, 'Tomorrow' he said.

Never liked that job anyway.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Photos for the Festival of Light

Dad aged about 9 on a fine horse.Don't know who it belonged to, we only ever had donkeys, ducks and chickens.Think it may be belonging to 'The Big House' where my Great Aunt Mary was employed.She was a real character who read tea leaves and told fortunes with a deck of cards involving getting or not getting your hearts wish. As a child, I earnestly believed that a turn of a card could decree whether Dolores K would love me or not! Dad loved horses and lived and worked with them as a lumberjack felling and delivering trees. Once on holiday in Killarney he stopped and calmed a bolting panicking pony laden with trap and tourists. Me, being a little shite, was totally unimpressed. Dad aged about 19, posing with his dad's pipe. Dad was born in Tipperary though the old family home in Offaly is pictured here behind him. I really wish I could have got to know him as an adult. I was in my own teenage bubble and sometimes it seems like a different person lost him, not me. I hope he would like me now, and I him.

Uncle Jackie (My Dad's brother) my favourite and much missed uncle, seen here as a young man with family dog and young neighbour Seamus taking the reins. I remember this same cart many years later used for 'drawing in '(transporting from the bog) the turf in the summer.As a family we never had a car.Bicycles only for transport

This is a photo of the Dublin side of my family, my favourite Auntie, Maura ,and her husband (My Mum's brother Timmie) They seemed very glamorous and sophisticated to us, living in many parts of the world including Germany and Africa.Here they are on board a ship. Maura was the kindest, most interesting, genuinely funny woman you could ever wish to meet.Everyone who ever met her loved her, I spent a large part of my life around her and I miss her .

Another picture of the old family home in Offaly, now sadly demolished last year after mucho trouble and fall out after Uncle Jackie's death in 2003. Far left is my Dad's other brother Jimmy(still alive in Tipp) holding a cat, neighbour Chrissy , my Dad's young sister, Eilish , now living in England, Jackie looking small and frail as usual, in fact when their mother was dying she asked Dad (the eldest) to mind Jackie, yet he outlived Dad ( who was strong as an ox) by almost 30 years. That's Dad on the far right.
Some of my happiest days were spent in this house, never have I felt more secure or more alive.The fire(the only source of heating and cooking) was always lit winter and summer, the front door was never locked, open wide all summer and only closed over in winter.People( the kindest most genuine you could wish to meet) would call in day and night, to drink tea, give news, play cards and tell stories, particularly ghost stories and they were experts at them.The most scared I have ever been is listening to these old men by the fire. You would burst your bladder rather than brave the sheer blackness outside(no indoor toilet, truth be told , no outdoor one either, just nature's wondrous charms) Actually the most scared I have ever been in my whole life was outside the Tipp family home whn I heard the Banshee, but that's another story.Incidentally before I was born my Dad used go rambling across the fields at dead of night night to visit neighbours and often had the Banshee for company she was incredibly beautiful and never bothered him.

When I light my candle I'll be thinking of many , many people including... Dad, Uncle Jackie, Granddad Frank, Grandma Philomena,Granddad Peter, Grandma Molly, Aunt Mary, Uncle Timmie , Auntie Maura, Uncle Liam , Auntie Mona, Michael K, Roy N,Sheila O'.

See previous post for candle lighting details. Pip pip!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Festival of light

A new year beckons as the old one fades and it inevitably brings moments of reflection on days gone by, a taking stock, a time of new beginnings, of hope and often of sadness.In reality it is no more than another day same as all the others a man-made cut-off point, an imaginary line drawn in the sands of time.

But for all that, it still brings a significance with it , a chance to think of the past while looking to the future.It is within this spirit that I propose a festival of light at midday (12 noon) on New Years Day.

The one thing we all have in common, regardless of age ,race ,colour or creed ,is that someone close in mind body or spirit will have died, whether it be in the last 12 months or the last hundred years.

Often we may have been loving and close, other times there may have been tensions and difficulties, even anger, guilt, or deep regret. My own Dad's death when I was 16 is something, for different reasons (all on my part) , I am trying to come to terms with slowly throughout my life.

My proposal is that at 12 noon on New Years Day we simply light a candle, both for those gone before us ,and also as a symbol of hope for ourselves and the future- whether we be atheist, or of a religious disposition ,or whatever.
To maybe just be silent for a moment , listen to a favourite piece of music, or say a prayer, to sing, have a drink, or hug a tree or a car or a person. I'm a bit of a tree hugger by times-only old one's that have lived hundreds of years and seen it all. I'll certainly raise a glass.

I might put a list of people I am thinking of on my blog, you might like to do the same.If you do, let me know and I will post links to your blog so others might read the names and have all in mind as they light their candle. There is often something special about communal gatherings, even when only virtual , and a load of candles can only bring warmth and hopefully a small degree of peace and of hope.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Yes folks, The Poetry Bus is back for a one-off Christmas special. Einstein is still working on the official bus, So Santa Claus has kindly offered to help out. Many thanks to the fat beardy one.Obviously he's fairly busy, so get your poems written before Christmas Eve as he needs the go Kart for an around the world trip.

Due to government cutbacks Santa's magnificent sleigh is in a shed in Carlow and has been replaced by a four wheeled plank of wood.

All Santa's reindeers: Rudolph ,Splinter ,Horsey ,Donna ,Spritzer ,Slasher, Dave, Dee ,Dozy, Mick and Titch ,or whaever they're called ,are all on various high class supermarket shelves this year.Yummy, but expensive.

Anyways why don't you, yes YOU, I'm talking to YOU reading this, write a poem for Christmas and post it on your blog before DEC 24th? Let me know by leaving a comment in my comments box and I will publish links to all the poems to make a magical Christmas poetry mystery tour aboard Santa's plank. Ho ho ho - hic!
(Thanks to Argent for the nudge!)

Here's mine to get the plank rolling.

This Christmas we

Stretch the fabric of life
Buy kerosene by the gallon
Cut washing up sponges in two
Surf supermarket car parks
For the abandoned trolley’s
Shiny reward
We raid jam jars
Pluck gold from sofa, armchairs,
old coats trousers and dusty drawers .

We drink brought-home Spanish Brandy
from other people’s holidays.

We mend
We contract
Cut back
Shrink and save.

We winnow
but keep it all
We are not yet old
Not yet finished

We reduce
reuse recycle
We cope we survive
in first world luxury
Rejoice in hope
And are glad

Did I tell you there are free mince pies (warmed) with double cream, glasses of Baileys ,mulled wine and when we all get a bit merry, food and carol singing around the open fire in the castle?

First aboard is Kat

Prof Jeanne
and also here



Carmen (Carmen has a few Christmas poems posted if you scroll down her blog)

Uiscebot ( Mr RTE ,Colm Keegan)

Emerging Writer


(Totally) Mad Aunt Bernard


Rhyming Rachel Fox

Mrs Niamh

Peter Goulding (Has a few-poems not drinks!)

(The great) Lesser Weavil

Sandra (I like Turtles) Leigh

Jane Moxey

Dominic (Yorkshire chainsaw massacre) Rivron

Heather (Feed the birds)

Liz (she's a right miracle) Gallagher


The Wonderful Weaver of Grass

Science girl NanU
and also

The mighty pooch Titus

The multi talented singing Watercats

Granny Sue

(See the wood from the trees with) Phoenix C

(Do not forget) Domestic Oubliette

(There's no stopping) Lesser Weevil


Monday, December 14, 2009

Stony River Challenge

' I could win this feckin race' thought Mr Magoo ' if I'd only chosen the winged horse instead of the skateboard '

Susan at Stony River posts a weekly Monday challenge . A picture to which you must add up tom 140 words.Go for it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What's the word on the street EEjit?

The word on the street peeps is SNOW! Yes, it's snowing here at the castle and is likely to continue to do so way into next year or until I tell it to stop.

In other news, Submissions, haven't made any since Jan, how unambitious of me, ah well.

A new year beckons and if I live to see it I think 2010 has a nice sound and shape to it, it might be a good year to do things, have a go at things and stuff.I say this most years, but still.

Apparently it may soon be Christmas once more, which is really good news cos I thought I was getting the DT's again when I saw two elves and a polar bear in the shopping centre.

Talking of shops I've been entering into Niamh Bagel's PIS month (poems in shops) ,a great idea. ( )

My efforts have been brilliant poetically speaking, but rather scruffy aesthetically, so this week (yesterday to be precise) I used one of Rachel Fox's ( )most excellent poetry postcards (still available to purchase, hint -hint) in one of our local coffee shops. Unlike previous times I have mobile phone stylee photographic evidence, probably. I will post it if I can figure it out.

More news is that after the roaring disaster, I mean Success (always getting them two mixed up) of Liz Gallagher's Maximus Miracle blogstop/poteen party at The Castle, I'm pleased to announce that another favourite writer of mine , Nuala Ní Chonchúir , ( ) will be paying a visit some time in Jan to celebrate her just launched poetry pamphlet 'Portrait of the Artist with a Red Car' which I have just read and really enjoyed.

The other news is that blogs are kind of scary.I could type absolutely anything I want now, from a very rude word to a revelation to a lie to really slagging someone off.It's a bit like being on the edge of the platform with the train coming and a feeling that you could just give somebody a leeetle nudge , but something stops you. (probably the fact that you're not a murderer)

But right now the next word I type could be anything, I have one in my head and I'm going to type it,I just don't care anymore , this word won't leave me alone, it can be ignored no longer, it''s good I can't do it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

ArtSparker challenge #3

That genius Arty Person Sparkey ArtSparker has set the world another interesting challenge.This time to finish off an old photograph.You might be able to discern the bits I've added in below.Why not have a go yourself or look at all the other efforts. None of them are as good as mine even though some of them are brilliant.I, being genuis at everything I turn my hand to,is always the best at everything innit.
Genius is a hard burden to bear sometimes.Pavarotti once said to me that he didn't own the voice, the voice owned him.I understand only too well what fatty was trying to say.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Song Of Life (Fuck this for a game of soldiers)

The song of life

I’m more tired than I’m sick
But sick and tired go hand in glove
Like the cult of I and phoney
Our germ free adolescence
A distant memory
Memories a choice of truth
Repeating itself across
The swings the random roundabouts
Neon crept in the sulphur glow
Fight for nothing
Nothing is worth dying for
Love to have hate tattooed
on my knuckles
wherefore art though art
without the pounds shilling and sense
the coppers in the greasy tills washed
up on the beach
the blind blade of youth
preserved us, naïve knife,
as if we could change the
tide by swimming against it
waving while we were drowning
in the ticking of the clock
and everything else grows in the heaps
of bullshit poet to politician to priest
in a change of tie
the blink of an eye
fooling everyone and no-one
my equal measure.
The tide goes in the tide goes out
The hard rains fall
And nothing but nothing
Will ever change.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I've won the $50,000 Ray-Ban performance prize for poetry! Yippee.

Here's my winning entry.... Sunglasses(A performance poem)

Sunglasses the enigmatic chic for the masses
of people that buy them
Men will make passes at girls
Who wear sunglasses
What mystery do we hide behind them
Women and men
Insect eyed aliens
Blocking out the sun
Keeping in the mystique
Winter and summer
If you’re the drummer
In a famous band
Or on the beach at St Tropez
Heading to Dunnes stores
In April or may
June or July
When you fly to sunnier shores
Where shades are worn indoors
That’s for the uber cool
Not in Mullingar
In Murphy’s lounge you’d look a fool
I want a giant pair with writing on
Like Lennon,( Jinx not John)
I want a pair mirrored and bright
To cover the bloodshot veins
When I look a sight.
I’m buying them now while they are cheap
Half price winter bargain that I can Keep
Till the Summer comes
Here comes the Summer!
Here comes the Summer!
Here comes the Summer!
Ooh Baby,Baby what can I do
You know you drive me crazee
when I'm looking at you......
Through, through, through,
my sung glasses.

I'm going to use it as my next 'Poem in a shop', poem. I'm spending the 50 k on mulled wine , corn plasters, and a donation to 'Save the Dingo'

It's sad,it's tiny, it's here...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mission accomplished.Word on the streets.

I've been neglecting my blog too much lately, letting real life and important things get in the way.Tis time to try and redress the balnce and post more often.

Well anyways it's put a poem in a shop month a project devised by Bus Poet and broadcaster extraordinaire Niamh Bagnell (Details here)

A simple but ingeniuos plan, write a short(4 lines I think) poem and place it on a shelf in a local shop for an unsuspecting customer, so that their tawdry lives may be changed beyond all previous recognition by the benificent magnificence of our words. Takea photo as a record/proof and post it on your blog.

This reminded my of Liz Gallaghers lost poetry notebooks and how cool it would be to find one.I also thought of messages washed up on distant shores in glass bottles.If the poetry bus (T.M) had kept going (or when it gets going again) I was going to suggest leaving the poems in remote out of the way places.Imagine finding one battered by the breeze pinned to a remote outcrop with a message saying 'Take me home'

So I didn't stick to the four lines but this was lying round so I put it in the book section of a local supermarket. Not wanting to draw too much more attention to myself (I was dressed as a spaceman) Iused a mobile phone camera to record the event.Unfortunately I have never used one before and failed to save the image.

Fortunately I had a back up pic at home showing Jimmy The Butlers pet mouse, Fergus Hyposperous, with the poem.The original idea was to send Fergus in on his own with the poem but as he has wheels instead of legs(terrible tragedy, don't ask) he couldn't place the poem above floor level,so I had to do it.

I will go back today and see if it is still there, grab a pic if it still is. Join in why doncha?

Performance poem

It wasn’t The Chelsea
It wasn’t The Shelbourne
Drunk on devils paints
dreaming of the eternal dream Of
a car brim full of petrol and hope
A V8 thrub to the coastal beat new paths
Less travelled horizons
Crescendo dims with the dawn
Reality is….
A monotone train on a single track
There and back
There and back
There and back

Ps.Did anyone spot the (almost) hidden sad face at the bottom right of Sylvia's grave pic?Click on it Blow it up to 100% and there, just beneath the first pale rock is a little sad face.Spooky!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ted reads Sylvia

I'm very interested by Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.There are the obvious reasons but also I feel ,rightly or wrongly an affinity, a connection.
Sylvia was the first poet I ever came across, ok , she was in her grave, but still. I was in Heptonstall with Miss EEjit and had never heard of Sylvia (or any poet) and Miss E had to explain to me who she was.It was shortly after thast I started writing poems.
Something about that place always stayed with me.I've been back once since, but would love to go again.
As for Ted, Birthday letters is perhaps the best book of poetry I've ever read.Ok there aren't many in my list, but still.

And here is a clip of Ted reading Sylvia's poetry , just reading it. How does that feel for him, reading his dead wife's poetry , a poetry above or beyond or behind the shadow of his own,the world looking, listening? What degree of responsibility does he apportion himself , how does it feel? Does he read her poetry as another poet or as the poets husband?Though totally different, paradoxically, I'm struck by the similarities in their delivery, Sylvia though American sounds (almost grand) English in many ways, Ted pure Yorkshire, and yet......

I have my own opinions but all is speculation.Both are now dead, but what a story, what a legacy. Ted's mistress Assia Wevill also gassed herself and their young daughter.Ted and Sylvia's own son, Nicholas, commited suicide earlier this year.Ted and Sylvia gave themselves totally to poetry, they did as it bid.They gave us a lot from poetry but they, and those around them, paid a high price.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

All is revealed !

Especially on a Corfu beach.

The right answer as guessed by Weaver ,Beedlemama, argent and almost by Domestic Oubliette who changed her mind at the last minute, is No 10. My real age is NOT 48. All the rest are true.

1) TRUE...... I put a 4 inch scar on my left arm to be cool and impress Miss EEjit. I'm not and it didn't.It also gained me the unfortunate nickname of ' Action Man ' for a while as the boys toy had exactly the same scar. Doh!

2)TRUE..... Carling Black Label tastes like cat's wee.I tried it once (carling, not cats wee) and haven't been desperate enough in it's company to try it again. (Luckily there has always been harpic or domestos available.)

3) All TRUE but I hated Rugby, scared shitless of being tackled I scored a try every time I got the ball.

4) TRUE... Love is a temporary madness, you have to stretch it out.

5) TRUE.....But the beach was deserted except for Miss EEjit.Did enjoy it though.Highly recommended.

6) TRUE.. attacked by skinheads at least once, you don't always get time to quiz the assailant, sometimes (this time) you are sure( no 1 haircuts, ten hole cherry red Doc's beneath cut-off jeans, right wing tattooos, Ben Sherman button down shirts, red braces ,yellow National Front laces, limited but effective vocabulary, serious intent to do harm )

Was also attacked by two youths with a half brick to the head, amazingly it didn't even hurt which kind of disarmed them.
Mrs EEjit threw the ham at me (a great shot) and so that's how I know it was 3lbs, I'd bought it earlier in Tescos .Really took me by surprise, knocked me half off the stool I was on. We had it later for dinner, lovely! She also tried to brand me (at a later date) with an electric iron but I was saved by the cheapskate short length Morphy Richards flex.

7) TRUE.. my accent/voice is so awful I try not to speak at all, choosing instead to communicate by meaningful looks , body language, telepathy and hieroglyphics.

8) TRUE... I really wanted the gravedigger job and was really disappointed.

9) TRUE...Was thrown clear and the bike went across the road under an oncoming car.

10) FALSE I am not 48 years old

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The latest craze to sweep blogland is ten factos about yourself one of which is a lie and the rest of the universe has to guess the falsehood. I've enjoyed this with a few others so will have a go myself...

1) I have a four inch scar on my left arm

2) I never drink Carling Black label

3) I was athletics sports person of the year at school, house Rugby captain and on the school rugby team, had trials for the county at soccer did well over 2,000 keepy-ups for 45 mins and was offered a trial at Luton Town FC by their goalkeepers dad.

4) I drove from near London to Blackpool via Manchester, just to say hello to Miss EEjit, (before we were married) and at 2am played football on a moonlit Blackpool beach for 10 mins and drove home and went straight to work.

5) I ran naked across a Corfu beach

6) I have been attacked by skinheads, assaulted with a half-brick to the head , dazed by an uncooked 3lb ham and nearly branded by a domestic iron.

7) My accent is truly awful. A weird mix of London /Tipp/Offaly /Dublin /Manchester

8) I applied to be a gravedigger and failed to get an interview.

9) I nearly died in a motorbike accident

10) My real age is 48


Get over to Liz's blog foor the draw to win her wunderissimo book 'The Wrong Miracle'

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The sea ,I have to say, was magnificent today.I’ve mainly thought of the Irish Sea as the tame little cousin of The Wild Atlantic.I’ve prodded it with a pointy stick like it’s lazy a sleeping tiger in the zoo.All domesticated and cosy like a pussy cat.

Well that fughin Tiger is awake today it’s taken that pointy stick and shoved it where the sun don’t shine, it’s roared, flicknifed it’s razor claws and ripped incessantly at our bit of coastline like an earthquake. It’s visual display of waves would get a perfect ten for gymnastics at the olympics, its awesome roar(particularly at night) is louder the thud of a thousand canon.
What used to be our beach is awash with debris and trees and a foot deep wobbling brown alien blancmange of froth and sand,it looks like a disaster zone from a distant planet.The anger, the venom, the sheer muscular passion of the sea is awesome, only a fool would feck with it. The raised sandy grassland path I've trod for the past ten years ,10 to 15 feet from the beach, is gone, disappeared overnight and huge chunks of land continue to fall in.

Whatever about global warming,coastal erosion is a witnessable fact.The beach itself is being clawed back into the sea grain by grain,where once was a million stones is now mainly sand. A 20ft wooden skeleton once buried deep and unknown is now plainly visible.

Did I bring a camera to capture the boiling turmoil of water ,the 20 ft cresting waves braved only by crazy gulls like winged surfers tempting the crashing tunnels of water.Waves so huge their height sometimes breaks their broad backs clean in two rising 30 ft into the air as they fall backwards into a churning abyss.Did I stand there framing this virtuoso display of might? Not today.I have in the past and will do again.You are a different person every day of your life. But Sometimes, just sometimes you have to be within something, be a part of the experience and not try to cynically distance yourself, then casting a cold calculated eye, stand back ,capture and tame it, explain it,or even worse shoot it, frame it, put it on your wall like a trophy, like a tigers head.

Truth be told I forgot my camera but still.....

ALSO the poteen party is still going strong here and despite fears that the poteen might be quite toxic only 3 people have actually died so far, so that's a relief. Jimmy The Butler performed autopsies on all three and discovered that one had underlying medical problems-he'd been shot.

Dominic Rivron is still performing 'Nancy Spain ' over 24 hours later and doesn't look like he's going to stop despite Lassie eating his Ukelele. Feel free to 'Do a turn' and provide a link. Amy Winehouse is up next followed by the two tenors Caruso and Pavorotti, so plenty of fun still to be had,all you can eat and drink is here plus plenty of daybeds for a nap ,should you need one.

Hey Dominics got another tune for us

DON'T FORGET to enter the draw to win a FRE signed copy of Liz Gallagher's excellent poetry book 'The Wrong Miracle' Just leave a comment on my blog or Liz's saying you'd like to enter.The winner will be drawn from a hat (quite possibly a Sombrero) on Liz's blog on Nov 25th. Bon chance mes petits amis!

AND FINALLY please buy a copy of the latest SHOp poetry magazine . Buy it , not because it will improve your life (though it undoubtedly will), not because it's the greatest poetry magazine in the world (though it is), not because it's funds have been cut and is in need of support (though they have and it does), forget all these excellent reasons, buy it because I have a poem on page 25. Better still take out a subscription. Pip pip!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

La Liz Gallagher est arrivé

TFE: Hello Liz and you are most welcome to EEjit castle. Not to keep like, just to visit. Jimmy The Butler has made up a nice comfy bed in the solar.Come on into the Throne room and sit down by the fire, mind you don't trip over Dylan Thomas, he's beaten his record of 18 straight whiskeys and is sleeping it off. I'll bring you through to meet the other guests when we've had a chat.
(Looks like Jimmy is enjoying your book Liz.)

LIZ: Hi TFE,it's a pleasure to be here with you and Mrs TFE in the Castle. I can now see where the mystery element comes into play. It is indeed a wonderful place and Jimmy, the Butler is just like the character from Joe Orton's play 'What the Butler Saw...' might try to have a private word with him later... (joking!); ) And Mollie is looking a treat, I can see she has settled in well here, what a lucky dog.

MOLLIE: Well Liz as you know us Collies are highly intelligent and I have to say that your book is one of the best debut collections I have ever read.And thank you,yes, I am happy here ,though my owners are, I have to confess, a right bunch of feckin EEjits and the fat baldy one is rarely sober.

TFE: Ah, thanks Liz but the luck was all ours the day we got Mollie The Collie, we all love her to bits.

LIZ: TFE, I know you have an avid following of guests and sure hope they enjoy the oh my, what an amazing number of bottles you have, TFE, all the better to drink the house dry, I suppose. Can't wait to start clinking glasses with all those guests, Scooby is bound to find a ghost here and Lassie will come to someone's rescue no doubt, the gathering round Oscar will be massive, mustn't let him bog down John Wayne, the quiet man that he is...can't wait to see all the interaction...should make for a great night, hope the camcorder is running...
Thanks again TFE for going to all this trouble, you are definitely the host-it with the most-it...

TFE: Not a bother Liz and yes the whole place is full of camcorders, I'm hoping to make a fortune in blackmail by threatening to post stuff on have a glass of poteen, Maris piper this one bit cloudy but still good.
Now Liz, how do you write your poetry, they read almost like they come out in one inspirational genius gush, or stream of consciousness, but if not , how long do they take to write? Also if they are more crafted then it makes them even more amazing, to be able to think controlled thoughts as wonderful as yours. (is that a question or a statement??) How do you do that? Do you even know? Do you fully know what you have written before you read it?

Liz: TFE, I am a big believer in daily writing, even though I'm not actually doing that now due to having to put poetry to the oneside for a while this year. I have written most of my work while under pressure to get a poem out each day while doing the 30:30 challenges in ITWS that I have talked of before (in Arlene's interview It is a mixture of free-writing or more provocatively known as mental-rioting ; )...I get an image and go with it or I write into the screen in invisible colour text for 10 minutes or more to see where that takes me and then I do a massive re-read and sorting out, using my words and phrases collections from my notebooks and generally trying to guide things along. Sometimes, it works and other times it can be very messy and then I usually just save it for another day ….or I may extract a line or two and use that to take me somewhere else. I rarely set out to write on a particular theme and never know where the poem is going until things start clicking into place near the end...the poem is usually finished in one foul sweep....I return to the poem a few weeks later to tighten up and re-draft...usually, I never do more than three or four drafts but sometimes there can be a tricky one that I really want to work with and it might take up to 7 or 8 drafts, my top number to date. Generally though, the essence and bones of the poem is done in one sitting. I have to feel surprised by the poem myself to know that I can work on it further...if I don't get that 'kicking alive/surprise' element then I usually abandon the poem....but salvage some general ideas/phrases/images.

TFE: I love that image of 'Mental rioting' that really is what a poem should be! And I like the idea of invisible writing too, just waiting to see what you have at the end.

Brendan Behan: Jaysus Liz that's a mighty book you've written, I loved every scrap of it. Have you tried mixing the poteen with Drambuie and Cider? Lovely.

Shane MacGowan: Wheeere ...............2 mins pause ............ THEFUUGHHAMMI?

TFE: You're grand, Shane, you're at EEjit castle with Brendan, remember? You always wanted to meet him. Here sit yourself down and have another pint of poteen and some Tayto.


TFE: Yip.

Shane: Grand. (laughs like Mutley out of Wacky races and falls over)

TFE: I'm also fascinated, Liz, that you use little noteboks and are always losing them,it would be a lovely thing for a stranger to find but have you ever lost a great poem, line or thought in one? How do you cope with that or are you so prolific that it doesn't matter.I' thinking of Garrison Keillor who lost his 1st Wobegon novel and never got over it,thought it his best and has spent the rest of his life trying (unsuccesfully in his opinion) to recreate it.

Liz: It would be awful to actually lose a novel...I have lost notebooks, the last one I left behind on the plane coming back from Ireland, I think it was after the summer of 07. I usually take lots of notes in Ireland and was really disappointed to lose it...the notebook didn't contain full poems as such. I didn't try to remember what was in the notebook...I just tried to forget about it and actually felt embarrased at the idea of somebody finding it and hoped I had not left any identifying details on it...
Another notebook that I remember losing was on a beach in Greece. It fell out of my rucksack and I didn't discover that the front pocket of my rucksack was open until I was half way across the was really crowded and warm and I didn't have the energy nor the wherewithall to go back and I just kept going!
I wish I could lose notebooks in ordinary places and then there might be a chance of finding them. : )
But yes, generally I am a big notebook user, I type poems into the screen but keep notebooks nearby.

TFE: You only started writing quite recently,why is this and what prompted you and what made you want to publish a book?

Liz: I started writing about 4 years or so ago, I had over-saturated myself with academic study at that stage and wanted to escape into a different type of writing world. I found myself browsing writing forums. I came across the BBC Get Writing site (which is now defunct), joined it and pulled out from under the bed a biscuit tin box of poems, written over 15 years previously. I had never shown them to a living being before...I eventually plucked up the courage to re-read them and I remember publishing the first one to the forum and being absolutely terrified. Luckily, I 'met' some wonderful people there and got great feedback and learned to give became addictive and set the ball rolling for writing more poems. One of the people who encouraged me a lot in my writing was Jenni Doherty, another Donegal woman, and prominent member of the Get Writing site, a great writer herself and an ex-member of The Poetry Chicks. She works for Guildhall Press in Derry and at that time she began editing a book of creative works from women writers in the North West of Ireland and I was very lucky to have some poetry and photographs selected. The name of the book was Eve: A Celebration of Creative Women from publishers Guildhall Press ( This was one of my first experiences of being published and it was very exciting.
A year or so later, I joined Inside The Writers' Forum (ITWS) and met very accomplished writers who had been published widely and who encouraged me to submit my work to magazines, both online and print. So I really started publishing in the States before submitting to UK and Irish magazines. I became very disciplined in my writing and did daily challenges with the poets from ITWS. I also won a few competitions which helped me develop some faith in my work.
(TFE, sorry this is going to be rather long-winded...) getting on to why I decided to seek book publication...I had heard about SALT publishing from different sources online and last Oct. I began checking out the type of work they published and their general philosophy and liked it a lot. Out of sheer curiosity and with no definite intent, I checked their website and saw that they were looking for submissions for The Crashaw Prize, I read the conditions of entry and was disappointed to see that because I lived in Spain I couldn't enter. I sent an e-mail to Chris, the director of Salt. to ask if he had a general submission period that wasn't connected to The Crashaw Prize and he replied that I could send him 6 poems whenever...within a few days I had selected 6 poems and sent them to him. The next day, he e-mailed and asked me to send a full collection of poems for consideration. I was excited and motivated by his speedy response and I had more or less 70 or so poems that I began organising into sections and sent them to him within about 2 weeks. Around Christmas time, Chris replied to say that he was interested in the collection but wanted me to take out one section that I had which was related to the theme of 'Poems about poems' and to forward him the collection again with that section removed and about 10 other poems to take their place. In about a week or so, I forwarded the collection again. Actually, the way I found out SALT was going to definitely publish me was in a sort-of-roundabout way.... In January, I think, Chris had put a list of the writers he was going to publish in 2009 up on Facebook and my name was on the list. I was on Facebook at the time but was not very active on it so didn't see the list...Irish poet, Barbara Smith, sent me a congratulatory note saying she saw my name there....and that was how I discovered it...I sent an e-mail to Chris asking him if it was really true and he replied Yes! So really, I suppose, I am a total slush-pile poet! ; ) It all happened so fast that it is only now I've had time to reflect on the sheer-speed of it all as it has just been a year between submitting to Salt and having a 4 month old book ….I was lucky in that it was my first and only experience of submitting the full collection.
TFE, time has flown by. I have so enjoyed talking to you, I hope I didn't go on too much for your readers and guests but the poteen may have made me get slightly carried it is time for a re-fill, must circulate, Amy Winehouse looks pretty lonely, think I'll say hello...
TFE, just to say that next week, on Thursday the 3rd of December, I'll be with Rachel in Scotland visiting her very popular 'More About the Song – Rambling with Rachel Fox' Blog I am very much looking forward to that even if her questions are tricky and unusual but certainly interesting....; ) !

TFE: Well Liz it's been great talking to you glad you're enjoying the poteen and don't worry the blindness is only temporary.I'm really looking forward to Rachel's questions in December. We better go through now to the Great Hall with the other guests. Elbow are kicking off the entertainment and here is a virtual reproduction as a taster.Great video but one fatal flaw......I think they spelled Condom wrong...
Later Shirley bassey will be singing 'Goldfinger' with Frank Sinatra and Padre Pio,I'm really looking forward to that.
In the meantime look what one glass of poteen can do to a human. (Mr Dominic 'I only have eyes for you ' Rivron)
If anybody else would like to sing a song, or recite a poem ,do a dance etc just post a link in the comments.
Don't forget everybody to leave a comment on either mine or Liz's blog saying you'd like to enter the prize draw to win a free (signed!) copy of 'The Wrong Miracle' posted to anywhere in the world ,even Carlow. And finally many thanks to the talented ArtSparker for the brilliant drawing of Shane MacGowan in the header.

FREE BOOK draw and LIZ Gallagher's visit.

Well the big day is almost upon us. I've shined my shoes and my head, brushed my ears and combed my tooth. So I'm good to go.

The brilliant poet Liz Gallagher will be here tomorrow to answer 3 questions, about her book 'The Wrong Miracle' and her writing in general.

Liz will be giving away a free copy of her book(posted to anywhere in the world ) on her blog on Nov 25th.To be in with a chance of winning this great book all you have to do is leave a comment on my blog or Liz's saying that you'd like to be in the draw.Simple as that.

This is a book well worth winning ,I really enjoyed it and I very rarely like things as much as this. It has been described by top Irish literary journal 'The Stinging Fly' as 'Unquestionably one of the most interesting debut collections of 2009'.........'an original voice employing electric, almost flourescent language..... 'the poetry races down the page taking handbrake turns as it goes'

To celebrate Liz's visit here at the castle we will be holding a poteen (illegal potato liqour) party with a star spangled guest list (see previous post) but it won't be a proper party without you bloggy pals, yes YOU reading this.So come along ,bring a guest (anyone you like ,real or imagined ,famous or infamous ,dead or alive) let us know who your guest is and don't forget to enter the competition prize draw.

Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow. Spread the word, the more real (and virtual) guests the better.

Got to get back to fermenting and bottling the poteen. See you tomorrow.

Pip pip!
Loudon Wainright 111 will be performing tomorrow too.He's a good bit betterthan his moniker, but couldn't find a decent rendition of this song anywhere.This will have to do

Monday, November 16, 2009


The wonderful poet Liz Gallagher is visiting the world famous EEjit Castillio here at Peeps Republo D'EEjit on Thursday .She will be here as part of her virtual wordwide tour promoting her recently published first collection, The Wrong Miracle.

It's a great book and Liz has a unique voice that I really like, else she wouldn't be allowed within five miles of the castle.We don't tout rubbish here in the Republo.And to celebrate Liz's visit we are holding a poteen (highly potent illegal liquor made from potato) party and ye are all invited. Yes YOU, especially YOU reading this, it wouldn't be the same without YOU.

We have other special guests/performers including; Dylan Thomas,Ted and Sylvia, Brendan Behan, Shirley Bassey, Amy Winehouse, Einstein, Ghandi, Frank Sinatra, Luke Kelly and The Dubliners,Emily Dickinson, Padre Pio,Marilyn Monroe, Eddie Izzard,Bette Davis, Aretha Franklin, Pat Shortt, Chekhov,Virginia Wolf, Iris Murdoch, Edna O'Brien, Seamus Heaney, Clarke Gable,

Pontius Pilate,Socrates, Salvador Dali, J.F.K, Cleopatra, Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, Barack OBama, Ernest Hemingway, Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers, Trigger, Skippy the bush kangaroo, Lassie, Scooby Doo,Red Rum, Aristotle, Debbie Harry,Janis Joplin, Kate Bush,John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, John Wayne, Shania Twayne, Ant and Dec, Morecambe but not Wise, Laurel and Hardy, Pele, Jack Kerouac, Grace Kelly,Andy Warhol, Nico,Emily Pankhurst, Countess Markiewiscz, Joan of Ark, Anne Sexton, Alice and The Machine,Hilary Clinton, Jane Austen, Enid Blyton(anyone for tennis ?)Alexander the Great,Jerry Lee Lewis,Gene Kelly,Vivienne Westwood,Richard Pryor,Emily Bronte,Byron,WB Yeats, Carol Ann Duffy, Leonardo Da Vinci,William Shakespeare,Lawrence of Arabia, Dh Lawrence,Elizabeth Bishop,Stevie Smith,Miroslav Holub, Harold Pinter, The Kray twins,Bruce Springsteen, Eva Peron and Jedward.

So be sure and come along , bring a bottle and a stretcher.THERE WILL ALSO BE A FREE PRIZE DRAW TO WIN A COPY OF LIZ'S WONDERFUL BOOK 'THE WRONG MIRACLE. Be there or be square shaped :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Some sad news

Joan O'Flynn , (AKA Drama Queen Bus Poet and member of The Lucan Writers passed away yesterday.Beyond blogging I never met or knew Joan at all , but I liked her writing.Below is her beautiful poem written for The Poetry Bus. Any comments might best be left on Joan's blog.

Wait for me.

River winding to the sea, wait for me.
Rippling gently, rushing slowly,
Take me with you, keep me buoyant,
Pushing ever onwards, make me free.

Whisk me in your steady current
Bobbing briskly with its force,
Undeterred by sudden torrent
Keeping ever a clear course.

No time to wait, to hesitate,
Stagnate in boggy marsh;
Drawn by undertow and flow
Through terrain however harsh.

Immerse me in the endless sea.
Winding river, wait, oh wait for me.

There is a great interview with Joan by Niamh Bagnell here

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Now I'm really getting worried

I think I'm losing the plot altogether. No drink taken , ok just a little whiskey , but not enough to explain why earlier today I bent down to stroke what I thought was the dog ,but turned out to be the vacuum cleaner.

Explanations, tips, advice, help line numbers on a postcard to:

Castle for the Bewildered
Peoples Republic of EEjit.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


That sparky artist ,ArtSparker ,has set another challenge to finish off one of her drawings, see details here

This is Mrs EEjit's effort......

'Antony was keeping an eye on his palm tree across the road'

And this is mine.....

'Antony was thinking he might have some fondant fancies for tea.'

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Feelin Good? Full of energy?

No? Well how about some Dr Feelgood then? Not the greatest band in the world but still ,like us all ,they have their own sumptin' and I'm a bit of a fan of the guitarist Wilko Johnson (Wearing black) who though somewhat subdued here still executes his trademark manic OCD style back and forth manouvres.

Now for something else, Christy Moore. Such was the energy he expelled during live performances that he thought he was going to die one night on stage, so gave it up for a while.I saw him on his 50 birthday do a bodhran (hand held goat skin drum) solo that put the hairs up on the back of my neck, but even so I wondered at the time if he would burst such was the enormous strain on him. He's back a while now, older ,more restrained and with the support of guitarist Declan Sinnott to take some of the pressure. Here he is in 2006 aged about 61 and still be times putting out some Kilowatts.

Finally some footage of the late Ian Dury with The Blockheads singing 'Sweet Gene Vincent' Love this song..Not the best of singers but a great performer backed by some brilliant musicians including my old pal Wilko in the best of form.

'white face, black shirt

white socks, black shoes

black hair, white strat

bled white, died black'

'but when your leg still hurts and you need more shirts,you betta get back on the road !'

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SALT is good for you

The lovely people at Salt are having a 7 day sale , all deadly good books. I can highly recommend ' The wrong miracle ' by Liz Gallagher at any price but right now it has a whopping 40% off till the 11 Nov .
Salt Seven Day Savers #2 «
get ye all down there and grab yerselves a bargain.

Ps. Liz Gallagher will be making a visit here sometime soon on her 'Maximus Miraculous' world blog tour.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some performance poems

Really ,really something ,or other .

"A bing a bong a bing a bong
a bing a bong a bing
(speed up with jazz hands)
a bing a bong a bing a bong
(crescendo now)
bingiddy bong bingidyyyyy BOOOOng
(pause now for dramatic effect, gazing at the audience like Roy Keane spying Mick McCarthy in his local Waitrose)
do you!? "

Heroic Poet leaves stage like a mighty moral matador having stuck a thumb tack into a tethered mouse, greeted by rapturous applause and whoops and hollers from all his bestest friend in the audience.

A love poem Slam stylee

Argh-OOgah !
Argh-OOgah !
she's as swift as a cougar
she tastes just like nougat......
on my l-i-p-sss

Pattooby !
Pattooby !
I like her left booby
she sits in my scooby........
and. I feel .Her h-i-p-sss

She sees right through me
and thinks I'm a loony
behind the chipper......

she's taking a p-i-sss

I swear I would die
for the wink of her eye
And then my-oh-my
there's a cloud in the sky......

black thunder and h-i-sss
It. All. Comes.
Raining, raining, Down.Down
Like really down. Down.......
On. Me.
and I'm thinking,this is spiritual
this is residual.. shares
in the lock stocks and barrells of us...
dust is all we are, get back to
the car
the far away look
I read like a book
I know every nook
and cranny
of... her...face...
her face
her face
her face

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


As the twisted metal of the Big Red Bus was pulled from the ditch TFE glanced a final glance over his shoulder then, his work here done, walked off into the sunset.

Feckin Einsten, couldn't resist a drink , started showing off to Shirley Brassy doing handbrake turns in the bus and fecked it into the ditch. It's a total write off. The anthology though lives on as I think the stuff written on The Poetry Bus merits a proper printed page.I know I'd like one anyways.Hope to see Padhraig Nolan soon and he will advise me how to go about this literary expedition.It will be a long and winding road I'm sure but Confuscius said a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
I think he may have been a pilot.

Well BUS POETS in the words of hard man Wimbledon footballer Vinnie Jones...

'It's been emotional.'

Ps The Sunset, it's a grand little bar on Main Street.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


ANd the winner is....... drum roll.............Protracted, baited breath, more drum roll..... more heightened anticipation, drum roll, cheese roll, arctic roll, we're on a roll, what is poetry's role in society? More even longer build up of excitement...EINSTEIN!!!!!!!!! HUZZAH! We have Uncle Albert as Poetry Bus driver this week.

Perhaps the finest mind and funniest moustache of the last century. Albert(acording to The Guiney's Book of Bollix) was the eldest in a family of five, The Steins, a German family of woodcutters living in The Back forest.Their mother was a fine cook and pastry chef, she invented a chocolatey, creamy concoction of a pudding that gained worldwide acclaim as Black Forest Gateaux.The Stein family nicknamed Albert ' Eine ' Stein due to the fact that he would be roaring drunk after one beer. This nickname stuck till he was simply known as Einstein.His older brother was known as Drei Stein and the youngest, the alcoholic of the family Zwolf Stein. They never mention the black sheep of the family Frank. N. Stein who dabbled with lightning powered experiments and crochet.

Anyway he is a popular choice so I thank you for your votes and feel confident that Albert will be a safe and entertaining driver. All aboard now, Bus Poets , The Poetry Bus is heading out across the horizon blazing the darkness like a shooting star.

Here's mine, show me yours! I didn't know what the music was or it's title so I was surprised when the words matched a bit and gave me the idea for the exercise.Thanks again to Dominic Rivron for posting the music originally.


It’s in the trees
The one note of a million cries
The darkness comes louder drowns them
Panics them a million Beckettt mouths menacing
Heartbeat silence edgy nervous alert waiting
Madame Guillotine at the top of her game
Ready to fall
Then ants crawling a lizard licking cold blood pumping
Storm clouds gather blacken the darkness
It’s a warning drops of rain splat off-key
Here and there random wet foreboding
The voices now almost human cries of NO! NO! NO! NO!

Crescendo bees swarming flies wasps locusts eating all before them
The deafening jaws of all before me
Recede retreat to silence, open
mouthed in terror of more.

First aboard is....





Rachel Fox

Wild Somerset Child


Sandra Leigh

Prof. Jeanne no patience Lakatos :)



Dominic Rivron

P Nolan


Emerging Writer




Friday, October 23, 2009


And there are no horses! Shock Horror Probe and garibaldi biscuits.Come here to me, listen ,there is only uno dayo lefto of the world's first (another EEjit exclusive) bus driver election.The candidates are listed elsewhere on this blog but I can exclusively reveal that all round good egghead Albert Einstein is in pole (poll?) position with a massive 5 votes followed closely by Burger King (Elvis P) with 3 votes and in third place equal Homer Doh! (dough?) Simpson and Leonardo di Caprio's Moaning Lisa with juan votino each.(Ok, that makes four horses)

No other fucker has any votes at all!!! Not even the lovely Maggie(whip 'em ,shoot 'em ,hang 'em, flog 'em -the people and the council houses) Trasher.

Your poetry Bus needs you, be sure and vote.

Other news in The Peeps Republo D'EEjit is that I need to lose weight. I normally guage my fatness by the notches in my belt and the ability to still get into the car through the drivers door.I have run out of holes in me belt and a suit that (when I say 'a' suit I really mean 'the' suit as I have only ever owned one suit) I wore to a wedding last Oct and functioned without bursting even after a 5 course meal and some blood pressure inducing individualistic dancing, did barely fit onto me for a funeral today.So drastic action is required if the suit is to fit me in a few months should someone decide to get married or joss it.

The car entrance/exit method without getting wedged is a good guage of fatness but i felt I needed something a little more precise in it's measurement of weight loss.So I got a new fangled gadget called 'a scales.' The last time I stood on one of these was on my honeymoon in the hotel (it also had a fancy thing called 'a shower' for washing - incredible!) 14 years ago and I weighed 11.5 stone.There have been a few mince pies under the bridge since then and I was sure that I must be all of 12 stone by now.Imagine my surprise when the digital readout (posh eh?) recorded a whopping 14.7 stone. So I ate a bit less that day, didn't drink so much and walked a bit further and managed to weigh 14.9 stone by the end of the day.Clearly I have some kind of superhuman fat metabolism that fights back against any attempt to attack it.I should give myself over to medical research. I'm going to weigh myself now to see if today has brought any loss/gain.Back in a minute....................................

Lo and behold I am back to my original 14.7 stone, clearly the fat is at it's optimum weight and will vigorously defend any attack upon it.I will have to draw up a battle plan.

Meanwhile, people fought and died to get the vote, so don't waste yours! Vote now!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ah,Fugh it, we'll have a real election!

The Poetry Bus would be nothing without you, yes YOU, the poets, so here at The Peoples Lost Republic Of EEjit, we have decided to let you decide who drives your bus.

Yes folks I've fished the limp remnant of Democracy out of the water, given it the kiss of life, smelling salts, a cup of strong tay and a Jaffa cake. So we will have a vote to see who will be driving the poetry bus this Monday.You can vote once only, for one person only(unless you give me €10, then you can vote as many times as you like, but remember to wear a disguise each time and change your voice a little ) To cast your vote simply leave the name of the person you wish to drive the bus in the comments section.Voting will end at 12 midnight on Saturday.All votes wll then be counted using the latest in hands free electronic vote rigging,er I mean counting, machines.The winner will be announced sometime on Sunday.

The new line up of candidates is as follows:

1) Margaret Thatcher (The conservative Party)

2)Elvis Presley (The All NIght Party)

£) Homer Simpson ( C.N.D)

4) Amy Winehouse (Third Party Fire and Theft)

5)Sylvia Plath (I Don't Want To Party)

6) Mona Lisa ( The Arty Party)

7) Damien Hurst (The Arty Farty Party)

8) Brian Cowen ( The Party Is Over)

9) Paris Hilton (Tarty Party)

10) Albert Einstein (Smarty Party)

DEMOCRACY, you know it makes sense - ask a Unicorn.
See previous post below for details of this weeks Poetry Bus challenge.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BUs POETz of the WOILD unite!!

WE have nothing to lose but our chains.

This weeks task is simple, only 10 minutes of your life is required.You must,when in the mood for writing, or as close to it as you'll be, listen to the piece of music below. have a drambuie or seven and a ham sandwich(or goats cheese),relax empty your brain, put on a pair of headphones and while listening to this piece of music write what you see, or at least what you hear in the 10 minutes as it unfolds.
Ps Don't look up or investigate the music prior to listening to it.
(And thanks to Dominic Rivron for introducing the piece to me via his blog- go look after the task.)

A last ditch alternative.Go for A if you possibly can.

Relax, blah blah, Ham sandwich, yadda yadda, Drambuie, then take 10 mins to look at yourself in the mirror.The colour of your eyes, the windows of your soul, every tiny blemish,the crows feet, the lines,the wrinkles, the facade, the public face, the private face. Look into yourself what do you see, who do you see, how many different people do you see in the mirror,how well do you know them, do you like any of them.Physician heal thyself, poet know yerself!
May the fluence be with you my friends.


Well Bus Poets, what a trip! What, a trip?Mucho more exchellente and poetic poetry upstairs downstairs, all around town and beyond , far beyond the mysterious beyond.Twas dark, twas shiny, twas death in a bauble, everything you would expect it to be ,only less and much, much more.Music and song and dance and this and that and a bit of the other.Twas square rounded in a peg hole for sure.Jelly ice cream and worcestershire sauce and firelighters.Mamma! It was mia. Thank you all for everything you wrote.

We got a gud thang going, a real good thing going, where are we going? I don't know.Isn't that wonderful? I'm making it up as I go along.The plan is, there's no plan.Actually there really is , but I could be lying.

Thomas Hardy,what a good driver! Didn't crash, gave consideration to poet passengers and fellow internet highway travellers alike.Kept swearing and aggresive gesturing to a minimum, used his mirrors for shaving and before signalling, gave way to the right at roundabouts, braked smoothly, thought things while he was driving and wore a lovely top hat.He was delighted with the whip round you all had for him and is going to buy some venetian blinds in Ikea and a low mileage crash damaged(NSF wing-easy repair) 6 owner Ferrari Testarossa with the money.

I've been interviewing for next weeks driver and have a shortlist of five. Elvis Presley, Ian Paisley, Shirley Bassey, (Smokin') Joe Frazier and Brendan Behan. I'm holding holding a democratic election of Bus Driver here in THe People's Republic of EEjit on Thursday and the winner will be Brendan Behan.

As for the task,it's almost three am so I'll post it anon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NIGHTHAWKS are concerned

'I drown in the drumming ploughland,I drag up
heel after heel from the swallowing of the earth's mouth,
from clay that clutches my each step to the ankle
with the habit of the dogged grave, but the hawk
effortlessly at height hangs his still eye.'

(The Hawk In The Rain) Ted Hughes.

Some of the many things I miss ,living out in the sticks, are art galleries,museums, poetry nights, theatre and events like this, Nighthawks.Occasional Bus Poet ,Uiscebot, AKA Colm Keegan ,is organizing and performing.I've never been able to get to one, but I've heard no end of great things about it and will be pulling the stops out to try and go .This one has the added bonus of helping a great cause.So you can have the time of your life safe in the knowledgfe that someone else will benefit from your joy.It's painless , peeps-go for it!

Nighthawks at the Project Arts Centre

(in aid of CONCERN)

Tuesday, 27th October, 2009

Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Tickets are €17.50 or €15 concession from the Project Box Office. Booking advised, tel: 01 881 9613

The Line-up

Vyvienne Long
Vyvienne Long first came to prominence a few years ago as the cellist in Damien Rice’s band. Then, in 2006, Vyvienne released her wonderful debut EP, entitled Birdtalk, and it quickly became obvious that she was a hugely talented singer-songwriter in her own right. Vyvienne is also a wonderful live performer, and, not surprisingly, she has sold out venues all over Ireland. Vyvienne is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut album, and her recent single ‘Happy Thoughts’ has enjoyed extensive radio play (and, yes, it’s used in that TV advert too!).
Pony Club
Put simply – Pony Club are one of the best bands Ireland has ever produced. (If you don’t believe us, then check with Morrissey, because that’s his opinion too.) In the last decade Pony Club have released three brilliant albums – Post Romantic, Family Business and Home Truths – and we would strongly encourage you to buy every single one of them – twice. Pony Club are definitely one of the most popular acts that we’ve ever had at Nighthawks, and it’s great to welcome them back for this show.

Foil Arms and Hog
In the last year the Nighthawks people have spent more than their fair share of time in Dublin comedy clubs, and we can honestly say that Foil Arms and Hog are the best comedy sketch group that we have come across in this city. They consist of Sean Finegan, Sean Flanagan and Conor McKenna; and they are guaranteed to make you laugh. They have just returned from a month of sell-out shows at the Edinburgh International Festival, and they were perfectly summed up recently, by Damo Clarke from RTE, when he confessed – “Foil Arms and Hog are the best threesome I’ve ever had.”

Jade Strings and Helene Hutchinson (Soprano)
Jade Strings are Aisling Ennis (harp) and Jenny Dowdall (cello), and they are regularly joined by the sweet voice of Helene Hutchinson. They play an exciting mix of classical, jazz and opera, and they recently released their debut album with a fantastic concert at the National Gallery in Dublin. This is one act not to be missed. They are the touch of class that we’ve been waiting for.

‘Lennon v McCartney’
(A Short Play)
Since the dawn of time human beings have gathered in pubs and argued about who is greater – John Lennon or Paul McCartney. Now, finally, here at last (and not a moment too soon), is a short play that definitively sorts out the argument once and for all. Well… sort of. ‘Lennon v McCartney’ is written and directed by Stephen Kennedy, and performed by Robbie O’Connor and Seamus Brennan. This short play has recently been selected for performance at Beatle Week 2010 in Liverpool.

Tango Performance
Simona Zaino and Leslie Handelman (with music by Javier Criado)
Simona Zaino is originally from Italy, but has lived in Dublin for over a decade. She has been teaching tango since 2004, and has even danced with the great Pablo Veron (you may remember him from the film The Tango Lesson). Simona’s dance partner at Nighthawks will be Leslie Handelman. Leslie somehow came to tango nine years ago via Tai Chi, and since then he has danced all over the world, and is frequently seen in the tango clubs of New York. And we are delighted to announce that live music on the night will come from Javier Criado. Javier is a gifted tango guitarist and singer from Spain. He has performed solo at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, and played at countless tango venues in his home country. A combination of Javier, Leslie and Simona is certain to produce something very special.

Colm Keegan
Colm Keegan is a poet, a short story writer, a screenwriter and a novelist. He is also the seventh son of a seventh son and plays a mean symphony on the spoons. Colm has been short-listed for the Sunday Tribune’s Hennessy X.O Literary Awards on three separate occasions – so it’s about time he won it! Colm has just completed a hectic summer, performing at festivals up and down the country, and there’ll be no living with him now that he’s conquered the Electric Picnic.

Enda Muldoon
(Stand-Up Comedy)
OK, let’s be honest about this, Enda Muldoon is probably insane; but he’s insane in a good way. A funny, insightful way. Basically, when Enda Muldoon does stand-up comedy you just cannot look away. The man has courage. The man has truth. The man has two bottles of Budweiser and a song about polar bears. Furthermore, Enda was recently a finalist in the prestigious Bulmers Comedy Competition at the Laughter Lounge in Dublin. Best of all, though, is the fact that Enda’s PR ends with the line – “The race to the bottom is over – come and see the winner!”

Graham Dowling
(Stand-Up Comedy)
Graham Dowling insists that he is completely unsuited to stand-up comedy, despite the fact that he was a former finalist in the Bulmers Comedy Competition mentioned above. In fairness to Graham, he has genuinely tried to quit comedy many times, but feckers like us just keep dragging him out of retirement for ‘one last job’. So please, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Graham's last ever gig (again)…

Damon Blake
(Stand-Up Comedy)
Damon Blake is one of the most intelligent and insightful stand-up comics currently working the Irish ‘circuit’. He has performed all over Ireland, and, in 2008, he had a very successful show at the Edinburgh International Festival. At present Damon is working on ‘Apartment Red’ – a popular weekly series of comic sketches for RTE’s The Den. Damon is funny and Damon is hip. Damon is heading to the top – so catch him now.

‘The Money Chair’
(A Short Play)
This short piece examines exactly what can happen when torture goes badly wrong!
It is written and directed by Stephen Kennedy, and performed by Padraic McGinley, Enda Muldoon and Damon Blake. Be careful where you sit in the auditorium!

The show starts at 8pm. It ends at 10.30pm (approx).

There will be one interval of 15 minutes.