Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Gerry Potter People's Poet Laureate

Written in response to this Facebook post by Liverpool, North inner city, Vauxhall, Scotland Road poet, Gerry Potter, in which he describes himself as a memorial writer. 'I have always said, memories are the future'. 
 "There's one thing about Gerry that's very important. He has a strong ego but it's an ego that can assert itself without diminishing other people. And I think that's a rarity. It's a rarity in this city, and it's a rarity in the world."   
Roger Hill.
His direct straightforward unapologetically forthright poetic style and way of capturing phonetically in print the real voice has been an inspiration to meself over the years.

I began referring to him as England's real poet laureate some years ago when commenting on the Guardian because what he is doing and the poems he writes memorizes and recites in his one man theatre shows, are truly the voice of the real unashamedly loud proud and out essence of a truly great inclusive warm kind English culture that is too clever, too creative, too full on, too honest, too real, too peroppa Scouse working-class for your average aspirational would be English courtier page poet of the barely perceptible epiphany to respond to in anything other than awed, and, all too often, sadly, envious silence.

His truly astonishing poetry is authentically amazing, honestly the most memorable I have heard in a live setting, life-affirming, soul-enriching, and sincerely great in the most positive cultural sense and meaning of this often unthinkingly and tritely deployed adjective.

And this expert life-long creative genius is the poet with the most technically perfected turn on a sixpence voice I have witnessed live in all my time as a hearer and listener of poetry voices both in Dublin for the last thirteen years and England for the thirty-seven prior to that.

One that has spent its entire theatrical existence running on stage through the full accentual register of the English language Voice. Able to tackle, take on, imitate, and perfectly capture all points from the two extremes of the most nonthreatening and pawshest of dahling lahvy poety poos ehn awfleh nace, to a terrifyingly rock 'aard in ye face ooh aaarrgh ye laaargh menace of the dead boss real North inner city Scotty Road Scouse.

And this Old Lancashire language expert and culturally underground legend brilliantly brings the heartbreak sorrow laughter sound and love song of Liverpool to life in a voice that "takes off like a jumbo jet set for heaven. 
Carrying it's roar on winged prayer, / Jesus is in there, so are Mary and Joseph, / a religious motif kicking like a mule / schooled by gravitas, failed by school. / Gravels like a death rattle / arrogantly assuming Resurrection, / and sometimes can't be aaarsed meet'n makers. / It's protection against the worst laid / plans of movers and shakers. / Sounds honest, even when lying / 'onest. No denying the conviction it can / carry if it needs to escape. / It'll convince you statues can fly / while drinking ye drink / make ye think you're listening to ye best mate. // Runs through sewers, floats on / updrafts of gossip and jangle /  it's passionate about Misses Millaney not geh'n a paper tha' day! / I love the way it bounces off walls / and ricochets like a hail of neon bullets / in a hall of mirrors // it's brothers, sisters, a family / of flat vowelers partying in sing-song / intonation. Dances in hotpants, has nothing to prove / one thousand intonations under a groove, / with kick assonance attitude / a pop-cultured reference, rock 'n' roll, / heart and soul, and rude.
As is always the way with the working class autodidact few 'serious' poety poos are gonna volunteer to praise a superlative voice as talented as his poetry in print and tell the truth that it is absolutely original and his use of language puts him up there with the very best poets in England. Indeed live, he is the best. No ifs no buts, just a fact.

Simply because page poets, even though when we see him recite live and we hear he is the superlative English talent, most of what we talk about in poetry and most of what makes it into the broadsheet literary pages is 90% old school courtier Caxtonian networking and PoBiz, and ten percent genuine poetry. So, well, Gerry who? 

Easy self-deception, nobody else is writing of this poet because there are more important more artificially elevated and state approved and supported next gen this poet yes gen that poet no gen him him no her no reject reject.

And all the award winners on all the schemes and training at the many grooming centres and talent hothouses and Poetry Clinics where Creative Writing MFA (Toilet Paper) Qualified Professionals embedded within the culture curate the scene of do it yerself.

As Robert Graves states in his first of the 1954/5 Cambridge Clarke Lectures, The Crowning Privilege
Unlike stockbrokers, soldiers, sailors, doctors, lawyers, and parsons, English poets do not form a closely integrated guild. A poet may put up his brass plate, so to speak, without the tedious preliminaries of attending a university, reading the required books and satisfying examiners. Also, a poet, being responsible to no General Council, and acknowledging no personal superior, can never be unfrocked, cashiered, disbarred, struck off the register, hammered on 'Change, or flogged round the fleet, if he is judged guilty of unpoetic conduct.

The only limits legally set on his activities are the acts relating to libel, pornography, treason, and the endangerment of public order. And if he earns the scorn of his colleagues, what effective sanctions can they take against him? None at all.

Today a click of the mouse, creation of a Facebook Page, several moody tasteful professional portraits on the phone camera, a few tweets, hey presto, fully qualified in the time it takes to create a social media account. 

Some spend all day, some longer, a year and two, then three doing this focused tweeting and Facebooking and recitals at the mic until bingo, a senior elder in the makey uppy decade old DIY great Bardic Live Facebook Slam New poetry revival. 

Founded not on the five bardic Ogham aicme ('family') scales but a makey uppy go-ham mo-hag go mah oh mag hog am Facebook mics.

All writing and especially poetry presented to us in the corporate broadsheets is done by packaging it into 'award winning' every tin pot corporate cold hard cash prize going.

That we know from the 2001 UK Private Eye article and the 2004-7 US Foetry.com exposing the less edifying reality and truths of the cliquey relationships that exist between prize judges and their winning poet-colleagues-friends-lovers-students on the sometimes rigged merry go round.

Who win big not always because their shtuff is the most original linguistically authentic and genuinely deserving, but sometimes dahling pyurleh cozov the mass media corporate PoBiz networks of jaadjez and their wenning courtier poety-poos friends colleagues lovers and groomed acolytes cheerleaders disciples fangurls followers mentees and devoted slavishly indoctrinated students taught in the age old aristocratic way of winning by knowing one's place and serving a higher silent nod and wink cause; that exists everywhere throughout the Anglophone whirl and in every other language.

Due to basic subjective human nature and a deep desire to see only who the judges believe want and make to be the most deserving and winning excellent imaginations by the most democratic fairest hook, crook, nod and intellectual wink processes in Poetrydom. 

Often very opaque and not at all transparent because poetry is terribleh complex and challenging for the non-expert lay Reader without sessions and series at the Expert Poetry Reader Classes facilitated by Professional Poetry MFA (Toilet Paper) Curators charging very reasonable rates to the neophyte in search of a guru to radically change their lives through the complicated and oft misunderstood art of puatreh. 

Totally taking the piss until Foetry's creator and poetry prize corruption exposer, Anonymous, came along and drove the American MFA (Toilet Paper) Professionals insane like s/he was Putin and Trump conspiring to bring down the free world. Until the angry crowing poets who'd banded together to hunt down the identity of who they hated having expose their cozy links;- revealed it was Portland Oregon librarian, Alan Cordle. 

Mister Foetry who there'd been two years of growing grumbles then outright hatred of just for existing and having a dream that involved some sense of honor, justice, literary fairness and decency that ended the worst excesses of the rampant flagrantly ignoble corruption, much against Official Verse Culture's will. Dragged screaming and kicking into it like a 1950s priest to a Repeal the 8th demo.

A bespectacled and principled bookish defender of poetry who'd become the most hated person in America's Official Verse Culture for a few years in the mid Noughties until everyone calmed down and carried on and Cordle got stuck in chatting online at Blog Harriet when it was still gloriously all up for grabs and the Poetry Foundation hadn't yet received the $100 million from pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly

After which their blog Harriet, where all the chat-action happened for two glorious years 2007-9, shut up shop and silenced a hitherto healthy conversationally critical continental back and forth between the many center-less American language Professionals whose home Poetry Foundation's talk centre did not hold but chose to end a once vibrant All American Contemporary AmPo discussion on anything at all concerning US World poetry; to concentrate on funneling Lilly's millions into lots of the new specially chosen award winning next generation poetic hotties on the artificially created Professional MFA (Toilet Paper) American Poetry merry go round.

If all the supporting prize and award winning baubles of nomenclature and structure of artificial and uncritical blurbastical language of corporate relevance didn't exist there'd be no way of marketing the irrelevant stuff as they do. The "award winning excellent and amazingly insightful, yet also obtusely deft-footed and schematically overlaid textually driven literary voices with a systematically tonal" blah blah blah.

It many times and some say mostly mirrors the class systems in the oligarchies in which it is published, a pecking order of judge-poets deciding not on the quality of what is in the mind of the poet and how original and startlingly different and great their ideas/work are/is, but on a corporate model, network, and wholly rigged Poetry & Class system and corporate-monar-oligarchy already in place from the day ye born till the day ye die.

The very last thing the Establishment encourage is working-class poets to write outside the courtier poet corporate model, speak, and be more eloquently yi self in print than the lahvy dahling Oxbreligious Ivy League Establishment courtier poety poos on whose voices  the entire modern American and Anglophone aristocratic courtier poetry models are founded and rest. 

An entire corporate cultural educational global literary legal and social apparatus is in place to make sure any working class s/he does not reach our intellectual potential and start saying logically and coherently and persuasively, let's change the system to a fairer one and democratically create a ... - and have people agreeing with ye.

I know because I got thru 200 Guardian accounts over the five/six  years (2007-13), because all the writing I was doing on them was being blocked, banned, and deleted by an Anonymous s/he.

That I only discovered after she left to edit mumsnet, and my harmless spontaneous discourse centred on one's studies of the literary filidh poets' curriculum got left alone - was the Cambridge graduate Poetry Critic and Books Blog Editor I'd long suspected it was.

Who pulled every stroke in the book to silence my gob for loving Her and learning for free whilst doing my literary filidh studies and spontaneous writing and not playing the game everyone else does. 

A harmless mature student engaging in creative re-connection with and studies of the clí/ridgepole and then anruth/noble stream grades, on what in the original Gaelic was a twelve year course but which took me in English translation sixteen. And merely a poetry lover doing their own thing who was anonymously targeted and editorially bullied by one of the most very educationally privileged from the top of the corporate literary culture tree. 

Herself also brainwashed by the class system that she was all in and totally bought into it seeing me intellectually rejecting her model of poetic reality and not at all approving and deciding I had to be stopped from publishing.

And it was great really as it was the perfect physically risk-free cat and mouse head game to sharpen the intellect and make me focus on being creative with writing by being forced by this faery, effectively, to remain wholly on topic with no smart cracks and learning blind the intellectual operating system of someone opposing one's own who was top of their class and thus one learned the truth of how publishing works for free without the heartbreak many experienced pre-internet when not publishing meant nobody hearing ye but the cat in the garage where ye stapled the chapbooks.

And then a breakthrough when a piece of writing was left on because it had been seen by too many people and was so straight and true, so on topic, so good, that its removal made them feel grubby. And so hard won minor victories began accruing and with the best pieces only taken off after the comments had closed when nobody would be aware of just what an intellectually underhanded top class editorial nasty this anonymous weirdo was. Now the Literary Director of Arts Council England.

And of course people like this, the very last thing the BBC are gonna broadcast is Kirsty Wark waxing lyrical on the transgressive brilliance of The Queen S***s N***, that is too incendiary to be broadcast anywhere on corporate tv.. her maj's cultural enforcement complex do not want us owning the language and saying shit like this which is considered too much ideary precisely because it has escaped the brainwashing by being written in English outside of the culture.

That is why poetry changes absolutely nothing in English culture because the stuff ye are given is Official Verse Culture's especially chosen and curated version of what is good for you, what will make you bend the knee and dream of a stranger dressed in a uniform with a sword elevating you to the spiritual nobility that only exists within a person and no amount of hal and bro 'n' princess Meg making it all so yoof 'n' cool can hide from those with half a brain the reality of it.

That real class comes from within oneself and we alone either find and draw it out, or we do not and stay confused thinking nobility is not the sovereign spiritual state within all people, but what some one madj arse outside of yourself alone has to give you.

That they transmute in you a base undeserving unworthy plebeian mind to one of their aristocratic nobility just by you being in their physical presence and them transmitting some spoken agent that effects a spiritual change in you just by them uttering the word arise

Nobility is a life-long drawing out not a one minute kneel and go in front of some stranger who was born with voluminous nomenclature that other people spend a lifetime doing socially and culturally good devotional deeds just to earn a tiny fraction of it in that one brief kneel and go. And there they are arrayed in medals for being born, and to boot, ye all have to cheerlead and love it and agree how amazingly brilliant and how lucky ye all are for 'em to be there inspiring ye.

Why do you think the werking-klawz voices are in literary silence, sixty million voices not writing owt and thinking yiz aargh dirteh lettle oinks? Con job, voice and accent, it means eff all, burrih werks dahling dahznt eht?

Thinking that the sound of ye accent is an indicator of intelligence. Look at Bojossiah, see what a thick and dangerous cnut he is and how he got a gig making the world more dangerous purely on the sound of his mooer dickish lahvy voice and arrogant fake nobility routine.

You can intellectually make your own nobility by study and writing, and be born with spiritual class, but all the spoken wordies and all the contemporary earnest lahvy poety poos droning on in England all their earnest knee-jerkish ranty Clowntalkin social me dearest duckie poos politicking aint changed joke shet.

Makes the poety poos feel special and that is it. Ooh yeah summat's happening look iz'n air madj awh static's coming into the studio to do a poem, oh look let's make it and talk about it and fling money at it and look summat's happening everyone look look whizz bang worra picture look look smiley theatrical it is poetry everyone poetry bbc poetry guardian poetry look look ..Poetry it aint, it is shallow vacuous and hollow. It is a con.

If it was real yid know abaargh rih twud plow the borrom ti tha' toppa ye head off laargh 'n' change ye fok'n life not solicit responses of so pleased for ye, really love it, excellent and all the other i am sucking ye hole right off ye responses in the fakery kiss ass courtier poet English slangwidj model.

The last real poem that I heard from England go round the world was from Tony Walsh whose poem This Is The Place, with his impromptu ending, 'choose love Manchester. Thank you very much', summed up the authentic class and nobility of the real silent ordinary textually voiceless English people's desire for peaceful cultural solidarity and showed the world how to react to those seeking to divide normal human beings with violence.

Respond with love and stand as one together and say, ye won't divide us, we aint gonna react how ye want, we know the story, a city of winners kidda, we have one collective peaceful loving voice and ye wanna hear it, ye will. Rock 'n' roll. 

"Because the Manchester way, is make it yourself." 

"This the place that has helped shape the world
And this is the place where a Manchester girl
Name of Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side
Led a Suffragette City with sisterhood pride"

What those instigating the violence wanted was Mancunians and ordinary English folk at each others throats and Lancashire showed the world we might be at each other's throats twice a season home and away thirty miles down the road over petty competitive sporting shit when the two and now three most successful teams in Britain and Europe kick a bag of wind about as pure physical Art on which world class Lancashire culture is founded, but that evil shit aint gonna work in the red rose heartland, fukwitz. 

All it's gonna do and did is bring people together and serve as an example to the world of the cultural efficacy and power of one single solitary person's voice speaking one real Peace and Love Poem. That went round the world and back again in the call and return: "Because this a place where we stand strong together": "it bestows after duty / which is climbed after diligence / which poetic ecstasy sets in motion / which joy turns / which is revealed through sorrow; it is lasting power / undiminishing protection".

One of the few culturally unifying and globally positive purely literary poetic reactions to an evil event clearly meant to cause global instability. Look, we are dancing, look we are together, we are one people. The pure and authentic dignity of England's silent peaceful law abiding tolerant wise witty and kind democratic majority united as one positive people rarely depicted as such by the monsters of the mass media with their war agendas.

        So we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity
Because this a place where we stand strong together
I am lucky as i took the road virtually never traveled by deciding in the first weeks of Edge Hill to spend at least the same twelve years 1000 years of Gaelic poets spent, studying in English translation, the set textual literary filidh curriculum that ye can only be doing since i started in 2001 coz of the internet making it possible to access the texts.

And it was only last year, and only near the end of last year after sixteen years of studying reading and spontaneous writing, I knew that finally the scholastic puzzle's many many pieces were all in their correct places and all I's dotted and T's crossed, some Ormskirk woolly back, who now can take on and intellectually put in their palace any poet in the whirl and not av te purron any accent buh me real wunz lahvy dahlings poety poos in Her Highness's realm saying worra yiz sayin laargh, no no no no no, the finest authentic poetry in England is werking-klawz duckie and it is coming outta the mouth of a poet from Scotty Road called Gerard Butler aka Gerry Potter.

Like me using his ma's nee name, i assume, and he is the best poet in England, the Real People's poet laureate who speaks to and documents ahz dahling not yous, our culture, the real English culture, in one's 'umble, the same as Noel Sweeney is the best in Malta and was top of the tree in Dublin.

Ay, tharris di Joy of doin summat from start to finish and now being at the start of speaking and not one pwitty leddle fing dem tharrel think theez aargh berra than yiz can do abaarih laargh. Lols.

Kevin Desmond Swords

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

oghamic baffab Fish Ay Bradán feasa

A Lancashire slam babru wow man's response to two of Salmon Poetry Editor Jessie Lendennie's three humanity, laughter, and literary love-comments published on Kevin-Desmond Swords' Ovid Yeats Facebook.

JL: 'Just deleted my second comment. It was mean. Delete delete... Could catch on! Feel free to delete this!'

OY: (I didn't see it. You appeared here when a pal popped in and, a ha, one thought, we will continue with our visual marathon and pick up where we'd left off listening to the brilliant language, midway thru series four of the British C4 comedy Peep Show

We watched a few episodes and i am unaware of what you published then deleted. And so the first paragraph below was written just now, and the rest of it is additions to a long comment published on the Guardian a week prior to this parenthetical address written without having read a mean comment that thus did not enter one's consciousness. Love is winning.)

The Guardian poem of the week the week after Salmon published Gary Whitehead's
'pleasant-voiced' 'subtlety and seriousness, and lightness of touch' in his poem, Uncle; was a Jill Furse Guardian poem of the week nearly five-hundred, that with three hundred comments caused only half the number of contributions and online talk your own poet GW's did the week before. 

Furse was a granddaughter of the poet Sir Henry Newbolt, wife to glass engraver/poet Laurence Whistler; and a poet who Carol our blog leader 'discovered only recently, dipping into Anne Powell’s excellent 1999 anthology, Shadows of War: British Women’s Poetry of the Second World War.'

I posted a tweet-length poem and a delightfully ditzy Leah replied: 'Super. I just got the Salmon anthology. Huge. Is there one by you in there? What year?'


I saw it was published and thought i'd do the Clare faery a favour (the previous week) 'n blurb Salmon's latest on the Anglophone world's most read weekly poetry blog, and mention her name as well, and say how great a poet she is. Just because i can. And of course because she is.

She has great taste in poets, and hopefully one day will take a well earned step back and invite me to become Dán Editor Salmon.

Then i can publish myself.

I did in 2007/8 send Lendennie ten or twelve love poems, but more as a crafty attachment to an introductory fan-letter email sent to thank her for a brilliant Salmon book launch and reading i attended in Dublin, that i added saying i wasn't submitting them but these were some poems i'd written in the few years i'd then been in ireland. She is the only publisher I ever sent anything to, tho technically i can deny it and say i haven't.

The next closest was an editor of a very small poetry publisher who came onto me at Britpo and after sending him some and not hearing back from him, told him privately in an email exchange he could officially cease considering my poems for publication and go fuk himself bcuz ah fawt he wer a divveh. 

This was sometime shortly before or after,  Randolph Healey (and Ian Davidson) published a British and Irish Poetry Jiscmail Ministry of Truth 'admin announcement': 'We are sorry to announce that Desmond Swords' membership of this list has been cancelled'; that banned me from Britpo Wed, 22 Oct 2008 21:27:47 for publishing an experimental speculative discourse on Tue, 21 Oct 2008 at 15:47:52.

This spontaneous satirically speculative discourse got misjudged as a grade twelve mocking on ollamh Bob Sheppard (reading in Liverpool with The Wolf Editor James Byrne) when it is merely obliquely revealing the identity of and naming in a contemporary English language equivalent of berla-filidh to the initiated experimental poetry practitioners and thanking one's very first creative-writing guru whose own professorial practice from where i learned it, is also the speculative discourse of an avant-garde poet from the linguistically innovative school of the British Poetry Revival, and conceptually battle-scarred Edge Hill veteran of Britain's civil 'poetry wars' between the Oxbreligious cheese and wine professional academic straights and Cavalier king and Crown literature directors from ACE, and those kewla bewla crazee 'other' autodidacts and experimental speculative prose and verse pwofeshnul republican round-heads that prefer to bring and sup from our own bottles and cans at live poetry recitals.

With the benefit of hindsight, and a previously absent self-awareness, one can understand how it may well have been that i was unconsciously or subconsciously submitting to her a carrot hoping she would bite, reel me in, start working with me on a launch, and the public 'there' i was (not so) secretly hoping for then, would arrive not even seven/eight years a student on one's made up twelve-fourteen year curriculum. A 'there' that would come with bells, whistles, and a fanfare of broadsheet reviews, years before the end of one's self-made-up bardically inspired writing studies program i'd chosen to undertake in my first year of writing, at home, in Ormskirk's Edge Hill University.

When i first came to Ireland straight after graduating there, i was a (often drunk) feature at Poetry Ireland book launches and reading-events. Everything was new and i was one of the few with a foot in both the grass roots Dublin live poetry scene, and an official Poetry Ireland / Éigse Éireann' scene based in the Unitarian Church.

Where poets from around the world would fall for the ambience and lure ourselves into believing as we delivered our ditties from a raised ornately carved priests' pulpit; that this was poetry and prayer in its most authentic location.

Not seeing what regular audience members do when the initial novelty of church readings have worn off. Viewing from behind the curtain and apprehending the everyday realities and otherworldly theatrics and perceptions that made for such a memorable few year phase in that early stage of one's post-graduate poetic evolution from a kno nowt focloc/nobhed to a fully operational bardic bore.

At the time i'd just created and had a few All Ireland Poetry Slam seasons and finals, with many of the early participants publishing debut collections with Salmon.

The American outsider now insider recognized and jumped right in and brought to notice our then best new live poets who'd completely circumnavigated the usual apprenticeship route to becoming a published poet in Ireland, by building their own live audiences through social media.

Lendennie's Salmon was the one mainstream irish poetry publisher ahead of the curve and fishing upstream closest to to Segais Well at the height of the Celtic Tiger.

At that point pre-2008 Crash, it was a metaphorical Edwardian era of rural Heaneyesque twilight that the other poetry presses were very much tweedily frozen and guilded in. Mired in the old pre-flipped and suddenly reversed Caxtonian publishing paradigm in which the author is submitted and rejected.

Trying their best to totally ignore by the power of silent spiritual Heaneyian will alone, and make go away, the social-media newbs' wave of live fek'n poetry riff-raff and the great untutored masses of all us working-class poetically rural urban voices unleashed by Facebook's user capabilities in 2008.

That had leveled the playing field and made obsolete overnight the old unwritten rule book because now one person can create, organize and advertise live poetry events, and publish their voices globally in ways previously unthinkable without a very large budget even just ten years ago.

As a born and bred Ormskirkian experiencing for the first time Dublin faeryland I became slightly up my own ass and smugly socially dressed in a shiny newly pretentious armor of (one's inner and usually hidden effeminate) 'moi' publicly reading poetry in Dublin every week over the first four years being here. 

Doing the live literary equivalent of an imaginary Beatles Hamburg phase in the capital of the republic of ideas and conceptual poetry, pre-Facebook, on the final intellectually underground scene of hard-partying creative ne'erdowells, all successes and poetic casualties, before the sudden arrival of our shiny new happy huggy luvly and far more inclusive Facebook scene where we raged at the oldies for effing everything in a freshly banjaxed Ireland. Broken by Bertie and Brian, tho at the time most in tir na og Dublin didn't everyone know and blithely behave as if the magic wave would swell and last forever and no waysistaz crash as it did?

And I'd see JL and the Salmon hounds at readings and buy as many books as I could afford, as an excuse to talk at her, and try to impress myself in her mind as someone at the bottom going places in Irish poetry. She'd kindly smile, say little, and politely listen to me wittering on, as the former far less consciously perceptive me, a big iambic Desmond full of Fitzgerald phantasmagoria, hubris and trochaic ego, not stopping to create an opportunity for any real conversation to naturally occur, and for her to join in and talk back. Clearly boring her, but not having yet then copped onto the fact that telepathy in Ireland isn't real and still subconsciously believing it is/was.

Of course, as Ireland's premier poetry publisher, she's no doubt well-versed and experienced plenty of this manic babbling weirdo behaviour in punters at poetry readings before. Blow-ins behaving as if we mistakenly believe we're in some pseudo-mystic fairy express lane-way to global publishing success. Men, the actory language luvvies among us, when a public reciter of our own werkz and figure on the weekly Dublin live poetry scene, 2004-8, especially, can be right up ourselves and often are. I kno i had a few years acquiring a pretentiousness of the newly graduated middle-aged English man living my dream of doing weekly live poetry in Dublin for four years straight at the very excessive and pretentious peak of the Celtic Tiger culture.

Tho not officially retired de jure from the weekly live Dublin poetry scene for the past eight years, de facto i am, bcuz one rarely recites in public now, and i manage to keep a live hand in by reciting to anyone who asks to hear a poem, and very occasionally by launching one out for the sheer craic and momentary magic of whatever situation one is in that creates a spontaneous poetry recital.

Thus that desperate luvvie need to be a centre of attention that oft appears in those live poetry machines of sheer going places fame, naturally displaced itself post-Crash into a less shallow and more personally productive literary production of the silly voices it is one's dream turned true to have found a way of expressing in reality here today fifty foot above the mad swirl in the Liberties of south city centre Dublin 8.

And of course now I realise what a self-obsessed mansplaining weirdo i'll have come across as in this one way boring monologue, infused as one was then with more intuitive vision than any real bardic knowledge. A focloc or macfurmid at bardic grade one or two, with a beaming wide-eyed grin and verbal diarrhea spontaneously ejecting in a north-west working-class English voice garbled cut-up snatches of perfectly formed silent sentences that existed alive conceptually in the mind but one's mouth had not the skill or training to formulate them into living speech.

Most believe that telepathy doesn't exist, but one was behaving as if it did, as if we were both in on the same thought inside my head; and me not copping on (for many years) that just because one understands and knows something inside one's own mind, doesn't mean other people will automatically know this by reading my mind, and understanding it too. Thus the peyure komedy of silent poesy is mistook for its outer inarticulate and garbled spoken form of prelapsian babbling tongues.

I attended and wrote to thank her for another great Salmon book launch, spontaneously decided to, and probably a large element of self-delusion as to my real motives for writing, really hoping the email would lead one to get published by her. And tho being too emotionally fragile for the self to be conscious of this, one's creative subconscious still found a way to cloak, perhaps, one's true desire in a literary self-protection and imaginative delusion and conceptual act of dream that was here from when one first cycled off the boat in July 2004. As i think i told her at one reading, when i'd been writing seven or so years, half way thru my studies, that Salmon was the one irish publisher i'd opt to flog my ditties.

I was writing to Gallery Press's David Wheatley a lot then also, in long rambling typo-ridden syntactically bungled spontaneously composed comments posted to his blog, that he pre-moderated and that would begin, 'don't publish this dave', and then launch into self-obsessive screeds of one's latest inward cauldron and calculus on the current state of perception in Irish poetry as per one individual's unique experimental speculative discourse process that Jessie had a part in with the one or two emails i sent her. Eventually becoming a Facebook friend and now a valued member of team OY.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Contemporarty Reflection on a Scene Seven Years After It Occured

I think in this day and age, anyone with a book to sell can just set up a facebook page and do it all ourselves. As Graves informs us in his first of the 1954/5 series of Cambridge Clarke lectures, The Crowning Privilege; 'what can our peers sanction us with if we are guilty of unpoetic conduct?'

Concluding, in politer lingo, Sweet F. All m8. Because, unlike other professions, there is no central governing bardic body, no guild of poets we gain admittance to by passing an entrance exam. Anyone can (and everyone does) call themself a poet by self-qualifying in a handful of clicks it takes to set up a global social-media page and start selling ourselves straight away as know-alls on the craft and art of poetry we make up as we go along.

Anyone can, and everyone does, get grafting write away. There are no set texts or fixed course of study and you qualify by saying, yeah, i am a poet. Except of course, now, there is the real filidh / poets' instruction and training programme i personally have reconnected with, all there in black and white english translation, that instructed 40 generations of rhymers, and that it is my role in life now i am trained and know what i am on about, to helpfully inform one's komrades in the Official Tuatha De Bogmanadon Klan revolution, all about it. Ah, such bliss.

I've no book to sell, just lots of poems in various stages of completion and abandonment.

And Tho i didn't understand it at the time as being such, a consequence of being born into and reared the child of immigrants in the English class system and culture; I always thought, from the very beginning, when i started my writing studies and drama BA in England and quickly fell into writing early (unpublished) poems, that the only sure fire way of making sure a toxically condescending ultra-Oxbreligious English voice didn't intentionally cripple me and stop me writing altogether - when i first started out a 34 year old ex-everything - with just one smart and sneery passive-aggressive crack - 'urgh, you, write poatreh?' - that i wud learn as best i cud, with what English translations we have, as close to how the bards of yore were taught on the full 12-14 year filidh curriculum.

Not only is it real, i thought -- tho it took five years full time study and writing to construct a skeletal grasp of the totality of tales and texts that make up this body of ancient Irish knowledge and song known as coimgne -- but it also meant i did not have to 'publish' anything for the 12-14 years i was a student reading, writing and taking in and on the texts and knowledge that led one thru the seven grades from focloc (beginner), macfirmind (son of composition), dos (no-one knows what this means), cano (whelp/cub), cli (ridgepole), anruth (great/noble stream) and the final, five to seven year stretch of study, from great/noble stream to poetry professor, and, ollamh

No pressure.

All i had to do was find a way to keep on reading, studying, reciting and writing. And now i have done it, i no longer care about being 'published' because i learned that good writing stands on its own two feet and doesn't need any marketing to get noticed and create an audience. All the hard graft pre-web generations had to do, not to mention rejection; our new online hipster bogcando generations, didn't.

Or rather, do, but in a different way. I had four years on the Guardian where i was poetry enemy number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven,  going thru hundreds of nom de plumes, and countless other sites that banned me because the jealous admin/poet didn't like my harmless writing, at all.

The one constant i found is human nature, and it confirmed and conformed to all the druidically simple and amazingly ingenious, natural bardic principles one learns in Amergins Cauldron of Poesy ars poetica text that so few of us, Dear Reader, are even aware exists.

And most who are, closing their ears and not wanting to know because, as Fred points out, they want it all now, the readership, the big prizes for one slim volume of work four years after starting to write on the MA at Trinity, handed to us on a golden plates, inner circle greatness. That can only come by the act and experience of writing, and doing your 20,000 hours, 30 hours a week. The full 12-14 year poetry / filiocht apprenticeship.

The first successful online oiwish gobmen and shouty lady poatz, just made a few right moves, got the right people to anoint em, and bingo, the next thing is a loada smug poatz all playing the same old editorial ass-kiss game online, as those that officially anointed em did, and do, in the paper page scene founded on a concept of 'there can be only an exclusive handful of us, award-winning poetry judges and mates.'

The first were our shared literary enemies, the O'Bigggins of the over-hyped O'Boglands' canon shooting blanks. Duffers believing themselves to be the mutts' nuts, the bluntest satirists in Awyerlendz, and Poetry Lords of the Diva De Bogmanadon Klan, ranting and shouting, demanding cynosure and twinkle, praise and understanding for their horrendously needy egos lording it over all of us.

I never bothered with all that. After i found Cauldron of Poesy in 2005, Amergin Glúingel's seminal ars poetica, first translated in 1978, by late Galwegian acadmeic, PL Henry - the authentic drudic poetic, in a 7C voice, 120 lines of the 172 attributed to Amergin - i knew i didn't have to. Because its contents, wise and authentically druidic, are worth more than any acceptance from every poetry editor on the planet combined.

Who cares what these editors that aren't even aware of what i know and love, think of what i write? I cudnt give a monkeys, and never have. Mayo stock. My paternal Grannie was born and reared in a one room stone bothy with her nine siblings, on the lower slopes of Sraheens bog on Achill. I cud be the new John F Deane. My uncle lives in Bun an Churraigh, same place John grew up. We share the same God. He has asked me to succeed him, to inherit his mantle, and do it for Mayo. I am not going to let JFD down, Fred. This is serious. We cannot larf.

And now i have finished the 14 years, i can put up a plaque and start taking people on on any published page in our shared contemporary global existence. Engage in any critical debates about poetry and dán, and never fail to learn something positive and, hopefully, keep myself happy doing so. I spent many years practising critical debates online, all over the internet, at every single site i cud find. Most of which, at some point, banned me, for nothing more than wanting to joyfully learn the bardic curriculum.

The Foetry Poundation famously closed itself down to comments after Foetry Hall of Shame creator and contemporary American poetry legend, Portland Community College librarian, and the man who exposed who was bunging who on a hitherto, as here, hidden behind the scenes judge-mates-bunging-judge-mates way of deciding whose poetry was the best Award Winning in the American noughites poetry prize-scene; Alan Cordle - along with partners in rhyme from the Foetry exposure days, Interdisciplinary Studies Advisor in the MFA Poetry of Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; Thomas Graves; along with 60s Rhodes Scholar and literary mystic taught by Leavis in Oxford, now octogenarian shamanic healer in SE Asia, Christopher Woodman -- & myself -  the sole non-American - living in a Kilmainham attic penthouse-bedsit, at the time, before i moved to the Iveagh flats; unconsciously and independently, were all drawn by fate/poetry and dán, to find ourselves in the inaugural Obama campaign year, druidically assembled in 2008/9 there, at the inner temple of the Foetry Poundation, home and soul of poetic modernism, on the comment section of Harriet Blog. And we exposed the Foetry Poundation for what it was.

Anyway, now, everybody, we can all start to talk about what is the real imbas forosnai that writes the best dán and poetry, instead of all the pompous spontaneous claptrap we can all invent when we get going as a fully (un)qualified rhymer without any real bardic training. .

I just want to learn by rehearsing in print, the real truth of the filiocht / poetry program. Not what Ezra Pound or The Best Contemporary Hipster Poet In Ireland According To His/Her Publising Cronies W***king One Another Off Shout Loudly IS YAWL, on our low-grade home-bog social-media shark-tanks where eff all happens except us all boasting how great we are via the mouths of our pals in doggerel barking mad-dog sh*** on the Bogland of Poesy.

As a consequence of my amateur unpublished fourteen years unencumbered by all the bullshit everyone else buys into, the Award Winning nonsense; i learned well how to speak across the board with anyone at all. Belinda McKeon i have not read, but she looks nice enough in her photie. I wonder if she is after a good and knowledgeable friend on the page. I can be her pal in letters. I am sure she is very nice, but i will read her and get back to you with my critical opinion. Thanks very much Fredriko ka ka. Ere, av a birra tha besht

Desmond Swords

Monday, August 31, 2015

All Ireland Slam Facebook response to Dublin rapper Inkredible's latest recording

Originally began as a comment on the All Ireland Poetry Slam Facebook, responding to Dublin rapper Inkredible, posting an urban rap recording to the page.

This is my favourite of the Dublin rapper Inkredible's chunes. A current high-viewed recording from the wholly underground Irish urban rap charts, and a genre of rhythmic poetry that i must admit, is not top of my list of personally most sought out or most loved literary lyrical and spoken forms or genres. 
This one tho, They Can't Handle Us, exhibits a flow that is linguistically impressive because it exhibits a sheer authentic lyrical brilliance, that, tho many will not find offensive, i suppose because i witnessed it first ten years ago when Inkredible was a teenager starting out, i admit to being able to purposely air the artistically positive in it.
Combo after combo kicks creative ass and lays down a high bar on the Irish urban rap genre and scene, with its own modes, mores, technical terms, feuds, rap battles and language, populated by rhymers spitting bars created by the gritty urban Irish experience.
Tho i knew next to nothing of the scene before researching it for this piece, there are plenty of Irish hip-hop practitioners and urban rappers out there. 

I have come across before in Dublin at poetry events the very talented Finglas rapper Temper-Mental MissElayneous, aka the poet Elayne Harrington, but only now whilst researching this piece, other Dublin rappers with handles such as Equalizer, Lethal Dialect, Nugget, Siyo; Limerick's (and one of Ireland's) current hottest young rappers (his first DIY youtube recording, at a bus stop, released eight months ago, has over 1 million views on just one account, and his one year old fb page 193,000 likes) Lynchy

There's Cork outfit, Rebel Faction, Sligo-London's Ahren-B; and another Sligo hip-hop trio, that I chanced across one weekend doing a gig in the vibrant music grass-roots music venue, the Sweeney Mongrel pub, on Dublin's Dame Street; This Side Up, and remember being very impressed by their positive lyrical flow. And I think the only Irish hip-hop outfit I have actually seen live

And  adding to that another of Ireland's hottest hip-hop rappers, that I had not heard of before researching the piece, Waterford's MC Pat Flynn, whose ten month old youtube audio recording, Get on Your Kneez, accounts for over a quarter of the four million views of the seventy youtube recordings on the ten month old Irish Rap Movement Youtube Channel, that has 20,000 subscribers.
All this is new to me, and there are no doubt plenty of urban Irish rappers I am not aware of that should also be in here. And this is only the white contingent.

I have witnessed plenty of talented Afro-Irish rappers and poets, including this South African rapper who was always at Write and Recite, JoJo, who unlike the urban Irish rappers, rapped in the name of Jesus Christ, with a beautifully simple and positive message of Love. This was his signature piece, African Queen, along with Does God Exist

And from this I discover Dublin rapper, Rejjie Snow, with two albums released, 37.4 K followers n Twitter, a million views on his two year old track, Lost in Empathy; and  half a million views on his latest two month old release, All Around the World

Tho the language in most of what I have linked to, with a couple of notable exceptions, is not my cuppa, it is only now researching this piece, that I have become aware of just how big and poised for global success Irish hip-hop and rap is. 

And tho we do not have to like or practice it as a compositional form, it is foolish, once we become aware of the buzz surrounding it, not to  acknowledge Irish urban rap and hip-hop as a globally popular form. In terms of the audience for, and interest in, Irish urban rap and hip-hop, it dwarfs that for the average mainstream Irish page and spoken word rhymers.


But i remember first coming across Inkredible's piece, They Can't Handle Us, and being impressed with only the creativity of rhyming, and clear passionate love of language, however satirically toxic, but the quality and inventiveness of the recording. 
A shoestring budget that looks classier than the outlay would suggest. With a great mix and use of musical sound and verbal irony - 'we're from the place where track-suits are the fashion' - that exhibits the person making it, is not a novice on the fruity loops but a seasoned veteran of this wholly nu contemporary poetic DIY urban Irish battle rap and hip-hop genre he has been plodding away at the cutting edge and forefront of since 2004/5.

I remember Mr Inkredible, as he was then known, first turning up to the weekly poetry open-mic in Brogans at the start of the Write and Recite (2004-8) WaR at the height of the Celtic Tiger bubble, a precociously talented teenager, with no paper, reciting from the 'dome' as i first heard Raven Aflakete put it. And i remember thinking this kid is gonna be either very good, or very shit. Just a huge and confident presence.

And he blew the room away. One of the most memorable nights i recall there. And then the busking with an artist who, because of their long-bearded appearance attracted the moniker of 'God' (aka mike), who had that unique gift of genuinely spontaneous flow, and the unacknowledged godfather of contemporary Dublin spoken word, Noel Sweeney, plying now his rhymes elsewhere; and the whole mad swirl. 

I was with you and mike the very first time any of us busked, or maybe second for you, and we all did our own thing opposite the statue of the sitting couple and bike-lock frames outside the then fish tackle shop, Rory's, in Temple bar, height of the Tiger.

And i was only doing it for the craic, an old geeza with the young bucks. and i got the first quid in the hat. Pissed meself laughing. The oldsta with me wafty lofty poems of faeries and the sidhe, gerrin the first dough in the hat. Yeah, that was the only time i bothered, but then Inkredible and 'God' really took off as a double act, and learned lessons few are lucky or creatively daring enough to ever take on, literally by busking spontaneous rhymes on the streets of bubbalin Dubalin town. Not many doing it then, i recall, just us nutbags.

Good old days, and Inkredible still in his twenties. And a wicked hooky beat to it, bouncy, peroppa woppa; and the very last thing the polite spoken word sets of bubbalin dubalin tewn wud invite to recite at the very tastefully and officially approved of do's custoded by the crazee fukas that say fuk a lot and peroppa woppa and deadly and love it and all that shallow shit we luurv baby.

'. with an I and a N and a C and a REDIBLE, yu'd betta woch up it's Mister Inkredible: 'original, traditional, indigenous, i'm original, clinically clinical, individual, no principles, invincible missile-pistol, i cripple little artificial spittle, i'm international, an actual land mammal cannibal with mandible, adaptable animal, my pallet does spit flammable, i'm untrackable, yeah you're trackable, we're not compatible, you're flow's collapsible, mine's impassable, like impossible obstacles on top of all you popsicles, i'm logically logical, philosophical chronicle, yeah..' .. very verbally inventive. imo.

But this one, yeah, tho the only bruv of five girls, i wudn't be mad on some of the terminology (very anti- it indeed), and unlike some of the more scankier inkredible stuff, it just about gets away with it, (imo). A cheeky brilliance, cocky yet comedic, wholly authentically genuine contemporary Dublin urban note struck; and, above all, proof in the pudding - thousands and thousands of people watching and liking it across the world. And which will bring - especially in the ultra-competitive genre Inkredible is a success in - a lot of negative energies from fellow ultra-competitive urban rappers sporting and competing with one another in this form.

That, as has been noted, is not everywuns cuppa poison. But as Amergin in the Cauldron of Poesy text, only first translated into English in 1979 (by late (2011) Galwegian academic P. L. Henry) - and used, along with many other texts, including core text (first published in English translation in 1917) Auraicept na n-Éces / Scholars Primer to instruct forty generations of literary filidh/poets of Ireland since the dawn of the written word - puts it during the druidic/bardic crossover, from a wholly oral reality, to the birth of post-Ogham page/stage reality, in the 7C Old Irish vernacular written language: one of the four human sorrows is 'jealousy', and one of the corresponding four human Joys of poetry is 'the joy of health untroubled in the abundance of goading one receives when they take up the prosperity of bardcraft.' 

Good luck, s/he god creation and the unknowable order of unconscious chune - bless our souls with song and our hearts with love. May we all live forever and never grow up, old, or lose the flow of what it is we're here for as poatz and Her earthly loving servants ov tha peroppa woppa wurda singing n spittin chewns from tha royal boozaliars ov bubbalin tune. slainte.

I posted this to Poetry Ireland's now extinct FB group page during the two week long artistic kerfuffle and conversational consultation process i initiated by directly questioning the one-message 'community extinction notice' that had been buried under a daily diet of scores of ditties and doggerel posted from all over the world.

A one-message only group notice of its deletion/shut down, that all but me seemed unaware was gonna occur, as it had been served without any real notice. And (i was the only one to point out) the 3000 members with less sharp poetic faculties harmlessly spamming our ditties and doggerel, would wake up and feel very intellectually cheated on the allotted day to find our 'community' no more.

Made extinct as the result of a unilateral decision made by an incoming team of unknown faceless arts bureaucrats and the custodian of the social-media page and web presence of an island-wide poetry body tasked with the important role of praising whatever in language is well made.

i put this one on as part of the chatter i was doing, joyfully creating and sporting in letters, extolling the virtues of gangsta rap as - love/hate it - Kredible's cultural compositional form of contemporary rhythmic lyrical poetry exhibiting a very creative use of language that fulfills any ancient authority's definition of the word. Horace especially.

It does proper do the heads in of many a posh south dub dreamer yearning to be Famous 2. good luck, love to the family. healing hugs and positive energies being beamed from the Leburtaze! Sloppy Bob.