Friday, September 09, 2005

Inaugural Patrick Kavanagh Celebration 2005 1/8/05

PJ Brady & i hosted the inaugural 2005 Patrick Kavanagh Celebration last Thursday, above the Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Temple Bar. This boozer is where Kavanagh held court with the contemporary hacks, and famously said of:

The Palace Bar, there was the gabble of poetry to be heard.

The night kicked off with actor-poet Brady doing a 25 minute piece from his one man Kavanagh show, where he plays the man himself in his own prose and poems. I first saw this show last year, around this time, when I had been in Dublin for a couple of months. I came here after finishing a degree in writing studies and drama, at Edge Hill College, Ormskirk, which is also my home town. By the time I left my writing was all along the lines of mining the depths of my Irishness, and I knew that a crossroads had been reached and really there was only one way to go.

I could stay in England and be an "Irishman" writing about a place I barely knew, or I could go to Ireland and see what happened with the writing. Really there was no choice, as to stay in England and write meant I would have turned into a Joe Horgan clone, prior to his moving to Cork.

When I first got here the usual spiel to anyone asking why I had come, was to roll out the Horgan analogy. Anyone who read his column in the Irish Post (weekly newspaper for the Irish in Britain) would know what I mean. Up until he actually moved to Ireland his column was pretty one dimensional. It would run along the same lines every week -

"My name is Joe, I am a second generation Irish person who grew up in Birmingham. I have a dual identity. I don't know who I am. Life is a bitch when you are a plastic paddy. Low lie the fields of Athenry. Ireland forever."

So imagine my surprise when I was at the Kavanagh poetry prize last year and his name was read out as the winner, as I sat there in the heart of poetry flame HQ, surrounded by all the previous winners and the great and good of Irish poetry, scribbling away in my journal, which in itself was something of a novelty as I was the only one writing. What a way to get noticed without even trying, going to the druidic lair and Heaney's golden circle armed with pen and paper, only to realise that you are the only one with that idea.

Just before this PJ was doing a two week run of his show The Heart Laid Bare, a one man show in which he plays Kavanagh. For the first week the audiences had been dire, and there was only himself and his brother Seamus to do all the work, so I volunteered to put up a few of his glossy posters at some establishment events, which I had read were on. Up till this point I had only been to the weekly open mic at Brogans, where the non mainstream poets gathered to warble. I am still with them now, and they are the antithesis of the wine and cheese poetry brigade, a lot more real and less educated.

Last year was Kavanagh's birth centenary and everyone in Dublin was on the bandwagon, somewhat ironically he has become an establishment icon, long after his life, when the Irish literary establishment wouldn't give him the time of day.

There were two events, one was a Kavanagh manuscript exhibition at the National Library and the other was the Royal College of Surgeons launch of Peter Fallon's translation of Virgil's Georgics, published by his own imprint, The Gallery Press; with fellow Gallery Press poet Seamus Heaney introducing his publisher's translation of the Latin bard. These, I thought, were two of the most perfect places to catch Dublin's poetry buffs. The Kavanagh manuscript launch was on Kildare Street at 6.30 and Fallon at 7pm, 5 minutes away in the College of Surgeons, Stephens Green.

I arrived at the library and asked if it was OK to put a poster up, and the security man said fine, no problem. After I had put one up I thought it would be an idea to ask whoever was doing the spiel if they could mention PJ's show. I ended up talking to the third in charge oppo, who came out with the classic reason, after being asked if she could ask the main honcho to mention the show -

"I don't think it would be appropriate in the circumstances"

I couldn't help but inwardly laugh, thinking "what circumstances are they? This is a Kavanagh do,  Ireland's premier Kavanagh actor is having a limited run of a world-class Kavanagh show, performing his own prose and poems on stage; surely the circumstances couldn't be more apt?"

However, being new to Dublin and still enthralled with the place, I moved on to Fallon and thought I would play it by ear. When I got there I decided to forget asking for a mention and just put the poster up in the wine and cheese ballroom where all the faces were to mingle post book launch, that happened in the main raked, six or seven tiered, college of surgeons lecture theatre .

The ballroom was an imposing high-vaulted space with an intricately decorated ceiling adorned with expensive oak and plaster friezes, and fading oil portraits of various Augustine personages hung staring out on the walls; but the sash windows had been faced with interior double glazing, making an excellent flat surface for the poster.
After the library vibe I thought it best to completely cover all bases, and so got permission from the security man to put it up. So, after the launch, as the crowd mingled, I went to put it up, but half way through a man who was clearly involved in the launch - I had watched him introduce Heaney at the start of the event in the main lecture hall - came over in a very agitated and disgruntled state, and we had the following exchange -

"You can't put that up here"

"It's OK, I got permission to put it up"

"What, from security?" (somewhat disbelievingly)


"Well, erm they probably think you're with us. You'll have to take it down."

By this time I was inwardly laughing more than I had been at the library, as he was obviously very highly charged, probably because of the high profile nature of the event, so I said "no problem" and started to slowly un-sellotape the two thirds affixed poster, which is when the funniest thing happened. He physically interjected and said

"Here, let me help you."

And just at this point about to tear it away like an angry executive snatching a latte from a facetious office boy, he realised his behaviour was drawing attention to us, away from the main focus and centre of poetic gravity in the space. And he blushed brightly before turning on his heels and then shuffled off to fulfill his role of chief smiler, hand-shaker and chit chatter of poetry related pleasantries with those present. He had inadvertently given me more free publicity than I could have hoped for, as the eyes in the room noted from their corners the man who Mister Poetry Ireland Director (i later learned) had been having the frisson of exchange with. As you will be aware, at the wine and cheese do's any news is big news, no matter how slight, so I felt somewhat pleased with my efforts. I had not gone out to create a fuss, but still the fuss came and could not have been better scripted.

I had been to my first Dublin literary establishment splashes, back to back, and all in all a good evening's voluntary work had come of it. I ended up spotting a mobile notice-board just outside the sumptuous drawing room and decided to put the poster on there. When I had slowly and methodically done so I turned round and was immediately met, ten feet away, by the eyes of Fallon and Heaney; who were having a one on one time out from the bustle of the ballroom, alone sitting on two chairs to the side at the top of the sweeping marble staircase, saying nothing and staring directly at me.

And with no sign of acknowledgement from them of me beyond the stare, caught unawares, not realising they were there, I sheepishly raised my eyes and walked off in fixed facial feature.  I was filled with positivity at the success of my mission, smiling in joyful surprise as I vacated the building, welling with imbhas and feeling I had made a good impression of things.

At this point I had not seen the show, and was going with my instinct that it would be good, as I knew PJ from the Tuesday night open mic poetry event, Write and Recite. I ended up going on the second to last night and it was a full house, in the same place we did the Kavanagh celebration. He really brought Kavanagh to life, as the man himself, or so I imagined. A man who lived in near poverty for most of his life, before his memory was sanitised by the collective forces which took control of his identity. On the final night there were a few RTE producers in the audience and since then PJ has made a number of radio programmes with RTE. One as the Kavanagh expert on RTE's "The Enchanted Way", hosted by Pat Boran, and another piece about his life as an actor and poet.

Last Thursdays event was all about bringing established and emerging poets together on the same bill, and the night was a great success. After PJ, Leanne O'Sullivan read, as did Maurice Scully, along with the usual open-mic suspects from the Tuesday Sessions, who now have a little bit more belief in ourselves than before.

Thanks, Ireland.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Tonight's the big night
showbiz is coming
to take me away
and shoot me to the stars.

Who's that in the corner?
Is it the head of Sony,
Music for Pleasure?
Here to make my fantasies breathe
and become as real
as the stout swill
my foot has just stepped in?

And what about her?
The blonde just sat down on the couch
ferreting around
in her minimally chic otter skin suitcase?

Is she fishing out the contract?
My pact with the devil?
I don't mind signing on the dotted line
as long as I'm made to feel wanted.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Drone of bore

The lasting stone of desire
swelling to pip full strip back the cracked ones
has now settled into the soul singing sensational
squall of a strong blow
where bafflement can begin
dripping the amber climate
of unitary sense
outside the gyre spinning
clockwise love
ticking with the hands of strife
in reiki rainbow centres
and freaky trip out
places like the front room of Alan's
where we bargain with the beginner fiction writers
who populate cyberspace
seeking conection.

And when Empedocles is thrown in the
slow bake of which nots and where fors
slowly start to take shape as the chill out
dumbed ups of W1 covent Garden
swill the air with the sound of
an elite corp of strangled notions
teetering on the bring
of every drivel laden cliche
imaginable to man and beast
who feed on the slop shop filler
wheeze is all gettin' a taste of
next week when Windle Sparkance
gets launching the transmigrationals
of an old demonic grace.

And the slant kill republican's
are gonna blog Sparky's start
in word star world with a bikini riot street jive
'n jingle up the lingo with bamboo eggs
cheese needle skewered
and cracked by the sandwich jazz of a
top table fin clutching bongocero god
whose gonna wrap up the day with
an extemporised slap fest
of bird chirping imitational grace
that's gonna get the pigeons
in a lather and Windle filled with the vibe
that words worth the weight
of hearing should be allowed to simmer
before getting set free to sail the air
and anchor in the listeners ear.

This was written as part of an ongoing (ad) continuim, where certain very interesting and exciting aspects of Empedoclesian theory is decanted into verse, in order to counter certain ideas currently being put forward by other members of staff here at the university. These ideas relate to the metrical supremacy of Parmenidesian thought at the expense of Empedocles, which is obviously an outrageous claim, as the hexameter Empedocles deploys is both supple and responsive to the material which it addresses, forming the backdrop to a large section of Western thought which can be traced directly through Lucretius to Plutarch and the metaphysicals, culminating with the superbly clear and light prose-poetry we encounter in Yeats' Vision, which I am currently using as the raw material for a "write through" project in which I will create 12 slim volumes of disposable poetry, which I hope will question the stasis in much modern poetry today.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Ron Silly Man Theft Allegation


My name is Jan Manzwotz and I am an American academic at a mid western university, where I teach poetry to tender minds, at that crucial stage of development where they need to be guided by the binary multiples inherent in post modern discourse and in lecture breaks, or alternatively, when on the cellphone talking the "dumbassification" of the primary intelligibles, which given socio economic paternal structures direct when bearing on the flow stress angle of certain allegations made by Ronald the “Silly Man” MacDonald, relating to the stealing of oral poetry from a certain university catering establishment I am not at liberty to mention. It has come to my attention through one of my students, that Mr Silly Man's blog has brought to light the fact that some post modern poets are indulging in blatant plagiarisms, which I have long been aware of, but kept quiet about because of professional rivalries I am unable to discuss at present.

I have a few of my works in development housed here on my blog, as the politics in the lecturer canteen can get very heated, as we wonder who we can trust with our highly complex and very interesting ideas. So interesting they appeal only to the very gifted of an exclusive linguistic cartel. As a result of these oral thefts I prefer to remain silent at all times except when I am in the presence of manual domestic staff who show no real likelihood of ever deciding to get educated and so are unaware of their true worth and potential as language maestros. And I record their native patois and use it to create my masterpieces, using only a Dictaphone, which I conceal in a pair of lightweight new polymer material trousers, which I had made by a chef-as-artist who creates sandwiches at one of my local def jam poetry groups, where we practise the linguistically innovative poetry we write, which is known as L=A=N=G=A=U=G=E, after the magazine that spawned this genre, and of who the most well known exponents are Charles Bernstein and Scalljah AKA Sloppy Bob, who has had a few posts pulled from the blog sites of other academic poets after they had taken legal advice pertaining to the law of defamation and slander.

Certain people's names were mentioned, which were an integral and disposable part of Scalljah's work, and who (I am assuming) are the wielders of the real power in those academies where fantasy keeps them all breathing. A fantasy which is more real than the catering establishment where most of the real post modern poetic decisions and oral thefts occur. Certain legal issues prohibit me from identifying the canteen in question, but I can tell you that the interior ambient furnishings and overall eye material scheme was a special commission, undertaken by a very well known reality television painter and decorator who, once again, legal issues disallow me from naming in person. These premises are kept on 24 hour standby by the star god dons of the Anglo-American poetry mafia who live simple lives, wanting no more than to have a light meal and a consensual swing session with whoever is in the que holding the lucky ticket which allows them past the velvet rope and into the backroom where the real ideas on how to take the poetics of the English speaking world forward are forged.

Personally I think they must have got their advice from the ghost of George Carmen, via the spirit of Adolf Hitler, and using the medium of myself. But little are they aware that my advice was not worth the air I didn't send it on, and I myself am advising Scalljah to take advice from a legal mind who knows every law ever written and herself advises a toilet attendant called Derek, who is in fact the worlds most naturally gifted practising hereditary lawyer-poet and can turn into a salmon, a ten foot teenager, a conjurers wig, an office memo directing top down organisational change, and turn black to white and vice versa; using only the power of his mind and the relevant incantations, which are delivered to him when he is watching bugs bunny on the cartoon network. I have also suggested he read an anthology tome titled "New Poetcs - an introduction," which lays bare the minds of many of the most avant garde minds in poetry.

This is a head bangingly heavy duty legal poetry text, and after considering my advice, Scalljah has decided to book into a 10 star world depression treatment center of excellence in the Hollywoood hills, and send the bill to and sue the academic poets who removed his postings, for substantial financial damages and a written apology, which the poets in question will have to read out whilst standing on their head naked, in the non existent Supreme Poetry Court of Fair Play, which doesn't sit once every blue moon on top of Achill Island's Slievmore mountain. Failure to attend is an admission that their conduct has done him a grevious wrong and he is indeed, seriously mentally deluded and in need of recognition by fellow spaced out poets who dwell in worlds of fancy.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Dosser Poet

Eoin's got addicted to sugar free methadone
and writing 10 line poems.
His hair is doss-tramp unwashed straight
hung down rat-tail like from a balding crown
whisping to the tip of his shirt collar.
He has a blood-pressure tan
and L shaped facial hair
when seen in profile.
He grips the lectern and delivers like a nodding derrick
the zig zag flickering verse
golden...with multitudinous...things
such as the
dust of obliteration glowing in a haze of cats and...dishes
and nothing can stop him
as the imagined hands of Donne and Shelley
hover by his soul
falling swift to snatch its core
and wring out the poems
stretching fibres of his art until an entirely different entity
is exposed in a church-sermon tone's drone-like delivery.


Watch love parade on screen, listen to the
imagined radio of fine sliced pop
binding unknown with backwash brain-fed
myth hovering timeless in a rock
of quartz revealing all life's background thread
- decisions that obscure the precise spot -
where instinct has no measure and cannot
recognise belief or deal with all the realms
between the ether freely entered into unneeded
for real breathing life to soak up more than
solely daylight, and the crafty chef de claque
with armies of commissaires, chatouilleurs
rieurs, and galaxies of pleureurs whose hit
hands bring worldly success by scandal, calmly
rationally; Stravinsky clapper-slams
that engineer the spring whose barmy seemless
unreal truth of TV runs dance sleek still
in the original feet barmy generations crave,
then chain to harm free minds in a remote
shackle of virtual long trance, surreal audiences
auto-chance applaud in as the unknown
choreography, Leonide, and the future bills
of star-dream yet to wake.


To calm the fizz
her palms spread on
a table close to vertical take off
through much powerful thought
...too much chasing shifts
she's never caught
but startled awake with otherworldly hints
of the farce
returning atoms
to her pulse's core,
where particles leap fitfully
in tandem with the fixed
constituent case of her flesh;
and worlds dwelling there
are seeped and sunken
by the shadow
screws spiralling to horizon's skewered
window of what's known
but in this moment;
a sole image
beyond virtual;
just like the never seen
spectrum ring of her specter's
webbed-to-ribbed perfecting
cold mind
coolly analysing all.

This piece is a semi-found escapement of the Theoromic symbol Blake envisaged. A kind of virginial harlot in service of the divine law of polyamoratory, as posited in several ongoing research works by a number of colleagues at our informal "virtual department of fragmentary poetics" - a sort of unofficial oneiromantic web-fellowship continuing the investigative and philosophically structural work used in the work of the Golden Dawn.

With effort, patterns can be located within and without the anima mundi, and, each member, be given a relevant tatwa-like equivalent, along with a whole host of other stuff. The symbolic talisman used at the first breath of modernism (cardboard cut ups etc) in the work of Yeats, can now be telescoped and expanded so that the response time and schedules for members can be calculated more precisely.

This piece came from a gyre symbol, which all members received, and a common image was generated whilst we were in separate geo-physical locations. These were noted in every participants journal after each collective event. I wrote this as a part of the ongoing themed investigation to that specific event within a wider net of syncronistic occurrences, which can be empirically gauged (as well as anything can be said to be so measured) and exist symbiotically with the work of written "stuff" written to enlighten, entertain and educate all at the same time. Simultaneously. Simultaneously means, 'at the same time'. But ye know that, don't you?



The girl in the sun of her grandad's password
made a slight error as she
strode across the liquid light,
becoming unstable in the universe,
withering to fade in a simple binary
of opposite equal quadrants
braided with collars of golden
community care hospitals;
opening their souls encased in concrete

splattering corridors of shadow and brindle
in the deep held blur-cored within the error
message of her soul's short journey into deep

Cyber wide pop ups talk up in telling her
of tapped new toys playing in waterfall brain-
storms her mother left for the milkman
of her nightmares.

Bubbling joyless her muffling nowhere
left her desperate for more of the loveless white
top bird peck mourning the red daughters loss.


The impulse behind this discontinuity of narrative came after reading Tolstoy, whilst simultaneously (forgive typo) listening to Bob Cobbing and Robert Creely, who were playing on a self created tape I have, whereby the two have been cut up and spliced as one, a sort of write through, but using the tonal quality of the end line breath-pause for a basic literary structure on which the verbal piece is hung.

Tolstoy informs the passion, or, rather, the more "real" creative elements of a constituent linguistic word-play and critical register. Which is actually a very exciting way of creating interesting pieces that challenge persona expectation deployed within the narrative (as such as there is one), and, I think - works very well.

A muscular steadfast meter that is not afraid to ask some pretty serious questions about the deeper aspects of the mundane. The girl in the sun who makes the stride could be connected with the Kavanagh notion of snatching moments of poetry out from "the passionate transitory". Although, when her alter-ego persona (who is "her" hinted to reside in a community care hospital) is receiving pop ups telling her of the mothers fantasy about a milkman, I suppose, Blake's more visionary philisophique, inherent in Albion, could be legitimately suggested to counter that notion.

Thus fulfilling the binary motif inherent in the work. Pound's advice of keeping the abstractions low is certainly taken by the mother in the dream, as evidenced in "bird peck", suggesting a whole different and interesting tonality or sweep of the syntactic line. Which makes for a challenging and rewarding read.

Jolly well done.


Her existent force took direction,
saddled and found modern bargales askance
singing distressed and swizzerling turbot bowler statistics
at the lens drawer,
shpawling sums and stiff inflatable sharks
upon the warehouse float top
all in one stippled floor,
seeping reliable sopability from wait there's edge
of concert hall efficiency
as the hoop la ladies sit twiddling a wat el sinfind a few tings out about me marn
o my dob bab aloha,
blowjogging ashtray cockle born prawnsspunce
the last door clothing sale n' surf closedown
after party shootout
befounded for fory five yeah yeahs
and six or more sweepings whipping life astray
to cheesy flavour
pistol patients escaping the only time you need
poking cheeks of umberella sidewalks
paradise of film stars with
pippa de doodle hey dooswinging from the branches like
oblivious blue titters from the audience
of none
frozen as a thought in space


Thomas the experi-
linquistically innovative lyrical poet-
sighing at the reading window
where no wolves prowl -
is beating his poetic wings
to crush and bend language flapping in the sing song dust of chaos
that scrapes outside of lingo normal's door
and the timbre of his doppleganger
- an oil throated story teller -
tells in speech gap narratives how fragmentary life whispers linear
trad syntactic sound redundant, whilst
here in parliament bank
mermaid accurate pieces testify to the sweeping ferocity
of slam multiple adornments in car picture garlands driving on street world sheet roads
running to roll on bronze wine ships
which hulk along white foam ribbon
under star dark pin prick skies
then roll off upon a sea outside of language.

Into the terminal herding area
of a wet crust soggy heaven where test card olympians
stare through blue ripped yellow depths
and forge grammatically odd
sculptured poems in smithies of disruptionto poise and swim on rock top tables
littered with OAP infinities
gagging to laugh and gurgle at the filter jelly film packets
with owl panel corner cracks
sweeping colour friendly
hair clutch boxes
into needle murmers
smirking repeatedly as the head's breath inhales insect windmills
grinding into particles of moment
the dreams we rinse when unconsciousness
sleeping off the full glob of life
that's been shrewed through the sieve
mixed and shrunk whipped to the consistency of blurred paint
then thrown out of kilter
until the faint trace of an outline
stirs and makes identification
of word packages dumped in the cauldron
at the warehouse of shifting contexts
you, I, we or them
unofficial legislators whose technology problems
is vision compressed ‘n driven into a nascent flash
of immensly creative capacities
radically affecting past methods
does not do it anymore
"hard fun" is the future
says Seymour
the mis-
chief and mysticism guru
who brought hi tech to learning
under the edict of Seamus
stroking his
palm clamped face
with ideal fingers
designed to tame in a dazzling dance the irrational
from biting back