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from the very beginning, when i started my writing studies and drama BA in England and quickly fell into writing early (unpublished) poems, that the only sure fire way of making sure a toxically condescending ultra-Oxbreligious English voice didn't intentionally cripple me and stop me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.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Update on di s/m ID flyting.

(Written spontaneously on becoming aware by a s/m poet-friend, at 5am Friday morning, of a recent (free) e-book, Poets for Corbyn, and its negative Times review (behind a paywall), not having read this offering from the UK Poets Pantocracy, and knowing nothing of its contributors or contents.

It was, briefly, a published comment on a poet-friend's -(and someone i am yet to meet in real life)- Facebook update, for an hour or so, until the update, and twelve or so other attempts at publishing one-line comedy comments communicating concordance with the thoughts of the contributing poet-friend i am yet to meet - fb account holder - were all deleted.)


Desmond Swords: It would have to be a poem for Corbyn, that came and stole the show on its own feet.

That, unfortunately, rarely, if at all, comes out of a collective online poetic creative-writing group-protest in which we all agree how great our shit is. And in which our level of sincerity is measured in how emotionally displeased, distressed, or verbally angry we write and sound to the Reader.

But if there woh a talented norvun shoal rhymer, speaking in the authentic working class self-ennobling tone ye can learn by cleaving to the Auraicept na n-Éces. Well, hello sailor. The poems most would write, would be, satirical poems (i suspect)? Tho there's nowt to stop us from writing a love poem to England and in it casting Jez as an honest man of the people, like some Medieval moral poem.

But satire, going on the general tone of the prose, would be, i suspect, what most would be thinking of writing. I thought that just now, as i was writing. Waffling on more for exercise and my own intellectually onanistic engagement and hand-relief (sorry), not really giving a toss who gets in, because i think, as i have said before on these pages, that the working-class need me to lead us.

Until you recognise, that, perhaps, that working-class English guy in Dublin, why don't we ask him to be our leader; well, i'm afraid Dave is in for the foreseeable, because you are all far too culturally close to the problem of the class-system and need someone like me, 48, heavy-smoker, overweight, borderline alcoholic, luvs talking a lot and making people look silly, looking for an audience of the English working-class - to rally round my writing like ye did when Liam and Noel wuz banging ten lines an hour and four ***** a night.

It'll be a poem that ye need to connect with evrywun. Rather than one thousand poems from English rhymers spewing our doggerel for jezza, that, unfortunately, is the usual fare in these jaunts.

Is there one poem that floated to the top of the poets against the Iraq war? Or, as i suspect, a lot of experimental writing of uneven quality with nothing burning into the readers mind as a powerful Yeatsean 1916 message that hits home?

The cool detached dispassionate mature phase, archly poetic side-stepping the usual banalities and speaking in a voice that comes from a practice one had to be at it for seven years, before it being took on at the eighth year; imbas forosnai, glossed in the first Irish dictionary, the 10C Sanas Cormaic, and which, as ye all know, is a state of cerebral magic that 'sets forth whatever seems good to the poet and what s/he desires to make known. It is done thus.'

And which is the name of my new banging spoken word collection, using bits and pieces of the best contemporary poems in the world, written thru into my own shit.

And everyone believing it is the shit. Like Kate fukin Tempest, yeah. I'm just fukin like kate tempest coz i'm edgy, raw, burnin man, ye know, really powerful message 'bout teinm laida, extemporised song, and the other sub-strand of the trinity of apical filidh compositional form, dichetal do chennaib, breaking open the bones of knowledge and in the marrow prophesying from the ends of the fingertips. This is what we seek, methinks.

Guido 'hasn’t enjoyed poetry so much since read Dr Seuss to his children.'

The Rupert Murdoch Times: 'Much of it is ear-bleedingly awful.'


I originally posted it to the rhymer's s/m, not knowing they had contributed to the collection, and within the hour they deleted the update, along with the twelve or more comments on it.

The second time one's writing has been the subject to deletion there. I myself when i began sporting anonymously in letters beneath the line on the Guardian in 2007 as Ovid Yeats, operated a three-strikes and you are out rule. I would twice ignore any other anonymous people that wrote unsolicited angwee responses addressing my writing, and, the third time it happened, would respond full force in kind and unleash with both satirical barrels the third time they tried engaging with me satirically.

Ovid Yeats: 22/3/2007 - /1/8/2007.

Human Love: 20/9/2007 - 17/10/2007.

Practicing Artist: 6/11/2007 - 22/12/2007

Then began a cat and mouse game, that involved me being slung off by the anonymous CommuntiyModerator, and immediately creating a new account and going straight back on. I remember really upsetting the Editor on 7 May 2009, reaching a next level with despenser, defending a famous poet from the English golden circle, Faber and Faber poet, David Harsent, from the very serious collective s/m trash-talk assault he was getting from the regulars in the comment section of a snarky piece he'd written about the then yet to become ennobled (Sir) Andrew Motion, the then UK Poet Laureate: There's nothing poetic about the poet laureate.

In fact, i see looking at it that Jack Underwood is there, CJUnderwood

(Ah, yes, i remember now this name from my early days on the Guardian, but never linked it, until now, with being the Jack Underwood recently thrashed by Sean O'Brien.)

I agreed with the trolls, but as an intellectual exercise, found an uber polite, kind, respectful voice that successfully countered the trolls vicious trashing of Harsent, and i had a great time being a new bestie on the page with this senior fellow, reading, i suspect, and something happened. I writing as despenser lasted a day, two comments. The final paragraph of despenser's toxic offensive shit to the English rose Editor of the time:
Imbas, is an Irish word that encapsulates the sense of poetic and writerly intuition that leads to discovering the calm space in the centre of the storm, in the purest sense, which in Gaelic literary culture prior to its implosion four hundred years ago, relates to a mythical well called Seigas, which at one time symbolized the whole enterprise of textual creation. Now however, attempting to speak of such things is a very dangerous business for the online writer especially, as it brings out the worst in those who would rather Seigas well was not talked of.

Desmond Swords

After lasting a day and slung off for writing my real name, i returned the same day as OhGodNotHimAgain, but knowing that i could never sign my real name to any of the writing as that would get me instantly slung off. Just my name, Desmond Swords. A combination of my father and mother's surnames.

The writing worked, i was left alone, until the final straw came four months later, in a harmless piece of writing responding to a Robbie Williams story, that ended on the line so highly offensive to the editor it got me deleted and blocked again: 

I have just been reading up on the story so far, and am wondering if he needs me to write songs for him to sing, Bobsicle: Williams and i, one day he could be making me millions.

Of course, it didn't stop me. Scores more names had preceded it and, over the next four years, scores more followed. Indeed, one of my recent compliments came from the observation made by a senior English poet, that I 'had a different name every week'. Sometimes you'd get thru five a day. They'd delete the accounts entirely, and so the majority of these short lived one and two comments written in name after different name after different name, were altogether wiped from the public record; but now and again one turns up. A handful of the ones i have recently stumbled across and saved as bookmarks are

Deasmhuman O'Claimhin: 28/3/2008 - 3/4/2008

Hyperborean: 14/1/2009 - 21/1/2009

laurelandhardygod: 25/6/2010 - 5/7/2010

TWilkinson: 16/10/2012 - 14/11/2012

Amazeballs: 27/4/2013 - 24/6/2013

After taking a year's break i returned with my current one on 30/6/204