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!'
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
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?'
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.