Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Blog for Reading

We've set up a virtual reading book club....
go to the blog join and get your book chosen NOW!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Results 2009.

I was a little cheeky with the actual incorrect quotation, as it is one that is generally believed to be said but there is no proof that it was ever uttered by the person in question. And that quotation is:

Dramatic Drum Roll

"Let them eat cake" Marie Antoinette.

For a start Revolutionary France they would have eaten Brioche which is like a biscuit baked a few more times. Secondly, and more importantly it is believed to be Anti-Royalist propaganda (Simon Schama, "Citizens" and Ruth Scurr, "Robespierre: Fatal Purity"). At the time Marie Antoinette was unpopular for being Austrian and being embroiled in what was known as the Diamond Necklace Affair so she was an easy target. After the Revolution she was accused of abusing her children - without the benefit of that annoyingly pesky evidence. Louis XVI was executed and a few weeks later she was sent to the Guillotine. Her last words being, "pardon monsieur I meant no offence" as she accidently stepped on the executioners foot.
Sop there you go.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Because I didn't do it when it was all the rage

A while back, long ago before anyone uttered the word Christmas or Daily Mail Christmas Party Scandal That Was More Like A Storm In A Tea Cup Than An Actual Scandal-Gate (all the best scandals have the suffix ''gate'' now a days), people put up ten facts and one lie. Some of the truths which were revealed were fer-nash-a-nating. Some of the lies were subtle as well. For example, I could see Various being scared of Parrots when she was a child. Especially the Norwegian Blue - just do not disturb it when it is pining for the Fjords!

Any way there was a point, and here it is:

I didn't do one as my life is essentially quite dull. Always has been and will most likely always be. I mean I am not like Tiger Woods. Though you wonder how he got a way with it for so long. He was probably complaining to his wife that he wasn't getting enough sex since the kid was born, and she in that empty threat way women use said, "find someone else then!" and he took her literally. But 10 women and 2 of them Porn Stars! If you are going to fuck up your life you may as well go nuts and do the best job you can. Any way, I didn't do a list and I won't but some people doubted me when I quoted Oscar Wilde on Friday ("The man who calls a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for" - Oscar Wilde) it was suggested that I do a list of famous quotes and one will be a lie. A tad pretentious, yes. But you know, whatever.

1. "Christ died for our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them"
- Jules Feiffer

2. "I love blinking, I do!" Helen, Big Brother

3. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty' - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." - John Keats

4. "Regret. There is always Regret" Philip Larkin

5. "A truth told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent" - William Blake

6. "About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends" Herbert Hoover

7. "I pity unlearned gentlemen on a rainy day" Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland

8. "Computers are stupid. They can only give you answers" Pablo Picaso

9. "Let them eat cake" Marie Antoinette

10. "I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible Crown, where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world" Charles Stuart, King of England

So there you go, one of them is wrong. I will know if you google it as this site is loaded to the tits with spyware!!!*

* Not really.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Exit is Lit

The exit is lit
The words do not come
The words are impotent
The words do not come.
The exit is:

"My father and I used to play a game"
He would say:
"Son, you go hide"
So I ran off
A giddy kid
Ducked under table cloth
Made myself hid,
Though he never came.

Did you Daddy!
"Ach du, Ach Du"
Hanging around
Like a singular shoe
Did you?

Alone I would stay
As the light would fade
My father, ah, well
It's all lies.
If I ever hid
Or sank,
He would find me and
Pull me out
Place me back on the boat.

"For the first time ever
I don't understand my television"

Flicking the channels
Attention span narrows
We are tools for advertisers.

The vapid, reality sluts of nothing.

There is uniformity
In this banality,
A Dule tree can be made
From any tree -
This is real uniformity.

I close the curtains
To kill the Sun.
Comrade Duch paces the halls
As he makes additions
To his crowded walls.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I have decided I want to read some Dylan Thomas.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

On the Tram

I’m crammed on a tram
Stuck between three or four
Bags on the floor
As the rain pours through
The left hand side door.
The mass of men
Behind me sway and lean
Pushing me nearer
To a woman reading
Closer magazine.
She eyes me suspiciously
And I sway continuously.
I smile a weak smile
In order to apologise
And with her disapproving eyes
She returns to her page.
A cacophony erupts,
A chorus of coughs,
Over my shoulder
As the chances increases
Of catching seasonal diseases.
People push on
And fight to get off
Some men mutter almost mute
“Won’t you all just f**k off?”
We’re packed in tight
And off to my right
Some kids has his ipod
On too damn loud
So all that the crowd
Can hear is a tinny
Rendition of something
Quite dancy
Being blasted into his ear.
We get to a stop
And there is a rush to
Disembark with
People shoving, pushing,
Bobbing, weaving
Ducking, slipping
To step into the dark.
I have some space for
Rest of the way
And then I approach my stop.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Joan O'Flynn

I heard the sad news that Joan, Drama Queen, passed away yesterday. I only knew her for the best part of this year. She was always encouraging of everyone in the group and will be sadly missed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Poem and no updates

The man to the side of this picture was recently on Question Time. Some people said it was a cheap grab for ratings (they peaked at eight million people) the BBC claimed that it was in interest of fairness and imparitality. To be fair, it was an hour of people picking on Nick Griffin and making people feel sorry for him. Interesting historical footnote, Hitler got to power because the ruling classes underestimated him. Mmmm.

Anyway, on the back of this and the Stephen Gately post is another VAGUELY TOPICAL POST.

Dressed is shirts not brown but blue,
Hate only ever changes its hue,
Collar undone, tie hanging awkwardly loose,
Fixed grin shining off new shoes.

Students shouting slogans outside again,
Arm links, human chains with a friend;
Reflective jackets blocking black gates
They are equal only in their hate.

Suave, sophistication
Masking solipsism,
Panel pointing fingers
To garner audience opinion.

The disaffected, the bored,
The forgotten, the ignored,
All line up to sign a Protest vote,
As He promises what other suits wont.

This is the danger of grubbing for ratings
To allow prejudice its space for ranting,
To give it a platform and to call it equal
By legitimising the backward and evil.

But, in the end, when he is in power alone
We can all stand, conform, and admit
The massacre on the streets
Started with ignorance in the home.

-Also in the interest of fairness and all that crap. Jan Moir apologised for any offence caused and said that there was no homophobic intent. There was, but meh.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I don't normally complain...

The "newspaper" The Daily Mail (who supported the British facist Oswald Mosely back in the 1930's) has published an article about the tragic death of Stephen Gately. It is here:

Now, first and foremost. THE only thing that should be said when someone aged 33 years of age dies, is that it is a tragedy. No matter if you was a fan of his music, or if you agreed with his lifestyle choices. It is a tragic, tragic event. That is all that should be said. If some homophobic, misguided, desperate woman wants to make money on the back of his death it is pathetic.

A better response than anything I could do is by Charlie Brooker:

It is interesting to note that this article did not appear in the IRISH EDITION OF THIS NEWSPAPER. Draw whatever conclusions from that as you want.

I know that I wrote, Super Nova, which criticised elements of the deaths of other celebrity's. And people are free to get offended by that. I have no problem with that, my argument is that I disliked the way they prostituted themselves in their final days. It was not a homophobic attack, it was not bigoted and hateful.

Stephen Gately came out as Gay when he was in a successful boy band - he was one of the first to do so. So what if he was pressured into doing it by someone threatening to "out" him. That took considerable bravery. And it should be admired. Who knows how many confused, scared or worried young men his announcement helped. How many countless men took solace in the fact that they were not alone and that they could be accepted. Would Will Young have come out if he didn't? Would any of the other popstars?

The Daily Mail article just helps to reinforce the idea that homophobia isn't a bad thing. The idea that because someone is of a different sexual orientation then they are a bad person, that they are "sleazy". Why? Because he was homosexual? Because he new Elton John? Because he was married to a man?

If I died tonight of the same thing would that be all right because I live with a woman? As Charlie Brooker said, linking this passing with the death of Matt Lucas' partner - who took his own life, who posted on Facebook: "death is better than living", so that it can show how unnatural and futile civil partnerships are is wrong. Simple as that. It is wrong. Could I get away with writing that "a white woman and a Black man/ Asian man/ Indian man is a myth". No I would rightly be called a racist and because I have selected decent friends I would be ostracised, and rightly so.

The whole article is abhorent, it is dangerous and it is moronic.

As I said earlier, things like this lead people to tell homophobic jokes, heard one already, and to hold opinions that are backward. He did not die because of "The wages of Sin" nor because Civil Partnerships are fundementally flawed. The divorce rate amongst hetrosexuals in America is roughly 40% + so is that not FUNDEMENTALLY FLAWED!

The British Press Compliants Commission (PCC) will not do anything becasue the thousands of complaints lodged are third party and not from Gately's direct family. And by only publishing it in the UK this means that his mother does not have to read it. She should, if not only to get this hateful woman fired and blacklisted.

This paper has always been a shit-rag and now it has sunk to a new low. Never read The Sun and Fuck The Daily Mail.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Beat My Heart Skipped

This is an awesome song

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Cow people patrol supermarkets,
Slowly shuffling
Filthy fat feet with
Glass blank stares.
Hungrily they eye
Each item down the aisles.
Pushing processed packages
Into packed baskets.
They chew minty fresh gum, like cud,
Mouths opening slowly,
Drooling absent minded
Down dirty T-shirts.
Greasy lank hair
Tide taught lying on
Clothing not covering the
Stretching tattoos on their back.
The sweat on their skin
Shines under halogen lights,
An image of the consumer consuming
In a mass market setting.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I am trying to get the Sunday Scrapbook Show, starring Various and supported by me, online for those that have missed it - or enjoyed my fast paced nervous renditions of some of my poems. And my fantastic attempt to sound clever but saying "singer songer" as a new form of artistic movement. And would you like to relive the short history of Burnley I gave. I would.

Well I am trying to make it in to a movie and then split it into six parts, whack it on Youtube and then slap it on here. And all the while attempting to write something new for group and for Glor.

In the meantime I am scouring the earth, Facebook, for guest Bloggers and persuading Dan to do another post, but on what? Suggestions?

If anyone noticed that I put up a Blog sometime over the weekend and then it promptly vanished, like a blogging version of Lord Lucan or Richey James. The reason I took it down was simply the draft was funnier than the end product. We strive for, and more often than not miss, perfection.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The land of Honey and Cheese or Daniele Simoni's blog post

Due to laziness and a desire to widen the scope of my world view, I will start to have guest bloggers. And yes, I did steal the idea from DO.

The intention is to widen the scope of this blog, to bring in different ideas other than my own idiosyncratic view. It is to look at the familiar with a different set of eyes and to see something new in the staleness.

First to post is Daniele Simioni and his blog about Dante’s Inferno. Dan is Italian, about five foot odd and a former flat mate of mine.

Also, in other news it is my Polish Name Day so everybody sing ‘Sto Lat’.


Being Italian the word “poem” soon recalls La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri. Some info: The Comedy is one of the greatest epic poems of the Medieval Literature and it describes the journey of the protagonist through the afterlife, this intended in the Roman Catholic terms of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, or as we say in Italian: “Inferno”, “Purgatorio” and “Paradiso”.

As a student, and an adult, I have always found the Inferno to be the most interesting of the three: this is because of the humanity which it expresses. All of the sufferings and the stories told are genuinely part of the universal human experience. The first place Dante walks through is the Limbo, where all the people who died un-baptized are. This is not a place of sufferings but it is a place of sighs, where neither happiness nor sadness is really known. Souls live in the constant hope of being saved by God. This is the place where the major figures of Poetry and Philosophy of the pre-Christian era can be found from Homer, Aristotle, Plato, Ovid and Seneca and many others.

Regardless, what are the moral implications of this stage of the Inferno? I believe that the Limbo stage is a paradigm of our society. We live in the society of knowledge, where science and technology replaced literature and philosophy. What does this mean? We are still looking for the truth, whatever the shape of it can be. We are still pushing our boundaries towards places where we hope we will find the light that can lead us all. In the final instance the need that few of us have of writing Poetry is an expression of it; this is the need that gives us the opportunity to discover ourselves and to be who we are meant to be. It is a constant tension towards the unknown.

We don’t accept any given answer: believing in God as it is described by Religions is a comfort zone, let’s get out of it.

In this respect, does it make sense to profess ourselves Atheist, Christian or anything else? And most importantly why every time I am with Matt watching Burnley play I assist to a massacre?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Football, Football, Football

Today it is Burnley, my beloved team, play my missus team.

So it is:

Burnley Football Club



Monday, September 7, 2009

Those Left Behind

This is a transcription of the poem I read out on Various' Radio show at the weekend (thanks Various for letting me on BTW).

I am looking into getting the show itself on here. But, I just need the technical know how. Well, my mate to tell me how.

Those Left Behind

What do you say about a man you hardly knew?
But in your span was in view
At family events or with my Dad for a Sunday brew.

What do you say about a man who hardly knew you?
But knew enough to swipe
At the arrogence of academics and youth.

What do you say when he's not there?
Those left behind are never prepared
And stories of his youth don't relate.

What do you say when you don't want to go
But seven days later
You have a box on your shoulder?

What do you say to those younger?
Who have seen death but need closure,
When all you can offer is a stronger shoulder.

When in the silence of the viewing room
And the buzz of the lights and the shell you hardly knew
Lies there still, questioning you – what do you say?

What do you say to your distraught father
When you have shed no tears
And you won't because you ought to.

What do you say when standing at the front
Lines and rollers and fires burning the nape
But you cannot think of a damn word to say.

What do you say to a man you hardly knew?
Sorry, but you was there
Without ever actually being there wasn't you?

When memories are mentioned,
When times and friendships and loves
Are anecdotes and fables?

When “I'm sorry” is empty.
When you search for meaning
And find nothing.

When relatives grieve
And you just want to leave.
But, you cannot and you will not.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Better Politics

Apparently, most politicians are scum on the make... who knew? Not me but I pay little attention to anything. However, some people don't. Some people still believe they can make a difference and change things.

This site I stumbled on,, aims to do just that. It is mainly British in its political orientation but its principles are, sadly, universal. If you join then you can complain about the Irish, American, Zimbabwean or European parliaments.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Old Poems

I was looking through some stuff and stumbled across some old poems, probably about six years old as I was doing my under grad when I wrote them. An excuse? Possibly.

Fat Porn Stars

Fat Porn stars
What's the point?

When nothing achieves
The purpose designed.

Like so much dead time
Floating as we drown

In what we make
And what we are.

Overweight they fake
Every intimate aspect.

This soulless vacuum
Of watching suffocates.

They are not female,
They just are.

You are not male,
You just are.

This is not real
Like hookers under bridges,

You wonder why the do
What they do

As you sweat and writhe
They think the same about you!

-Also, as an added extra -

It's not that if I told you everything
You wouldn't understand
As I am sure you would be comforting

It's not that if I laid myself bare
You wouldn't lend a hand
It's just I don't think you would care.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Due to a lack of poems

something silly

Adverts, Perverts and Late Night rantings

First off, I know that I said that this would be primarily a poetry blog but it is my blog and I can run amok if I so wish. And, wish I so.
I was watching the TV and on came that new Diet Coke advert, the one with the not overly attractive women on it. Where the woman opens the pickle jar (I see what they did there, they inverted the normal stereotype of men being only good to open jars and run errands, ha ha ha die) and then some bird fucking up the pictures on her wedding day as if to say she doesn't take the whole thing seriously. That it is something that she doesn't want to do. Now call me a misogynist but that is bull as women like all the attention. And for another reason IF YOU HAD JUST SPENT CLOSE TO TWELVE FUCKING GRAND ON A WEDDING YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FUCK ABOUT DURING THE PHOTOS AS MOST OF THEM ARE FOR ELDERLY RELATIVES WHO WANT TO REMEMBER, AND THEN FORGET, ONE DECENT MEMORY BEFORE THEY DIE! So that one is bullshit for a kick off. Plus even if she did do it to be "crazy" her new husband would look at her and call her a dick. And then have an affair... or something, I am not yet married so do not know how these things work. At the very least he would be put out. Then, then, you had some woman pressing her face, which looks like a bulldog being rimmed by a thistle (with poorly fitted braces), against the unusually clear windows of a boardroom as her friend gives some presentation, possibly on cake... or Aids... or the figures for Q4FY2009, I don't know. But, her friend finding it most amusing ruins the presentation and with that her promotion (which the presentation was relying on) and then her fella will have an affair or end up gay, again - I don't know how this works. Finally, you have a bar scene. And then something happens, something that would keep the man to the right (or left depending on your point of view) of this tripe happy. She, yes in a cunning and clever inversion of the sexualisation of the feminine by patriarchal system which controls, dictates and makes advertisements, she pinches a mans arse. Thus making him the sexualised object, therefore empowering the woman on the piss and reducing the formerly dominant masculine to the role of sexualised female!! What larks, but it gets better as not content with that they throw in some homophobia for good measure. As the pinchee, not the pincher, turns and sees a well dressed and stylish man - so obviously a homosexual or metrosexual man. Thus assuming that he has sexually molested him, they both look awkward and this empowers the lonely bint that did the pinching. If a man pinched a woman on the arse it would bring up the bad taste and memories of the Carry On or the Confessions of films and nobody wants that. Ever. Because the roles have been reversed and stereotypes inverted then it is ok. Almost as if Chalkie White was hilarious in concept. It wasn't.

But as it is not a man doing this things it cannot possibly be sexist. And as a caveat I was speaking to a woman (yes, it happens) and she said that she still faces a lot of objectification and is treated as "lesser" because of her gender, and this is equally deplorable. You cannot have one rule for one....

Oh, and well done to the Mighty Clarets for the wonderful mid-week win

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Poem for Home

Disused factory chimneys
Penetrating the sky.
Their black smoke fertility
Now resting impotent.

They stand useless and erect
A symbol of former importance.
The hills roll to a halt behind them,
Canals that once fed stagnate.

My Grandfather
Photographed this whole town.
The history was his
Detailed in, now, discarded slides.

A reminder that all things
Are eventually lost.
Boarded up shops stand where
Those men in flat caps once did.

This concrete necropolis mirrors
The sky, an endless stretch of grey.
Abandoned cars are engulfed
In dancing orange flames.

The places my Father played
As a child have gone.
Tesco’s tarmac covering places
Lost to history, like a fading memory.

My childhood now
Almost forgotten,
Swallowed by this town
And spat out, rejected.

Lying sterile and ignored
In semi-detached suburbia.
Surrounded by sepia coloured gardens
Where I played bored and alone.

Before being consumed by
Temporary McJobs,
In featureless offices
That replaced workhouses.

Assimilated into binge drinking,
Culture praising narrow thinking,
BNP Posters line the streets,
As everyone else fell into

Everyone else’s beds.
I watched the TV instead.
Subtitles substituting as
A lazy form of modern literature.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eddie Murphy's Career Choices

make me sad.


A while back, before the theft and loss of the Internet. I bemoaned my lack of self-discipline in finding new poetry, or at the least - modern. In my search; through a book I bought, at the back, down near the middle somewhere. I stumbled across:

It has sound files of poets reading poetry. It appears to have been set up as a response, or addition, to the Poetry Archive ( which is mainly canonical in nature.

Either way I like both of them. And in the end, that's all I really care about.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"I take so much and offer little in return"

I take so much but offer little in
Return, but, then again doesn't everyone?
All things seem doomed before the begin.
You wake with the feeling you've been done.
Although, words that men say to their women
In the stillness and solitude of night
And the words that she will say back to him;
Offers, or seems to, something right.
A hope, a unity between two souls.
In this darkness many lights have been re-lit.
People, before they fall into the holes -
These self made holes fill'd with hate, doubt and shit.
They are together, not by the stars above
But are because of an enduring love.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Hi, how are ye? Good, good. Listen. What it is, right, what it is. Is this. I have rather limited access to the old internet so things here will be rather slow. I will and try and get an updated version of the sonnet up here sooner rather than later. And due to the controversy I have bowed to public opinion and changed it slightly. That will be up soon. Also, the second one - "Half Yearly Review" will be up once it has been improved.

Hope all is well,

Thursday, July 2, 2009


We, the dutiful emasculates,
Stifled under the growing
Interest rates and late payment fees,
Attached to Government approved
Remortgage and relending schemes
Shiver in the cold light of insolvency.
To me, the need, to break through to
The place beyond
The consolidated glass ceiling.
Somewhere without the demands
Of incessant scrimping and saving.

The apparatus of debt:
The bills, the calls,
The men in suits knocking on the doors,
Walking down halls,
Coming at dawn
Like a Financial Gestapo,
Don’t mean a thing
As the women on the other side
Of the call centre divide will
Agree a fee free payment plan
To get you back on your feet.
For a while at least.

But, we work, the hours
Pass and the salary
Is gratefully received
As we strain to believe
That after tax we can almost
Reach the idyll –
The solvency dream.
The Dàil takes more,
Two percent won’t hurt,
Unless your working class or poor,
But are we, you and me, love,
What are we?

Debt accrues debt
And they pile on each other,
You work to pay one
And then there is another,
It’s not that I am
Not happy.
Far from it really.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Desire for the New

I spent some time this weekend trying to re-engage with Poetry. Trying to rediscover the spark that lit my interest when I was sixteen, the initial rush of enthusiasm and awe I felt when I first picked up Larkin or Sexton or Plath or Keats. The same enthusiasm I had when I started off at Under Graduate level and took with me to Post Graduate studies.

In an attempt to rekindle this I picked up ‘Paradise Lost’ by Milton and started to go through it. I hadn’t even got passed the first book before I put it down. This is a book I read voraciously only two years ago. What has changed? I moved on to Shelley’s Prose (‘On Love’ and a ‘Defence of Poetry’), but retired them in favour of a Top Gear repeat and a cup of tea. I mention these not to be showy about my book shelf or to try and convince any one that I am particularly erudite or classically trained. The fact that I picked up these, and nothing from this century, says something. It highlights what I consider to be a problem for someone, like me, attempting to write in the “modern” era. I use the phrase “modern” as meaning simply, ‘up to date’ or ‘as is being written or performed currently’ and not as a reference to Modernism or Post-Modernism.

The problem as I see it is threefold.

Firstly, there is the danger of stagnation. A few years back I showed some work to Robert Sheppard, who told me that although “there is a talent there” that I was not very modern. And as a result the “work” and any potential progression would suffer. This was a critique I rejected out of hand, as a moody teenager is often wont to do. However, looking back I can see what he means. He wasn’t, as I originally thought, criticising what I was doing. He wasn’t telling me that I was garbage and should reconsider my “vocation”. He was merely stating the facts as he saw them. And at the present moment, a rather obvious fact. Because I did not heed this free advice, and I didn’t appreciate that fact that he had taken his time to read some poems slid under his door, my “work” suffered. It stagnated. It may have progressed in terms of theme and vocabulary but it was, and I feel still is, firmly rooted in the past. In the Larkinesque style of “blokes talking to other blokes in a pub”. And this stunting cannot be blamed solely on my decision not to take Creative Writing at under graduate level. It comes from my own stubbornness and the mistaken belief that I knew better than someone who has been working in, and for, Poetry since the 1970’s and has run several successful small print magazines. Also, his new book, “The Complete Twentieth Century Blues” is out now and I need to buy it when I have some spare money.

Secondly, with this stagnation comes the belief in ones own ability. Which is more often than not, totally mistaken. This was shown most clearly at the International Bar’s Open Mic Night a few weeks ago. The current guardian of the Open Mic Night, Stephen James Smith, is a poet of the Modern Era. He is what Modern Poetry should be. Accessible, funny and very talented. He learns the poems off by heart and apart from looking impressive it shows he absolute dedication to his art. He travels many miles gigging and getting his work “out there”. This is something I do not do. Nor is it something I would particularly want to do. For a number of reasons, chiefly that I find it terrifying and the old excuse, “Larkin did not need to”. But, “Ah” I hear you say “Larkin was a Genius”. I have started to enter competitions which I do not in all honesty expect to win, no false modesty, I just regret the choices I made in the submissions.
At the Lucan Creative Writers group they are some really good writers and poets. Some are award winners, or have been commended – which is almost as good. And I presume works as a great affirmation of ones own talent. These poets are again doing stuff that I could not do, one in particular has a knowledge of form and of the technical aspects that puts me to shame. They are forward facing poets, though they do seem to reflect the past in that they understand the past and move onwards. They are like Janus, where as I am the woman who looked back as Gomorrah burned. This lack of knowledge, on my part, is endemic of the lack of spark I feel at the moment. I need to get reacquainted with theory. But not classical theory, modern interpretations and modern ideas. As one of my tutors complained during my MA (not to me thankfully) “No one is using critics that are still alive”. How can you move forward with both feet and hands in the past? This leaves any belief that what I am doing is right for me at the moment baseless. It only highlights the fact that I am out of touch. I am regurgitating familiar styles.

Thirdly, I have not developed my own poetic voice. The journey to this place, this absolute individuality. A poetic Nirvana. Is different for everyone who picks up a pen or sits at an empty word processing document. To hark back to Larkin, he spent much of his Juvenile years copying Hardy. Keats spent most of his brief career alluding to, and copying, Spencer. Wilfred Owen only found his voice whilst he was recuperating from Shellshock and met Siegfried Sassoon. And so forth, and so on ad infinitum. But these examples are at best a slight digression. It was explained more eloquently than I can by one of the writers in Lucan. “Each poet has a poetical mentor” this is someone they look to in order to inform their own writing and form their own poetical self. This process is evolutionary; you start of as a simple organism – writing because you enjoy it. Then you develop style, structure and then finally – much like the Ape standing on its hind legs and using tools – you have your own voice. But like your own genetic code, you bare resemblance to those that have gone before. Be it a familial nose, or a particular turn of phrase. It is a level of foolishness to say that once I find “my voice” I will rekindle what is at the moment eludes me. However, since I am not reading new Poetry, or even enough Poetry, this development is stagnating.

However, as I have previously stated I do not believe that I should disregard the old poets that piqued my interest in the Art form. There will always be a place for them. And a lot can still be gained from reading them, just not in isolation. I have used myself as exclusively as an example, and this form of self criticism is essentially egocentric. But I believe that any artist, successful, emerging or at whatever stage cannot write in either a vacuum or with their eyes drawn only backwards.

So, what next? Give up? Hardly ever likely to be an option. I must, as a matter of urgency, start to scour bookshops, the internet and journals for something new. The slightly exciting prospect of this is that I can gain new insight and discover new styles and poets and re-ignite the passion that I once had. I can reformulate long standing poetical beliefs and theories; I can critical asses my own Poetical vision (for what it is). As Confucius said, “the journey of a thousand miles must start with a single step”.

Any suggestions, negative or positive, are as always welcome.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I suppose I should start off by saying something about Michael Jackson. Shame, was a lonely and troubled man. There I contributed to the massive out pouring of grief that has consumed us all again. The very people who called him a pervert now mourn him. Whatever. Fuck ye all.

I went to Marco Pierre Whites Steakhouse on Dawson Street tonight, would attach a link but you have access to Google and I am not here to spoon feed you. Was slightly disappointed with the meal, the service was good. And the steak was good, it is difficult to mess up steak. But it could have been warmer. I was just left non-plussed by it all. Which is a shame, also, what size ego must one have to paste a rather unattractive photo of yourself, everywhere.

Also, I have been busy, I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It is OK. Bit too long and, well, kinetic. It was all right and Megan Fox is stunning. But a pretty lady doth not a movie make (unless it is porn but that is a side (t)issue). I would recommend it as it is perfect popcorn fodder, not much plot or point but plenty of robots and bangs. Depends on what you look for.
The night is drawing in, and Michael Jackson is on almost every TV channel. What an effect on schedules a mere mortal can have. Fuck, Ben has just come on - possibly the highest placed single about a Rat. I might be wrong, but I doubt it.
Changed channel and some shite called Steel Panther is on. Jesus they suck.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Things I Want To Do Before I Die!

I like to make pointless lists. Useless collections of information and half arsed opinions based on nothing in particular. Today, for no reason other than I am waiting for my tea and want to add a particular picture. Here, is the list of things "I Want To Do Before I Die" but probably won't. Laziness is a helluva mistress.

In no particular order, except for numerical, here it is:
  1. I want to be on 'Come Dine With Me'. I am obsessed with the show, it is pure awesomness. I want Dave Lamb to narrate my life and I want people to judge me on cookery - even though I cannot cook for shit. I am useless, I assemble food - poorly.

  2. I want to shoot Katie Price

  3. I want to prove how much of an unsufferable arse Bono is

  4. That is all, but point one is the crucial one.

And here is the image, awesomeness.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stephen James Smith's Open Mic Night at the International Pub... Downstairs in the lounge

Late last night, in a drunken haze, I sat at this old laptop. Reflecting on the evening, the music, the poetry, the ambiance and the whole point behind Open Mic nights.

Stephen James is an engaging host, rattling of poems from the depths of his mind, creating an atmosphere where even the most shit scared amateur can feel comfortable.

If I went through the acts one by one I would miss someone out. I would also probably be offensive unintentionally. The guy who played the banjo was awesome, would not have expected that voice from that man, sort of like the singer Anastasia.

There was the first poet, who read out four or five short poems, had a rather fantastically sculpted beard - not unlike Craig David.

This one guy, who dressed like a Teddy Boy made everyone applaud his girlfriend/ wife/ carer. But the sentiment of the poems was powerful all the same, even if he did elongate the last syllable of his line endings.

I did some of my own stuff and was shitting bricks, I did an anti religion one and wasn't glassed or stoned as a heretic, so I was rather pleased about that. It is difficult to judge your own performance, so I won't.

Various recited a poem from scratch, which fair fucks to her (to steal a Lancashire-ism) I couldn't do it.

Another singer did an interesting version of "Don't You Want Me Baby". And I suppose that is the point, as Stephen himself says, "to create a place where people can express themselves safely". Even if ye never perform or are like me totally tone deaf you should attend.

Anyways, I am off.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Breakfast Tastes Like Dwarf

Firstly, I am lucky enough to be put on the bill for the open Mic night at the International Bar on Wicklow street. Everyone should attend, even if you live miles away.

I am reading three poems, I know which ones I will read. Although, one of them (see below) I am slightly worried about. Mainly, due to its relative freshness, having only wrote it on Friday night. The subject matter, my lack of Faith, is sometimes offensive. However, I do not believe that Poetry or Art should ever pull any punches and should not be afriad to offend. It should say what needs to be said. Poets after all are "the unacknowledged legislators of the World".

The image is by Matthias Grünewald, it is a striking image. Even though I am scepitcal whether or not Christ existed at all (yes, I know that you can never find his body as it, like his mother Mary, was assumed into Heaven) but that doesn't relate to the power of the image. It is a striking account of Christ's humanity and the suffering "he", and countless millions of other people guilty and innocent alike were subjected to.

Anyway, the poem:

Thoughts Relating to the Ryan Report

The wreckage of the human condition

Is caused largely by

The blinded fools who cliam vision

Into this lie.

Yet they say that it will prove a comfort

To me when loved ones start to die,

Faith, they say, will prove a fort

A place of sanctuary where I,

In my ireligiosoty, can safely hide

Free from that specific type of pain,

And the ebbing and flowing of the tide.

Free from hatred, persecution, shame.

But to gain this I have to hand over

Myself completely, to something terribly proscribed

Like a returning former lover

Swallowing more than just pride.

Morrissey may have forgiven Jesus,

And by extension - Religion.

But, I can't. It's like a shot to the solar plexus,

Where good ideas are fucked by bad intentions.

It starves "possessed" children,

It tears the labia of girls,

It throws rocks at students,

It simply kills.

It causes you to hate me,

And me to hate you,

It causes you to dictate

Everything I should do.

And if you don't fit

Then your not worth shit,

And they'll fill your head with shame,

Regret and Sin.

It was created by Man,

In order to keep the poor

Weak and the strong in control,

To keep women subjugated.

It stones women,

It hangs homosexuals,

It arranges angry lynch mobs

It scams money for TV evangelicals.

There is no heaven,

There is no hell,

There is no god,

There is only Nature.

All the wreckage of the

Human condition

Is caused by this lie.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bank Holidays and Manic Street Preachers

I suppose there is a time in every mans life when instead of being in a pub, or being drunk, or staring at a blank wall when he finds himself in Homebase making decisions on Pot Plants. This was me on the last Bank Holiday weekend. As normal men were pushing trollies full of crap behind focused looking women. The women dart from aisle to aisle picking things up, inspecting them and then replacing them. The men follow like herded sheep. Until some kid starts screaming his head off and you snap back and are asked about something or other. I hate Garden Centres.

But thankfully me, the Better Half would rather drink on sunny days so it was only brief. Still hate them though

Went to see the Manic Street Preachers live mid-week and they were immense. Bought a T-Shirt and couldn't hear for most of the day after. Good gig.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

She'd Walk On Broken Glass For Love

So we won, a cracker of a goal by Wade Elliot and some "Alamo" style defending. Even though Sheffield United seemed determined to play the long ball and then fall over when approaching the box. But we are there, in the promised land, the Barclays Premier League.

Went for a run yesterday and this caused my ankle to swell and then that meant I couldn't play out last night.

Watching "The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford", long film, long title. It is quite good though.

I did have a longer post planned, one in which I would talk about Poetry and Poetics, but like so many other things it will have to wait. Besides, if you read the Defense of Poetry by Shelley or the prolouge to Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth it is all there anyway. Why say anything if someone has said it so much better before.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Play Off Finals

Burnley play Sheffield United, kick off 3 pm.

I am consumed with a mixture of optimism and nerves. This has been, no matter how today ends, the best season I have ever seen. We were two minutes from the Carling Cup Final after coming back from 4-1 down to Spurs, we got to the Quarter Final of the FA cup. We beat Fulham, Spurs, West Brom, Aresnal and Chelsea. We showed grit and some sublime moments of flair to beat Reading in the Play-Off semi finals.

We have played 60 games this season, that is six less then Man U! And we have used less players than anyone else in the Football League!

It is not an over-estimate to say that this game is the richest one in the world, as the winners will get about £60,000,000 pounds in TV Revenue, sponsership deals, parachute payments, final placing prize money and more people pushing their way through the turnstiles.

All of this and I am in Dublin, not South London, watching it on the TV instead of at Wembley. I went the last time we made the play-off final in 1994, but cannot afford to make it now. Not to worry, I have a hot line set up to my brother in Burnley, all major incidents and troubles will be discussed.

But if the worst happens, and we don't win. I will still say that this has been the best season I can remember and I have the feeling we will get promoted to the promised land of the top flight football next year!

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Poem and other thougths.

Firstly, I should be cleaning. I am off work as my ankle is buggered but I have an impending parental visit, so I must clean. Cannot have my mother in a dirty house, what will she tell my brothers? Probably: "Matt's house is nice, but he couldn't even be arsed cleaning."

Secondly, Journal for Plague Lovers came out today and it is a really, really good album. Not a patch on The Holy Bible but it would sit comfortably between that and Everything Must Go. I like it and will inflict it on anyone foolish enough to come to my house or step in my car.

Thirdly, before I clean. Honestly, I have all the paraphernalia just need the application. But, to this poem. I do not think that one should spend too much time explaining poetry as it is all about personal response. How the words effect you and how the sounds roll through your mind. However, I feel I should explain it somewhat.

I grew up in a small former Mill town in Lancashire. It sits somewhat awarkwardly between Blackburn, Preston and Manchester. It is the kind of town that is far more pleasing to leave than to return to. It is dominated by Pendle Hill, the tallest and most domineering of the Pennines. Also, in the sixteenth century several poor, elderly women were excused of withcraft and hung. So the Hill becomes a Halloween hotspot for people with a mistaken belief in the afterlife.

In the late 90's, 1999 to be precise, a series of violent riots between the town's White and Asian communities erupted and became newsworthy. They were not riots in isolation as Bradford had race riots. However, they were marked out by the length of, and damage caused by, the rioting. "I remember when the town burnt". As a result of these riots, the British National Party (BNP) a far right and barely disguised facist party, descended on mass during elections. The leader Nick Griffin (a man with as many ideas as eyes, and a former Holocaust denier - in public anyway) singled Burnley out as a prime example of how multiculturalism isn't working. And every election year they gain significant results, with councillors being appointed (and then fired).
Some people in Burnley claim that the riots were caused by the sale of drugs, and this is a reasonable assessment.

The peom is a response to a childhood there, and Channel Fours belief that if they get a group of mixed race teenagers to "make art" it will change things. It won't. I have friends who work in the community and their hardwork and dedication is more likely to solve things that a gimmick for a Television show.

Also, as a caveat, and a blatant piece of self-protection, it is a work in progress and all comments will be appreicated. Negative or otherwise. Feel free.

Deprivation is for me what Daffodils were to Wordsworth” Philip Larkin

Burnley, a reflection

Disused factory chimneys
penetrating the sky.
Once they shot out black smoke semen
now they rest impotent.

My Grandfather pictured this whole area.
The history was his, in glossy photo books,
in thousands and thousands of discarded slides.

The boarded up windows
of terrace housing,
the dog shit filled back streets
and pissed up teenager dominated town centre.

The places my father played as a child,
are mostly gone, concreted over
for another McDonald's or
24 – hour Tesco's.

I remember when the town burnt.

The fascist billboards
near local round-a-bouts,
as the town became a battle
cry for Nick Griffin.

The shops in the centre,
close and fail,
Bernard Manning was banned,
Bernard Manning became an idol,

I am just from a small town,
I am from where the
history outweighs the present.
I am from the nowhere in between.

I remember when the town burnt,

TV is coming to fix everything,
Thank fuck for Channel Four,
Art will show that racism isn't pervasive.

The town is an animal,
lying prostrate on the vets table
pining to be put to sleep.

Nothing is going to change.
I remembered when the town burnt.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Super Nova

A famous Artist
Takes his life.

He leaves a short note
For his estranged wife

He points a knife
Towards his chest,
Sighing, he pierces
His pampered poets flesh.

His body is found
Several days later,
Propped up against
A broken bathroom radiator.

Several of the broadsheets
Will run a feature,
The TLS will run a cover,
He will be added to the Syllabus
For bored teenagers
To pretend to discover
His meanings
And dissect his rhyme schemes

For the most part,
He is forgotten
To be resurrected, rarely,
As a Sunday supplement
In The Guardian

A Reality TV Star
Catches something terminal,
Leaving her doctors
She calls Max Clifford
To get her a Chat Show deal.

So to Richard and Judy
She will tell of the lumps
She found under her towel,
To Paul, she talks about the
Obstruction in her bowl,
On Phil and Fern
She will learn how to
Flambé correctly.

Hello, Chat and OK
Will let her have her say
And take photos of the Chemo,

Her condition will
Consume every edition
Of all the Tabloid Magazines
And when she weds
They will all exclaim
How her bald head
Compliments her dress.

When she croaks,
It’ll be all over the news and
Taxi driving blokes,
Will pause and say:
“She meant the world
To the missus and me,
She was the fucking
Queen of Bromley”

Tribute editions
Will fly from the shelves
As the population
Become beside them selves
In grief that is intense.
And brief.

Her diary will sell,
He house will as well,
Her husband will
Give seven exclusive
Interviews a week
Then go back to Jail.

But another star will come,
And it will all be redone.
Another bleached blonde
Girl will sell the world and
It will all be redone
And redone, and redone.

And the Artist is dead.

And the Star is dead.

And I am bored of it all.

This is New to me

I am not too sure what to do with these, do I use them to force my own ideas and opinions on others, or alternitvely, do I simply put new poems and poems which are being worked on here and let the world say what they want?? I think, for the sake of ease and for those times when the poetical Muse is not bothering with me, I will do a mixture of the two.

And that is as far as a statement of intent as any one is going to get from me.

As for what I write about, I do not have any specific themes or, I would argue, style and I write about what I think about. Feel free to comment, insult, glorify anything you see and read.