The day you slithered from the womb
the Doctor held you aloft, confirmed what we’d feared:
“Madam, it’s a potential Minister for Health.” And newborn you
screamed what we later understood to mean:
“bring me your perforated eardrums, your infected urinary tracts, and I will set up a committee to look in them.”
But this most recent birth wasn’t the beginning.
Since shortly before time officially began,
you’ve dragged yourself across the top soil.
You were present and correct to brush the dandruff
off the Lord Mayor’s hat each time he visited
the municipal Home for Unfortunate Women
whose babies had to be flogged
to couples named Barbara and Algernon,
so as to be prudent with the Parish’s pennies.
You were on hand to personally present
the late archbishop with his fifth chocolate biscuit,
last time he visited the much maligned
School for The Blind, which used to be
where the town abattoir now stands.
And it was written
in lines later deleted from the Book of Judges
that it would be you who’d flood
our hospitals with avant-garde urologists
who instead of the traditional
(and far more costly) balloon catheter,
and ultrasonic stone disintegration apparatus,
prefer more radical treatments involving
a fishing rod and an electric hair straightener.
Your upcoming marriage the usual
confidence and supply arrangement
you’ve had every other century.
Your fingers are starving worms
patiently awaiting their moment.
On the passing of Anthony Cronin, poet, writer and Charles Haughey’s cultural attaché.
One Has To Admire His Ability As A Poet
“I was struck by … his courage in speaking out to defend the memory of Charles Haughey” Vincent Woods, RTÉ website
To defend the memory of Boris Yeltsin’s
vodka bottle. To take money from both the late Benito
Mussolini and, when pragmatism demanded it, those
who spat on him when he was safely
hanging upside down outside an Esso station.
To put in the proper context of realpolitik
as practised in parts of County Wexford
the late Father Fortune’s harem of boys.
To share a Ouija board with President Duvalier
while supping rum from the skull of an infant
who was always going to come to this
because, in the words of W.H.Auden,
‘poetry makes fuck-all difference’.
To share a roast leg with General Amin
and not mind which of his enemies was being eaten.
To recite even his longer poems
to a musical accompaniment of Vladimir Putin
twanging his jock-strap, like a rude balalaika.
To roll around wrapped in the French flag
with Marine Le Pen, whispering
in her cockle shell the words ‘Barbie, Bormann,
Goering’, because that’s the sort of thing
an advocate for the arts must sometimes do.
First published by Poethead (curated by Christine Murray).
Irish rabble-rouser laureate Dave Lordan, he of the Bogman’s Cannon, has been busy on his latest opus: a collection of essays discussing Irish & international literature, multimedia and social change, entitled The Word in Flames.
It’s available exclusively as an eBook from Lordan himself, at the suggested donation of €10 (bigger or smaller accepted), with all proceeds funding an upgrade of his community-use media suite.
Writes William Wall, Author of This is The Country:
Every once in a while an organic intellectual pushes through, by sheer strength of will and intellectual capability, the dense network of disciplinary and punitive systems that are designed to control the working class. Such a person is rare in Ireland, because public life works to hedge around and make precarious the voice of the outsider who has not been to the right school or played the right games. Dave Lordan is one such voice.
Ireland’s poet anti-laureate Dave Lordan (he of aggro-lit bedrock The Bogman’s Cannon) has a new radio show, with newly-active online station Dublin Digital Radio, simply monikered The Pirate Show.
An Alt.lit show with emphasis on the singing poet tradition then & now, live lit, performance, & spoken word/music crossovers in all their forms. For the first show I will be briefly interviewing Ewan McColl’s proud ghost, & talking in more detail to rebel writer Sorcha Fox.
Also featuring Conchúr Ó Ceallaigh, Olive Groove, Jinx Lennon, Sisterix, The Sons of Slum, Katie Freeney, The King Blues, The Dubtones, Kate Tempest, Rafeef Ziadah, Adrian Mitchell, Natasha Helen Crudden, Daniel Wade, Captain Moonlight, Jinx Lennon & Paula Flynn.
After a Bloomsday of big breakfasts, celebrity readings, gentle strolls through Dublin City, sidewalk lunches in Sandycove and Burgundy wines and Gorgonzola cheese, punters got down to the real business of the day, as night descended with a visit to the Poetry Brothel in ‘Nighttown\.
The Bloomsday After-Party transformed the Liquor Rooms into a late night, early morning, Nighttown Brothel scene, with ladies of the night, writers, poets, artists, radicals and performers, all kept in disorder by master of ceremonies, John Farrell [pic 6].
According to Mr. Farrell, the Brothel experience restores a sense of intimacy and fun in poetry and is quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon with satellite poetry brothels in Paris, Barcelona, New Orleans and Portland.
This was the first time in Dublin and hoping to become a regular feature of Bloomsday, the event was themed on Bloom and Stephen’s sojourn into Dublin’s once notorious red light district…
‘Twas the night before Xmas
And all through the Broadsheet site
ABM was bah humbug
Along with the rest of the far right
Bodger had his stockings hanging
Moynes playing Wham on loop
Clampers was buying Pampers
Whilst shopping with Spaghetti Hoop
Scottser had put the kids to bed
And sat down by the fire
Don had wrapped all the presents
And wished for her Xmas desire
All of a sudden the site crashed
There was no access
Was it a DDoS?
that left the site in a mess?
Moynes jumped in anger
And let out a roar
There stood DOB’s solicitors
Three of them at the door
They exclaimed at poor Moynes
‘We can assure we will sue’
Everything seem fruitless
What could BS do?
The threat seemed real
And a horrible stinker
They got straight on the phone
To Legal Coffee Drinker
A letter was forthcoming
As they did up a reply
They figured to themselves
‘This we shall enjoy’
“DOB you have been bad,
Scaring everyone on your list
I’m sure Santa is looking at you
And feels very pissed
Your legal threats are nothing
Santa is bringing you coal
And take your legal threats
And ram them up your hole”
Broadsheet will be open all next week operating a lighter schedule. Happy Xmas all.
Poets Louis de Paor and Catherine Ann Cullen, along with veteran arts critic Ciaran Carty are the judges for the international Thomas MacDonagh poetry competition to be launched in Dublin today
Organised by Reclaim the Vision of 1916, the competition invites original entries of not more than 30 lines, not previously published, including on social media, on the theme ‘The Vision of 1916: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.
The author of the winning poem will receive a €1,000 prize and a medallion (above), designed by artist Robert Ballagh, of the poet and 1916 Rising leader, Thomas MacDonagh. The second and third prize winners will receive €500 and €250 respectively.
Entrants must be aged over 16, can be living in Ireland or abroad and, in keeping with the vision of 1916, are particularly welcome from Ireland’s new communities. full details of entry requirements are at link below Entries can be in English, Irish or any language commonly used in Ireland today (with English translation).