Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Response to Ian Duhig / Kate Tempest Post

Comment not posted on Ian Duhig's Facebook, as it was too long. The discussion is on Kate Tempest.


When i pitched up in Bubbalin dubalin tewn eleven years ago, at the height of the delusional era, the page poets, headed by he who needs no name, the greatest and most successful living page poet of the final third of the 20C, and then some; all those orbiting round him in the ollúna inner golden circle of poets - measured there own standing in the world of poetry, i thought, in relation to where they stood with Famous. As U2 have seven degrees of separation, with level three in a hotel party suite emptying the bar for free, but still four levels off meeting Bono, so Famous had many ripples of invisible social, cultural, political and otherworldly force protecting him from unwanted intruders. If you knew him personally, that would be enough of a top up, i suspect, to feel ten times better about yourself already. Just him cracking onto you would make your day.

As soon as i landed i threw myself into the only open mic in Dublin, the weekly Write and Recite, that was the Dublin poetry WaR scene before the Super Happy Yummy Dublin Fun Times scene that succeeded it, and, unlike WaR, did make a very large and seismic impact, after social-media and the Facebook platform took off and all at once the grubby and disheartening grass-roots open-mic work, the printing of little cards and flyers, trying to get the word out in public, evaporated. And the lonely bored and mixed up kids thinking of poetry, alone in their bedrooms, could be coaxed out by a new buzz. Wholly different from the one we had at Write and Recite. Austerity replaced excess and the kids came out to shout the old guard down.

And they/we were very successful at it. The new slam and spoken word scene was perfect for radio, and many of the old guard whose poems of expensive holidays in Umbria and villa stays in Tuscany, no longer relevant to the newly poor and fucked over masses, were replaced with the new young kids in fairly short order after the Crash. I played a minor part by creating the All Ireland Poetry Slam.

I created the AIPS when i was in the Iveagh homeless hostel, at the end of my 18 month stay there, and where i'd moved to after graduating uni in England. It was after a particularly low night at WaR, getting roaring drunk and shouting at the top of my lungs, songs in the doorway of the Duke pub off Grafton Street - where WaR was on its fifth week of what the MC, Gerry Mac, hoped would become a permanent weekly residency.

The song was the full song we used to blast out at full volume every new years eve in our cul de sac in tolerant Ormskirk, where the neighbours would indulge us as we played rebel songs, 'come out ye black and tans, come out and fight me like a man, tell your wife how you won medals down in Flanders.'

A crowd of homeless alcoholics and drug addicts gathered round me, joining in, and one of them insisted, i'm getting ye a pint. And at the bar the manager behind it said, 'out, and never come back.' He then barred WaR, and i got barred (for a short time) from attending at its new venue, and the only way i could think of wheedling a way back in was to create the All Ireland Slam and hand it to Gerry on a plate. Which i did.

Most of the new breed of successful performance poets that came to prominence thru winning the all ireland slam, replaced a lot of the senior page-bound anti-performance alpha poets that thought their RTE gigs were for life, when Famous was alive and his stability was the feature of poetry in Ireland, as the living tide lifting all other Irish poets. Now in its ninth year, the eight annual --(two from each province that compete in a rotating  final, this year in Ulster, Belfast)-- Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster titles, along with the one All Ireland Live Poetry Champion title, are very coveted because this competition is transparently fair, democratic and the most authentic and successful live poetry competition in Ireland. 

RTE last had a slam eleven years ago, by private entry, and it was won by a Trinity academic with a truly awful piece of doggerel. I think the slam is so respected by the national broadcaster, because it was created out of the real stuff of living poetry, and not in some lofty high-vaulted drawing room of a government arts office on Merrion Square. It has a reputation as the real thing. Giving a leg up with nothing more than a few words arranged into a title most irish people would not say no to being. An All Ireland Live Poetry Champion.

Of course, being English, though i was unaware of it in the early years i was handing out prize money and doing something for nothing in the service of other poets; what has ended up most interesting to me, is how i got treated by the very people that made careers and were involved with the competition i created - treating it as a stepping stone upon their own way to wherever they think it is they have arrived at doing their spoken-word versions of fíliocht.

I wrote to the RTE show that a lot of the people i'd given money to for being ace poets, had got gigs on as talking heads, usually interviewed and poached by RTE the day they won the all ireland slam competition, such is the national cultural excitement around my creation. After writing nobody replied, and i asked one of the winners who had a regular spot on the show, hey, i wrote three weeks ago and haven't heard back, did anyone say anything to you?

And was given a devastatingly clever and perfect answer, 'i haven't been there for three weeks'. I suspected this was a cute way of avoiding answering a straight question, which in ireland, unlike the UK, is generally avoided, and a lot of dancing round has to happen with everyone holding their cards close to their chest, before, if at all, you discover the knowledge you want.

I wrote to another contributor to the same show, in the comment section of their blog, who is now full time at RTE poetry department, and the main editorial leader of the new kiss-ass gen of shmokin shpoken wordas in peroppa woppa orda. And they were very brusque and replied as if i had done something exasperatingly wrong even contacting them. And no, it was my problem, they had no input into the show, and, it felt like at the time, like being told to go away and why don't ye just die and let someone else take over the all ireland now you've done all the hard work of creating and establishing it.

Then i wrote to a producer of the show on fb and got ignored and blocked by them. i thought then that perhaps all the ace poets i'd given money to and helped with their careers, were perhaps jealous of me, and, perhaps, hated the fact i was English.

And of course, over the next few years, it was obvious by the silence, avoidance of any contact with me, making it plain i was not welcome at any of the many gigs they had the power to invite me to, not answering any simple emails, and no contact whatsoever from those i helped out, once my use had stopped, that of course i was just another English mug in their eyes. 

There is now a very powerful loosely connected and working band of thirty-something nod and wink live poatz on their now seven year old (yawn) New Scene, of a handful of the same old faces saying the same old poems, and just as laughably pulling every stroke in the 'fuk u ova' playbook - and doing the exact same petty guarding of their hard-won small poetry patches in Ireland - as the lot they replaced where doing when i first arrived and before the supposed saviours came in and tipped over the furniture whilst using the word fuck a lot as proof of their revolutionary credentials.

One brave young voice who does have the balls to speak his mind, Cal Doyle, stated in a new Burning Bush 2 Literary Magazine interview:
'I almost threw up recently in a bar with some writer friends who were discussing, no, gushing over a poet and one poem in particular; a poem that is utterly incompetent, megalomaniacal and clichéd all at the same time. But one has to bite their tongue in such situations: there is no room for dissent, or in this particular case, basic common sense. This needs to be addressed. If one smells bullshit, then one should be free to say ‘I smell bullshit’ without fear of being alienated from the wider community. And of course this bullshit only exists because of dubious editorial practises at various journals—these editors publish bad poems and writers see the bad poems and reproduce them ad nauseam, then they build up a minor reputation, publish a collection with an imprint that churns out book after book, poet after poet, then they get a job teaching impressionable young people how to write bad poems.'
Tis a tuf aul road being an English poet in Dublin. You have to base your 14 year training in the answers and advice found reading over and over again the contents of the core technical manual used on the fourteen year filidh/poets training curriculum, Auraicept na n-Éces, as that is the only way you wont lose out to all the very many petty strokes and stunts pulled by the incredibly childish poetry assassins that smile to your face as they stick the knife in and fuk u ova.

Ah, tis a grand old loif.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Advice to the newly official poet, Doowred Nukcaj

Desmond's words as Ovid Yeats, 8 Jul 2007 15:37, comment on the Guardian Culture pages book-blog by Jonathan Morrison, How about a genuinely dangerous book for boys?

rayz: Most of these boys wouldn't know how to read...
CJUnderwood: Actually, in my experience they do know how to read. They just don't, and for good reason because beyond the purposes of enjoyment and self-edification that reading serves for the dear writers and posters on this blog, for most ordinary young men (and by ordinary I mean those who don't have parents who are art dealers, stockbrokers, teachers and high ranking company execs) reading serves no practical purpose. So they just don't. I've been reading virtually non-stop since I was 16 (now 23) in preparation for and then when studying for my English Literature degree; to be honest it's done nothing for me but give me a vocabulary that makes me sound like a walking dictionary in casual conversation. Since my father has been a mechanic for Volvo Construction Machinery for the last thirty years, and all my friends come from similar stock, it makes for some interesting if exasperating evenings in the local pub. If I could have that time back and spend it playing football instead of reading, I would gladly take it.


Ovid Yeats: I detect a lot of honesty on this thread, but the Love level is hovering below buoyancy and sinking. Underwood, now you have revealed your age, i am a lot closer to fixing a trace into your psyche as a lover looking to infuse the affirmational buzz on the floe for those of us yet to find their thought-fish and swim home in the mind to ones true omphalos. That on these islands, or certainly, Ireland, the Well of Segais, is the source of anwyn and imbas, or the ineffable literary poetic inspiration within our own imagination. It is the dead that make us so. The anima mundi. Human spirit and Greek world soul from which the poets of yore, that create the foundation of the English language poetry tradition, spent their time fishing for spoken song poems that are eternal and timeless.

Located at the equidistant node of self-revelation and the soul of understanding you alone possess, the polestar of rite and guidance one maps with as they learn to dance wisely thru music in time happening on the page as the printed utterance from our source, and the sum of millions of once living souls that randomly connected to create us and our brief flash of life atop a sidhe pyramid of the dead that speak thru us. Or nae.

Ones life, as Milton's concurs with Amergin, is nought but fate, dán, and a poem itself. And although not all who write go on to become verse-smiths, all literacy is essentially, poetic expression in various degrees of beauty and eloquence. As it is ability and poetic knowledge that make a writer so, and Morrison's deposit above is but one from many he will create in his career with the keypad, and the piece we are responding to is lite fluff.

However, whilst it will never be the tipping piece that caused Jonathan to win the imaginary Art correspondent of all time award, more importantly than that, one detects that the raw psychic weight imbuing this piece, the swirling abstract force of Johnnies mind which has been delineated ontop the floe for our perusal and critical response, is one of Love.

And i do not say this tongue in cheek or facetiously, as the piece leaves us not facing a call to arms or to make a supremely subliminal decision concerning the affairs of wo/men, but to be happy and go a bit daft at the weekend, and as a young person Jonathan's mind will carry little more than the wish to enjoy life, be it skinning up, boozing or cruising.

Most senior bores on this rag talk with more skill at combining words, attempting to paint the hard-working people of pen-craft, as being more important than us mere mortals, just because they write. But what they have not learnt, and what Jon has, is to harness to the positive within, the Love not hate.

Worse still, these armchair know-alls that would have us believe their utterances carry the import of a greater gravitas, beyond what words appear on the page. The supreme Yeatsean selfishness of wondering if men went out and shot other men as a result of your words.

But whereas an argument can be raised for Yeats' arrogance, given the particular circumstances in which his incoherent bundle of accident and chance passed itself off as the most important contemporary global poet composing with the English language in bubbalin Dubalin tewn, when in the fullness of his poetic maturity - the other bores here on this forum have not exhibited such obvious evidentiary support with our own letters, merely the petty tepid mores of secure middle-class hacks spouting off about what we witness remotely and electronically.

Not experience in the brutal flush. The music of what happens sung here by them without learning is absent and negative. Jon is singing of the music that happens in his own life, however humble or easy it may seem to be fo us dreamers pretending we are something we aren't, that mock, though we be the same.

For what is Art but the supreme and terrible Love that is beyond all ken and comprehension, the polar force of frozen stella scope and mirrored in the omphalas of molecular proportion?

What Love came from this cold beauty is but the act of very consciousness itself, live in the waking breath which guides us through whatever form and state within the greater play and field of eternal energy and bio-electro-magnetic flux human life is a derivative of.

And i think it is important here to inject a note on which to draw ones critical datum; the intellectual first sight and recording within, what collection of psychological proofing mechanisms one assembles as they tread their divinely unique path of Art.

The ineffable and literary something within that represents the deepest valency furthest from quotidian consciousness in which the lower emanations of existential reality presents itself to us whilst in our waking form, before the womb reclaims us and we snap back and retreat to shade, our brief rehearsal for cosmic fame continued as ghosts haunting for peace.

And maybe perhaps for a portion of the phantasmagoria in which to be of use to the diviners and prophets seeking to sway humanity at the seance and dig which is the very life force of Art.
The casting of fools into an ever less remote unknown, should ones practice have flowered in the sacred ground of whatever discipline one claims to have trained in.

Mine is language. I am training to be a professor of poetry, several more grades ahead of me. A full time bore and trainee saviour, street-corner rakehelly boy back from the pages time forgot. And a three-quarter Mayo, quarter Cork soul trapped in the body of a working-class Lancastrian spacer at the fame academy with fifteen minutes to look society directly in the eye and fear not, nor simper and beg ones audience, but to ignore them and walk on air, as Seamus Heaney famously wrote, in his poem The Gravel Walks; and what, I suspect, may well be his epitaph, carved on some slate grey stone of Ulster - and walk on with hope in your heart, against the better judgement of others that would have you believe, they know better and best of all about poetry and fíliocht.

For what is Art but acting the bollix and caring not what people think?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Skinpy Bob in Kilkenny


God, he is so close as well. Robert Pinsky. Like you could just reach, and, stand up, maybe, then take summat from a scuffed Lidl plassy bag, like Sir Ian McMillan used to lug about before he became ennobled from Her Majesty. Wave it about to get Bob's attention, cry out, autograph, autograph, giv us ye fekin autograph, Bob, ye talented weirdo.

. i was thinking of being there myself, to apologize for being a dickhead at his online poetry class, once, several years ago now, when my poetic identity was still a seething cauldron of working-class chips, envy and resentment. Before i became the person i am today, proudly representing the very best of both Britain and Ireland.

Then i was a rag-bag of imitative stylistic ticks trying to learn by the act of continually practising extemporized voices, with all and any comers, willing to artistically engage and critically create conversational prose events live online. Walk on air against one's better judgement, and the prevailing orthodoxy prevalent in the inherently submissive publication model in which a 'permission to continue' writing poetry is sought, not in affirmations that yield forth from within our own inner well of Segais, but from without. Our literary worth measured not by the gift of the poem itself, but from its acceptance by editorial fixtures and forces of poetic consciousness firmly rooted in the old Tudor courtier-poet model, in which we are all steeped as rhymers journeying thru the thickets of the English language.

Bob, forgive me, i wud say; but i wuz only a third and fourth grade bardic Dos and Cano, a student with years to yet go and whelp and noddy lidl kewdy dawg, with no wise judgement to speak of; n' i went in there to your online forum sounding a right uneducated thug, shallow, crowing about myself, shouting how great i am, and all along, Bobo tha mawn yu wuz tha worn, outta all the titans i exposed as shallow vacuous a-holes during my time as the village's leading online poetry assassin, that proved to moi ye wuz nae tha divvy disinterested in fíliocht that i'd cast ye as wen projecting one's bitterness and psychological unwellnes, right at ye, dudemanbrosis.

Bob, i'd say, bending close in to whisper, watching the faces of the displeased Irish poatz fuming as i stepped out and up onto the bardic air between earth and sky, paying no heed to petty local social etiquettes and death stares directed at ye for not knowing ye place. And, being totally different, look, look, look, i know, i know, i'd say to Bob; i kno tha bug mawn's gan sho ee az, Bobertocelli, n oim tha repelasemento toorallah doorallah, why aye look oo it isn't Bobaldo, yu kewdy lidl noddy Bawb.

Ye dud haff tae torn aff ye comments, sho ye dud, kozza wozza norolorrah yeh yeh yeh, sung in the city of Norsemen so witty, where all ye cudnt take the presh fram a Leburtaze lout loik moi, ye cnuts.

BLFSN - AOUEI - Kilkenny poatz kno ye twade shing worreva es wull mayd, learn ye ogham, spin the scales, eighty-eighty different strands and brands of reverse engineered letters, there is, in the shade of a famous wan host and swirling ghostly now channels are opened and imbhas is flowing, the soul sung slant and true is spinning up and down, with two interlocked electro-emotional magnetic writing gyres in a system the science of consciousness cracked, by a long-term study and scientific analysis of the craic. So tha wuz.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Comment on Nessa O'Mahony's Facebook

Originally a comment on Dublin poet Nessa O'Mahony's facebook. Who wrote 11 August 14:43:

Delighted to be part of the Open University's Dublin Culture Night again this year on Friday 18th September, and this year I'm joined by fellow OU teacher Siobhan Campbell and a host of talented OU alumni including Margaret O'Brien, Evan Costigan and Serena Lawless, all in the delightful surroundings of The Winding Stair bookshop. We'll even have an open mic - what more could you ask for.

Desmond Swords: If you need an MC for the open-mic, i don't mind helping out by voluntarily organising and co-hosting it with some of the sustainable community team here at the Iveagh flats. Or get just the right person to do it, if i'm unavailable on the night. Hosting an open-mic is not for the inexperienced or fainthearted. The first open mic i attended in Dublin, Write and Recite, was a psychological four year WaR that left some with intense emotional shell-shock and intellectual meltdowns resulting in clincial interventions and enforced health-care at the Central Mental Hospital in Clonskeagh.

There is a fine art to it, that i learned over the four years i attended open mics and regularly created and hosted events. My first creation was with the closest you can get to witnessing the real Patrick Kavanagh in the flesh onstage; the long-time poet-actor who has played Kavanagh in his own prose and poetry on the stage for three decades, Pj Brady. I came up with the idea, filled in the arts council forms, got the grant, and now the Patrick Kavanagh Celebration every September above in the Palace bar on Fleet Street, is part of the cultural fabric of this city.

I was the original poet-in-residence hosting an open mic in the Monster Truck Art Gallery, after shamefully and drunkenly blowing it at WaR by getting the event banned from the Duke pub after five weeks there, in what the MC Gerry MacNamara hoped would be a permanent residency, and having to find a new place to practise, found an art gallery full of recent NCAD graduates.

Before Kit Fryatt and her partner in rhyme, the English avant-garde pioneer of contemporary verbal experimentalism, Dylan Dyldo Harris, took over the role some months after the original NCAD hippies and useless accountant artists that created Monster Truck, dissolved the admin and went their separate paths as artists.

I am no longer a new addition to Ireland's poetry family and Dublin community of wonderfully talented verbal ranters and rhymers representing all class, manner, type, and degree of filidh education in the wordsmiths carrying on in the wake of Famous.

The Ballaghy bard, Mossbawn magus, He that needs no name because, when alive, i always thought, watching him from the sidelines as he silently noted me with the perfect poetic eye he had, that was like no other in what it did - it was obvious to any outsider that there was just Him and a lot of people i still fail to recognise, orbiting around him in such a way that one thought, this is cultural magic, proper faery stuff.

Heaney a living container of that s/he sidhe energy of faery force that, i think, all luvvies are after imitating, lake tha bug mawn, sho a wuz, bak in the day. Wen i was a new alcoholic on the alcoholic block, that Dublin poetry can be when you go to all the right pubs and know all the right intellectual Dublin thinkers that drink. Is alsm sayin, yeh. peace owt be by the power invested in me from a lot of potentially very emotional, angry and upset people that an open-mic can turn into behind the smiley facades and upside-down smiles we can all grimace at times wen sat there, thinking, 'look at that tossa up there hosting the open mic. Ooh de dee fink thee aw loik', sho a shed. speekin tha bog mawn paddyeez-esque slangwij that's peroppa woppa popular in Bubbalin Dubalin tewn these days, wen yiiza fram tha Leburtaze, loik oi ahm sho oi awm. Like s/m fb friend, the very talented Florida poet-singer, Dublin resident, Canci Song, CanciOfficially beautifully there as good as any. I just heard it earlier and thought, wow, great stuff.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

(originally two comments on poet cris cheek's s/m fb)

(originally two comments on poet cris cheek's s/m fb)
cc: Repugnicon is a great term. maybe it is already out there, but if not congratulations and be well x

ds: A quick search on Google returns 60 results, the earliest of which is an archived thread from Mon, 17 Oct 2005 01:10:50 GMT2005, 'How many Americans dead due to Repugnicon lies?'

I can't work out amongst the names who is referring to what as it is a conversation email with different authors quoted. Moe Syzlak, i think it is, but there's a Rick N. Backer with a ken.wilson address, that signs off with a list of his pseudonymous titled internet foes he seems to be claiming the intellectual scalps of.

'Ken Wilson.

Proud Owner of Lord Valve, PMG, John Wheaton, Claude Lucas, Freep the Xenophobe, Chuck, Pseudobacker, Max Floater and the rest of the Union of Rightwing Idiots Needing Explanations (URINE) and, at his own request, Karl Rovershank (aka Lars from Mars) Supporting the Troops.'

Friday, August 07, 2015

Apology for Don Share

Originally a comment at a s/m nemeton of the long-time co-host of the Carmine St. Metrics reading series, published on the not untalented Oklahoma, Norman, poet Quincy Lehr's phasebuke.

We'd been trash-talking the editor of the world's oldest, richest and most widely circulated and longest running contemporary monthly American magazine devoted to verse, Poetry's Don Share, trolling there in pseudo-private, experimentally insulting The Donald, as, i think it was me started calling him, on Lehr's Facebook updates, that Poetry occasionally, naturally, reasonably, of course, pops up in. Not every day, but when it is published, every month. 

I think i am correct in stating that tho Lehr has 1630 s/m 'friends', this, as with us all, is not the real number of friends and family in his inner golden circle. Like us all, it is far less. I don't count myself as one of the lucky few in that interesting mix of people, more of a wind-up merchant, just another s/m 'friend' & fan from the 1630, constantly poking fun at Lehr's literary pretensions and poetic sensibilities. 

Like a comfortable old conversational slipper, that began its knockabout on Lehr's seminal Dr Whup-Ass Bitch-Ass Poetry Round Up forum, that was part of the noughties rise of vernacular, anti-official verse culture DIYists from America, Australia, Britain, Canada, South Africa and basically the first global poetry forum where people actually talked without descending into acrimonious silence. 

A poetry of social-media publishing that grew out of the online poetry forum, Able Muse, and crystallized to poetic completion in the high quality online journal, Shit Creek Review, created and edited by the late great Yorkshire Australian poet, Paul Stevens (rip). 

But i do know him from when he first arrived in Dublin, eight or so years ago, to teach a year at Trinity, before going to Galway where he met some of the Irish poet friends that do make up a segment in his golden circle. In, i think, 2007/8, we regularly bumped into one another, drunk alcohol and got destroyed on it together in live poetry settings. So, disclaimer, i am biased because i actually like the guy. Or my own version of the published poet based not on all the crazee hipster front, but the person behind it.

I was with him, drinking, in the hours before Lehr first met the Irish editors of his debut and second collections, Across the Grid of Streets, and Obscure Classics of English Progressive Rock, at one of Seven Tower's monthly featured and open-mic events on Fleet Street, in Bowes pub. 

Where i experienced one of my less personally shameful or socially disruptive events of drunken live poetry recital, in which i forgot the words as soon as i went up, and i was standing up there, even tho i can remember it fairly clearly, it was clear to the world i was in no fit state to be out alone. 

And though during that era i was (sober) knocking them dead at that time, in the third year of what in my own imagination i think of as a Beatles Hamburg phase of poetry, earning the live poetry skin; it was Quincy who starred that night and caught the eye of the people who published his first two books.

The live practising in public phase continued for another year. Out every week, reciting in public, before the delusional Celtic Tiger era abruptly ended. On 26 September 2008, out of the blue, on a Monday morning, in a financial 9/11 moment, by the then nervous and ill-informed Finance Minster, Brian Lenihan (rip), announcing a near-blanket guarantee to the liabilities of the Irish banks

Chamberlain like, waving a piece of worthless paper. The 98 billion euro blanket bank Guarantee, the cheapest so far in the world. The tragedy at the heart of its comic exterior utterance, was truly epic in its scope. Lenihan, proudly declaring the cheapest bank bailout in history, on the morning after it was cobbled together in a handful of hours at an all night emergency meeting, when the Finance Minister was handed a gun to his head by the sweet talking Irish spivs and gurriers of the banking system, as they came to be known throughout the world. The Tony Blairs and Co. of a new world, in which a centuries old order was being exposed, the them and us, because the internet was making hitherto top secret information readily accessible. 

Cobbled together from the lies of obscenely wealthy Anglo Irish bank executives, the meaningless words of a man, who, shortly after, diagnosed with cancer, the news finding its way out in a shock story that Lenihan fought from coming out, his final two years, like a figure of Shakespearean tragedy, were spent trying to keep alive a fictional reality. 

Keep at bay the truth everyone in Ireland and the rest of the world woke up to in the following two years as the hangover cleared and the epic nature of the crash at the end of a bubble, the property business, factory closures, and mass unemployment, became the realization that sunk in quick. That the Celtic Tiger days were a mass collective credit fueled delusion billions of us round the world were caught up living in during the nineties and most of the noughties. And that they were. Facepalm. Well and truly over.


So, we are all trash-talking Don Share, on s/m updates set to private. In my own mind, tho it may appear as if i am one of the faithful h8rs of DS, the truth is i am just doing my own thing and having fun in letters. 

A self-hating Anglo-Irish troll, happy, with scholarly pretensions, more than keen to insult anyone in letters if they work out funny for the Reader. A comic sensibility with language, essentially writing from a joyful and ultimately, loving and kind, hard-won, safe-space poetry itself created for me as the former (and present) idiot i am. 

With my own journey into the word, not playing the game as Quincy and everyone else do, but knowing i am a weirdo anyway, and not bothered, as everyone else is, who do publish books, and ergo, name of the game, hustle and sell them. 

Indeed one of Quincy's finest prose pieces to date, The Lighter Side: On Selling Your Poetry Book,  is a comic litany of complaint published on the Contemporary Poetry Review website, and written in the zone any writer whose been there and any Reader, love. 

Three years after his debut collection, to paraphrase Ginsberg, had been dropped into the Grand Canyon, and he had stopped waiting to hear its echo. The mundane reality had kicked in, and Lehr, at this point one book to sell, unlocked the door to another zone of prose writing that few ever get that far to reach, never mind writing of. He'd outfaced and resolved the first book problem by being honest about his experience of it. And it is a tremendous piece of writing. For what it is.

About being a poet in contemporary America. The bullshit, the lies, the dross, the sheer numbing detached ass-slogging work ye gotta du just to stay sane and successful at it, when there are 3000 nu poatz comin outta tha universities at ye, annually.

Something the New York poet Philip Brady also writes very entertainingly about in his seminal essay, Ginsberg in Ballydehob in which 'it was all laid out':

' ...explained to me at Leviss one night after closing time, blinds drawn, by a famous Irish poet. If you're anyone, you won't need to be told who.

"You had your New York poets—Ashberry and Merrill and O'Hara and that crowd," he declared, "over here;" and he slid the dregs of a Murphy's pint due east. 

"And Hughes in Harlem and Williams just beyond." He thumbed two creamy circles on the bar. "And Bishop up north in the woods," he said, scaling a tri-cornered coaster against the base of the Smithwick's tap, "and Lowell too—grappling his spectral Hitler up in Cambridge. 

"Then you had the Chicago gangs," he tapped a matchbox by the tureen of water, "Lee and Brooks and the other ones—Kunitz and Resnikof—the Objectivists. And above," he pointed toward the bar's laurelled mirror, "there was that mad Protestant farmer Robert Bly, and the Ohio footballer James Wright with their Deep Image. 

"In the middle, the Iowa bowsers," he downed a wee jag and pucked the tumbler down, "top-guns flown in from everywhere by Henry Pussycat, who plotted for decades to murther Cal.
"Down here," he snapped a pound coin on the bar, "the Southern gentry—Penn Warren, Tate and Ransom." 

"And out there," he continued, taking a gulp of Leviss's rough red vintage with his left hand and rocking the western goblet on its base, "The rebels and mumbo-jumbo mystics, Reed and Duncan, Rexroth, Snyder and Ginsberg—with one ear cocked to Nirvana and the other to Gotham."
Finally, with the topography of America completely consumed, he lurched hard left and tamped his fag in a scalloped ashtray, hard as a period. 

"And there was Merwin in Hawaii—an extinct volcano."
This was the America this famous Irish poet had been reading for forty years like a palimpsest. It's the America I was taught to read also by some of the very poets nestled in the pints, ashtrays, tumblers and wineglasses littering Leviss bar. It's a story that enriches this famous Irish poet's sense of his part in a great drama. Reading it once filled me with desire to enter its alluring web. It's a story that seems to have unraveled. He asks me, finger wagging, "Who are your contemporaries?"

Ginsberg in Ballydehob is one of a series of essays on Brady's own journey, from the son of Irish immigrants to the founder of Etruscan Press. And keeper of a living flame, visible all round him in Youngstown Ohio, where he pitched up like a druid dropped from the sky, hitting a new town and single-handedly, by spontaneous magic, poetry flowing out above, around, at, from, on, over, up, thru, under, and the same as the poet Paul Casey did after he left Dublin and landed in Cork in 2008; creating from his visionary will a living scene, centered on the weekly O'Bheal featured reading, five word challenge, and poetry open mic; the beauty and goodness reflected right back on both poets as a living cultural reality.

In Brady's case, in all the excited students, readings, lectures, publishing and recitals he does, from memory, in a poetry that is peerless and without compare, imo. As this recital at Wilkes University last July demonstrates, reciting from his June 2015 collection published by Broadstone Media: To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet Book XI: The Etymology of Queens.

If you are writing prose as good as Brady's, as I believe Lehr is nearing, you are already a star of American poetry with a great life on the page ahead of you.

So, here we are, or there we were, in 'private', 1630 s/m friends, and, being the most, i was doing the most egging on of others to talk more, angrier, outrageous trash about The Donald, knowing that it is the kind of goading anyone in his position will expect, and gets, from a lot of disgruntled from the annual 3000 Nu US Poatz, naturally, because he is Dondarling S, we decided, or rather, i wrote, feeling particularly pleased with the sarcastic toxicity of some of the trash-talk epithets that are essentially, a play with letters and arranging into words, this kind of vitriolic outpouring from complete strangers on s/m, that goes with the territory of having the cushiest gig in poetry, certainly in America. 

As a result of trash-talking him in, what i think, was private, he must have read it because Quincy is then, someone who he has never had any written contact with, does not personally know, blocked by Share on Twitter.

No big deal, we may say, those who don't like the Norman guy in New York with his poetry professor rock n roll shtick. The funny clothes, a highly conscious maintenance of the hipster attitude, a potential three hundred and sixty million individual reasons for not being liked and popular in contemporary American culture. But then, like the golden circle, precising the 1630 friends down to the less than one percent of top successful poetry students out of the 100% that  begin some bardic curriculum equivalent, in America, 16.3 in the inner most private circle of knowledge and information with which to remotely control the mind of DS.

Apology to Don Share
by fb friend of Quincy 

I think we, or rather, certainly myself, owe Don Share a big fat fookin apology for being a faakin dik Ed referring to him so uncouthly as all but a dickhead 'imself for this summer's July/August 2015 Poetry magazine. 

Though the July/August edition of Poetry is edited by a teenage kid, when I read it, or rather, scrolled thru, shaking my head in bafflement, i thought the editorial choices were made by a 60 something Harvard intellectual, and, poetically enough, getting it wholly wrong.

And only learning in this Toast interview, with the real editor, after trashing The Donald te fuke on Quincy Lehr's private fb updates; that the July/August 2015 Poetry editor was not Don Banaldo, but this sweet young kid

I fawt ih wur Donny S, DS, the editor of Poetry. Far from him being an idiot he is actually very switched on doing this, as it shows he is not really giving two effs about his Editor head. 

And far from being up its own ass, The Donald's head is doing a great thing giving the free reign to a multi-talented 19 yr old writer, Terri Gevison, like my favorite American woman in the entire world, Anderson Cooper's personal mystic, the best comedian in America, Kathy Griffin, from Oak Park Illinois. The Rookie Magazine, founder, and editor in chief. Saying to the style writer, actress, and singer, Teri Gevison, do what you want with it. Which she did. Fair play. Slainte Don.

I luv u DS. adios. salwaygo. Goodluck. God Bless. Grá agus síocháin.

Kevin Desmond Swords