Site Meter Poetry Assassin: August 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Update on s/m flyting.

(Written spontaneously on becoming aware, at 5am Saturday morning, of a recent (free) e-book, Poets for Corbyn, and its negative Times review (behind a paywall), not having read it and knowing nothing of its contents.)

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

That, unfortunately, rarely, if at all, comes out of a collective online poetic creative-writing group protest in which we all agree how great our shit is. And in which our level of sincerity is measured in how angwee we sound.

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

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

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

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

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

The cool detached dispassionate mature phase, archly poetic side-stepping the usual banalities and speaking in a voice that comes from a practice one had to be at it for seven years and took on at the eighth year; imbas forosnai. Which, as ye all know, is the name of my new banging spoken word collection, using bits and pieces of the best contemporary poems in the world, written thru into my own shit.

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






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

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

~~~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Desmond Swords

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

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

I have just been reading up on the story so far, and am wondering if he needs me to write songs for him to sing, Bobsicle: Williams and i, one day he could be making me millions.
Of course, it didn't stop me. Scores more names had preceded it and, over the next four years, scores more followed. Indeed, one of my recent compliments came from the observation made by a senior English poet, that I 'had a different name every week'. Sometimes you'd get thru five a day. They'd delete the accounts entirely, and so the majority of these short lived one and two comments written in name after different name after different name, were altogether wiped from the public record; but now and again one turns up. A handful of the ones i have recently stumbled across and saved as bookmarks are

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

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

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

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

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

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

gwionb.

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 olluná 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 the hotel 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, Write and Recite, that was the poetry WaR scene before the Super Happy Yummy Fun Times scene that did make a very large and seismic impact, after social-media and this 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 all the old guard 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 homeless hostel, at the end of my 18 month stay there, where i 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 be 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 shot time) from attending 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 old Tiger cubs 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 it is a very coveted title because it is the most authentic. 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 Sqaure. 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 whatever they think it is they ahave arrived at doing their spoken word versions of fíliocht.

I wrote to the RTE show that a lot the people i'd given money to for being ace poets, had got gigs, usually interviewed 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 the. And no, it was my problem, they had no input into the show and, it felt like at the time, being told to go away and why don't i just die and let someone else take over the all ireland.

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.
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 ay to whatever they think it is they ahave arrived at doing their spoken word versions of fíliocht.

I wrote to the RTE show that a lot the people i'd given money to for being ace poets, had got gigs, usually interviewed 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 the. And no, it was my problem, they had no input into the show and, it felt like at the time, being told to go away and why don't i just die and let someone else take over the all ireland.

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 answering any questions, 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 mission.
 
One brave young voice who has the balls to speak his mind, Cal Doyle, stating 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 Au as that is the only way you wont lose out to all the very many petty strokes and stunts pulled by the poetry assassins that smile to your face as they stick the knife in and fuk u ova.

Ah, tis a grand old loif.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Yeats epitaph carved on his tombstone in cemetry at Drumcliff, Sligo, and a Dublin pub toilet.