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a day full of literary wonders [Jan. 10th, 2013|05:11 pm]
[Current Location |north-west of Belize, maybe]
[mood |goodgood]
[music |Emmylou Harris - Too far gone]

ok then, a cursory glance out the bedroom window as about to get up showed there'd been some rain during the night, but as Bella and me left the building 'twas fine and away we trotted to the Lodge, where we walked round to the back garden, enclosed Bella with the two pups in the kennel, and orf I toddled to the bridge on me tod-some.

Got to my customary awaiting-bus spot at the junction for the first time in 2013, left me bag unusually open after sorting me house key from back pocket into wallet, getting the change purse out and across the road I went for me on-bus-accompaniment of a first coffee of this day, which happens to be Rod Stewart's 68th birthday btw; ah Rod, how I loved his solo stuff and especially the Faces songs back in the day. The Faces were just the band, so there. My last Rod LP was the definitely-coasting-and-downhill-from-now-on 'Blondes have more fun', in 1978 (the year before Thatcher came to power, jeez doesn't that sound like an age ago?), I should've got out on the one before, but he was such a fine voice (and songwriter too, not many people know that, as Michael Caine almost said) in his time.

As I emerge back out of O'Sullivan's I find it's raining, just a light drizzle but sheesh I left me bag open! No worries, no deluged papers, which brings to mind in rather more serious circumstances the remarkable exploits of the Holmes/Walker family (grandparents and five children, three of whom can't swim) who are pictured in today's papers hanging on for dear life to the wooden jetty in the sea in Tasmania having fled from their burnt-out home. Tornadoes of fire from two directions surrounding them and the town of Dunally. Unholy shit.

Back in more prone to rain than tornadoes of fire Co. Kerry, as the bus pulled into Killorglin I happened to notice a couple of coins sat on the empty seat opposite. These turned out to be a euro and a 2-euro, so I picked them up, and for that matter the 10c coin that had rolled down to near my feet from the bod who got on after me. We writers with nil publishing commissions have to pick up such scraps when we see them :)

Wrote a card to Carole in Somerset once in Café K with my usual coffee w/soya milk, got another to accompany me round to the library, where I waltzed down to the table to find Christine - making her Knibs debut - already there. We introduced ourselves, Kevin Graham Griffin then walked round too and shortly after that Frances and even Mick was almost on time, well not too late anyway, today, as the five of us got started.

I'd been well pleased to receive Leontia Flynn's third poetry collection Profit and Loss  a few days ago so launched in with one of Leontia's, her 'The Examination Room'. Frances then produced an A4 sheet and said "Whose is this?" so I read out the poem 'Today' upon it, and it turned out to be one of Frances' own. To lose one poem, as Oscar Wilde nearly said ...

Kevin read his 'Late Night' and talked about "found poems", which I asked him again what the term meant, and we waxed on that for a while. Frances thought, upon Kevin Graham  reading it again, that his 'found' poem was "quite cryptic really, isn't it?"

Mick read his 'Depping for the Ulster Orchestra', about being 22 with his viola in Belfast. Kevin read 'Destiny', which I followed by saying "Kevin's read two poems now, so I'll read one," and duly read out my 'Seven and out', the poem I wrote on Monday for Stephanie Ella, the Phillipino seven-year-old who was no doubt enjoying new year's eve out with her family when she got hit in the head by a stray bullet from random firing guns, in "celebration" y'see. Stephanie died.

Frances read 'Wind message', prefaced by saying how she'd been trying to get "twenty poems on the wind for the Patrick Kavanagh", so asked us to "analyse this and tell me why it's not working." We did, and suggested some shifting, such as re-locating the exquisite word 'turquoise'.

Christine read her debut thing at Knibs, which she was self-effacing about beforehand, but 'Neptune Neptune' needed no self-effacement, it was a fine piece, and from one who had wondered how her writing in English would work, was promptly informed by Mick that while one could hear the German accent clearly enough, the text would not have sounded at all like somebody writing in a second language. Agreed round the table.

I finally got to read Buddy's 'Tryst at the Emporium' and  didn't it go down well? Perhaps not the wisest choice of terms given the content but never mind. Frances read her now-revised 'Wind Message' again, and we liked the altered turquoise and its shifted text.

Mick read Grant Caldwell's 'Achill haiku', we let Christine know about Bud's innate aversion to all things haiku, and in my search to find a haiku of my own to add to the mix, could only come up with the one written during last week's exercise, so I quickly revised it to fit this week's five Knibsians instead of last time's quartet, and as Kevin reflected that maybe we were too far gone for an exercise, and informed Christine that we often did some sort of writing exercise most weeks, Mick said something about should we try this "thing I've just invented?" I asked him "What?", and he explained about the "Half haiku" or less-than-seventeen-syllables things that he'd brought some of along with him. He read one, I think it might have been ten syllables long.

I read out Leontia Flynn's 'The Oven', Frances read a section of her previously-aired novel-in-progress about Nomi, beginning "The wind calls my name ...", I threw in another of Leontia's, 'I once lived in a railway carriage flat', and we finished with one that Christine had mentioned earlier about having written when she'd first landed in Kerry, in 2008 I think, called 'Ode to Kerry'. Christine prefaced reading it out by saying that it was a "little bit emotional, like me". Indeed; it was a splendid, warm and moving piece of writing on which to conclude a fine and lively, writer-ly session for another Thursday.

Frances kindly ran me back to Pukowski Towers, calling at the Lodge to collect Bella en route, and that's about that then.  Except that when we got back, there was one envelope, quite a sturdy one, addressed to me at "John B. Cottage". A-ha, must be from Writers' Week then. Indeed it was, splendid first words about this summer's annual wall-to-wall celebration of the literary word in Ireland's literary capital.

Life's a gas (and very, very, wordy).
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tryst at the emporium deferred [Dec. 20th, 2012|05:07 pm]
[Current Location |planet earth, which won't be ending tomorrow btw Mayans, so there]
[mood |goodgood]
[music |Declan Sinnott - I love the noise it makes]

So, got up and out ok, if a bit close time-wise, but did the now usual no-vehicles walk along to the junction from this cul-de-sac that the former thoroughfare I live in has now become, this side of the collapsed wee bridge over the stream, repair of which I am not holding breath over, I doubt that'll be fixed before I'm another year older. Which is 28th March 2013, but that's not important right now. And don't call me Shirley.
Got to the bridge to find the same bod stood there who was last Thursday too, so I didn't make my usual crossover to leave my bag at the stop, get my purse out and nip over for the coffee, stayed wrong side of the road (which is the right as I'm walking, noted that Van?) and over to O'Sullivan's to get the coffee and then head for the stop, bag an' all. Does that make me an unnecessarily careful curmudgeon, not trusting whoever he is? I care not, just how it is.
We even exchanged a brief hello, having 'met' before, the bus duly rolled along around 10 o'clock and orf to Killorglin we did go. Took a bit of a slow run in for the last coupla hundred metres or so, since there was a funereal procession ahead of us. Someone else who'll have no xmas pudding this festive season then. Exchanged a hello with the fruit and veg stall man, along to Champ's, where as I was amid the entrances/bakery area of Eric's, I realised I had clean forgotten about the bloomin' bloomer loaf I bought there yesterday - doh! Dunno why that happened, I went on with the Linda Mc sausages, beetroot, potatoes, red pepper, stuffed vine leaves (my last tin, thank feck I might be going with GMT into Killarney tomorrow, can re-stock then all being well) proper supper instead, but I had simply forgotten about the bloomer, even later on when I had some humous with crackers to finish off, just never remembered me shiny new loaf, oh well, it's time will come shortly, hope it's survived in a reasonably pliable state, it was double-bagged as I usually do to keep it safe so here's hoping.
Went into Café K and coffee-d up, wrote a card to Julia in Kent, telling her about the sad post-Monday funeral round these parts of gentle Harvey, the greyhound originally flung into the river as a pup by some lump of shite masquerading as a human being, fished out by an angler nine years ago.  Daniel and I had dug Harvey's grave in the garden, and then we buried him, the quiet, gentle soul who did the afternoon walk on Monday as normal then suddenly got sick and died that evening, just like that, a cruel and sudden exit. He just looked like he was asleep when I said my goodbyes to him where he lay in GMT's car before we'd dug somewhere to bury him, so I suppose at least it was an out of the blue exit without any drawn-out suffering and such for him and his humans. Still an unexpected and unwelcome shock just before xmas though whatever way you look at it.
Got the usual coffee-to-go for the library walk, surprised having seen nothing of Kevin Graham  Griffin in the café to not find him in the library ahead of me, and indeed it was 11.10 when I scribbled down "absolutely zilch other bods here, ho hum. Plenty of time to get here clutching my take-out coffee #2, renew library books, return to counter to 'borrow' sellotape to secure the short card I wrote to Julia - on the Harvey grave-digging, burial, sobbing in stereo from a distraught mother and daughter - and get my stuff out the bag on the table in here, the four 'hard luck' cricket predicting also-ran cards amongst them, though it would seem I might be taking all of them, and the seven consolation prizes to choose from back with me. At this rate I might well have time to scribble one to Carole too. I'll go take a leak meanwhile ...."
But lo, Mick rolled-in at 11.25, and Sean followed at 11.38, Frances at 11.56. So four of us in the end, hence the three unsuccessful predicters were handed their Irish writers cards I'd written for them (the Kevin and Buddy ones remain for next time I see them) and duly selected one of the consolation pen things I'd got as consolations for cheerfully partaking in my idea of a bit of fun the day the India v England test series began.
Mick read something starting 'Weep America...', following the latest gun-nut in school heinous happening stateside, I read my 'For two sisters and their mother' pained poem written after reading about 15 yr-old (would have been 16 xmas day) Shannon Gallagher's suicide six weeks after her 13 yr-old sister Erin killed herself having been bullied online. Frances came in after I'd just read mine, so Mick and me re-read both.
I then continued the life's-a-gas vibe with the haiku I wrote for Harvey circa midnite Monday, having just returned from the Dromhall writers' group thanks to Buddy as usual, to find a phone message telling me the sad news that Harvey, aged nine, the hound of charm and serenity had died around nine that night.
Frances read her 'The Fossa Way' from her laptop, and Sean his 'A rainy day in the mountains' and 'Brave is a thistle'.
And that was that, readings-wise. There was a fair bit of circulatory discourse, and festive cheer was exchanged round the table or something. We actually finished after 12.30, far enough towards the 1 o'clock departure time for me to skip the usual chips and coffee (tomorrow maybe) next door at Café K, just went and got a coffee to take to the bus stop, posted the card to Kent en route, and back I came.
Hadn't walked too far past the bridge when Ulrike happened to pull up, so she kindly ran me home to Pukowski Acres. Had some cocoa rice in my customary late breakfast style, now let's see how that bloomer I got yesterday and forgot clean about is holding up, see if it can handle some humous and tomatoes on the vine, decent chance I should think ....
That's about it then. Oh no it isn't, he said seeing the subject heading helpfully put in first, forgot to mention neglecting to read Bud's 'Tryst at the emporium', on account of having covered it up unwittingly where I'd handily placed it inside the front cover of my folder, so as to see it straight away at the library when Knibs happened, there was an A4 sheet for something or other at O'Sullivan's this morning when I went there for my coffee to take on the bus, and I'd stuck that inside the same bit of the folder, hence Bud's story only made itself known when I was unloading stuff back here later on. Oops, sorry Buddy, next time f'sure ....
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Kerry: home of, er, mis-spellings? [Dec. 6th, 2012|07:42 pm]
[Current Location |due south of Greenland with a fair wind sideways]
[mood |good]
[music |Emmylou Harris - Big Black Dog]

Ok then, away and out ok this chilly morn, with the usual now (post-bridge collapse) nil traffic accompanying my walk at least to the first junction where I swing a left and head for the bridge. Hadn't been any too sharp leaving the building so wondered if I'd have time to grab a coffee from across the road when I got there, but the watch told me 'twas a mere ten to ten, so seemed plenty time to caffeine-up given the bus isn't due till five to ten, and tbh is rarely there that sharpish.
Bus duly rolled up a few mins past ten, indeed a few enough to just cast the slight wondering 'I didn't miss it when I went over to the shop, surely?' (and don't call me Shirley, here's to the fond memory of Leslie Nielsen), and on I got and along we went (all three of us I think, rarely meet too many others on the early run to town) to Killorglin.
Popped into doc's surgery, yes they'd found the Kerry Brí leaflets ok that I'd dropped thru the letterbox on Saturday post-Open Poetry, then on to Eric's where I got a few bits and then on to Café K, saw Kevin sat on the upper level with some others, but had a screed to scribble so ordered me coffee, sat down, screed was just finished when afore-spotted afore-mentioned Inflicter Of Poetry (aka Kevin) appeared and said hello, we swopped greets and said see you in a mo', got myself a coffee-to-go and then hastened on round to the library, where walking in one was met by a fine circle quite high topped with books, which on further scrutiny turned out to be only books, encyclopaedias and such, a fine display, literally, in all meanings of the word.
Kevin was sat at the first table when I went in, so I went down to the Knibs table (not quite an Algonquin, but hey, we like it in our humble of-course-we're-not-Dorothy-Parker way) and parked my coffee, got out my papers and pens, and with the Griffin Inflicter then arriving, carried on to the copier with my pieces I wanted to quickly copy for future Monday night handing round and reading at the excellent new Dromhall Writers' Group, Killarney.
When I got back shortly after with said copied couple of pieces, the Inflicter was on his cell phone amid verbal intercourse with whoever, so I went back and copied the other pieces too, Kevin had finished his intercoursal activity when I returned, and a Knibs-ing we did go. Just the two of us, Mick having told Kevin he wouldn't be in this week.
Kevin had with him a new book recently received called Eight American Poets, he mentioned the names of the octet therein and I remarked on Elizabeth Bishop that she was the poet who brought the world 'The Art of Losing Isn't Hard To Master', a fine fine poem imo, whose title is actually 'One Art'. 
Kevin then  read Rainer Maria Rilke's 'Child on top of a greenhouse' from his new poetry tome, and I then introduced the two poems that Lorraine had brought to Monday's Dromhall session, a remarkable couple of poems imo, 'That Day' (written aged thirteen following her father's death) and her more recent ' "I" fade to nothing'.
Kevin read another from the new collection, David Hernandez's 'At the post office', which as I remarked following his reading it, was a poem of considerably more weight than the title might suggest. Asked by me to read it a second time, it resonated all the more on second listen.
I gave a reading to Buddy's story delivered by Michael himself to me here at Pukowski Towers last night, 'Denver Dust and Louchadoushes', which I think I prefaced by saying I didn't think Shakespeare had ever used this title. It was a characteristic Michael tale, drawing a smiling accolade and plaudit from Kevin as I concluded its reading.
Kevin read one beginning "What place is this you have created?" and finishing with "I am undone." I read the piece I wrote in an exercise at Saturday's Open Poetry, 'On Church Lane', saying that Michael had prodded me into writing about the street I spent my first twenty-seven years in by mentioning the archaic Ford Anglia type of car when collecting me on Saturday, that having reminded me that the very old couple who lived in the council house next door to us also had one such vehicle.
We then did a writing exercise ourselves, scribbling for eight minutes 'on Untitled or Ringing the bells'. I wrote a quasi-poem loosely entitled 'Untitled but writing'. Read that out as did Kevin his effort, which began "The lady preens her hands and turns away ..."
And so it was that another week's Knibs drew to its end, Kevin said he'd bumped into Sean and he had said he was considering emigrating, I mentioned how Sean had spent several months in Canada on a previous nowt-here-so-I'm-orf time. And then we said our goodbyes, I turned back to Café K for some chips and coffee, posted my recent scribble to Somerset en route back to the bus stop, crossed the road and got a bunch of bananas from the fruit guy, saw the bus approaching there and then so hastily crossed the road before it got there, hopped on, was readying my 6-50 for another "Beaufort Bridge open return please" only to be met with "6-90" by the bus driver, "oh, not 6-50?", "no, gone up", paid the new inflated figure and bestrode the bus; back to the bridge, struck by the realisation that - ok this might be a 'too much information' moment approaching, but it's my blog so wtf? - I could surely do with a seated toilet visit before I got back to Pukowski Acres (half hour walk away), thought ok this chimes with thinking might be nice to call in and say guten tag to Ulrike, haven't met anyone from the Lodge lately, so I walked on in at the Lodge but seeing nil vehicles sat there realised probably both JJ and Ulrike were elsewhere, so walked on down to the frontage and there was Bella and the two cats, taking things easy on the sheltered patio or whatever it's called (sheltered frontage would sum it up well enough), had a cheery re-union with she who I'll be minding again post-xmas when the Lodge bunch head off again (Germany one presumes?), Bella sat back on her blanket and off I headed to the back garden, made sure to shut the gate again and lo there were the two pups, exchanged greetings with Struppi and Jacki and then made a beeline for the outside loo, hurrah :)
Had a word with the twosome (they homed Bella's other pups) on my exit from the small outdoor (and dead handy at such moments) convenience, made sure again to leave the gate securely shut, round to front, my two bags sat there beside Bella who again enthusiastically re-greeted me, we had a moment and then I gathered me bags and wandered back home.
That was about it. Oh right, just seen the title on going to read back for typos, yes right: got home to find just the one item of post, but a good one: the ticket I phoned up the INEC for two days ago after having had a run into Killarney with GreyhoundMotherTeresa, and on reading the interview with Kris Kristofferson in one of the music mags I'd got in town, and finding that GMT wasn't going to go see her old fave on Sunday at the Gleneagle on the 'no money' front, got back here and thought, sod it, she deserves a chance to go see he who responded to the previous music mag piece I read on him when contacted that he was doing "Pretty good, pretty good ... pretty old" again, who knows how many more times the 76-year-old will be around to play in Kerry after all? So I made it a what-credit-cards-are-for moment and one phone call later one ticket ordered. Now it's here, might run into Killorglin again on the morrow and hand it to her if she's doing her usual Friday morn slot at the country market with her wood carving stall.
So the accompanying INEC leaflet thing, which has me thinking might well go see Declan Sinnott in January (though I'll give Mary Coughlan a miss this Saturday, don't hate me Mary after going to see Gemma Hayes in Norwich last blighty trip but not you too, we'll meet again!) and then Christy (Moore, ofc) in March (no mention of Declan with him this time mind, surely he will be?), which just happens to be the day after my birthday. Holy shit Batman, that'd be a pretty grand way to celebrate making it to 55 would it not?
So yeah, the leaflet's cover  trails sundry upcoming names, spells James Morrison right (this is not the end, beautiful friend,  after all? Oh, not he who lies in a Parisian graveyard then), but suggests one Van Morrsion is also coming sometime. Jesus H people, you might have a read of the cover text before you print if ffs?!?! I just noticed Morrissey is the name after mispelt Van The Man (no brown eyed girl mind), hadn't noticed the Moz before, just saw Dara O'Briain  as the next one, heaven knows Steven Patrick is miserable now, knowing I inadvertently missed him ... ooh, possibilities for the new year already then, holy crapoc that was the too-good-to-be-true sequence when I last saw Christy and (for the only time) Morrissey wasn't it? On successive nights at the Gleneagles, that would be what, six or seven years ago by now? Might be time to renew acquaintances all round then, you never know ... apropos of the mispelt Van, it reminded me how last week when I was over at GMT-ville minding hounds, when I walked the dogs up the hill, past where they're finally finishing the new house building half way up the road that had been started and left yonks back (years, truly), the gate that nominally closes the open site from the road (in the outback, folks) bears a sign saying that "24 hour cctv in opertaion", and I've no idea what that might be, except that if there is any cctv anywhere on that humble site I am actually Barack Obama and Maggie Gyllenhaal ... but anyway, does this matter? Take a guess, mind the gap, adios for real this time.
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where I live has metamorphosed into a cul-de-sac [Nov. 22nd, 2012|06:58 pm]
[Current Location |west of Mongolia, and Clacton pier]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Percy Sledge - Try a little tenderness]

So, away ok soon after nine this morn, along the now strangely de-vehicled road towards the junction, which since the wee bridge just a hundred metres or two the other side of me here in outback central, Beaufort, collapsed on Monday has become curiously less-car-populated than usual, seeing as my road has now ceased to be a thoroughfare till the bridge gets repaired, wouldn't recommend holding breath on that one.
Anyhow, made it to bridge time enough to pop over to the shop for an initial coffee, that also (perhaps in empathy with my road?) had a Marie Celeste air to it this morning too, walked in, got coffee, sorted out copper-heavy 1-35 to pay for it (still got fair bit of change in my purse, hangover from last Friday's taxi-train-bus run to Dun Laoghaire and back, always like to accumulate plenty of change prior to such a day so I have no probs with fares et al) and had that on the counter with my coffee and still no sign of anyone to take my money; one wonders if the car that then pulled up outside and swiftly got some petrol and handed the familiar guy who usually operates the outside work the dosh for the gas, if she hadn't rolled round he may not have shown up in the shop still for a few more mins. He came in to put the gas money in the till and there was I to hand him my petty cash too, across the road back to me bag, sorted stuff and drank coffee, wandered back for a refill and this time yer man was actually there when I got there, so handed him my 1-35 as I walked in and duly refilled my coffee, all set for the bus when it arrived a few mins later.
Into Killorglin, exchanged a hello with the fruit and veg guy in the car park near the bus stop, en route to the usual pop into Champ's for a few things, then over to Café K where I noticed Kevin sat in the upper level seats, tapping something onto his laptop, so we exchanged waves and I went and sat at a table on the ground floor, got a card to scribble before any discourse with a fellow Knibsian, had just finished same when said Kevin arrived several mins later and we got our drinks to go and round to the library.
One new face appeared today, a new-to-us John who was making a  Knibs debut and is apparently from Killorglin, there's an unusual thing for our writers' group based in Killorglin :)
Kevin had read his poem 'On the beach' (with apologies to Nevil Shute said KG, I added to Neil Young too who had an LP same title) and repeated it when requested (by moi, I think), and then said "Shall we write something?", to which I agreed that yes we should and was going to ask that we ensure we did get something fresh written during the session this week, but should we wait for the eternally tardy Jones boy to show up first? Cue brief info. soundbite to John about Mick, our scouser poet who not for the first time duly rolled up then at an apposite moment.  Cue third read of Kevin's beach ode.
Mick had two poems either side of an A4 sheet which he had enough copies of to hand round. Prefacing the opening 'End of the day' with "This is weird, the other one is wet," Mick read EOTD and then launched on into t'other, called 'Flood on flood', again prefacing reading it with an introductory "another on the rain, few warts in it, for what its worth", having said how he's written plenty of poems about the rain around these parts and the waiting for it to cease, to which I said something like "in Kerry? Good luck with that", and having read it Kevin thought that "the last  stanza could almost stand on its own." I reckoned the closing line to the first stanza (of the two), about the 'teenager on viagra' caused a "What?" kind of response in this listener which perhaps made it seem against the poem, but then again its oddity perhaps said something .... I opined about the title sounding almost like a song by The Band or Dylan even, Kevin thought it "a good title", and I added "and maybe two poems!"
Kevin then read his 'Tormentors', saying beforehand that it, theme being bad experiences at school,  followed Mick's recent one on bullying. It begins Do you remember?, they ask,  hoping.
The writing time then made its eventual appearance, a ten-minute exercise using one/some/all/none of five words Kevin had noted down of late: appalled - darkness - bleached - unreliable - female.
I started the readings of our efforts and one of the reasons I wanted to ensure we wrote something today was because it is the 49th anniversary of the first Kennedy assassination (I kept a scrapbook about the second one in 1968, and damp and unknown rodents notwithstanding in the wee mobile home I spent my first year in Ireland living in, it's still there because it accompanied me here when I left Kent for Kerry), so that was the hub of my poem.
New Knibsian John went next, reading "a paragraph of nothing" which began In the stillness of the dawn, and sounded rather more interesting than nothing. Mick said he couldn't fit female in to his, so that was his title. It started She had become darkness, not the drab darkness of a Cohen song ... Kevin's too was entitled 'Female', and started A groan in the appalling darkness, and finished  tomorrow: bleached truth.
Saying that I had read nowt before the exercise, I then inflicted (as is the Killorglin way) my 'Identity Unknown' that I'd graced the Dromhall group with on Monday in Killarney, Kevin read his 'Epic', which is very short for a poem so-titled, and that was Knibs for another week.
Back round to Café K, coffee for the bus ride back to Pukowski Acres, posted the card I'd written to Carole in Somerset thus deferring writerly chat with Kevin earlier, across to the fruit and veg chap for a bunch of bananas, complimented him on the splendid bunches of carrots and parsnips along his stall (you prefer abstract art? takes all sorts), back across to bus stop, supped coffee; a woman arrived carrying baggage and asked me when the bus was due and what the time was, I said 1 p.m. and it was only a few short mins away, she remarked on my wearing a watch on either wrist, I said yup, seems silly to go out with only one on given I have three to choose from as it happens, I tend to think if I go out with just one on sod's law decrees that the battery will die that same day, you say innate pessimist? I say pragmatic fecker thanks very much; the English-sounding woman said she had no watch nowadays in this age of gadgets and pods and mobile phones as so many things have the time on, I remain proud of my status as only known person in Ireland with no time at all for a cell phone. I leaned over to see what book she had in her bag, it was one of William Boyd's, I remarked he was a decent writer, she said as we turned to clamber onto the just-arrived bus that she wanted to read a Sebastian Faulks, I said how his 'Birdsong' was a very fine novel indeed. I don't remember why but she mentioned 'Downton Abbey' at some point in our brief conversation, and I managed to resist pointing out that she'd mistakenly called it 'Downtown Abbey', and that I was sure they couldn't have used Petula Clark's 1960s classic 'Downtown' on the soundtrack since the drama that the whole planet seems in love with is set some time before that. Might even get to see an episode of it myself sometime, I have no tv you see. I do remember in my time across the water on the sceptic isle before I moved to Ireland one time I was staying with a fellow stammerer (I've had a stutter aka stammer all my life, used to belong to the British Stammering Assn in the UK) in London for some reason and he told me about his long-time fan worship of Petula (yes, really) and how he'd seen her in concert etc. This would have been in the early 1990s btw, so not exactly Petula's time but there you go, when one has an obsession it remains a lifetime, apparently. The Love Affair and Atomic Rooster would be my earliest two musical attachments, 1967/8 and 1970/1 if memory serves, but I left them with being ten years old and twelve personally, still, not to denigrate anybody else's hero worship :)
Bus arrived, rode back to the bridge (which hasn't collapsed, don't say yet), wandered along thinking I'd call in to say hello to Ulrike at the Lodge and as I was almost there who do I see further down the road but Bella, she from that very Lodge who stayed with me recently whilst her humans were in the Canary Islands (glad Anthony Pilkington wasn't there but definitely was at Carrow Road on Saturday ofc), up she bounded, we renewed acquaintance enthusiastically and in I went to find Ulrike doing some gardening hacking out front. Left her a leaflet for tonight (and tomorrow's) 'Freud's Last Session' drama at the Chapel On The Hill, where I'll be heading back into Killorglin shortly to see the latest Orchard Theatre Company production, once GreyhoundMotherTeresa gets here to collect me.
That's about it then, adios and don't spare the inkwells.
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Happy Birthday Hannah Clare, 15 today :) [Nov. 8th, 2012|11:45 pm]
[Current Location |well west of Azerbaijan]
[mood |creative]
[music |Joel Stickley - a poem for the woman who lives two doors down from me, who has a larger than average chin]

Ok then, out of the building with Bella in reasonable time, though not as swift as we'd been last week both on the Tuesday when I had bags of time to sit at the newish tables by the Laune down at the Bridge and write a bit with a first morning coffee before going over for a refill to accompany me onto the bus into town, nor Thursday when as Buddy was collecting me as he'd taken the sensible and excellent option of a day's holiday from the metronomic pursuit of his wage in his job (I last did that on June 22, 2001, and have utterly nil regrets about that fact, 49 days before I left Kent for Kerry, and I have zero regrets about that either), I was in good time to be waiting for the Bud outside the Lodge,  whereas today we were away with none too much time to spare tbh, but Bella stoically accepted being put in the garden kennel with her two pups whilst I headed off to town, and I hastened on down to the bridge; when I got there, I did note that strictly speaking it was already five to, which is when the bus is meant to be there, but never actually is, so I went across to O'Sullivan's to get the usual coffee to take on board, ofc the sod's law factor is always liable to intercede at times such as this, and holy moly as I came out of the shop clutching me coffee, there was the bus headed towards me! No worries, the driver saw me waving ok and pulled up and I had time to re-cross the road and hop on the bus, and away we went to Killorglin.
Took me Brí leaflets from Paul, fellow Brí board colleague who rustled them up himself to try and boost our attendance on Monday for our monthly Kerry Brí meeting, into me doctor's surgery first, passing the bus driver who was stood on the memorial having a cigarette, naturally I made some comment along lines of "ah, the crucial fag break" and he looked somewhat stunned, like I'd just called him Jimmy Savile or maybe he misheard me talking about fags and thought I was suggesting he'd taken a break from bus driving for something entirely different, whatever .... along to Eric's (still not the Upstairs At... from the Yazoo album back in the 80s, but then there is no upstair's at Champ's anyway) for some mushrooms, tomatoes on the vine, the papers, some loaves, and then along to Café K, where I got me coffee, sat down and scribbled a note to Carole in Somerset (two weeks since the run into Glastonbury, Wells with its cathedral with the wonderful Chained Library with its still-chained tomes, back to Chilton Polden and another chance to rub Milo's chin) (Milo is Carole's adopted greyhound, behave), got a coffee to go and realised no sign of Kevin yet which was unusual, and round to the library, where at 11.16 a.m. I wrote a note "Nobody but TWP, c'est la vie. Copied my Thru a window, darkly ten times for Monday's more-like-it writers' group at the Dromhall where where folk turn up, bring their creative efforts, distribute them for feedback/reviews from colleagues and read them out", picked up one of the three books I'd taken off the shelf on my way through and that being Benjamin Markovits' Either side of winter, had read enough of the opening chapter to think "ok, taking this out with me then" having brought back David Monaghan's Ireland Unhinged which I finished ages back myself but leant on to GreyhoundMotherTeresa who gave it me back on Tuesday, and then with head down in reading mode realised somebody had just made a quiet polite entrance behind me, 'twas the Jones boy, resplendent in his new green Irish cricket top. Mick at 11.20, holy shit batman that's almost early for the scouser poet.  I'd taken in some of Monday's Dromhall stuff and promptly read out Ciarán's Restless Spirits piece he'd written after another young suicide in Killarney last week, and was talking about the lengthy talk around the subject before it had got read out and following it on Monday, and then Kevin appeared (11.32). Mick requested I read Ciarán's stream-of-consciousness mournful ode to the gone too soons again now Kevin was in the building, so I did, Kevin said the young chap was buried on Tuesday, was from Rathmore, and how his family had a run of foul luck before his suicide. Kevin said he was late because his family had suffered a wrist injury, plus there had been a robin in the kitchen, usually associated with bad luck he reckoned.
Mick then read his Tanner, a well-written poem for sure but basically another unhappy piece on bullying, leading me to say (smiling, as best I could) something along lines of "no wonder suicide is the only option".
Kevin read Lucille Clifton's 'My dream about time' from the Poetry Fdn, and his own beginning "That's a floater they said ..." about the thing he became aware of seeing in his eye environs, "just the decay of cells in the eye", which his poem then repeated the 'just' and 'decay' with Pinter-esque pauses well positioned for underlining the serious hue.
In light of the preponderance of less than cheery stuff thus far, I decided I really should read my throwaway haiku written while waiting at Stansted departures last Sunday week, about the laptop-tapping young female opposite me while I was waiting (reading and writing, me, as ever). Mick read his 'Mongrels', his well-spirited response to those who dally too long on the idea of invasions and outsiders and such, and Kevin concluded with reads from memory of Ogden Nash's 'The terrible people' and then another Nash one (Ogden, not Johnny who sang 'I can see clearly now' when I was still at school in 1972 or so) called 'The Fireguard', both brief, both worked, the latter very funny. And that was that.
Back into Café K for a coffee for the bus back to Pukowski Towers, across to the fruit and veg bloke to get a bunch of bananas, he had somebody leaving bunches of carrots on his stall same time and how fine they all looked, then across to bus stop, hop on bus, get tkt from same driver who'd brought me in earlier, who once his fares were all aboard, said 'five minutes' and left the bus, no doubt for another crucial fag break. Obviously readers you're thinking cigarettes not over-used anal passages now, right?!
Back to the bridge, wandered to the Lodge, Bella pleased to be liberated from the pups, fed them and the cats, cleared some dog crap from the garden into the adjoining fields, Bella and me walked back to Towers of Pukowski. That was that too.
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Jackson Browne turned 64 this week [Oct. 11th, 2012|05:02 pm]
[Current Location |fair way west of Belarus]
[mood |goodgood]
[music |Gemma Hayes - Tear in my side]

so then, got myself up and away in time enough to have barely made it past my landlord's (next one along) before JJ pulled up fresh from the school run to offer me a ride, so as he isn't Jimmy Savile and I'm not a teenage schoolgirl in I got, and lo a speedier run to the Lodge ensued than my walking would have managed. Hence I was down to the bridge early, so parked my bag at the middle table/chair of the three recently installed and over to O'Sullivan's I went, got myself a coffee and wandered back to the table, sat myself down and began a missive to Carole in Somerset.

got most of an A4 side done before the time had crept round to c. 10 to 10, time to bag up and walk across to the usual wait-for-bus place, back into shop for a coffee to accompany me on the run to Killorglin: managed to do so with a bit more time to spare than last week's when I'd barely got back to the right side of the road (which is the left, and Van Morrison wasn't singing the song this morn) before the bus rolled up. Not that much longer though, it was briskly along and on I got, alighted at Killorglin, into Eric's for the papers and little more, then across the plaza (still seems surreal to have an official plaza in humble Killorglin), and into Café K. "In here or to go?" asked the proprietor, no need to tell her what I wanted but for some reason I still did, almost quietly and apologetically on my way to my seat as she obviously knew what it'd be, just needed to know if I was an in or out supper of caffeine.

Finished my scroll to Carole, readied up to go get my coffee to take with me to the library, there was Kevin newly-arrived in the café. On I went, Kevin rolled round shortly afterwards, and so another Knibs session began.

Would the Jones boy have returned from Sri Lanka? Would Frances and/or Sean be in? As it turned out, nope all round, 'twas merely Kevin and me today, no matter, we had an enjoyable session.

Kevin had been talking with Eileen and Margaret at the counter earlier, saying about Donal having died, he who read some poems at the last Tralee bank holiday session and told us how he was not long for this world, he who followed that by marrying his long-time partner as he'd also said he would that day in Tralee. Kevin read out his 'Things to do when you have the time' (which he'd dropped the 'in Ireland' from the title of, for some reason), I suggested he read it for Donal, as it were.

This was followed by two more Griffonian poems, 'Oldest game' and 'The past tense of fear', and then I brought to the table Buddy's latest instalment of his long-running, and recently in suspended animation, 'Purple Polka-Dotted Muffin' opus. I said after reading it out (all four pages  of it) how it had held my interest, that I had not got fed up reading it, my reader's attention was hooked, and Kevin concurred, saying how he can lose the thread of what is being read sometimes as its length extends, but that had not happened here. It's the way Buddy tells 'em :)

We had more from Kevin, one he'd "scribbled late one night, I don't know what inspired it" which involved a cloud that looked like a sheep, hurrying across a field, and 'On the swing'. He then read out another he'd printed out from Poetry Foundation, Ron Silliman's "from You, part one" for Pat Silliman. Now I see why my notes (from t'other side of the table) say "Byron Silliman" as the author.

I read my decade-old Women playing cricket - howzat?, which went down ok with my audience of only Kevin, but which I'd thought would be a good one to foist on Mick on his return from Sri Lanka and the cricket Twenty20. I'd written it as part of my month-long journalism course at the London School of Journalism in August 2002, when we'd been asked to go report on something that weekend to have written on by the Monday we returned, I'd seen the England women cricketers were playing India that Sunday in Beaconsfield, so had hopped on a London train and ventured out to find them.

Finally, Kevin read his 'In front', which he said he'd spent his two and half hours in the library working over on Tuesday. Having read his finished version (few lines, not many words), he then read his hand-written (longer, original) draft and I said how that sounded much more like the earlier version of what was a refined, pared piece of poetry.

We finished up, I reminded Kevin it was Open Poetry on Saturday at 2.30 same library, I nipped back to Café K for some chips and coffee and then headed off to the bus stop, back at the bridge soon after 1 o'clock, walked back to Pukowski Towers. Had some breakfast, wrote this. Adios.
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another Thursday in authorville [Sep. 27th, 2012|06:25 pm]
[Current Location |miles from Croatia, but good luck there to NKI, MJJ, Troy ]
[mood |goodgood]
[music |Mary Chapin Carpenter - What to keep and what to throw away]

So, must have been sleeping like the proverbial baby last night, thought it might be a tad later than usual when I woke up, hoped I hadn't really overslept and naffed up my chances of making it to the bridge in time for the bus into town, no worries (said the non-Australian), wasn't quite nine o'clock, tight enough though to get meself lensed-up, remember to switch the fridge back on after its de-frost last night, so had a quick swipe of the ice that had fallen out and then off I went, probably too late already to nab a lift with JJ on his way back from the school run, so it proved, both cars sat there at the Lodge when I made my way past; called in to the recycling bank and dropped a few cans in, then onward to the bridge, in time (just) to nip across for a coffee to accompany me on the bus ride to Killorglin, come back over the road and lo here came the bus.

Having asked the driver (the most-frequent one in my time I'd say, I think his name is John) for a single into town, he said "Killorglin?", at which my surprise came out as  "I said Beaufort Bridge, didn't I? My brain can't be in gear yet", anyway on I got and ventured down to the back seat, well one has to find a seat with room for me and my lack of bog standard Irish stunty legs.

Sat at the back, supped my opening caffeine of the day, we rolled into Killorglin, I moseyed on into Eric's, had cobbled together some stuff and was at the check-out about to pay for it with Catherine - she who so hates Puck Fair - totting up the fiscal damage (thirty-something, ah fond memories of one of tv's finest-ever programmes, cos I say so, but here I mean a mere 30-something euro, not too bad) when somebody said "Hello, Tim" turned out 'twas none other than Eric Champ himself, looking like he was making his initial show of the morning in his own emporium, which at c. 10.20 a.m. suggests he doesn't push himself too hard on the time-keeping. And why the feck should he ffs?

From Champ's it was across to Café K, though not without stopping to survey the notice board on the way out and being a tad crestfallen tbh to find a wee poster telling me oh-so-belatedly about a play that was on at the Chapel On the Hill a week ago, shite, would have surely gone and had a look at Slices, a play by Lia Bugnar and performed by Simona Bercu Birsan, and yes I know don't call me Shirley.

But anyhow, into Café K was greeted with "the usual?" by its owner, one wonders whether I'm a tad predictable these days? Scribbled cards to Julia in Kent and Carole in Somerset, finished my large coffee with soya milk and got another to escort me round the corner to the library and Knibs.

Kevin was sat there in his customary place at the first table as I entered the library, said hello, grabbed three books off the shelf to take to the table, never did get to look at 'The Graduate', Charles Webb's novel that I really should get round to reading one day. And here's to you Mrs. Robinson and all that ... didn't look at the other one whose name and author escapes me now (newer, possibly English?), but on seeing when we were winding up our two-person Knibs session, a quick look at the third of the three of this week's bunch that I tend to always take something with me to the table for possible scrutiny when I go in the library, which was obviously newly-in and untaken-out, so Adrienne Rich's On lies, secrets and silence, a selected prose collection of the recently sadly deceased writer's stuff was duly checked-out at the counter with Margaret and  came with me back to Pukowski Towers. The Adrienne Rich book, not Margaret.

As I briefly mentioned back a bit, Knibs turned-out to just be Kevin and me today. We knew Mick would still be in Sri Lanka despite the Irish cricketers having been dumped out of the Twenty20 already, I read out my ode to William Porterfield, he who captained Ireland but whose opening the Ireland innings lasted all of a solitary ball, both games, holy moly Batman. Before we began Kevin handed me his laptop upon which he'd been writing a review of Ann Egan's 'Telling Time', asked me to have a look at what I thought of his review draft while he walked round to Café K for something to drink.

I read out Buddy's two pieces he'd delivered last night, the hard to read without it bringing a tear to your eye 'Things that give you pleasure, things that give you pain', and the fine piece about little Willie (not the one from the old Sweet song from the glitter years, ooh Bangles song link there eagle-eyed musicologists) entitled 'An old man's words'. Kevin said something very warm and praising about Michael's prose when I'd completed the reading of this week's Bud offerings.

Kevin read his poem written about the bod he met on the beach who'd told him how he and his other had consummated things on the same beach sometime, I read my 'The fine city and me' that I wrote sat at Norwich station on my hop across the water a month back, Kevin read a new take on his long-running poem about becoming a stylite (if we shift that to Chi-Lites we can recall another old musical group from the same sort of time as Sweet - whose Little Willy was Willy not Willie anyway if memory also serves -  if memory serves, one of those bunch of black men singing groups, Stylistics they were another) and then finally from 'Revival' Knut Skinner's one that started "In a restaurant...", I said something about how that name - Knut Skinner - was a genuine trans-national name if ever there existed one, and we packed up our books and our pens and our writers' muses and off I went back into Café K for a chips and coffee farewell to Killorglin, dropped the Carole and Julia missives in the post box en route to the bus stop, and then it was back to Beaufort Bridge, and a walk back to Pukowski Acres.

That's about it folks.
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ghosts at Knibs [Sep. 6th, 2012|06:31 pm]
[Current Location |Stillorgan Road Dublin, tomorrow anyway]
[mood |goodgood]
[music |Carlene Carter - Stronger]

Made an earlier than usual departure from Pukowski Towers this morn,  wanting to get myself down to the bridge in ample time: thought if it's decent and summer-y, despite being September, but then hey the summer has been so fleeting all summertime maybe it's doing a defiant blast before the autumnal season kicks in, so as I was almost saying there: if it was a nice day, why not get down prompt enough to have time to sit myself down at one of the three recently-added tables by the Laune and write/read for some minutes before the bus for Killorglin and Knibs came along c. 10 a.m.
So I did; it was a pleasant sunny morn, hadn't even made it to the first left turn junction on my bridge walk before getting picked up by Ulrike, who kindly whisked me down to the bridge so I was there earlier than my intended early arrival. Ample time: across to the shop, duly got coffee, walked across to seat myself at a table, walking past two on account of their seats looked damp got me nowhere tbh, there was damp look to the seats on all three tables. Wtf, sit down and read whatever man, so I did.
Got my reading done, wrote a brief missive to Kent - it's actually staggering to think I have lived in Ireland for more than eleven years now - eleven years! Once a Kentish soul but that was truly an aeon ago - and bagged up my pens and papers and folders and ofc the coffee was finished a few mins before anything else, then wandered back to O'Sullivan's for a coffee refill. The machine was by then in a 'check bin' mode, told woman, she came and pushed a button or two and we were back to 'ready' so in with the cartridge, out with caffeine blast #2 for this day, grabbed some glacier mints as well, and matter of fact was crossing the road when the bus happened along! That was close then, the bus is never usually there close to its notional time of 9.55, normally after 10 somewhere, but for once it was barely late at all and sheesh I ran it close tbh. No worries, no Australian accent either, onto bus, off to Killorglin.
Folk sat outside Café K today, such was the sunny day kinda feel that I think I was the sole bod sat down inside when I went in. Then as eleven o'clock loomed along I got myself a coffee to take to the library, and off we went for Knibs.
More customary sighting of Kevin sat at 'his' table as you first enter the library today (his regular occupancy of same such that when I was sat at same table for a while on Tuesday and Sean walked in, he commented about how one shouldn't really sit there, it was Kevin's!), I strolled round to the usual Knibs one and when Kevin came round shortly after, he was telling me of his inclusion in the excellent monthly 'Riposte', a fine A3 folded sheet that gets printed and sent out to whoever subscribes, and Kevin's first poem therein was duly shown to me. He read out 'Thinking time', and I enjoyed again its distinctive word use and definite poem feel, which I guess the Riposte publisher agreed with hence it got in!
Frances and Sean arrived shortly after 11, Mick at almost half past, but we never did see Bridie, who had made a debut brief appearance a week ago and had said she would go off and write something to bring in this time. Kevin said he'd spoken with her before in the library, one Bridie Little apparently, shown her the Knibs poster and said about us meeting weekly, but she didn't re-appear this week. A short Knibs career then! Or maybe she forgot and will return another time, who knows?
Noel King is also in the same Riposte as Kevin, which is actually two sheets this month, must be all those Kerry poets peppering the page!  Kevin  read out Noel's 'Thoughts of autumn'.Continuing the reading-other-poets tack Kevin then read a Louis Mulcahy one (also in Riposte) called 'Reading Kerry Hardie', followed by an Anne Egan one called 'Words', also in same issue, and it drew favourable comments from us, though Kevin said she'd had a book of poems published one year at Listowel which he'd got, but our own Shakespearean wordsmith laureate thought 'Words' was better than anything therein.
Kevin gave me a clipping from a recent Observer, which some Sundays runs a poetry review section, and this one centred on a new collection (64 pages if memory serves) from Julia Copus, whose 'Ghost' I then read out.
Buddy had as usual dropped off a new piece last night for me to take in, and this was the enjoyable 'Sonny', or maybe 'Sunny' since the eponymous one is a sunflower in a pot who had been given to Bud and Kate some time back by his good woman's sister, and a heartening and well-told tale the story of the care taken to help ensure the sunflower thrived was. The photo included of the said plant drew comments too.
Frances said she had re-worked her opening segment to her novel draft that she'd   read a while back, and so she read out the new version. '2021 - part one', its central character of Sugar and the narrative Frances read, seemed better set than the previous take, so clearly Frances has improved her work we seemed to agree.
She then read another piece, 'Life Impromptu' which ended with "is that just fiction?", which she'd originally entered for a competition which required that line to be included somewhere. Sean followed with his piece 'The riddle of stone' which was reminiscent of previous Sean work, talking about natural elements or habitat, and though some of us felt Sean didn't help his work by his hurried reading, it was quite a "rich" piece, as Kevin called it.
I then read out my short poem 'Sharing at the station', the shorter of two poems I wrote sat on Norwich rail station during my recent time across the water. Kevin was holding his copy of 'Riposte' at me as I looked up, and I thanked him for the prod to send it in, shall do indeed, though I needed the friendly encouragement to think to do so, which is a tad odd, I suppose.
Apologising for "I'm turning into a weather poet", Mick laughed and read his new effort 'Silk' out, which drew plenty of feedback on ways to improve it and shape his poem about clouds, with love and mountains in the wings. It only features four short three-lined stanzas, yet I was suggesting dropping the final one, which includes the silk mention, as being below the level and feel set by the preceding three, and there were several thoughts round the poetic table on Mick's piece.
Frances read out her "very old poem", called  'A terrible thing', which perhaps proved prophetic as the mother who inspired it has since died, and her daughter disabled from a first horse ride also.
Kevin read 'Thinking Time' again, I might have asked him to, he was happy to read it as many times as happened anyway tbh, and then read 'The Glass Blower', his mid-ranking poem (in his opinion) that has been accepted for printing by another publication (something fizz?) who rejected his "excellent" one he'd also sent in. Frances gave it its second reading, an interesting chance to listen to the same poem read by a different voice.
I reminded folk about Saturday's Open Poetry session at 2.30 in the same building, same table probably, and Frances gave me a run home to Pukowski Acres, en route to which Sean said he's walking up Carrauntoohil on Saturday, and invited me to join him. I said nope, I'll be reading poetry out then!
A good session. Off to Dun Laoghaire at 5 a.m. or thereabouts so gotta go sort something to eat now, and then get some food ready for tomorrow's train-Dublin-train time away from the Kingdom. That's about that then.

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back from blighty, back to the Thursday routine [Aug. 30th, 2012|04:36 pm]
[Current Location |garret in the Irish boondocks]
[mood |goodgood]
[music |Joan Osborne - Let's just get naked]

and so dear friends, having been in Weeting/Brandon/Cambridge/Peterborough last Thursday, various points in the eastern quarter of the septic sceptred isle I come from, this week I was back in Pukowski Acres and so up and off to the bridge to hop aboard the bus for Killorglin c. 10 this morning. Over to the shop to grab a coffee, I was there some minutes ahead of any time the bus was likely to show, so perused the poems I'd written in Norfolk last week whilst supping caffeine blast #1, popped back for a refill to accompany me onto the bus, and on we went to town.

It's funny how one follows familiar routes, and back in Co. Kerry it was off the bus, along to Eric's (still not the upstairs one that Yazoo once sung about, just Champ's, the fine Killorglin store) for the papers, Uncut, tomatoes on the vine, mushrooms, neapolitan Swedish Glace, Linda Mc sausages, coupla loaves of Brennan's, radishes, maple-frosted flakes, think that was about it; then onward across the plaza - or Library Place as the more reserved refer to Killorglin's newest area - to wander into Café K, read a bit and scribble a line to Julia back in Kent, refill the coffee to go round to the library and see who shows up for Knibs.

Nobody, in a word. Last week in my absence it had been Bud, making his final holiday appearance before returning to work this week, and Kevin,  so numbers have been a bit low lately. Looked like it would be very much so today, it was already 11.20 when I started scribbling a card to Carole in Somerset but then, lo, Mick rolled up. He seemed surprised to find just me there, said he was only in to apologise for a brief show today before leaving again, but then Bridie appeared, asking "is this the writers' group?"

Well yes, new face, it is! So there we were, suddenly mushroomed into three of us including one debut-maker. Mick felt moved to extend his brief stay, I read out Buddy's 'Home', followed it with my own 'Ninety-four' written in Weeting on the day that would have been my mother's 94th birthday, Mick read his revised 'Gate', and he and Bridie both vacated the library by noon. I finished my card to Carole, went back to Café K for some chips and coffee, and then it was get to the bus stop by 1 p.m. to head for Towers of Pukowski. Did so, nipped across en route to the fruit and veg guy (also originally from East Anglia, as it happens) and got a bunch of bananas.

That was that then. And now? Pick up the pen again or read, I guess ...... though I do have the unplayed new albums by Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter, so who knows?
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ashes and roses through the letter-box [Jul. 26th, 2012|05:52 pm]
[Current Location |Towers of Pukowski, Ireland]
[mood |chipperchipper]
[music |Belinda Carlisle - mad about you]

well, having walked with an olympian athleticism down to the bridge (so not well done Olympics whoevers, putting up the South Korean flag for North Korea at last night's women's football game, if Kim Jong-il had still been around that might well have been WWIII here we come) (then again, that's the Scots and their ability to attend properly to the London Olympics for you) this morn, across to O'Sullivan's for a coffee, and back for another to accompany on to the bus, along it came and off we went to Killorglin. Read Buddy's final segments for his epic purple polka-dotted muffin saga on the way; it ain't Flaubert but hey, it works. Another in-no-way concise effort from the Faha laureate, but well done Buddy, the story tells itself well enough over its several pages.

Got few bits in Champ's, then over to Café K for a coffee and spotted Frances on a flying visit getting herself something pre-Knibs as I was about to get up and bag a caffeine-to-go myself for same journey. Frances was skiddaddling away as I approached the counter, so no hello fellow scribe there, no matter. Got said coffee-to-go and it was off to the library.

Was visited by a  most unwelcome sight as I was on my way the short step from café to library, the fecking beech on her sodding way towards the same building. Walked in and there was Kevin, he too emitted some rightly un-cheery comment about the beech being en route, but after a quick visit to the usual Knibs table, was met by librarian Eileen who explained that the deluge of aged folk making their way through the library were in for a painting session, so she'd given them "our" table and handed us the wee room by the counter instead. Turned out the execrable beech was here for the painting one, not us, thank holy feck for that :)

By "wee room" I mean a small room btw, not the fecking toilet.

Tbh, having the use of the staff room worked rather well. We've been in there a time or two before for Knibs or poetry sessions, and Frances for one remarked how much better an environment the small room, without being in the open and to the ears of the passing public, was for our meeting; indeed, it was a very good Knibs session it should be said (I just did, listen up) so who knows, maybe we can make further use of the room again. Though taking over the library staff room would probably not be the most popular recurring feature for the librarians, one assumes :)

I'd already said a passing hi to Sean who was going the opposite way on his bicycle when I was walking from the bus stop to the post office to stick a missive to Kent in the post box. Talking post boxes, there was just the one item through mine when I got home, stay tuned, it was a very, very, good one .....

So as I almost said then, I'd seen Sean so assumed we would have him along for Knibs, Frances had appeared in the café, and Kevin as usual was in the library at 'his' table talking to whoever (Kevin knows every single person in Co. Kerry, or it seems that way in Killorglin) when I went in, so it looked like being a good quartet of scribes to kick things off with, and so it proved.

Naturally nobody expects Mick to ever be there on time, but he duly made his customary late appearance c. 11.20, by when we were well into musing over the two versions of Frances' very fine poem Beneath, one starting with the eponymous word and the longer one beginning with the startling line (I thought so and others seemed to not disagree) "Within the raw of I". We chewed over which worked better, whether both did, and though the general feeling was that the shorter revision, without the opening "Within the raw of I" (which I, and Sean for that matter, had mistakenly mis-heard as "Within the raw of eye" initially) verse, that began with "Beneath the hand that stirs the kitchen soup" was 'the one', it was a very striking example of poetry that spoke well, whichever of Frances' takes you took.

Mick gave us a re-visited take on his one from last week, Mother measures her words,  and I for one felt that this shorter, pruned version did indeed sound like the finished article (or closer to it, is a poem ever finished?). Again, like over Frances' starter poem in two forms, we chewed the poetic cud over Mick's work for some time, and enjoyably so.

I read my story first draft written yesterday take on the latest example of nuts-with-guns from across the pond. As noon approached, and we had again been waxing fairly on the writing just delivered and sundry off-shoot lines of discourse, I commented that we had only heard from three of the five of us there. It was a very talkative bunch of writers today, that's just the way it goes sometimes ....

So Kevin then read his Reading in the garden of the senses, and Mick followed it with another revised one, The nearly rain, (the poem formerly known as 'Rain Dust', written without Prince's assistance as far as I know). Oh we had Sean's short but no-less-effective-for-that poem Sparrowhawk too, returning after its first airings last week. We had plenty to ponder on and vocally discuss on both. No surprise there. We had some good stuff on the table today, and found lots to say about all of them.

We were just getting up to go when I realised we had never got round to reading Bud's final pieces on the muffin, that had been sat ready in front of me under my folder all session. Never mind, their time will come.

Frances kindly gave me a lift back to Pukowski Acres, and that was that, folks.

Oh yeah, the letter-box. Found there had been a sole arrival during my absence, a small slim packet. Okay thinks your correspondent, it's an album, must be the Joey Ramone one I should think, seem to recall ordering that before the Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin new albums that I also ordered of late. And ofc I have my ticket for Chapin and Shawn at Cambridge Corn Exchange in October. By when my passport will have expired. Need to sort that out I 'spose.

Opened package: 'twas Chapin. Oh what delight, the peerless writer and chronicler of the human condition herself, who as it happens was born precisely thirty-five days before I was. Such a year for the creative muse, 1958 .... Paul Weller, Kate Bush, Roddy Doyle, Mary Chapin, Benjamin Zephaniah, Joan Jett, me .....
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