Wednesday, December 28, 2011

so i have this OTHER blog



it's about the birds that live in my parent's garden who apparently think it's totally socially acceptable to wake me up at dawn when i'm asleep/hungover. their names are joan and mary.

throw it an aul click there yeah? 

party on


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Post on the Stinging Fly Blog

The Stinger put up a post on Facebook asking was anyone going to this conference that was on last week and would they like to do a blog post for them. I'd booked my ticket months before, because it sounded fascinating and terrifying. So I raised my hand and said I'd do it, and a few days later, here we are. Basically like. So here's a swishy link to the post. It was intense and difficult to write because what it is about was intense and difficult. But totally worth it.

Sarah Maria Griffin reflects on last week's RIA conference which asked 'Can Creative Writing Be Taught?'

I'll be doing a post for about an O'Brien Press book launch next week too, if y'all and all are interested. It's been epic busy down in Griffin-Bevan towers since the last post I made, tonnes of gigs and all. Also I'm a teacher now. I'll do a gig-post soon, promise. 

party on

sarah griff

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

things i have lost (a little project begins)

this should really be called 'man i am so unemployed' instead of 'things i have lost'. or 'man i should really be doing my portfolio for my masters'

i made a little colourey inney list today of things i've lost. i've lost some pretty weird things in my day, and some pretty important things, as have we all. i think there's nothing i've lost that someone else hasn't lost before me. i just thought i'd stick up  the pictures of my little colour list sheet, because i think it's sort of pretty.
i'm going to stick it on my fridge. maybe i might send a copy to the buy and sell, in case somebody finds my red shirt, or every umbrella i ever bought

party on carebears and carebear cousins
installment 2 will arise from the depths in the next coupla days
pending my ability to fill out an arts council funding form without a nervous breakdown


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Literary Deathmatch in the Workman's Club

It takes a lot to get me to the Workman's. I've been there twice. My graduation from college, and last night at Literary Deathmatch. I mean I get stick plenty especially on Twitter for being a hipster but compared to the usual clientele of Workman's I'm a pure mainstreamer. But off I went no less and it was pure, pure worth the risk of crossing the threshold of the actual Hipster Runoff of Dublin clubs.

LDM was terrific. I have come to know, over my literary journeys in Dublin, two of the lads who competed: Gareth Stack, and Stephen James Smith (who's name is misspelled Smyth in the acknowledgements in my book, Follies don't you know)  There were four competitors, two ladies two lads, I'd seen one of the girls before, Virginia Gilbert, who was really amazing (I read the same night she did at the Irish Writer's Centre's International Woman's Day Celebrations, and she was just as epic then as she was at LDM). The competition felt something like a really personal, harrowing Blind-Date type situation, and X-Factor.

I often compare Slam culture to X-Factor - get up and do your poem and be really fucking entertaining or you're pointless - but LDM's judges instead of being anonymous scorers from the audience literally commented on the performances and literary merit of the pieces. Intense, but all in good fun, as Ceri kept reminding me when I was literally cringing in a ball at some of the judges' comments.

The atmosphere walked the line very thinly between being competitive and taking the literature in question dead seriously and taking the piss, bigstyle. It always veered more into pisstakery, which I loved, because it's pure important not to take the whole thing TOO seriously the whole time. It was sort of rollercoasterish. The judges were sometimes moved but sometimes ruthless. Like I was eyes to the floor at the harshness sometimes, and that's a lot coming from me, I like harsh stuff, I'm pretty harsh myself sometimes.

One of the judges, actually, as a side-note, was Mark O'Halloran who wrote Adam & Paul. I studied it in IADT, so I decided to go up to him and tell him I liked his movie. He was lovely but I wasn't able to say anything else to him, like a nervous child, state of me.

So yeah. Literature as live performance means a lot to me and there was something high-spirited and far from up it's own hole about LDM, something that can go amiss at times in the world of literature. The readers were literally so varied, thus giving it a selection-box sort of feel, only obviously of a super mega high standard. Like if your selection box was ALL made up of Milky Way Crispy Rolls, and they were your favourite bar ever.

Stephen James Smith took the medal home after a TENSE final round which involved shooting James Joyce in the face with a bullet covered in lipstick. Actually, speaking of himself, buzz it to the Glór Sessions tomorrow night if you're around, it's free in, starts at half eight, some savage music and poems and all (I'm even getting up to do a few, swit swoo). Stephen curates the Glór Sessions every Monday in the basement of the International Bar.

My other main highlight of the evening was before the show, Todd Zuniga, the host and co-founder of the evening pointing out to myself and a few others that his suit had his name embroidered on the inside of it. It was a lovely suit that he was given specifically to do the LDM shows with. Like, a proper tailored suit. I want one.

no seriously

i want a suit

party on


Monday, June 20, 2011


so post-wallying (i am at present writing a long post about that experience but couldn't keep this issue contained any longer) myself and lovely ceri went for dinner in milano on baggot street.

lovely pizza lovely wine oh we were all drunk and full and smiley and dressed like children's book characters so we decided to order dessert. cheesecake, obviously was the only way. with cream? oh of course, cream is delicious.

NOW. when one orders cream with a dessert they expect lovely floaty fluffy whipped cream, yes? like this?

HOWEVER. our cheesecake arrived with cream, yes, but not the whipped fancy delight one would usually apprehend. OH NO.


party. on.

ALSO i will be doing up a where's wally post in a bit, stay tuned for something a little less outraged


Thursday, June 16, 2011

my very exciting bloomsday: moore street, lidl, and the two euro shop

you know you're living classy when you're writing a blog to the music of your exhausted boyfriend's snores at seven in the evening on a thursday, stealing his cigarettes and tipping your ash into an empty packet of percy pigs from marks & spencer because you're too knackered to go find ashtray.

so. basically i'm never shopping anywhere again that isn't moore street, the two euro shop, or lidl. no no, not because i'm suddenly even more broke than i was before (tesco is still a viable supermarket on my budget) BUT because of the sheer entertainment i get from the products i find.

FOR  EXAMPLE. are you in the mood for bloomsday? are you? WELL if you want to celebrate the day with class, and be like your favourite drunken irish half blind sex fiend of a literary legend, why don't you pick up one of these bad boys?

a two euro wooden walking stick.obviously. OBVIOUSLY. right next to the household cleaning products.

in lidl yesterday i picked up some marshmallows, because i have a knacker of a sweet tooth these days. i did not realise however, until after i got home, just what evil had made it's way into my little cloth shopping bag...


however, should i survive to eat another day, on my moore street journey i purchased no less than FIFTEEN BANANAS for TWO EURO. oh lovely stall lady, tempting me to a potassium overdose with your low, low prices.

but seriously i literally have no idea what i am going to do with them. any suggestions?

aside from this i got some ONLY GORGEOUS fabric from hickeys that my nana will hopefully make me a frock out of. i'm not taking a photo of it cause i'm too lazy. so that was my BIG DAY - then off home i walked, carrying a bag of banana's from moore street and a fabric bag from hickeys. legitimate granny chic

i'll see you bitches later if i don't die from whatever curse the dominion marshmallows place upon me

party on


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

never cease to learn new things, ever

interesting thing about the world i learned today, wednesday, 15th of june 2011 at 23 years old. oh it's very interesting.

despite the illusion that the lid gives of being similar to a wine bottle, do not assume that just because it has a removable seal that underneath that seal is a cork. if you do, you would be wrong. oh no do not assume that just because a corkscrew goes into the top of the bottle, the consistency of which is similar to a cork BUT NOT A CORK, that the lid is meant to be taken off with said corkscrew. if you have gone this far you have gone too far. you have made a mistake. in fact, there is no going back. because if you do actually try and uncork the bottle through sheer physical force you will be leading yourself down a blind ally of despair. something will trigger inside you and you'll think to yourself, oh no. oh no. i've just ruined a bottle of organic balsamic vinegar through sheer shortsightedness.

then it will stand alone in the kitchen with a busted lid, with a corkscrew still stuck in it, because if you take it out the air'll be able to get at the vinegar and it'll go off and you'll have wasted like three euro or something on USELESS VINEGAR or you'll have to drink it all alone in your kitchen mourning your lost intelligence.

in fairness though i made a lovely chorizo and chickpea casserole type thing which was very nice and wouldn't have been half as nice without the vinegar. i'm just warning you in case you take the same route as i did. in case you're adventurous, and trust your instincts instead of the obvious, like me.

seperate note of farewell, i'm starting to get properly addicted to doctor who despite the utterly awful scriptwriting that seems to surface every episode or so. anything that has an unconventional-yet-sexy redhead and a tall skinny hipster as central characters has me won over from the get-go anyways. all writing projects are going well it seems, teaching in collinstown school is enriching and wonderful, oh and i'm doing me poems at the irish writer's centre readings in the garden of remembrance tomorrow for bloomsday (happy special day, james joyce you eyepatched alcoholic genius you)


party on


Sunday, June 12, 2011

i mean it's only a ready-steady-cook food processor, right?

WRONG, BOYS AND GIRLS, WRONG. only a food processor, NEVER

This bad boy was purchased today out of Argos in St.Stephen's green for something obscenely cheap like 22 euro considering the sheer power it contains. So as I've been tweeting pretty much constantly about lately, since I've moved back to Dublin I've been taking a great amount of care of my food intake - have been making lots of soup. It's butternut squash season yo, so they're dead cheap and make a rapid soup with some carrotts, onions, mushrooms and a potato in some vegetable stock. Literally, that's it. I make it more or less every two days, get loads of vegetables into you and all. Living the sort of lifestyle that I'm living now - writing most of the time, teaching some days, gigging here and there, leaves one with a sometimes quiet daytime regime and the process of making soup has become sort of a ritual for me. Wrote a poem about it the other day and all.

However, until today, it was more of a stew situation than actual creamy soup. Full of lumps, carrots that just wouldn't poxy melt into the rest of the food, y'know yourself. A stew. I mean that's grand like but it's not what I was looking to eat every day of the week. So the time came when I decided I had to invest some of my pennies in a blender, and I went for the hand whisky type - I mean flicking through the Argos book is entertaining and all but boom, the second I came eye to eye with this bad boy I was in love. I mean you're looking at a woman who has a Spider Man frying pan, I'm all over manly colours in the kitchen. Red and black food-processor that comes with a free Ready-Steady-Cook cookbook? It also has Ready-Steady-Cook written on it. Kitsch city like.

So I made me soup today, just there actually, and it was lovely. Then I revved up this incredible little machine and gave the whole thing a whisk. IN SECONDS it was all blended together to make a lovely cohesive soup, and Mary alive it was such an epic process! The BLADES on this creature are lethal: it makes a noise like a motorbike starting up and all I could think of looking into the soup was that it would be the best weapon on the planet if you were ever face to face with a burglar, or a big scary dog, or on an island where you only had to pick one weapon  to use against other people who were trying to take you out. Nun-chucks versus Ready-Steady-Cook Handheld Food Processor? I think you know which option I'm more confident in.

If I had more time I'd make up a series of images detailing all the things that this food-processor could destroy but to be fair I'm so confident in it's abilities that you guys are lucky I don't have a world-domination complex.

Just a soup complex.

So that's all for me for now, have been getting unbelievable traffic to the blog since I made that post about Flatlake Festival, which is sort of embarrassing considering it details my incredible state of drunkness as opposed to all the literature I absorbed while I was up there. There were only two things really absorbed during my trip to Flatlake this year unfortunately: mucky rainwater, and poitín. For shame. 

Have a few rapid gigs coming up in the months ahead, will do a little 'OHMYGOD COME TO THIS' post about all the amazingness coming up over the Summer. In the mean time I'm teaching creative writing to awesome teenagers out in Clondalkin and facilitating the Inkslingers writers circle every Friday in the Irish Writer's Centre. And working on some very secret projects too. (oooooooooooh)

if you're looking for a hand-held-food-processor

man i'm gonna eat my weight in soup this summer



Monday, June 6, 2011

flatlake festival 2011

I don't even know what it was exactly that possessed me to go up last year I mean, it's miles away. Crystal Swing were playing but I didn't really know anyone else that was except a few other poets I'd met around town. Me and the man himself went up, had a rapid weekend, and legged it off home. Simple as that, tiny wee literary festival, gorgeous time, life went on.

This year, however, sweet Jesus, I hope to be telling the wild tales of it for the rest of my life.
I'll condense it into a list in case I waffle on for pages. I was looking forward to Flatlake a lot because something in my belly, call it an instinct, said here girl this could probably be the best festival EVER.

Basically here is what I have between Friday morning, departing in a TINY Ford Coupé:

You can get away with screaming obscenities out the window of a car at any passing farmer: they will not stop, they will not chase you, so just go wild

Lifts are SIXTY TIMES better than buses especially if they have deadly music and intensely philosophical conversations about whether or not poetry actually exists (hint, it fucking does) or if they come from new friends who jump in to save the day first thing on a soggy Monday morning

Couches under trees should not be festival exclusive

Moccasins are a stupid idea. Also even if it is promised by RTE weather to be the hottest weekend of the year it won't be, don't believe the fallacy of it and DO PACK WELLIES for Christ's sake do pack wellies because you'll be so wet and squishy especially if your shoes are useless moccasins

The Eco Bus Café should probably feed me for the rest of my life: however, venison tastes like hole no matter what Ceri Bevan or Erin Fornoff tell you)

The Poetry Depot makes me happy to be alive: writing poems at high speed makes my hand hurt but my heart  soar

The Rubber Bandits are clearly sick of their own material

Four twelve year old boys playing 50s songs in polo-necks is ENDLESSLY entertaining

Gazebos will not ever ever protect you from the rain please don't stop to shelter in one go to a real tent

Cavan is clearly holding all the coolest art in Ireland hostage

The impressions done by the Brown Bread Players are on the NAIL and I want to be in a band called Surprise Patio Attack

Poteen is NOT a good idea ever ever ever ever and no, that was not Gin with lemon and fizzy water you were all drinking it was fucking Poteen and they didn't even tell you

Poteen has narcotic-like effects

Cigars are a stupid idea

Choosing your future children's godparents by a campfire at five in the morning JUST the point comes where you can't remember anything ever (Tom Rowley I'm looking at you) proves to you that your honest instincts towards the people you care about are unchangable, poteen or no poteen

Hangovers aren't funny ever

Hangover + Rain + Festival = SAD FACE (fact)

Regardless of absolutely torrential rain good company will counterbalance what is probably alcohol poisoning

The Gombeens make me cry with laughter and the poetry my friends make lifts my heart (Poetry Slam Flatlake 2011 for the win)

In conjunction with that there is such a thing as being too hungover to do poems even if you wrote a really heartwrenching one specifically to compete

Pat McCabe is missing one bottle of gin from his barn and I KNOW WHO STOLE IT even though it wasn't me, I'm very glad to have seen the aftermath. He's lucky he got his bottle of vodka and bottle of tonic back though so he shouldn't be complaining.

No matter how disorientated from being hungover you are, Lisa Keegan arriving into your tent after no sleep trying to play relaxation games with you is still brilliant - 'Ok, one, two, three - we're in space'

Robert Sheehan is actually that beautiful in person but is still a shockingly bad actor (saw him do a reading of a play, he was outshone)

Andreas Stack can play a MEAN violin and tell an equally incredible story

Christina Duff, Boris Belony and Dave Lordan are quitters who go home early and SO THEY WILL ALWAYS BE

The people I was surrounded by at Flatlake this year made me realise one of the major reasons I write: the community and friendships that blossom by shared passion for an art form, or fuck, for any art form, without pretentiousness or artifice or ego. Thanks so much for everything lads, it was a deadly weekend and I'll for sure see yis all there next year


this list is clearly going to be elongated as my head goes back to normal gradually over the course of the day. i am very tired and need a shower and have to air out the fucking tepee and wash EVERYTHING and bury my moccasins. rest in peace little minnetonkas, see you in another life

(i'm just being dramatic they're getting fucked in the washing machine with the sleeping bag and brought back to life)

So yes I promise with all my little beating heart that I'll update more often. I'm starting a teaching creative writing to teenagers job tomorrow afternoon and am very nervous but sure we'll see how we go, I'll let yis know. Things have been getting sort of exciting lately and I've been writing a lot: it's hard to write about writing when you're actually writing a lot. I think that makes sense.

Here I'll be back in touch soon like
Be well and all


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

update & details of the launch of follies

So things have been a little quiet on the aul Wordfury side of things lately, mostly due to the sheer craziness of the month of April. Between interning at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, spraining my ankle, and being sent off on my journey to New York for a week, having my lovely play Sleep Skips my Heart run for a week in Galway's Town Hall Studio Theatre as well as college work and the occasional surprise, I've been very badly behaved and let this place rust a little.
Promise 5000 that I'll start updating on a weekly basis again.

Follies is being launched on Friday in the café of the Galway Museum by the lovely folks at Over the Edge, starts at eight o'clock. There are some amazing international poets reading at this event too. Adrian Frazier, the head of the M.A in Writing that I'm in the process of finishing will be launching it. Maybe smashing a bottle of champagne off the side of one of the copies. That'd be exciting.

So I've fallen out of practice with this whole blogging business and officially resolve to be better at it and not waste all my time playing Portal 2.

Who am I kidding, Portal 2 time isn't WASTED time.... pssh, the game makes me feel like a genius, (certainly more of a genius than Ceri, who I am significantly better at co-op than) of course it isn't wasted...

I will leave you lovely people on this lovely picture of a kitten chewing on a person's finger. How adorable.

I shall get back to yis soon with proper real life news and important writing information and clever pictures and reviews. 

party on until then 


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

more than just a chocolatebar: the mouth of a grownup & some exciting book news

So I've blogged several times about my confectionery journeys, never really stopping to ask myself why exactly is it that I feel compelled to talk about them. I haven't even got that much of a sweet tooth. I'm more of a packet of crisps kind of girl. That's even a lie, I'm more of a croissant girl. Further lying, just give me a cigarette and I'll be happy, since I'm not allowed to smoke anymore technically they're the biggest, boldest treat, and they don't even taste of anything. Chocolate bars belong to a different era in my life, when I lusted obsessively after them as a 9 year old in the garage up by Tesco (before it was even Tesco) and bought box after box of Cadbury's Astros and kept said empty boxes because they looked deadly. I was a regular Charlie Bucket, only significantly less malnourished. As a teenage girl in Manor House I was legitimately never without a Freddo bar in my pocket, hoping the dopamine the sugar released would stop me giving in to my surging furious hormones and collapsing into a weeping mess on the floor. Yet as we age our sweet-tooth kind of goes into itself, urging us instead to go for more sophisticated choices. I'm a coffee-drinking olive-eating savoury mouthed GROWN UP but am still, somehow, compelled to at least try and find joy in little perfectly packaged blocks of chocolate.
Lately, I've moved on to oat-bars because they make me feel a bit less guilty. They're ok and all. Especially for breakfast but still I feel like I should be doing yoga or something eating oats as a treat.
Then around a week or two ago I realised, standing in Smokey Joe's on the concourse, that I had never in my life tasted a rocky road. I was looking at the oat bars feeling a bit like a 40 year old when one of these babies caught my eye:

yes that is my laptop keyboard, yes those are hello kitty letter stickers, stop judging

Gourmet Tart is a fab little deli and cake shop in Galway, they've loads of branches around the place, they're pretty hard to miss. They stock sambos and sweets to the college aswell, and I've eaten from there before so I figured that I'd take a risk on this 'rocky road' thing, despite it's daunting title. It appeared to involve chocolate and marshmallows and to be honest, marshmallows are a serious longterm passion of mine, no messing. When I was living in Holland I basically lived off them (I used to toast them with a lighter, like an utter sociopath). Main reason I can't physically wait to get to New York is to have a shot of the immense marshmallows over there - that'll be a blog - Candied Adventures in NCY (what poetry? phht)
So it was love at first eat. Even though that sounds kind if innuendo-ey, it isn't. Biscuit, hazelnuts, chocolate, marshmallows. Not rocket science. Hugely filling, clearly rotten bad for you, but hand crafted out of it and worth every cent of the two euro you spend on it. Win win win win. I've just eaten one now and it's like 9 o'clock or something ridiculous and I'm ready for sleep after it. Dopamine overload.

I have some other amazing non-chocolate related news also, I'm not sure if any of you lads read the really incredible webcomic/photoblog/poemblog creation, A Softer World ( but I've been reading it for a really long time now, years and years like. Take a click at it there, the lad who writes the words for the photos taken by Emily Horne, is called Joey Comeau. He is also a really terrific novelist and short story writer. Some of his most recent work is published online through e-books, others have been published and distributed. He's a massive inspiration of mine and always has been. So, in 2009 during my 'ohmygod i have to start being a writer' breakdown I decided to send him one of my short stories to read, to see if he liked it. Approve me, approve me. He wrote back promptly, thanking me, but he couldn't read my work, because of copyright reasons: if it wasn't published, he couldn't read it just in case. But! He said hey when you do have some work published let me know, I'd love to take a read and let you know what I think.

So, with Follies arriving on my doorstep this Friday coming, I decided to cast all mad fate into the wind and send him an e-mail asking would he like to read it, did he remember me, would he write me a wee quote about it if he liked it. Another prompt reply. Of course he will, he'd love to, send him a copy. Fighting off mental fangirl urges, I will be sending him a copy with a typewritten letter of thanks as soon as next Monday comes. He lives in Canada. I am never, ever not totally wowed by how generous writers are with their time - Mia Gallagher who wrote the quote that currently exists on the back of Follies read the book without any hesitation and also got back to me promptly with a reply. I feel really lucky to be moving in circles with artists who give a shit about people who are just beginning to rise into the ranks. I'd buy each and every one of them a Gourmet Rocky Road if I could.

So here's a few of the Softer World strips to say goodevening on - I think I'll post a few more of my faves in the coming posts as an hommage to Joey for being so sound as to be interested in reading Follies and giving me his time. These are some of the earlier ones, there are hundreds and hundreds to go through, it's a gorgeous night's read! The first one actually is printed out and stuck under my sister's bedroom mirror, it always makes me smile. They range from unbearably adorable to laugh out loud hilarious to morbid beyond belief. Combo.

So on that, kittentits, I'm off to watch NewsRadio in a ball and try and combat what I'm really starting to think is late-setting hay-fever... (i am a snotbag)

More news on Follies during the week!



Sunday, March 27, 2011


I'm prone to exaggeration, fair enough, but sweet lord this is the greatest coffee table I have ever seen in my life. Even Ceri agreed, when we stumbled upon it at the Dublin Flea Market (which we have been frequenting basically every month since we got together) that it absolutely had to be a part of our poor little progressively more and more kitsch by the day apartment.

Pardon the poor quality of the photo, it was taken off my new swishy smartphone (HTC Wildfire, 79 blips on billpay, not too shabby) which is replacing my old decrepit flippy Nokia. I rang my Ma to tell her about it, 'It's got silver tiles with turquoise, yellow and blue flowers on them!' and she proceeded to make vomiting noises down the phone at me. She's can't appreciate 70s things because she was there the first time around, right Ma, weh weh weh
(but seriously she was horrified)

As you might be able to see in the corner of the table, there are some little brooches I purchased for 3 yoyos each, wee scrabble pieces:

Spelling out my favourite noise in the world, OH! (also pure homage to my favourite magazine of all time, Oh, Francis!) 

I love the Flea, it was pretty quiet today though. That's one thing I really miss about Dublin, the amazing markets: between the Flea, The Ferocious Mingle Market (which I used to work a tarot/clothes stall and busk at every month) the new one in exchange, the new one in the Grand Social, the one in the Shaw Sweet Christ it's second-hand city down here. I can't imagine why Galway just doesn't have that kind of thing. I'm only there for another month or so now (can you believe it?) so I guess it's too late to get my hands dirty and set up one there. There are so many perfect spaces for it too!

In other news, I tweeted yesterday about how I got an e-mail from Lapwing about my book, Follies: the first batch is getting bound on Monday and will arrive at my house by Friday! Pure fall on the floor excitement, and terror, of all shapes and sizes. Lapwing distribute from their website, and I'll be doing some distro myself, so in a week or so I'll put up a link to Lapwing's website where you can get it if you're interested. Lots of gigs coming up too, tonight I'll be doing some poetry at the Irish Writer's Centre Little Floorshow, and on the 4th of April (my kid sister's sixteenth birthday) I'll be doing the same at Testify! at the Roisin Dubh, a new spoken word and music night set up by my new friend Laurie Leech. 

As soon as I have proper details of the Dublin/Galway launches of Follies I'll put details up here too! 

Lots of other bits and pieces of news coming along too, will keep yis posted over the week.

Going out to the parents house now to wreck their heads for an hour

party on

Saturday, March 26, 2011

a poem i wrote on thursday night

Hello all, good Christ where did that sunshine go to, it's very upsetting. I'm in the process of writing a blog post which details in a list the components of my first day of springtime, similar to my list of things to do to entertain yourself when you're awake all the time ever, but until then I thought I'd put up another poem because everyone was so receptive to the last piece. I actually like this one a good deal more than the last, it was written during a writer's meeting in my apartment on Thursday night as part of an exercise where we all had to describe the moon, avoiding terms usually used to describe the moon (I cheated a little).

yet untitled

i don’t know what draws you to me
tiny pale babyface
makes you pace me in circles
eyeing me and my darktime activities
do you love me
do you
suspended at a stellar arms length
i think you’re too young for me
too pock-marked
introspective quiet
too distant and when you come close
i feel my blue skirts pull away

you’ve been with me as long as i’ve known
before i knew all i know now babyface
more a brother than a bedmate
though bedmate i suppose
you are to all the sleepy eyed mites who pace upon me

Would now be the right time to say that everything I post up here is copyrighted SarahGriff 2011 and forever? Trying to get my bag of 20 poems packed for the Patrick Kavanagh Award too, which will be the first big competition I've entered in print with my work. It'll be worth the experience no matter what happens!

So on that lads, I'll hit yis with another post tomorrow. I've been swamped in a scary way lately but am definitely going to try and make more time to blog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a brief snapshot of something that happened just a moment ago

sarah and lisa’s flat: chatau du victory gin

lisa: drink this
jo: what’s this

jo holds up perfume bottle, confused

lisa: it’s perfume
jo: why would i drink this?
lisa: just to see
sarah: to see like
jo: what would i get if i drank it?
lisa: a shot of fat frog
jo: but i bought the fat frog
lisa: that’s not the point

sarah and lisa continue previous conversation about how awful fat frog is
jo silently puts the perfume bottle in his mouth and squirts it

sarah and lisa notice and applaud

jo pales slightly and blows at lisa

lisa:  that’s the most beautiful thing i ever smelled
jo: yeah but my mouth is burning

jo leaves and goes to bathroom to drink water
vomiting noises ensue

sarah and lisa laugh silently
jo reappears with a swagger

jo: it’s grand i drank a load of toilet duck on my 18th birthday



half an hour later a conversation about poetry quickly turns to us listening to tupac

party on

Sunday, March 20, 2011

i don't normally post up poems, however, consider this an exception

Heyis so, I've been writing lots of poems this week. It's strange not having a poetry class or group to workshop with anymore, or many people to chat about poetry with regularly. I don't usually post my work, because you can't submit anywhere for publication if a piece has been previously published, no matter where that is, including a personal blog. I also amn't too sure how I feel about releasing art into the internet. However. I wrote this little thing two days ago on my phone, while pottering through town, and thought I'd share it. This post may disappear at any time, but I hope you enjoy it anyways. It's a fresh work in progress that could probably do with a bit of cleaning up, but whatevs. I'm real aware that this is meant to be a writing blog but I usually just review chocolate bars and complain, so here's some literary-ish stuff to compensate. So consider this a prelude to Follies, and the kind of stuff that can be found in there.

from a long text message

you know them kinda bags
them kinda pop seal line along the top bags
the kinda bags we’d take buds of green from
in your unknowing older sister’s bedroom
if we’d been cooler at fifteen well

as i come home after a blind blind day after a
blind black night on sweet dark rum
i stare down at the ground as i move
past the big white statue of virgin mary
just at the end of our street

across from the place where all the babies are born

and the grey of the concrete soothes my sore sad eyes
until they meet one of them kinda bags
them kinda pop seal line along the top bags
just at the spot where that plaster cast mother of god stands
with her hands clasped in a way i barely recognise

and that pop seal kinda bag is full
of small white flowers
not small green buds
some bright new kid who lives here in this
maternity hospital street
filled it up with petals

i hope they didn't do it in some bleak blind imitation
thinking that pop seal bags're where bad things usually go
i hope they were maybe just trying to capture nature
in a pop seal bag
and not knowing
nah not knowing any better

Thanks for the read lads
love city


Saturday, March 19, 2011

two sound things you should do this weekend: submarine, and the best deli in the world

No messing, I'm legitimately writing from a burgeoning food-coma while Ceri is lying unconscious on the couch because he's so full, and so happy. Our lunch today cost 11 Euros, but I'll get on to that (where it came from and why you should get in on it) later on.

Submarine. The new indie English/Welsh type film directed by the dude who most people would know as Moss from the IT Crowd (Richard Ayoade). So I always kind of hesitate when about to write a film review because to be fair, I go in with a bias every time, because taking film studies of some sort each semester for four years in my degree basically destroyed my ability to just go in and be entertained. See previous joyous review of Disney's Tangled for the one recent exception to this argument, and see previous angry review of The Black Swan for a perfect example of this argument. Also I'm not going to spoil this one, because it's worth going on a journey with as a piece of cinema and finding out how it folds out by yourself. I'm aware I ruined The Black Swan (SHE TURNS INTO THE BLACK SWAN) but that's because it was terrible.

However, Submarine invited me in with open arms. Blurbs about it suggested it'd remind me of early Wes Anderson, it was kitchen-sink-realism-ish, it captured all the ugly awkwardness of being a teenager, etc, etc. I like films that capture awkward ugly teenage-ish moments, because it gives me one of those big warm 'thank fuck I'm not fifteen anymore' smiles. Mmm. Love that moment.

So, it tells the story of Oliver Tate's coming of age and quest to keep his parents from splitting up over his mother's feelings for her teenage sweetheart who grew up into a self-help and mysticism guru. That's it, no frills. Now, Oliver Tate as a character is not a far cry from Max Rushmore. In fact there are some remarkable similarities. The Welsh counterpart is little less cringey, which is good, a bit more haunting. Actually, importantly, quite a bit funnier too. The kid who portrays him, Craig Roberts, has a real haunting look about him. Facially he's not dissimilar from Daniel Radcliffe, but has this kind of buzz of being perpetually in fear of things. His eyes are huge, big scared glassy things. He has really limited dialogue but uses it well. There's really little dialogue in the film in it's entirety actually but it doesn't need it, where most people would throw in loads of stupid chat, Ayoade just shows with facial expressions and silences. To really strong effect and all. For a good example, keep an eye out for the bus-stop scene.

The girl he's into is unusual enough as a love-interest, pyromaniac and stocky. But again, funny, and has some of the most cracking lines in the whole film
Without context, you have no idea. But when she says it, you'll fall around laughing. Literally, everyone in the screen I saw it in laughed aloud. That's a brilliant feeling: when you and all these strangers are experiencing joy at the same moment. That doesn't count as a spoiler by the way.

This film is full of my favourite thing in the world: metaphor. Now, metaphor can make me really furious and pissy and sarcastic (SHE'S TURNING INTO A BLACK SWAN) or, when it's used with a really light and knowing touch, can be really moving and insightful. The film is set by the sea and there is a lot of watery imagery, as Oliver's father Lloyd is a marine biologist. This pretty clearly links into the title of the film, but again, when the meaning hatches, it really is one of those draw your breath moments. Their relationship is gorgeous and moving and funny, if not at the beginning of the film, when it seems ordinary and embarrassing, it grows into something very beautiful. And when the metaphors kick in, Christ they're like someone rubbing your shoulders and going 'See? This is how it's done. Now, isn't that satisfying?'

Not that Submarine is without it's flaws. It's an indie fest. Pure littered with silent references and a villain that has become such a contemporary indie cinema cliché that as Ceri pointed out, we have met him twice in iconic indie films in the last ten years. I'll just say Napoleon Dynamite and no more, because while Paddy Considine does a great job, the construction of that particular character could have been way better. He doesn't believe his own bullshit, as a psychic-self-help dude, or whatever it is he's meant to be. He has a hilarious van. But he clashes very violently with the soft aesthetic that the film achieves. Now maybe that was intentional, I don't know. Just sayin'. Also, it's not Napoleon Dynamite as a film. There's just an echo in the villain. It has a much gentler touch than Dynamite (and is also much, much funnier).

The other issue I had was that, again I don't know if this was intentional, but it had moments that felt a bit like a hipster's wet dream. All the duffle-coats, sunglasses at night, super 8 footage and Polaroid cameras, type-writers and jump-cuts and fireworks you would see scrolling through any fashionable kid's Tumblr dashboard.   Again Oliver's soft 70s/80s Welsh universe is punctuated by these things that have become a contemporary pop-culture obsession. Maybe that's popculture's fault and not the film's, maybe I just read to many blogs and  am over-sensitive to the appropriation of these things to make images and films look 'authentic' but I'm just saying that if you throw in a line like 'the super-8 film of my memory' JUST to show a reel of super-8 that showed EXACTLY what you've just shown in a lovely montage only one cut before, then you're dicking around. That's a very fussy issue on my part and could easily be ignored. I mean I have a typewriter and a fucking Polaroid and frequently wear sunglasses at night so who am I to complain? Just noticed. Just sayin'. The soundtrack is lovely, by the way. Might actually go out on a limb and buy it (I have not bought a CD or downloaded a new album in about 2 years).

So basically what I'm saying is you should go and see it, it's really good. Not without it's flaws but really, genuinely a gorgeous film that really does make you laugh, and relate to the character, and thank God you're not a 15 year old boy. It's surprising, and sad, and really aesthetically pleasing in a great many ways and I seriously fucking hope that Ayaode isn't just a one-trick-pony because it's a great film and I think he'll find his voice, because these first notes out of him are truly savage. Loved it.

SO that other sound thing you should do? Get down to the Fallon & Byrne Deli. I'm actually so close to my food-coma right now that I can't go into detail about how incredible my lunch was without fainting from being stuffed, but legit, this stuff is home-made and delicious and cheaper than McDonalds. Now don't be distracted by their cool American Food selection because it is imported and thus, shocker expensive, but just head straight down to the Deli and check out some of the incredible things they have there which are generally, around 5 or 6 euro to eat in or take out. They come with one salad too, or a carby thing, like their mashed potato. (You'd wanna see how much I flirted out of the Deli assistant today, shockin'). I know Fallon & Bryne get a bad rap and I'm not singing the whole establishment's praises (despite the fact that you can get Oreo flavoured Pop-Tarts there) BUT seriously? If you're looking for a cheap, healthy, filling lunch, hit that place up. I feel like that isn't really a review or anything, just a wholehearted recommendation. Fallon & Byrne is on Exchequer Street across from the Buffalo shoe shop where all the girls used to get their flame runners, remember that? It's also next to Uki-Yo Japanese restaurant/karaoke bar.
Just sayin'.

So party on lads I'll talk to yis soon
I'm clearly not doing college work right now



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

things to do when you can't sleep because there's a party upstairs and you're uncool and not 18

(would like to point out before i begin that blogger is acting the maggot a bit at the moment and for some reason is showing my posts in weird colours, sorry bout that, i'm sure they'll fix it....) (they'd want to...)

So yeah. Those utter bastards - my upstairs neighbours know how to have a good time, apparently. 
It hit 7am this morning with no sleep, I slept til 9 ish then woke up with Lisa heading out to work then got up and went to stuff envelopes for Cúirt (I intern there, even though I'm knackered envelope stuffing is so soothing). Now that job is done and I have a little time to burn before my bus back to Dublin, I thought that as a thank you for the 2,026 reads I've hit this week, I'd treat  my lovely readers to a little list of 


important details:
you are not drunk 
your housemate is not available to keep you company because she is drunk and having deep conversations with hipster workmates in the sitting room
you have a headcold and the only lemsip you have is loaded with caffine

1. Try and be sociable
The first thing you do is go outside to your housemate and try and join in her chat with her workmates. They are hammered and have brought their glasses and some cigarettes from the Roisin Dubh back to the apartment. Smoke all of their cigarettes while they are too drunk to notice. Enjoy this small triumph but feel kind of sick. Also turn down the music really, really discreetly (you do not know what band they are listening to because you are not cool). They will have no idea as they are too busy talking about James Dean.
2. Fail at being sociable

Retreat in shame because INTERESTING FACT: drunk people repeat themselves. A lot. Especially you, but right now you are sober and repetition stopped being interesting to you when you were around seven. Conversation does not move from James Dean. You however, move to bed.

3. Assume FOOLISHLY that you will go straight to sleep because you are all tuckered out. Time check: 2:45am

Get into bed. Realise you are totally wrong. Remember the kids upstairs are having a rave and apparently re-arranging all the furniture in the process. Remember that smoking makes you feel shit. Feel shit. Drink Benelyn, take Lemsip. Feel worried you might die from taking too many cold remedies.

4. Consider going upstairs to terrorize said neighbours

Change your mind. The last time you went up to yell at them you ended up getting drunk with a pack of seventeen year old first-year undergraduates from Clare (one of them even came out to you, you were very supportive). Softly plan their murders. Reconsider. Remember you want to be a writer, not a murderer. Worry that you're not able to identify what music they're playing either. Feel very uncool.

5. Read (as if it's some sort of antidote to feeling uncool)

You becoming irritated, surprisingly, with Douglas Coupland, as not the right time to be ironically talking about the forthcoming pollination crisis. Get bored. No attention span. Time check: 3:00am.

6. Youtube

Listen to the 70s radio show of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with headphones in. It doesn’t drown out the continuing James Dean conversation in the sitting room or the relay race that is apparently being run quite violently upstairs. Watch part one of a BBC Horizon about Parallel Universes. You have seen it before. It does not drown the noise out. Watch part one of the recent film of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Remember that it’s bollocks three minutes in. Listen to the ENTIRE Super Smash Brothers Brawl Orchestration Playlist. Again, it does not drown out anything. Headphones are shit, get angry at them and get rid of them. Then realise you had forgotten to turn the volume on your laptop all the way up. Time check: 4:30am.

7. Decide that now is an appropriate time to start complaining to your boyfriend (who is across the country) about how bored you are and that the stupid cat you fed ONCE back in SEPTEMBER is looking at you in your window

Send three text messages knowing his phone will be on silent but the vibration might just wake him up. Know that he is in work in the morning but decide that it is alright to be selfish because it is now 5am.

8. Wikipedia James Dean

This does not help: you still don’t care. Go on Tumblr and scroll down for approximately an hour. Eat some Marks and Spencer Jaffa Cakes. Text boyfriend several more times.

9: Housemate and workmates appear to be going asleep. Time check: 5:30am

Party upstairs subsides. Feel relieved but very much awake. Consider walking to Salthill to look at the sunrise then realise that you saw a sun set there once thus it would be impossible to watch a sun rise from there and probably very cold and no Centra nearby would be open to buy sausage rolls from.

10: Watch entire new episode of House

Feel slightly let down but very glad he broke up with Cuddy and is an addict again, he’s way more interesting that way. Feel sorry for the chubby new girl doctor. Miss perving on Olivia Wilde. Wikipedia Olivia Wilde.

11. Boyfriend replies, obviously sleepy

And less pissed off at being woken up by your complaining than you thought he would be. Quite supportive actually. Feel grateful that your boyfriend isn’t a dickhead. Feel amazed that he doesn’t prioritise sleep over answering whingy insomniac text messages. Wonder what the catch is.

12. Watch very old episode of House and SLOWLY, VERY SLOWLY, START TO FALL ASLEEP

There is silence and you don’t dream about anything and this is fucking perfect. You have earned this with your incredible patience. You are a champion. Champion.

Then proceed to get woken up at 9am by housemate and her workmates going to work. Lie face down. Resolve to sleep on the bus back to Dublin. Resolve to write a blog about it.

Paddys day tomorrow bitches
Isn’t that going to be disgusting

see yis rafter


Monday, March 14, 2011

warren ellis came to speak at my college last week, you know that?

It’s always real strange experience to see an established and popular writer right in front of you. I don’t suffer much from being star-struck, but I’m also aware of the difficulty involved with becoming an established writer and meeting a person who has climbed that ladder successfully. Last Thursday I had the pleasure of getting to sit in on a Q & A with Warren Ellis.

Now. Before people start throwing bricks at me for being a philistine, I only follow him on Twitter. I really love Twitter, I mean I know a lot of people don’t and that’s grand but I find it really interesting. My engagement with him is that he posts interesting quips, and I am quite fully aware of his massive celebrity as a comic book writer and novelist. His novel, in fact, Crooked Little Vein, is sitting next to me waiting to be read.

I started following him because I literally, Stumbled across a photograph once upon around two years ago, that had a quote written over it of his, that simply said something to the effect of:

Journalism is like a loaded gun. It’s only got one bullet in it, but if you aim it right, you could blow the kneecap off the world.

Sold. The man’s clearly a genius.

So yeah I’m a philistine and just went along to see what he had to say for himself, out of curiosity, not too much of a crime. Sure I knew I’d be surrounded by die hard comic books nerds but sure when has that ever deterred me from anything?

It was sort of hard getting through the jargon of a lot of the questions that were asked of him, real specific stuff that I wasn’t sure I understood. He’s infamous for his cruel sense of humour so if anyone tried to get too nerdy at him he generally shot them down with a one word or single-line answer. It’s clear to tell he’s kind of sick of certain questions. It was, however, really interesting to hear first-hand about the politics between Marvel and DC, both interior and exterior. How it feels to write about a character for years that you didn’t even invent – that was an interesting debate. The point for me was clear – that a lot of the dudes in charge of the comic-book world aren’t comic book nerds in love with the characters in the books: it’s a job, get on with it.

From what I can gather of his work a great deal of it deals with dystopia (Transmetropolitan, his most well known graphic novel series, which he didn’t seem too arsed talking about during the session, probably because he wrote it ten years ago and is sick to death of it following him around) and that’s something that really interests me. Especially in conjunction with the internet. The internet’s a weird place, I’m not so in love with it at the moment. When the time came for me to ask Warren a question, I simply asked how he felt about the death of print, what that was going to do to comic books. He quipped back that image files are pretty big, so piracy would be pretty hard in the field he works in so he doesn’t feel threatened.

He made an excellent point in conjunction with the Twitter thing aswell, about how condensed the internet has become. Forums to blogs to Facebooks to status updates to Tweets. Smaller and smaller.

The other point he made about the internet was about the death of the vaudeville and the arcade: where to kids go to dick around? Where do they go to learn things that they wouldn’t learn in school or at home? The internet is the new vaudeville, the new arcade. That’s something that utterly fascinates me.

I think my favourite snap-back of his of the evening was on the subject of writing in general. My pal Nick asked him what he did when he got writer’s block. Warren Ellis simply replied, “If I got writer’s block, I wouldn’t be a writer. Punch the keyboard until something works.” I completely agreed with him also when he said that if you’re working on several projects at once, chances are you’re going to be interested in one of them any given day. And if you’re not interested in that one, you’ll be interested in one of the other four.

His final piece of advice to writers, when asked directly for that, was that he can’t tell anyone anything about getting into the industry because things have changed so much and continue to change so much since he started. He did say, however, to get your work into print. No matter how. Then, sit down a day later, and hate every bit of it, you know nothing until you see it where everyone else can see it.

That chilled my fucking blood, I tell you that much.

            So there’s my Warren Ellis buzz, it was lovely, went back to the hotel for the free drink I earned with my question and ended up at a lock-in. Mr. Ellis wasn’t there, he was knackered. However, he did sign my notebook and give me a drag of his cigarette. My day to day notebooks have been signed by a lot of artists I've met: cabaret geniuses Camille O'Sullivan and Amanda Palmer, and one of my favourite short-story writers of all time (he writes a mean children's book and graphic novel too, even if his regular novels aren't my thing) Neil Gaiman. It's just nice to have a little piece of experience, and the pen mark of someone you look up to's hand in a notebook you use every day, that's what I think anyway.

            So now here I am, back in the west after a weekend of supposed resting, with a relapse of that horrible tonsillitis knocking at my door. I have decided to spend the night curled up eating M&S ready meals and Jaffa Cakes and everything else can piss off. Not sure what to watch though. I’m thinking some good old fashioned House re-runs. Because I’m a deeply exciting person. 

party on