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