Monday, May 31, 2010

corkscrew summer wine tasting fair

well its all in the title really. in the westbury hotel from 1-6pm yesterday there were 100 wines to be tasted. so me and andy donned our 'study hats' and trotted along. france, spain, portugal, italy, new zeland and south africa were all pretty well represented. round one was the whites. a break for lunch in the green and it was round two to the reds. on our final tally we had tasted 61 wines. that's not a misprint - 61 wines. i didn't even know i had it in me. andy did break and started to spit towards the end. in fairness eventually they all start to taste the same. i had a very curious side effect later that evening, sore teeth. random but true.

the photographic evidence:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

oh! i forgot to mention ....

i don't know how that passed me by but the old wine results are in and are as follows: pass avec merit! wahhoooooooo! that means i am now certifiably qualified to drink wine. yes. bring on the bottles!

Friday, May 21, 2010

the reading

so last tuesday evening i did my first official poetry reading. it was part of the poetry ireland introductions series 2010. i didn't trip up on my way to the podium so i would say overall it was a success. i read 10 poems and came in under my assigned fifteen minutes (of fame). i read with andrew jamison, simon leyland and connie roberts with all of us being introduced by the director of poetry ireland joe woods.

myself and jamison enjoyed a little pre-game glass or 3 to calm the nerves. on the way into town via taxi we chatted at a higher decible than normal about reading and poems to such an extent that the taxi man chimed into the conversation. he wanted to know where we were going. when we told him that not only were we going to a poetry reading but we were going to our own poetry reading, his response was ....

'poetry.....thats kinda goofy isn't it?'
what can one say in the face of such eloquence.
'goofy.....yeah i suppose it is.'
'the stoney grey soil' in a quivering voice was his next gem.

He went on to tell us how he hated poetry in school. how the teachers had beaten it all into them. at that point i thought it was important to reassure him that i had also disliked it in school. i saw its possibilites but they were roughly snatched away with a very strict dictation of what everything meant. and there in lies the root of the problem with poetry - school ruins it. once scarred one rarely tries again, and its such a pity because when its good its the most amazing, moving, inspiring and exciting way to experience words.

i think most people who write poetry are fully aware of the lack of interest out there. for the most part we keep it as a dirty little secret. if you do share you usually get the 'oh right' blank look into middle distance response. possibly followed by 'do you have a book?' or the aformentioned 'jaysus, i hate poetry, when i was in school ..... '. its hard to fly in the face of about 10 years institutionalised hatred and equally hard to explain that no i dont have a book but i have been published in a little magazine that you've never heard of and are unlikely to buy. ahh the joys.

and all of that is why the introduction series and my course and any workshop i've ever done; you realise i'm not alone in the goofy world of writing poetry.

Friday, May 14, 2010

crosswords -v- poems

For me finishing either of them is much the same. You fill in what you’ve got. Look at it, mull over it and leave it. Then upon return the words that should be there jump off the page with their obviousness. Unfortunately sometimes it goes the other way, the end seems so tantalisingly close-4 letters out of the 8 and you still can’t see the answer. Even when you go back to it the next day or the day after that-the letters just stand there in defiance; unyielding. At that point its time to admit defeat and give up.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Andrew Whelan's Haiku

Here are some lovely Haiku by my good friend Andy. They are part of a small collection written by him recently. Am very glad to share on his behalf-Enjoy!

Poem collection may 2010
by Andrew Whelan

'There's Spring in my step',
A worthy poet noted,
And a text from you

Travel trés aimé:
100mls of shampoo
Terrorist ads.

Baby bird feathers
Among the deadest of leaves
But then,which fell first?

Sink-wreathed Floss with Hair
On an unspecific day.
Mop it up baby.

Cast on the iron fence.

Harmonic punks need
Finite coffee and milk swirls
As universe turns.

A minature litter of cats,
Siphoned off the runty muscat
Of the night before

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

dear blog

it's so easy to neglect you when my head is all a muddle. i feel like i've words coming seeping out of my pores with all the reading i'm doing and yet i feel as though i don't really have anything to say. curious.
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