Eamonn Lynskey's Poetry and Reading Blog

July 31, 2009

Angelo Verga at ‘Poetry Cell’: Kilmainham

Filed under: Readings — tvivf @ 2:25

Yesterday evening (Thursday 30th) saw the Inchicore ‘Poetry Cell’ do a ‘special recall’ of itself to host a reading by visiting American poet Angelo Verga, followed by an open mic. Angelo read about himself, his family and his city, particularly his relationship with the Bronx. Very gripping stuff, dark, with flashes of humour. In the open mic afterwards were many ‘seasoned’ participants, among them Neville Keary, James Conway, Christine Broe,  Liam O’Meara and myself. My memory lets me down, but there were plenty other poets as well. Michael O’Flanagan also read and did the honours as ‘genial host’. Great night.

July 27, 2009

Little Boy and Tricycle

Filed under: Poetry — tvivf @ 2:25
He was playing on his tricycle,
the little boy, with all that skill and deftness
only known to three-year-olds when
everything went white, he fell, the pedals
spun, he started crying, didn’t stop
until late into evening when he died.
 
His father summoned all the strength he had
to bury him in the garden he had loved
because (he thought) so small, he would be lonely
for his family, and because so much
was chaos all around then— Iron bridges
buckled, bottles melted out of shape.
 
And with the small remains he buried too
the tricycle his boy had loved to ride
each morning in the garden, prayed the gods
would let him play with it because (he thought)
him being such a very little boy –
What would be the harm in the Land of Shades?
 
He never spoke again about the morning
everything went white, endured the pain
for nearly thirty years and then came back
to find the small but neatly-formed frame,
performed the prayers of ritual re-interment
with his ancestors, this time without
 
the tricycle, rust-encrusted from
its years of travelling the clay, because
(he thought) his spirit now must be as old
as was his father’s that day everything
went white— Because (he thought) the boy, become
now venerable shade, no longer needs it.

‘Finnegan’ on DigitalHubFM94.3 (Fri.9.00pm)

Filed under: Radio — tvivf @ 2:25
Me, trying to look important

Me, trying to look important

Another session with Edward Delaney and Micheal Mac Aonghusa. I read out a poem called ‘Little Boy and Tricycle’ which provoked some discussion on the horrors of war, ‘ultimate war’ that is, in the shape of atom bombs. My poem just lays out one example of those horrors and it hopes that it has some effect on the listener or reader. One-sided ‘polemical’ poems are tedious. We also had some diospoireacht maidir leis na ‘freagrai’ a thainig as ‘Bord Snip’. Sea, ta’s agam go raibh an argoint ceanna againn an tseachtain seo chaite, ach nil aon ealu on t-abhar. Gach einne ag caint faoi. Ach tada deanta fos! Edward did his usual review of TV films coming up during the week but couldn’t find much to please him, and yes it did seem like very lean fare. Maybe the cuts are already in action and we don’t know it? Stay tuned.

Micheal ag labhairt go daingean

Micheal ag labhairt go daingean

July 23, 2009

Publication in ‘The Shop’ magazine

Filed under: Publications — tvivf @ 2:25

SHOp2

Two of my poems have been published this month (July 2009) by ‘The Shop’ magazine, edited by John and Hilary Wakeman, based in Schull, Co.Cork. One of the poems (‘Im Sorry for the Grunts Get Killed’: included in the ‘My Poetry’ page on this blog) arose from my feelings about the Iraq war waged by George W.Bush and Tony Blair on the false premise that Saddam Hussein had ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Unlike some other poems I wrote on this subject, where I focused on the catastrophic effect of the war on the native population, this one laments the fate of young Americans sent out to die for… well, for what, exactly? Sometimes in the reading of these poems in various locations I have been accused of anti-American bias. This poem shows, I believe, that I am only ‘anti’ human suffering, particularly when the causes of such sufferings are based on lies. I have no doubt that the US army includes its share of scoundrels and rogues (remember Abu Graib Prison?) but it must also include some fine young men and women who loved their country enough to lead them to trust their President. The other poem, ‘Little Boy and Tricycle’ (included in the ‘My Poetry’ page on this blog) concerns another war, in which the atom bomb was dropped (twice) for the first time. ‘Little Boy’ was the code name given to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and my poem is based on an exhibit in the Peace Meamorial Museum there.

I’m Sorry for the Grunts Get Killed

Filed under: Uncategorized — tvivf @ 2:25
 
I’m sorry for the grunts get killed, blown up 
or shot in the face in downtown Baghdad,
 Mosul, or Basra or whatever place
 in occupied Iraq the Emperor
has sent his legions to bring order to the world
with tanks, gunships and Pax Americana.
 
I’m sorry for young soldiers who stop cars
and find their lives are stopped forever. And
the way their colleagues – caught on videocamera –
come scrambling to collect their twisted bits
of intestine and bladder off the ground
and try to push them back inside again.
 
‘Sorry’. Such a word! The word I use
to squeeze past someone on the bus or when
I accidentally drop a teaspoon. But
I want a word won’t sound ‘poetic’. Won’t
turn this into another formulaic
anti-war tirade, laying blame,
 
demanding peace. I’m sorry for the mothers
and the wives who lift the phone or get
the telegram or whatever way
it’s broken to them. It must be the end
of everything. And then the airport, funeral
out to Arlington, or wherever. In
 
the catalogue of tortures every Iraqi
man, woman, child has had to suffer
since the legions came I know the deaths
of legionaries will count for little. Still,
I’m sorry for the grunts get killed, their bodies
burned, their charred limbs held up as trophies.

 

 

July 18, 2009

‘Finnegan’ on DigitalHub FM94.3(Fri,9.00pm)

Filed under: Radio — tvivf @ 2:25

Highlight of this week’s show (Fri, 17th July) was our guest Sarah Williams, musician and composer, interviweing her American friend Emer on her (Emer’s) experience of campaigning for Barak Obama. Turns out that what we’ve heard and seen of his charisma is even stronger up close. Also Micheal Mac Aonghusa ag ple an ceist maidir leis an tuarascail sin on ‘Bord Snip Nua’ and me talking about how we all must face up to these cuts sooner or later. (It seems to me that most people now share this view. But it also seems to me to be a case of St. Augustine’s prayer: “Oh Lord, make me good. But not just yet”!). Our host, Edward Delaney had things to say about the anniversary of the moon landing, and some reflections on the Mars project. There’s only two more shows left, so don’t miss next Friday and the following Friday at 9.00pm for some unparallelled entertainment.

July 15, 2009

Anamaria Crowe Serrano and Helena Mulkerns (July15)

Filed under: Readings — tvivf @ 2:25

Anamaria Crowe Serrano and Helena Mulkerns read at Chapters, today lunch time. Very impressive. Particularly I liked Anamaria’s poem about her grandfather and his silence about what part he played in the Spanish Civil War. It’s a top-class poem I hope I see in print soon. And Helena’s story-poem about the ubiquitous United Nations blue plastic tarpaulin which does so many jobs for people who have nothing else to cover them, or catch water for them or act as groundsheets for them. Very moving and incredibly down-to-earth writing. Definitely a reading to remember. Sizeable group of listeners too.

July 11, 2009

Early Dispatches

Filed under: Uncategorized — tvivf @ 2:25
Scarce into our second week we find
long caterpillar tracks when we return
at evening. Just today another cable
swings in long U-shapes against the sky
and poppies wave on mounds of broken soil.                                                                    
The road is stopped at stunted hedges gathering
strength to tackle scutch and briar and thistle.
All that once was green is grey here now
and dust hangs in the air as metal monsters
masticate the hillsides, delve ravines.                                                                                    
We make our meals on one small camping stove,
and talk about the mortgage. Only just last night
we heard the water gurgle in the taps
at last. Tonight we thought we saw a light
shine two doors down. Have we neighbours?

‘Finnegan’ on Digital Hub FM 94.3

Filed under: Radio — tvivf @ 2:25

Another ‘Finnegan’ programme yesterday (Fri.10th) with Edward Delaney and Michael Mac Aonghusa. Cursai reatha, ceol and some poetry from me. Also some waffle from me about this (my) new website. I am pleased so far with the results but have so much else to learn. However, as I said on the show, if you put your mind to it and persist, you can eventually master the balck arts of blogging and websiting. At least I hope you can. I have a long way to go yet. As regards poetry, I read out a poem (‘Early Dispatches’, see the ‘My Poetry’ page) that harks back to the time my wife and I moved into our new house in suburbia 30 years ago. The poem was written at that time and reflects the scene around us just then: roads unfinished and houses just built yesterday and not yet occupied.

July 10, 2009

Sonnet: Morning Pours God’s Plenty

Filed under: Uncategorized — tvivf @ 2:25
Morning pours God’s plenty: Java sparrows
 perch on plum trees, thrust their chests out, fill
their picture frame with song. Doorknobs blaze
effulgent, clothes on chairs disclose their folds,
shoes coalesce and share a shadow,
buttons glow. An open book allows
a single page stand wavering, recalling
that last monastic moment before sleep.                                                                            
 
Nine hundred million miles and more across
the sterile void this waterfall of liquid
fire has plunged a headlong torrent, crashed
through fields of asteroids and stirred the storms
of Venus, eternally ordained to slant
this golden scripture on this bedroom wall.
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