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Monday, March 5th, will be a special day – our first public reading to share our work! Tell your friends, come along and hear what the DWF people have been up to during the last few months.

Venue: Twisted Pepper Middle Abbey St Dublin 1; Time: 7.30 pm; Admission: Free.

Line-up so far:
Jonathan Armas McGlinn, Fióna Bolger,Yasmina Ferguson,Alvy Carragher,Kevin Dwan, Delta O’Hara, Eddie Hearne, Liz McSkeane, Anne Tannam,  

Hope to see you there!

The regular last Tuesday venue at ‘The Cobblestone’ in Smithfieldnwith Raven and CAH44 (aka Cliff Horseman) doing  joint hosts. A great line-up on offer, Raven himself giving a number of his standard pieces. I was pleased to hear ‘Buffalo Shoot’ again (‘She is a social animal / that grazes




in the plains…’), this time with a musical background. Personally, not sure about the musical background. I think poems have enough music of their own and therefore don’t need musical embellishment. Certainly, for me, Raven’s delivery of his stuff is good in itself and I’d prefer it that way. But, that’s me. Harry Muschops  did a good job and the audience liked it. Raven also gave that ‘Taxi Dancer’ poem about girls who danced in clubs with men who bought a ticket firs, set during ‘prohibition’ times in America, a really good piece, and many more.

CAH44(Cliff Horseman) provided some of his great standard numbers, including that sound-experimental poem ‘What remains’, in which separate syllables are broken up until gradually coalescing into the word ‘wanting’. I had just read a few of Aldo Pallazeschi’s ‘Futurist’ poems that day  and was strongly reminded of his ‘Farafarafarfa’. Pallazeschi (1885-1974)was trying out things a long time ago and has some really good stuff. He’s definitely be on for a turn on ‘the black stage’!

Then it was time for Martin Daws, in great form with a number of poems from his ‘skin tight the sidewalk’ CD and some others. Terrific to hear him again with ‘yo red’, ‘river song’ and many others. Martin has an extraordinary presence: he dominates his words, his delivery, his audience. He is a real master, with every syllable and nuance honed to perfection. I guess he is the model for all delivery-without-script poets. Or he ought to be: like Raven and Cliff he eschews shouting at his listeners and makes sure every single word is clear. His gestures and dramatics are always tailored to the poem (and not the other way around). And his poetry, although certainly featuring himself prominently, is about more than just Martin Daws. ‘yo red’, for instance, conveys the really threatening and dark side of a city as well as Martin’s own terror. He also does not try to impose music on his work, allowing the poem’s own music to emerge. I could watch him forever.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay forever. Had to leave early and so I missed the rest of the line-up, which I’m sure was terrific. Very sorry to miss out on Jennifer Cedana Aramas from New York. Looking forward to the next ‘last Tuesday’

Another great night at The Tongue Box at The Cobblestone Pub in Smithfield, with Raven and


CAH44 (aka Cliff Horseman) doing the honours as co-hosts. The line-up included Dave Rock with his distinctive love poetry and Aoife Ni Cochlain’s self-reflective poetry and Conor Kelly helping out with both music and poetry, and more, much more. Raven gave several of his memorable pieces, including ‘Moving Cities’ (‘If we are lucky / we will / pull our bodies in time from the wreckage of architecture…’) and ‘Midway ‘(‘This was the conceit of our youth:/ a barker’s testfiying from sideshow pulpits…’). Both of these poems appeared in ‘Census’, The Seven Towers Anthology 2008 , still available at Chapters Bookshop or

Karl Parkinson

direct from seventowers.ie. Karl Parkinson (published in ‘Census’ the Second Seven Towers Anthology 2009) gave that poem of his which is basically a run-down of the grim final days  which await creative artists, particularly poets. (You have been warned). Cliff Horseman had something to say about the treatment of immigrants in this country. He also did a poem called ‘Rain Again, Rain Again’ in which there was some terrific mimicking of the sound of car wipers– a kind onomatopoeia which is not easy to do. I read some from my book ‘And Suddenly the Sun Again’, first that grim poem (which makes everyone laugh: not sure why) ‘The LifeaChrist’.  Then I aired some poems I wrote after a visit to Japan some years ago, where I discovered the wonderful post-war photographic work of Tadahiko Hayashi. I think it was in Kyoto I saw his exhibition, which marked me for life. Afterwards I did my best to salute his work in my poem ‘Kasutori Jidai’ (‘The Days of Cheap Liquor’). And then because Cliff had brought up the subject of immigrants I read my ‘Immigrati’ poem which talks about recent immigrant labour exploitation and some in the not-so-distant Irish past. I finished with my ‘When People Say…’ so that I could end on a lighter note. Pamela Brown of the Poetry Chicks finished off the evening with a strong performance, including a poem called (I think) ‘The Beautiful Madness’, helped out by Conor Kelly on electric keyboard. The Tongue Box (aka The Black Stage) always has a great line-up and is well worth a visit every last Tuesday of the month. And I must say it’s great to see the start time pulled back to 8.00pm, which gets things going early and is a big help to last-bus people and (possibly) those those who have to GET UP early next morning.

Delta O’Hara performed her one-woman show ‘Farce in the City’ at the Kilmainham Hilton yesterday (Sunday 5th Sept.) as part of the Kilmainham Arts Festival and what a great show it is. I’ve seen each of the ‘acts’ in separate performances in town at open mics over the past two years and am very glad to see them coming together as a complete piece of theatre. Each ‘act’ is a very good ‘stand-alone’ comic session in its own right, but each act draws strengths from the others when performed together.

The work consists of a series of monologues treating of the life of a call-sex worker, (fictional, Delta hastens to point out) with the rest of her working colleagues playing a large part in the procedings. Delta has a range of voices, and an even larger range of attitudes, which enable her to get into svearal roles almost all at once. It’s upoarious fun, but there’s a pathetic side to the work as well (‘pathetic’ as in ‘pathos’). Some of the characters we are laughing at are really quite pitiable… True comedy, then. Delta was helped out by local comedienne Marion Nagle who got the audience into the mood for laughs before Delta took over.

A very enjoyable performance of a work-in-progress.

Sample ImageFirst time I was down since ‘Ra’ changed its name to ‘The Tongue Box’. What hasn’t changed is the date (every last Tuesday) and the venue (The Cobblestone on North King Street, Dublin) and the great enegy and variety in the line-up of acts. Raven (photo left: organiser and MC) has taken to Surrealism in a big way and every session sends around a scroll on which everyone can write a line (or more) without reading what has been written before. This is the ‘Exquisite Corpse’ (a kind of word game the Surrealists invented sometime in the 1920s… yes indeed, great ideas didn’t start yesterday). You are allowed to see the last line or two written, then you add your own. Raven reads out the results (so far) each session and the results are intriquing, startling and — incredibly–even make some logical sense in parts.

While this (apparent) nonsense is going on… so are the acts. I said ‘variety’ and by God I meant

Dave Lordan

 it! Raven himself, followed by (and eventually accompanied by) a cellist, Claire Fitch who herself had some really beautiful pieces of music (she plays in the Kilkenny Arts Festival on August 7th). Then me, flogging my book ‘And Suddenly the Sun Again’ (published by Seven Towers) and adding a few new poems just in case anyone thought my particualr show was over with this publication. Then Raven again with his ‘Taxi Dancers’ poem, sad and well worth hearing. The band ‘Jezzebelle’ was up next (www.jezzebellemusic.com) and what great songs they have, which they told us you can download on iTunes . Dave Lordan came on then with his new book ‘Invitation to a Sacrifice’ (published by Salmon) on sale and with a great poem (among others) about ‘Hecklers’, delivered in his uncompomising ‘Lordanesque’ style. Another poem from him (‘A Resurrection in Charlesland’) was about the recession and was bang up to date as regards the economic mess our economic experts have got us into. There was also an American poet, Helen Parsons (whose book is available in the ‘The Winding Stair’ on Bachelors Walk). And Sandra Harris delivered her no-holds-barred treatment of sexual practices, welcome or otherwise to the poet. What great control of regular rhyme and rhythm she has! All my own rhyming, almost without exception is accidental and yes this has its own dynamic, but I admire those poets who have an ear for the deliberate conscious rhyming that seems to flow so naturally. Also very good was Helen McNulty’s rendering of Whitman’s ‘Trumpeter’ poem, really made all the better by the presence of a ‘real, live’ trumpeter (whose name, regretfully, I did not catch. There were poems and songs too from Declan McGauran.

So, what did I tell you about variety? AND quality too. Great night. And all the better for the 8.30 pm start. Hope it keeps to that!