Friday, June 16, 2017

A Walk across Dublin - Bloomsday 2017

An old post resurrected for the day that's in it.
Apologies to Joyce for the weak imitation.

..sure I'd get off the bus at Parnell Square and pop over to the Garden of Remembrance stepping down the steps and tripping over the junkies and them saying: 'hows it going, bud?' shaking all over sitting in Dublin's park that honours the great dead of the country and hoping the children of Lir in the statue come alive and rescue those junkies, bad hair and black teeth, they must be someone's son? Is there any point in remembering the dead if the living are ignored and left to sit on wet steps in their own vomit in a park in Dublin, scum someone called them, look in the mirror first before you call someone else scum, said I.
and off to O'Connell Street where Daniel O'Connell stands stretched out in all his glory, someone clean the pigeon droppings off him, sure that is a disgrace, our greatest man with mush on his head and the head that's where all his liberating ideas came from, wish he could come back to life and become Gulliver like in his travels and tramp over O'Connell Bridge, giant galumphing leaps, careful to step over the students in Trinity College playing cricket.

He'd respect our young, not send them on a one way ticket to Sydney or London with a pile of dole money to pay for shared lodgings telling their broken hearted ma and da to skype them, even the stoic couples with no broadband standing at the departure gates in airports remembering all the packed school lunches and the single bedrooms tidy now and half the gaelic team missing on a Saturday morning. And Daniel would place his two giant feet firmly on the grounds of Dail Eireann and stand with arms outstretched to the heavens under a Dublin sky and ask the esteemed members of our government,
'What the crap is going on here? Is this the Ireland I wanted?', and I'd pay to see the looks on their faces, 'sorry Daniel', they'd say eyes downcast like a kid lying about eating all the cakes 'we are setting up a committee to search for our soul', and Daniel would weep a giant tear that would flood the liffey and say
'it's too late'
..and then pop to Grafton street, the great thing about Grafton Street is yer man , the one and only rocker, Phil Lynott, sad day when Dublin said goodbye to him, but Philo is not covered in pigeon shit, he only has to worry about the stag parties urinating budweiser on him, should have that in the Dublin guide book, 
'you are welcome to get drunk as long as you don't urinate on the sacred statue of Phil Lynott'. Too bloody right, as the taxi driver would probably tell you on the way from the airport, 'state of dis bleedin' country, a feckin mess', he'd tell ya, his ears turning purple with his dead bleedin' right opinions about the state of the feckin roads, the weak, the old, the sick, the homeless, locked out of a country that's become an economy, a list of figures on a balance sheet. No place for the weak in columns of typed columns of numbers in bold fonts.
I'm telling you, Padraig Pearse would be turning in his grave, spinning, and de Valera and his visions of the dancing maidens at the crossroads, he should come back and stand outside a city centre nightclub some Saturday night, and take an eyeful of the comely maidens in their pole dancing rig-outs and sinister make-up, their boyfriends too damn lazy to finish a sentence leaning against taxis and sending texts to the people they are with, asking them if they are having a good night, smiley face dot com, a revolutionary thought to just turn their heads a degree and ask them.
Strange days in Dublin town and sometimes late at night you can almost see the comely maidens dancing their ghostly dance or that could be just the gargle playing tricks on the eyes so sober up and stop to shop for a good old book and admire the international stores flogging labels, 'fcuk it!' and search for a book shop that is not owned by a conglomerate and think, Jaysus, we are in Dublin, home of the literary greats and there is hardly a book shop to be found that doesn't have a celebrity author smiling in the window. And Brendan Behan and all the aul lads in shiny suits spectre like peering into their old haunts and wondering what the jaysus happened to the sawdust and spiky conversations trapped in the smokey air and wondering what they'd do with a panini drizzled with Mediterranean sauces.
Dublin 2017, a shadowland of it's former self.
Where's the poetry gone?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Star signs for Writers

The lovely and dynamic Vanessa over at has published my (for fun) Star Signs for Writers piece.
You can read it here

Check out for a wealth of writing information, it really is a site well worth keeping an eye on.

Happy New Year to All!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Boyne Berries 12 - launch

 photo of Professor Gregory Castle, who is launching the publication.

I'm delighted that my prose piece 'Farewell Quaintsville', is to be included in 'Boyne Berries 12', which is being launched by the  Boyne Writers Group on Thursday 27 September at 8pm in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim.  It's a short piece about a twenty something girl with attitude, determined to shake off the Midlands town she has grown up in.

More details about the event and how to order a copy of the magazine can be found on Michael Farry's blog.  The Boyne Berries Writers group are a prolific group and one of the lovely events they hold regularly is poetry readings for residents in St Joseph’s and Knightsbridge Homes in Trim.
I am going to try and overcome my midweek logistics to get to the event, fingers crossed.  If not, I wish Michael Farry and the Boyne Writers Group a great evening.

"The sixty or so pages of the magazine contain a wealth of prose and poetry from local and international writers on a wide variety of topics. A quick glance at the titles gives a flavour of the contents: Farewell Quaintsville, The Magi, Lenny – The Dog that Could Lick your Mind, Kings and Queens of Yard Sales, Crossing the Border, A Memory of Facial Hair, Piracy, 1980’s Style, Nothing’s as Simple as it Seems.

There are many gems in the issue including the egg-shaped poem, At the Cold Buffet by Kate Dempsey, three poignant poems which deal with the problems associated with old age; Clare McCotter’s Early Dementia; Susan Kelly’s Room 41; Her True Colours by Honor Duff; Louis Moran’s family saga Nothing’s as Simple as it Seems; and Maeve O’Sullivan’s topical White Star dealing with the Titanic disaster, the centenary of which is being marked this year.

This issue will be launched by
Professor Gregory Castle of the Department of English, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Professor Castle (pictured above) teaches courses in British and Irish literature, modernism, postcolonial studies, and literary and critical theory. He is the author of a number of books including Modernism and the Celtic Revival (2001) and The Blackwell Guide to Literary Theory (2007). He has had poems published in previous issues of Boyne Berries.

Local writers are well represented. Tommy Murray’s poem, Friendly Fire, is a caustic look at the abuse of language in modern warfare, and Orla Fay writes about Leaving Oz. Lesley Carty writes about Lagore Crannóg and Adrienne Leavy about Blackrock Golf Club Revisited.

Many of the contributors will attend and read their work at the launch. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Congratulations to Michael Farry and the Boyne Writers Group and big thanks for including my piece.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RTE Arena Flash Fiction Challenge - The Results

The RTE Radio 1 Arena Flash Fiction Challenge winners 2012 were announced last night.
The overall winner was Kerrie O'Brien, the details are listed here

My piece 'You talkin' to me?' was listed in the 'Special Mentions'.  It's a piece about a small time Dublin criminal who has a Robert de Niro fixation.

Congratulations to everyone on the lists!

Dave Lordan was the judge and read an extract from my piece on the show on RTE Radio 1 on the 24th April when the competition was still open.  It can be heard here about 7 minutes in, starts with 'Matthew...'.

I may extend my story and work on it a bit and try and find a new home for it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Novelicious Undiscovered Showcase - 'The Irish Poet'

If you have a few minutes to spare today, check out my first chapter entry  
'The Irish Poet'   
on the Novelicious website.   You can read it here

It is one of twenty entries in the Novelicious Undiscovered Competition.
This is my first venture into writing popular fiction, so I hope it reads o.k.

The Irish Poet character is purely fictional (sorry, ladies) and is not based on any Irish Poets I have met (not that I have met many) so far in my writing journey. 

So enjoy! (fingers crossed!) 

Voting for your favourite entry is on June 5th.

Big thanks to everyone who promoted me on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Writing News

Talented Irish writer, Alison Wells, is launching her novel 'Housewife with a Half-Life' today.
A great title and book cover! Check out her blog here for details.
Wishing her great success with it!

Some little bits of new from myself:

My first chapter from 'The Irish Poet' will be featured on the Novelicious blog this week on Thursday 10th May. if you fancy a read, comments are welcomed.

Voting for your favourite entry is on June 5th, I will post the link closer to the date if anyone wishes to vote, thanks.

My short story 'Message in a Powers bottle' was included on the longlist for the Irish Times Powers Short Story Competition at the weekend.
The link is here if you have a few minutes to spare and wish to have a read of it.
Best of luck to all the other short story writers who were featured !!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Novelicious Undiscovered - Top 20 announced (I'm on the list!!)

Some of you may remember a short piece 'The Irish Poet' I wrote a while back.
I worked on it a little, produced a first chapter and entered it into the Novelicious Undiscovered
first chapter competition.

The top 20 was announced this morning and I am delighted to see my entry made it.
The prizes are listed here

Here are some details about the competition.  Part of the eventual outcome is decided by voters, so as I am not on Facebook or Twitter, I would be delighted if you would consider voting for me when the voting date comes around.

Here is some info from the Novelicious site:
What Happens Next?
Each weekday in May (starting on the 1st) we will be showcasing the above entries on this site (one per day). You can read and comment on the entries but won't be able to vote for your favourite until June 5th once all of the entries have been posted. Voting will be by way of a form (no facebook votes - don't worry!) and we will have a system in place to prevent repeat votes from one person. Voters will be entered into a draw to win a selection of 20 books!

The entry with the most votes will win the People's Choice Award 
From the remaining entries, the Simon & Schuster UK Fiction Editorial Team will choose the Books and the City Choice Award Winner

Further information on all prizes can be found 
The Top 20 will receive an email today with further instructions
Thanks to everyone and do stay tuned for the next round of Novelicious Undiscovered! 2012

Wish me luck, I'd better dash off and write some more words.
Congrats to the other shortlisted entrants and thanks to Irish writer Louise Phillips who posted about the competition on her blog, thanks Louise!