Quiet night at the Last Wednesday what with the summer’s re-visit after the magic moon! And the hat went back to its usual seclusion in the back of my wardrobe, as Declan returned – from his stay at the back of the wardrobe (or did he go to Narnia?)
Anyway, first up was Mark Madden having travelled down from Northern climes in Belfast – in the temporary corner of . . . (the lights being somewhat obstreperous!) Mark started with a short poem ‘Perfect World’, about his perfect world (!) and followed this with ‘Coffee House Poetry’ from his poetry collection, Timely demise of the Reluctant Conformist, about, among other things, the muse answering your call in camel pyjamas. His third poem was about Ulster – ‘It’s alright, they’ve gone, you can come out now’. He finished with ‘Horsewhisperer’; After Mark it was the turn of Lauren Lawler, making her Last Wednesday debut with ‘My Grandmother in the 40s, the 1960s’; the with ‘The Banshee’, also about her grandmother, about whom she has mixed feelings – but good poems! Lauren’s next poem was about getting dumped – pulling out all the stops! After Lauren, after a brief interlude when Declan lamented the disappeared from the Census Anthology – those who had attended the poetry open mic before and who moved on to different things – or were perhaps kidnapped by aliens -it was the turn of Canice Lawlor also making a Last Wednesday debut (and with an ‘o’ not an ‘e’!) with ‘A Fear that Dare not Speak its Name’.
After a short break it was the turn of Ross Hattaway, forgoing his cricket for poetry for once! Though it turns out there was no cricket on, rather than poetry winning out! Ross started with a new poem ‘Arigna’ – about the Arigna coal mine; he followed with a poem drawn from the Mount Temple Writes of Passage workshop – where he imparted his brief wisdom – and wrote a poem about the clock tower (that is in the book The Clock Tower Ghost and Other Writings). Ross’ poem is called ‘Watching’. He followed up with a poem reacting to String Theory –which sounds stupid – ‘Unravelling the Edges of Speculative Physics’ – with knitting theory – the big yarn, with needle continuums and dark kitten forces. His gift was from Bruce Dore, for his younger son, who just left primary school – ‘The Last of Games’ After Ross it was Ruairi Conneely – not last! Ruairi read some work from ‘The Unexploded Series’ – where he gets ideas for stories that he’s never going to write, so writes them as poems. He Then read ‘Celeste and Annette’, the first part of a three part piece. And after Ruairi it was the turn of Oran Ryan reading his Emmaus piece from the Tellmetale Bloomnibus at the Irish Writers’ Centre which is available in the ebook of the same name.
After a short break =, during which Phil Lynch magically appeared, fresh from his ‘Your wife thinks this is a holiday’ European poetry tour(!) and started up with ‘Encounters’, a sort of love poem, in sonnet form. He followed with a struggle in progress, ‘Gathering’, His next poem was one written for the television Themed Tuesday, ‘Here is the News’, where you can vote for the war you like the most and the outcome you would want to see, and they’ll have ‘none of your positivities. He ended with a poem to be read on 9th July Ten Days in Dublin reading in the Winding Stair Bookshop. The poem is ‘Hidden Treasure’, The brochure features a camouflaged Phil – behind the beard he is not wearing tonight at the open mic.
After Phil, as it was such a quiet night, Declan organised a round table, and we started with Ruairi Conneely reading from Doog Wood’s Old Men Forget; Oran Ryan was next, reading ‘Leave a Note’ from One Inch Punch – Ah what an artist dies in me’; after Oran it was Phil, who performed ‘Life Blood’; and next up it was Mark Madden reading ‘Young Socialists’ (like Bambi in a wolf’s stare!) from his collection; after Mark in was Ross Hattaway, who followed up about the nightmare of daytime TV he was forced to watch during a forced convalescence – ‘The New Cooking’. After Ross, the circle continued, This time Ruairi read a second poem from Doog’s book – ‘On Zeb’s Field’; Oran, up next, read from The Clock Tower Ghost and Other Writings where ‘Joe the Astronaut Touched Down’ ; after Oran, Phil with another performance – this time ‘Carpe Diem’; and after Phi;, a brief discussion on how to learn your own work off by heart – apparently the secret is repetition and a full length mirror was mentioned too! After imparting his words of advice, Mark read a gift work from Mick Farren (as in Mick Farren and the Deviants band) – ‘I know from Self Destruction’. And then Declan gave Ross the final word! And he ended with ‘The Trigger’ from ‘Killing My Husband’.