Thursday, May 04, 2006

The blog format works against a chronological reading of the Ireland Journal. For chronology read Part One the Part Two etc.


New York (3/17-3/18) & San Francisco (4/17-4/21) Journals still to come


Been reading Alice Notley's Mysteries of Small Houses . One answer to the problem of maintaining both a narrative and the Dickinsonian sense of having the top one's head taken off by poetry.

2/21 from Dublin out

Interviews w/ theatre actresses. One on the tele. Two on the radio. Three in one morning.

...heading SE out of Dublin.

Hours in midday in an Irish traffic jam on the N7. [Everywhere we go people know about it. Infamous.]

Two off ramps w/o route numbers. No chance for an alternate route. Listen to RTE 1. Lots of talk about car accidents & the ways to stop them.


Thought I'd keep a record of Irish breaksfasts too. So Monday morning in Galway: one egg, a storebought fried potato (sort of a thick hash brown), a tomato, sausage & bacon. This morning in Dun Laogaire: an egg, tomato, white pudding, sausage, and bacon. Egg overhard Monday & then quite easy -- lovely -- this morning.


End up at Morrissey's in Abbeyleix at 3:10 pm. Sit next to the old turf stove piping heat into the rest of the pub.
at Rock of Cashel

rushes as bedding in summer
implications of the plague (1385) on genetic heritage
on Dingle
The Grapevine Hostel
Colin, the bilingual two year old...Abby falls in love.
2/23 & 2/24
Assorted jottings about purchases and practical matters.
Eat black pudding, bangers, rashers, tomato, onion, mushroom, eggs

Drive to Croom. People in a pub & at a bookmaker. Nowhere else.

Drive to Adare. Wedding capital of Ireland. Pleasant meals & pints & chat & Rugby at the two sides of the Collins pub. The one side in the afternoon fish & chips during France v. Italy. The other side in the afternoon an Irish lamb stew during Scotland v. England. (A famous Scottish victory!) Stay at a lace curtain B & B. Reminds me of a great aunt's house near the South Shore Mall in Braintree.
Now I have values not just anger. Beliefs I came to protect & pass along. These are beliefs I'll stand for but the point is to live them--no longer always to fight.

[back to Dun Laoghaire theatre February 20th, 2006 (Juno and the Paycock)...]
Mom tells son about O'Casey's later plays. They check their phones. Mom asks him what she's done wrong. "Have I gone too far." She's talking about the phone.

The girl now to my left eats ice cream off a stick. My feeling is this crowd might stand up and walk out or shout down the actors if the play's no good.

"So di'ya get pissed Sah'erdat ni'"

Could this scene--a theatre in a wall filled w/ a range of ages--happen in the states. Could a Miller Or a T. Williams do it? The Crucible?

I want to read a history (up to the present moment) of Irish theatre & its audience.

Earlier today we went into the city centre--an lar--to see j.P. Donleavy's paintings at the Molesworth Gallery all of the show except for enough paintings to fill one room were packed up for the buyers.

The art was Steadman-like. Lots of simple--primitive?--four legged animals. I liked the simplest of them, the most gestural. An animal rendered with a few flicks and scrawls of the pen.

The play is to begin...

Begins with a recording of "Molly Malone". The teens snicker
[Misc. notes on the play]
The teen girls says to her boyfriend: "We're doing King Lear. it's more intricate than your mind."

He claims that he too is "doing Lear".

"I'd like to see your reading table," she says.

Later, "stop alienating me because I'm a girl."

& then he puts his hand our palm up. She puts her hand into his, curls her fingers between his while his hand is still outstretched, palm up.

Then they talk about getting into pubs.
She: You're forgetting I'm w/ you
He: I'm not.
She: Yea y'are. I wouldn't get in.
He: What?
She: You need a hair cut. Go get one tomorrow.
He: Yours is longer
She: It suits a girl when her hair is longer. What's up w/ guys when they wear their hats this way.

The boys--the boyfriends & his mates to his left, furthest from me--show the different ways to wear hats: truck driver (pulled back, brim up), dads (sitting atop the head above the ears--but I've never seen a dad wear a baseball cap in Ireland that way or any way) backwards which (sarcastically) "is just cool."

The idle talk of teens. Great fun to eavesdrop. Eavesdropping is working for a writer.

She (pretty & tomboyish in brown trousers & skateboarding sneakers w/ a pink insignia) puts her legs over his. Their legs are both outstretched. His on the seat in front of hers at an angle over his. He sings a parody of the song "Mandy". I imagine its a bawdy parody because they all laugh with wicked grins.

Now he's sitting up. Her legs still draped over his as he sips a Redbull.

"Bull hormones," he says to his malke buddies. Then a beat or two later he turns & gives the girl a sip.

They talk of their favorite drinks.
Her: Vodka and coke or Gin and tonic.
Him: Pints of Heineken or Bud. Occasionally a Guinness.

There's a lot of noise when the lights go down. Then a stray voice or two. Then nothing.

[More notes on the play including a meditation on the line "No man has done enough for Ireland"; mentally I replace "Ireland" with "America" & play it out. Also this from the play "'What can God do against the stupidity of man?'" And this, "with an Irish accent "police" sounds like "polis". And "nostalgia is bullshit." [Important to remember while I'm in Ireland.]

After the play I can't find a pub in Dun Laoghaire at least not one w/o kids (some clearly under 18) streaming into it or one w/o an angry man standing in front of the door. So I find two pubs but skip them both. Find closed restaurants, open pizzarias, closed shops. I turn around & head for a chain: Abrakedabra. Fish & chips to bring back to the B & B. Then I'll read a bit of Potrait before failling asleep.

I did pass an open off-license on the way back but when I stopped to look in I saw only wine & liquor. I'd like a pint of Guinness properly poured. Am I in the wrong country? No, just the wrong neighborhood. & I'm hungry. It's 11:00 & I haven't eaten since a donut six hours ago on O'Connell St. between the GPO & the Liffey. Stop there if you get the chance. (It's on the opposite side from the GPO & closer to the Liffey. A little donut windown. Donuts soak up alcohol they say. I say.) Before that had a late lunch of chicken & curry by the Davey Byrne pub (couldn't go in with the wee one...assholes). Now my fish & chips are ready.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

This from John Landry:

Poetry Bookshop Changes Hands
The Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard Square, the oldest poetry bookstore in the United States, is about to change hands for the second time in eight decades, Publishers Weekly reported. The influential store, opened in 1927 and a favorite of poets including E. E. Cummings, T. S. Eliot and Marianne Moore, has been sold to Ifeanyi Ment iki, a professor of philosophy at Wellesley College. He is also a poet whose most recent collection, "Of Altai, the Bright Light," was published last year by Earthwinds Editions. "The store has meant a lot to so many of us," he said. "I wanted to make sure it continued." The sale, by Louisa Solano, who owned the store for 31 years, was prompted by her ill health and will become final tomorrow. "I'm going to catch up on 30 years of sleep," Ms. Solano said.

Friday, March 10, 2006


2/20 Dun Laoghaire

Always check what's going on in town wherever you travel. Checking over the brochures downstairs at a B & B in Dun Laoghaire south of Dublin I find announcements for the local theatre. Currently running? Juno & the Paycock for 15 Euros. I had it swapped 'round in my mind momentarily with Shadow of a Gunman my favorite O'Casey but even when my momentary thrill abatted I was still thrilled to see professional theatre for about twenty bucks. I never made use of student rush (is that what it's called) while at Emerson even when The Importance of Being Earnest played over at BU. I was too meek to figure out how the process of getting a seat for $10 actually worked. Since then I've seen five professional plays, three of the five while in Ireland.

Great to see dramakids loitering out front...Oh, before I go on remove the idea of a Georgian theatre from your mind. The theatre in Dun Laoghaire is in a large mall-like complex. The theatre itself is not unlike a megaplex movie theatre in size & design. Audience? Scruffy teens there seemingly on their own. The aforementioned dramakids. Older couples. A mom & her teenaged son. A teenage couple on a date. The boy brought along two friends too. Strange, no? I couldn't imagine this scene in the States. A group of kids way in the back shout to friends as they walk in. One checks phone for text as he walks in. This is modern Dublin. He's Black. Mates are white. They chat away excitedly. Mom & son beside me talk about the local match on the weekend. Footbal but soccer or Gaelic? This can be confusing in Ireland where some people say "soccer," as we do in the States, to refer to Association Football. For these people "football" means "Gaelic football". Other people say "football" & mean, what for us & some of the Irish, is "soccer". Generally in the east, where Dublin is, "football" means "soccer". The east tends to be more British. Some in the west call Dublin "West Britain". [to be continued]
Belle & Sebastian at Avalon (Boston, MA) February 28, 2006

Friday, March 03, 2006


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

(transcribed from a 4 1/2 IN x 3 1/4 IN notebook w/ small changes)

Looking for...
Poets in Charlie Byrne's bookstore

Maurice Scully
Geoffrey Squires
Catherine Walsh
Billy Mills
Randolph Healy
Trevor Joyce
Austin Clarke
Thomas Kinsella's Wormwood

Eight swings & misses.

Go to Mullingar for music. Closed.
Head for a drink at the Blue Note on West William. Take a look. Walk on. No use trying to recreate the past.

At Charlie Byrne's find Midwinter Day for five euros. Find it as the shopkeepers begin to turn off the lights.
Past Dusk
Dark green football field
Indigo cobalt sky
Saffron yellow nightlamps
thrum & spot the distance
a dusting yellowing
the bluegreen scene
white Gaelic goalposts organize
the blueblack sky slopes
away from my eye then inverts
as I walk past
& look back
The Sullivan brothers butcher "Olivers Army" on You're a Star (sounds like Euro Star). (Later in the Irish Times I get the answer to the question I ask aloud: does anyone else *get* this?) "White nigger" becomes "white figure". The cheeriness. Argh. The judges love the upbeat tempo. Huh? "Send you to Johannesberg"? Cheery? "White figure"? What the fuck does that mean? ... praise heaped on 'em all around. (A judge says the brothers showed "killer instinct". No pun intended it seems.) I must be an alien. (I am an alien.) Where is Myles na Gopaleen to give these brothers their proper comeupance in tomorrow's paper.

Go to an old haunt. Name changed to Vinnies Take Away. (No apostrophe. Later see sign at an upscale restaurant in Dingle Town with the sign "Toilet's".) Vinnies Take Away is allegedly an "Italian Style Take Avay" but it's actually a chipper or chipshop (whichever designation you prefer). "Garlic chips" are the only vaguely "Italian" dish I see on the menu. But there're also "Mexican Chips" so...

No Club Orange at Vinnie's. That's disappointing. Also disappointing that curry is no longer a condiment. Now costs a euro. & now they put the vinegar on for you now.

For a month while I took a class at NUIG, I'd order a fishburger w/ chips & a Club Orange for under three pounds. (That was pre-Euro). Sometimes I'd douse the chips with salt & vinegar. Other times w/ the curry.

This meal was especially great w/ the windows of the place opened for the July breeze off Galway Bay. Also especially great after a wee smoke along the Corrib from the University nearly to the quays (where the chipper is).

Around the corner an army of swans live off the dole so to speak.

I will not try the Bar * B * Que Pork Rib Steak nor the Batter Burger at Vinnie's but I like to come here to write. Would that I could walk through my wardrobe and end up here. As it is, I find the place tonight without following directions. Let my feet take me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Events I'll miss while in Ireland...

Sam Cornish Retrospective Author(s): Sam Cornish
Category: Reading
Date: Feb 22, 2006
Time: 7:00 P.M.

Location: The Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center
Address: Simmons College
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA

Someone please report on this for me...


Feb 25: Sam Witt & Keith Waldrop
at P.A.'s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave. in Somerville, Mass.
Reading begins at 5:30 pm.


Cat Power
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
8:00 pm


w/ Memphis Rhythm Band


& I'll miss you but not you or you.