Is the beauty of the Whole really enhanced by our agony? And is the Whole really beautiful? And what is beauty? Throughout all his existence man has been striving to hear the music of the spheres, and has seemed to himself once and again to catch some phrase of it, or even a hint of the whole form of it. Yet he can never be sure that he has truly heard it, nor even that there is any such perfect music at all to be heard. Inevitably so, for if it exists, it is not for him in his littleness. But one thing is certain. Man himself, at the very least, is music, a brave theme that makes music also of its vast accompaniment, its matrix of storms and stars. Man himself in his degree is eternally a beauty in the eternal form of things. It is very good to have been man.   And so we may go forward together with laughter in our hearts,  and peace, thankful for the past, and for our own courage. For we shall make after all a fair conclusion to this brief music that is man.

Olaf Stapledon
Last and First Men

Life on Mars

December 29, 2019

Fairytale of New York

December 22, 2019

Fairytale of New York

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won’t see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They’ve got cars big as bars
They’ve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It’s no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing ‘Galway Bay’
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You’re a bum, you’re a punk
You’re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas, your arse
I pray God it’s our last

The boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing, “Galway Bay”
And the bells are ringing out
For Christmas day

“I could have been someone”
Well, so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me, babe
I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone
I’ve built my dreams around you

Shane MacGowan & Jem Finer

The Pogues (the name abbreviated from the bands original name of “Pogue Mahone” which in turn is an anglicisation of the Irish Gaelic póg mo thóin, meaning “kiss my arse”).

writing essentials

December 12, 2019

I can’t write poems anywhere but in my study. My desk usually has at least three book piles on it, but I was feeling claustrophobic so things are looking extra tidy (can’t work with desk clutter).

My writing essentials depend on the project. When I was writing A New Language for Falling Out of Love I required: whiskey, the hours between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm, a colour-changing Jesus light, and a small selection of songs on repeat (can’t remember the songs anymore, but rest assured they were sad).

Even though Notes on the End of the World was my second publication, it was actually the first manuscript I wrote. The writing process for that one is a bit hazy, but I do remember there were a few songs on repeat: “No Quarter” by Led Zeppelin and “Eyes on Fire” by Blue Foundation (don’t judge me).

The poems in One God at a Time also had a specific repeating soundtrack (I find that repeating the same song over and over helps me chisel away at ideas), but required less alcohol (although alcohol is always welcome). I know I listened to The Leftovers soundtrack on a loop, as well as Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor.

Meghan Privitello
Seahorses, Gods, and taxidermy art – an interview with Meghan Privitello

Lullaby

December 10, 2019

Tartini

December 1, 2019

Siúil A Rún

November 30, 2019

I really can’t tell you how bloody sad it makes me to realise that in the 21st Century United Kingdom this should be necessary. Corbyn and his mates should hang their heads in shame.

Clannad

November 26, 2019

I love Paris

November 24, 2019

I love Paris every moment,
Every moment of the year.
I love Paris, why, oh why do I love Paris?
Because my love is near.

Cole Porter