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With the permission of William Joyce                                                                         MONEY Money is the last ...

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Common Grounds

A few Saturdays ago I was sitting with a bad, bad hangover in one of my favourite bars at half ten in the morning. I always say a man should have at least three pubs he uses. The one where everyone knows you drink. The one where you go when you want to avoid people. And finally and most importantly, the one where no one knows you even know exists, but each and every person inside knows you by first name and choice of pint.

I was in the third kind. A dank and musty church that thinks it's a bar but in reality is home to men of a certain age and background. I'm of a certain age and background too, and so happy as Larry I sat watching my pint of Beamish settle while my stomach turned over and my temples tried to rehydrate themselves by squeezing liquid from my brain.

Though my head ached, emotionally I was feeling a deep sense of well being. The type which can only be experienced by a working man who has avoided a day of toil. I had avoided a day of toil by ringing in sick. And duty done I headed to John Brown's. The dark suited me. I needed some 'Me' time. That time whereby I ignore my future by blocking out the present with large amounts of a depressive substance masquerading as something that cheers you up. It 's not a bright idea or that original but it certainly seems popular in Dublin in certain circles.

It's not that common for a woman to be there in the morning. I think they have a proper sense of the place, maybe more accurate, so I hadn't noticed this person while I said hello to the regulars. She was loud though. Very loud for that time and space. Thin as a rake compared to the beer guts all around and hyper aware as opposed to sunk in drudgery of mindless indolence. Her laugh was abrasive and unforgiving and from the moment I noticed her she never shut up. She harangued, she jided, she fully partook in the whole bar. She shouted conversation down from one end of the room to the other. She wasn't funny and there was an edge to the tone she struck. Don't get me wrong, she was among people she knew and knew well but..... She was wrecking everyone's head. I could see it and I knew what effect it was having on me. And then I thought "I know this sentiment from somewhere" and so here is a new poem from William Joyce


            Three of them at a back table
            as garbagemen
            at 6 a.m.

            The one's laughter
            would curdle the blood
            of a Chinese wrestler.
            They talk about toenails,
            pricks, dogs in heat
            in voices so loud
            the other diners
            into themselves.

            This is a restaurant 
            of long tableclothes
            where diners have been taught
            at age 6.
            The manager follows
            the waitress
            into the kitchen.
            "Serve those fat girls
            right away
            and get them out of here."

            Through mounds of food
            in their mouths
            the fat girls never let up.
            They talk and chortle,
            talk and chortle.
            They are quite aware
            they are irritants.

            That's why they got fat,
            got loud, got vulgar
            to irritate 
            respectable citizenry
            wherever they go,
            to be served first
            then show their appreciation
            by burping
            in unison.          

Friday, 10 February 2017

                          Miller Time-- On Henry Miller

" Henry Miller is not a writer; he’s a friend you turn to when your apartment walls close in on you and all the world begins to stink. When you’re most exasperated, Miller is there with his alternately cajoling, absurd, sincere, outraged, sage-like, funny voice, ruminating and gassing in a calm way. Miller’s voice always comes from the quietest corner of the bar. The rest of the occupants are slaughtering each other, offering polemical speeches, toasting their various diseases, and gouging their own thighs and arms with their fingernails in an effort to rid themselves of the itch of being truly alive. Unlike his distant cousin CĂ©line, Miller never gets clobbered by these barroom brawlers. He gets close enough to the action to observe the lice and the whispered endearments between blows, but he never gets whacked by a piece of flying furniture. “Don’t struggle; get in the flow,” he advises in book after book. Much of this “flow” for Miller is in the flotsam – all sorts of deranged and eccentric characters – who are both more lively and can tell us more about life than comfortable citizens at the center. He doesn’t see the same divisions the rest of us have been taught to see. Wealthy hoarders or bourgeoisie hoarders may be deplorable, but the feeling I get after 30 years of browsing through Miller is that he’d knocked aside all compartmentalization; he would sit down for a meal with anybody who was unaffected and learn from him, provided of course that the companion sprung for the meal. Miller is the greatest of all freeloaders, surpassing even that other Joyce."...............

This is the opening lines from the opening essay in "MILLER , BUKOWSKI AND THEIR ENEMIES " (2nd Edition) Quite simply one of the best and most invigorating books you could ever read. Guillermo/William 
writes with passion, integrity ,fire, passion and a whole lot of bile about a range of writers he loves and the industry he has plenty of reason to despise. It is magnificent.

Go buy it. You won't regret it.

It's available on Kindle too.  

Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Trump Effect

I can't turn on the TV or Radio now without having to put up with one man. Donald J Trump. The whole world seems hypnotised by his every act and word. I'm no Trump advocate (He clearly is dangerous on certain points) but no one seems to be able to find anyone who supports him to talk to. It reminds me of the post crash Ireland where I could not find one person who had ever (Ever,  ever) voted for Fianna Foul. The non presence of ordinary people who happen to agree with 'The Wall' or 'The Muslim Ban' says a lot about both the political climate and the quality of a lot of mainstream media who have an agenda of their own to push. The visceral anger I see not only on television but as I walk and live on the streets of Dublin seems to me to be in at least some sense false. 

I mean it seems to cloak a rage at almost everything in life and Trump is just an easy, open, acceptable target to voice off against. Those who I do find who apologetically say "Trump is kinda right" or who immediately go on a rant about 'Foreigners' or 'Bankers' also seem to be using the 'Trump' brand as leverage to vent some spleen.  This crippling modern western system of living never gets a mention.  

The fact that the man or woman next to you may be struggling too never gets a mention. Forget politics, that man there, that woman there, maybe even that child there is probably experiencing something akin to how you feel. We all seem to ignore that simple human truth.

William Joyce never ignores the Human. He is no fan of the 'Mob' as he often calls it, in fact I can't think of many who rage as hard against it as he does, or so successfully guards his personal borders, and I know on this issue he would tell me to "Go for a swim and forget about it" but it is his very humanity which draws me in. He sees those that struggle even in the heart of all the glitter and can't tolerate those who don't. He'll give you a chance but forget you as quickly if you don't grasp it with both hands. He is for and with the outsider, be that a Trump outsider or an AntiTrump outsider. It's a rare gift from a rare man. 

Go read him.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Over the month of December I was down with a virus infection which left me struggling to concentrate or even breathe. I went through Christmas and The New Year in a reduced state and to be honest for the first time in a long, long time I didn't even read.

In the opening days of 2017 I looked in amazement at the vast amount of wasted energy spent on trying to carve up your enemy ( Whoever that is ), attach mud to whatever story took your fancy, justify by logic or brute force or just plain old lie whatever narrative suited the little human corner of the Universe you call your own while laughing at everyone else's hopes and fears. I then remembered that I don't have to play that game.

If the consequences of the sad tawdry little mess wasn't so terrible on an individual and a Human level, If I didn't see broken children and broken adults every where I look on the streets I walk and the television I see, Well I might just give up all hope.

But I don't, because I think if we all listen to our bodies, learn to laugh a little more, walk the streets with a smile and an eye for play and appreciate the men and women we see each day, well then things in some small way may get better.  

In those moments as always I turn to William Joyce to make me smile and think. The first thing I found was this and it did both ................

                                                   GIRLS AND THEIR TERRIBLE TITS

All the girls have big tits now,
and they use them to mow men down.
Howitzer tits, tits with an aim
in life, they got this weaponry
from steroids in the beef
but not all the girls are beefy.
Some are as slender as celery stalks
but they have these burgeoning,
over-sized, obtrusive tits.
Along with the chin, the tits
are pushed out in front
somewhere between a prim pout
and purposeful arrogance.
Make no mistake about it,
these tits are embossed with power
not pleasure. First promoted
by admen in a titless society
to sell soap, the tits have grown
with the economy. No longer
tender paps for nurturing
but bountiful busts for bullying,
tits lead the way through crowds,
take charge of committee meetings,
assault the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
with writs of complaint that their tits
were groped in a crowded park.
The symbol of sex and a healthy economy,
the tit has come loose from it's moorings.
Tits don't want to be used by anybody---
not men, nor babies, nor pitch men
for Hollywood; tits want their own leverage,
their own comfort zone
free from pawing hands and grasping mouths.
And they get it as they soar
across the sky- a nipple and a cape--
the first SuperTit-- and all
the stratojets make way for it.