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DUBLIN, me darling

Dublin can be heaven, with coffee at 11 and a stroll in Stephen’s Green, no need to hurry, no need to worry, you’re a king and the lady’s a queen, Grafton St’s a wonderland, there’s magic in the air, there are diamonds in the lady’s eyes and gold dust in her hair and if you don’t believe me, come and meet me there, in Dublin on a sunny summer morning…

 

I took these pictures on my way home from a stroll around Dublin on this warm, sunny, summer morning…St Patrick’s park, beside St Patrick’s Cathedral

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Signs of the Time # 16

In the ’60s a philosophical political group, The Situationists, argued the subliminal messages designed to foster our consumerist desires, could be used and directed towards usurping that same commercial protocol and the political establishment it fostered and represented. Everything you see around you, every day, informs the reality you live in. What information you chose to register informs the way you see the world. So, on a stroll into Dublin city centre I took some photos of things that grabbed my attention.

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We like to think of Ireland as a progressive country these days, stepping away from the images and styles that might have informed our past. But in this billboard you can see we hold on to our traditions, too.

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The Why Go Bald? sign outside the Universal Scalp Studio building is known the world over. At night, the man’s neon hair lights up, bald, not bald and so on.

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Ignored while he lived in Dublin, James Joyce spent much of his latter years away from the country, living in France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, but his heart remained at home, in his writings. Nowadays, you’ll find a celebration of Joyce somewhere, if you look.

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Right across the street from the Stag’s Head pub, a fine old Victorian building with wooden and ceramic panelling, wood floor and a marble bar top, there’s a barber shop that was used as a shopfront for a HBO period drama series, Penny Dreadful. The owners decided not to change the film artwork which makes entertaining reading as you pass by.

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Torn Apart

COMMENTS, PLEASE. DOES THIS POEM SPEAK TO YOU?

She grasped his coat,

the one he always wore.

It stank of beer and coffee

and the waft of wind at dawn

on a sandy beach in summer.

She wiped her tears on its sleeve,

tutted, tearing at a loose button,

then bunched the fabric of the sleeve

and tore, at arm’s length

until it shredded, ripped asunder,

wrenched stitches, like a gaping wound.

Why, she screamed,

at the torn garment,

Why – again, tearing –  could you not see

that we were always  destined

to rend ourselves apart?

 

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Hallelujah

#WQWWC – Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge – “Miracles”

Bursting to pee after sitting for two hours in a wheelchair in the sweltering heat of a Kentucky hill country, tent missionary, revival meeting, he had the goods on this charlatan. So he leapt to his feet and ran for the toilet. Behind him, the scoundrel claimed another miracle.

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Poetry is not an art form I visit too often (audible sigh of relief from the back, suppressed giggles) but here’s one I wrote when a former girlfriend turned up, unexpectedly, at my workplace. I tried to write the poem in the shape of a woman’s dress.

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She looked in through the saloon window,
a blast from the past,
her shame or his blame,
no honesty,
no trust.

Return to remind,
twist the knife,
salt the wound,
where drunks get drink
and lives are lived
and lost.

Two souls on crutches
a zimmer of their future,
alone with their thoughts,
of that glimpse in the dark
through a bar room window.

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JOHNNY THE FOX

In 1991, MOJO editor, Mark Ellen invited me to write the first article in a proposed series of articles about bizarre rock and roll deaths. The story would have a 1,000 word limit. The subject of the debut article was to be Phil Lynott, the lead singer of Irish rock group, Thin Lizzy. Little had been written about Thin Lizzy or Phil Lynott, since his sudden and tragic death on January4, 1986. What was written was usually about his problems with drink and alcohol. No-one wrote about the legacy of Thin Lizzy and what Phil Lynott had given to rock and roll. It was MOJO‘s Second issue, styling itself The Rock and Roll Magazine. I argued Phil Lynott deserved better than 1,000 words. He agreed.

 

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