Excited by my own sex, I felt light-headed and generous. All sense of hunger had left me. I decided to startle the placid town with my sex, but not by copulating with these suburbanites still asleep in their bedrooms. I would mount the town itself, transform Shepperton into an instant paradise more exotic than all the television travelogues that presided over their lives.
-from The Unlimited Dream Company, by JG Ballard
(You can find an interview with Ballard in The Paris Review, where he says, among other things that the title of this novel was a mistake, as it sounded “like a jeans emporium”.
The latest instalment of the brilliant Unthology series was launched yesterday. As usual, it’s a great collection of fiction, gathering pieces that really work together, without falling into the old boring trap of theme or style unity. It’s as good as it looks, and it contains my short story “Nora and Anthony”.
It’s a theatrical romantic extravaganza, and if you happen to be a Corkonian, the set was fashioned after the Everyman Theatre.
Quick update: one of my poems published in the current issue of Poetry Ireland Review (see previous post) is featured on their website as their poem of the week.
Go check it out – free poem, folks!
I’m delighted to start 2016 with quite a busy line-up of publications.
I have two poems out this week in the handsome Poetry Ireland Review (below – cover art by Niamh Flanagan): After all these night buses, a fanciful travelogue of sorts, and On the madhouse grounds with Alexis, about youthful trespassings in my hometown.
And, just fresh of the day, two more poems can be found online in the new issue of Southword: Our Lady of the Clouds, patroness of bored clerks and Threesome. I’m not going to say anything about those, as anyone interested can just click on and read them. in addition to the poems, you can read the winning stories of the Seán Ó Faoláin Competition 2015, judged by Danielle McLaughlin.
I’m pretty chuffed, because the poetry editor for Southword at the moment is Matthew Sweeney, a poet I’m quite a fan of.
Last year at this time I bragged about my literary achievements – and lo, here I am doing it again. It threatens to become an annual thing.
So, in 2015 I’ve had 8 poems and 6 stories published in magnificent places, and I think I’ve cast my net wide in terms of subject matter. There were, in no particular order:
ghost estate vigilantes; Southern Seas ports besieged by cliché sailors; fond memories (true story!) of my young self’s budding voodoo skills; a classic Poe reduxing; a Chinese-shadow kamasutra; a politically sound, street-roaming Norteño dog; a Hades of rotten leaves; a retired piano-tuner switching to vocal chords; a ledger of our leisure days; a very small miracle (unless it is just very far); a guide to slumming it, eastern-tale sultan style; a case of apricot-flavoured Robert Frost possession; a mythological moral whodunnit; an attempted escape from the business park belt; and other such reveries
These are online, ready to be read (oh, the magical Internet!), so dilly-dally no more, folks!
And these yokes are old-school paper and ink little things, bona fide gems that you can (should) get yourself a copy of. (Simply by clicking on them – again, the magical Internet!)
“Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday’s homeopape. When nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there’s twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.”
“I see.” The girl regarded him uncertainly, not knowing whether to believe him. Not sure if he meant it seriously.
“There’s the First law of Kipple,” he said. “‘Kipple drives out nonkipple.’ Like gresham’s law about bad money. And in these apartments there’s been nobody there to fight the kipple.”
“So it has taken over completely,” the girl finished. She nodded. “Now I understand.”
“Your place here,” he said, “this apartment you’ve picked – it’s too kipple-ized to live in. We can roll the kipple-factor back; we can do like I said, raid the other apts. But-” He broke off.
Isidore said, “We can’t win.”
Do androids dream of electric sheep, Philip K. Dick
I presently have brain-bubbles grade excitement due to the fact that my poem “Gerrymanderings of the mind” got to second place in the ESL (English as a Second Language) category of the inaugural Oxford Brooks International Poetry Competition.
It’s about my new home town, Nantes and it “explores immigrant arrival to a new city in a wonderfully irreverent style“, according to competition judge Hannah Lowe. I wrote it not very long after moving back to France from Ireland last year.
[Pix of my ‘hood]