Saturday 16 April 2016


Woodcutters - Thomas Bernhard
(translated by David McLintock)

"For twenty years I had not wanted to know anything about the Augsbergers; for twenty years I had not seen the Augsbergers, and in these twenty years the very mention of the name Augsberger had brought on third degree nausea, I thought, sitting in the wing chair."

Finally I have got around to Thomas Bernhard, and although late to the party, the cake still tastes fresh, or should that be refreshingly stale and crusty. Woodcutters is an internal monologue blasting away in the mind of the narrator who sits in a wing chair at a party to which he wishes he had never been invited.

It took me a while to get into the rhythm of this book but now that I have found Bernhard's voice I've a feeling I'll be returning soon. If only more people would discard their Bernhard's in Charity Shops. Maybe I just don't frequent Charity Shops in the right areas. Perhaps I need to return to the capital, perhaps frequent again the bars in the cultural quarters, the openings, the awards nights, the love-ins of the loveless narcissistic creatives desperately building charlatans into paper maché colossi so they can rub shoulders with giants.

Friday 1 April 2016

Why I no Longer Write Poetry

COW AND CALF, 1969. Louis le Brocquy 
Why I No Longer Write Poetry

I live for nonsense
and die by the truth
Pulling my ego
Out by the root

Scratches in pencil
Scratches in pain
I watch the words
Dissolve in the rain

I watch and grow weary
Of words and their thrust
Speeches and self-importance
Republics of dust

The bellow of a wounded cow
the screeching of a wren
Old patterns returning
Still meaningless