The Word in Flames – Essays on Literature & Revolt – New E-book from Dave Lordan + book trailer

Paypal address: dlordan@hotmail.com. Suggested Donation 10 euro.

My e-book of essays on art, literature, social change & multimedia creation THE WORD IN FLAMES is ready to go.

The suggested donation is a tenner, paid through my paypal account, the address of which is dlordan@hotmail.com.

Copies of the e-book can be read on any device such as a smartphone, tablet, iPad, PC, Mac, Laptop, Desktop etc. You don’t need a paypal account to pay through paypal – any debit or credit card will do.

Smaller & larger donations than a tenner also welcome.

All proceeds will go straight to me, the writer of the book! & will go towards buying me more writing time, & upgrading my audio & video equipment. Since taking up videography in early 2016 I have voluntarily made over 100 videos for grassroots artists, community groups, & social movements. If you think what I do has any value, please do consider making a solidarity donation in exchange for the book.

But first, here’s what some deep-thinking activist heads have to say about The Word in Flames:

“The Word in Flames” confirms Dave Lordan’s stature as the most original, incendiary and impassioned voice writing in Ireland today. The combined lyricism and potency of his writing confronts the reader, forcing us, as all great writers do, to see the things we are unwilling or forbidden to know.

Dr. Sinéad Kennedy Department of English, Maynooth University & Secretary, Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment (pc)

Irish writing has not seen prose as brilliant as this since the Enlightenment. With the clarity of Orwell and an indignation reminiscent of Swift, Dave Lordan identifies the tensions and responsibilities that crystallise within great art, whenever artists are brave enough to allow them to do so. 

Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile. Author of Blasted Literature: Victorian Political Fiction and the Shock of Modernism. Senior Lecturer in English Literature Liverpool John Moores University

If you like polemic to be scalding, defiant, revolutionary and erotic, then you’ll relish this book. By turn erudite, poetic, auto-biographical and scholarly (often all of these at once), this is an important anthology of essays by Ireland’s only literary prophet. Beware, it will make you a disciple.

Conor Kostick, Author of Revolution in Ireland (Cork University Press,) 2009

“Every once in a while an organic intellectual pushes through, by sheer strength of will and intellectual capability, the dense network of disciplinary and punitive systems that are designed to control the working class. Such a person is rare in Ireland, because public life works to hedge around and make precarious the voice of the outsider who has not been to the right school or played the right games. Dave Lordan is one such voice.”

William Wall, Author of This is The Country.

Donate to Dave Lordan’s Community Funding Appeal at paypal address dlordan@hotmail.com, & receive a copy of e-book The Word In Flames.

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Urban Bogman, Day 19. Presidential, and the world according to Zarna Joshi (conversation with a taxi driver)

“So whatcha make of this whole thing?” he says before I’ve even strapped in my seatbelt. “Mental, innit?” and I’m like Excuse me? which is probably completely redundant but anyway…

“The ‘lection, yeah? For the pres’dent of ‘merica, yeah?”

Ah, right…

“See the two dopes who are running, I’m not even that concerned about them…”

he continues, obviously quite eager to discuss this…

“But the reason I think it’s mad is because everyone’s yappin’ on about it… as if any of our rulers have ever been anything but, you know… Persons of ehhh… Questionable moral character.”

Despots and tyrants, says I, but he cuts me off.

“Yeah, the best any of them have ever done is manage not to kill or maim a large portion of their people. Or someone else’s. That’s just what you do when you become king or emperor or president or whatever. Usually you just start taking off heads, then maybe get down to some other official business.”

Suppose that’s been a trend alright…

“And as if the world is gonna be like the tinted glasses of Zarna Joshi, where everyone is always mega nice to each other.” I have no idea who Zarna Joshi is. “You know, the Hugh Mungus lady? She went mad at some fella in a video, look it up. And I saw she went and made more videos of her being mad. I dunno… I think she’s kinda hot.”

“And the other day I had an American in the car, yeah, a real American. And she was sayin’ that she doesn’t like the way people in other countries tend to talk shite about what’s happening in her country right now… What was the word she used? Pontificate! That was it! But it’s funny, really…”

What the fuck does pontificate mean?

“It’s funny, like it’s the biggest cultural tyrant in the world, America is right now, and then people actually get angry when the rest of the world pays attention, that’s what I think is the funny bit! As if all that shoving McDonalds and Starbucks down everyone’s throat isn’t gonna have any sort of repercussions.”

Diary of an Urban Bogman, day 18: On reading Ulysses, a Joycean non-analysis

“And what did you get up to on Saturday night?” the great smirking blue face beckons an answer out of me before my self respect or ego can catch up with it.

… “I sat at home and read Ulysses” I admit, though somewhat reluctantly.

“Ah!” launches Ferard casually, “I have to take another run at it once I finish college. Read the first 8 episodes for a class. It’s dense as fuck but so rewarding.” I concur, even though I secretly suspect he probably got some comic-book adaptation. Or maybe not… After all, who in their right mind would ever make such a thing?

Here, Billy interjects with his usual slur. “Heap of shite!”

Pregnant pause of intellectual pondering.

“Your time would have been better spent face down in speed giving yourself a reach-around.”

Everyone laughs. Mitzy jumps in with her usual Hepburn-esque* charm and sound advice; “Don’t listen to him! You don’t gotta choose…”

Everyone laughs some more. Here, a few drinks are spilled. There, a few more are poured. Life goes on.

“Another great health tip! Mind if I repost it?” interjects Dan Jordan enthusiastically. “Fucking great book, but what you are advising is also most inspiring. It’s about balance though, isn’t it? You could listen to Ulysses on audio whilst being free to perform auto-reacharound, and so on…”

That certainly would be a very Joycean thing to do.

 

* Audrey, not Catherine.

UP the rebels! – a sampler of the new irish poetry, to celebrate the people’s anniversary of the rising

Tangled in Tangled FX

Click here for the PDF of

UP THE REBELS

featuring

Liz Quirke Kevin Higgins Susan Millar Dumars Sarah Clancy Elaine Feeney Neil McCarthy Stephen Murray Abby Oliveira Graham Allen William Wall Jessamine O Connor Quincy Lehr Trevor Joyce  Michael J. Whelan Karl Parkinson Joe Horgan Kimberley Campanello Daniel Wade Erin Fornoff Jessica Traynor Owen Gallagher Christy Gaffney Jessamine O Connor Cormac Lally Connie Roberts Adam Wyeth Rachel Coventry

edited by Dave Lordan

published as a free gift by The Bogmans Cannon to celebrate the people’s anniversary of the Easter 1916 Rising.

 

Diary of an Urban Bogman, Day 17. Visiting an Actor

“You coming? You’re not coming, are you?” I knew it. I knew I’d be going alone.

I have to visit this actor chap. Actors are the worst type of people, really. Especially when they get together and start singing bits from “Fiddler On The Roof” at each other. I hate the way they wave their arms around the place, and stand up while they talk when everyone else is sitting down, and then they pace back and forth all the time gesticulating frantically like a right-wing politician in full electoral frenzy. Actors, I decide, are much worse than the nazis.

“Don’t worry about it, you don’t have to come, really. I’m not gonna pull your leg. No, that’s not it… Not “pull your leg” but something else… Twist your arm! That’s it. Knew it was something to do with involuntary readjustment of limbs.” He has no idea what I’m talking about. Why are all my friends such simpletons?

“Yeah… Limbs…”

Click.

Guess I’ll have to go it alone. Insert heavy sigh and minor existential crisis here.

As soon as I enter the apartment, I know it was a bad idea. Of course, “Remain in Light” is playing on top volume from the speakers, and David is echoing my thoughts exactly.

“…and you may ask yourself: Well, how did I get here???”

Really. How the hell did I get here?

“Hey, hey, howareya, good to see you, cmere lemme get your coat… would you like a drink? I have craft beers or sparkling water, which would you prefer? Sit down, sit down, make yourself at home, I’ve got some music on there… do you like Talking Heads actually? …oh god it’s not raining out is it?”

As I try to figure out how I am supposed to prioritise this barrage of questions, I am handed a beer before even saying anything. There’s a picture of a dinosaur on it, or at least something that looks like a dinosaur, but… it’s drinking beer.

“This album, I mean the stellar work that Byrne and Eno did together, even after Talking Heads, it’s just amazing don’t you think? Have you ever read his book, the one about music? It’s great, I’d love to give you a lend of it. Although, I think my sister has it. He’s just so insightful, you know? Reminds me of this great anecdote…”

This is beginning to look a lot like a certain scene from American Psycho. Thankfully, the music in this particular instance is a lot better. The company, I’m not so sure. As a matter of fact, I’ve got the feeling that I’d rather be getting chased around the hallway with a chainsaw.

Diary of an Urban Bogman, Day 16. The Toilet Seat Dilemma

“Are you the kind of person to leave the seat up or down?”

Again I have no idea of the angle this person is coming from. Could this be a politically loaded question? What sort of seat are they talking about? Am I about to get embroiled in something far beyond my means of comprehension?

“Errrr… What do you mean?”

“The toilet seat,” she continues, “Do you leave it up or down after you’re finished? It’s an important matter in our struggle for a fairer society, you see. Men tend to leave it up, and we find that this is terribly unfair and inconsiderate overall, because…”

“I usually put the entire lid down” I interrupt.

“Oh… Okay. That’s interesting. Why?”
“Well, feng shui says that it’s not good to have the negative energy of waste influence and intermingle with the positive energy of, you know, the life around it. Besides, there’s a sixty millimetre splash radius as well to consider. I’ve always struggled with that whole seat-up-or-down argument, cause it seems to favour pointless bickering over a pragmatic solution.”

She seems intrigued, so I continue. “As if people don’t actually care about the issue, but just use it to perpetuate their bias. If the seat and the lid are both left down, everyone has to put in some work, but the overall benefits are evident. In a way, this can be seen as a metaphor for the entire world. It’s like a toilet.”

“What?? What do you mean—like a toilet?”

“Well, every time you’re in the toilet, doing a number one or two or whatever… Every time you are doing things you’d rather not be doing, but you have to do them, because it’s all part of life. Surely, you’d rather be eating cake than crapping it out, am I right?”

Here, I get a slight nod.

“And every time, you are supposed to consider the fact that, after you, someone else is going to have to come and use the toilet also. So, the world is like a toilet… Because somebody is going to use it after you, so please leave it as best you can. I think we’d all be better off if everyone adopted this philosophy.”

The Bogmans Cannon Top Ten for February

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Drum Roll….100 Gun Salute….loud applause…enthusiastic screaming…ten thousand lions roaring…here are the Top 10 reads on The Bogmans Cannon for February 2016 – solidarity shares appreciated. Up The Rebels!

“You Can’t Live With A Child of Trauma and Not Be Changed” – Why We Need To Support Foster Carers in Ireland by Annemarie Ni Churreain

On Creative Disobedience by Bairbre Flood

Because I’m Human, An Anti-Bullying Poem by Dave Lordan

October Third, by Susan Millar Du Mars

The Universal Moderate by Kevin Higgins

Going for the Absolute – Dave Lordan interviews Rob Doyle

The Flying Column General Election Special, by Connor Kelly

DIARY OF AN URBAN BOGMAN, DAY 15. Conversation with Mr. Taxi Man, Pt. 1

Trans* Rights Poetry and Talks, curated by Alicia Byrne Keane

Neo-Soul Playlist No. 2 – Breaking Walls, by Clara Rose Thornton of Vice and Verses

DIARY OF AN URBAN BOGMAN, DAY 15. Conversation with Mr. Taxi Man, Pt. 1

There’s this taxi driver I call every time I need to get somewhere awkward, like a mystery place that is not connected by bus or rail, but for some reason still exists. In this city, where transport links look like they were drawn by a drunken three-year-old with a pack of crayons, this happens quite often. Naturally, I get to know the guy quite well.

“So who are ya goin’ to vote for?” I ask him this morning. “See they announced the date and all.”

“Not sure I even will, to be honest. It’s all a farce, innit?” he replies gingerly. This guy is like the definition of a Dub, blue jersey and a scratch card in his pocket, a particular brand of sarcasm, and he can talk about the weather and traffic for hours.

“Ah but ya gotta vote! Otherwise you’re just letting the bastards win, aren’t ya?”

“The bastards will win either way, pal. Whether we vote or not. It’s just the way them politicians go, they all talk this and that, loada rubbish ’cause as soon as they are in office it’s out the window with election promises and they just take orders from the banks and corporations. They’re the real bosses, but of course they work across the globe so it doesn’t matter if you’re here or in Papua New Guinea, they got ya by the balls. Don’t anwer to nobody, either.”

He makes a fair point, I have to admit. As if to acquiesce, he asks me who I’m going to vote for.

“That Richard fella, probably.”

“Ah yeah I know him, he’s the one that’s always kickin’ up a fuss in the government eh? Bit of a leftie, isn’t he?” he asks with a smirk. Thinks he’s got me sussed. He probably does.

“Yeh. Fighting a tough battle, that lad. He’s puttin’ on a Christy Moore concert though.”

“Fuck me, is he? That’s deadly, I’d love to go to that. Sure, if you’re gonna be taking sides, might as well go with someone who knows how to put on a good social, eh? And what about the other ones, them what were arrested down at the airport wanting to check if the planes were carrying slaves or something, fair play to them… Did ya see that? And they wouldn’t even let them! Took ’em to court and all! Mental! Shoulda let them check the planes, if you ask me. Can’t be havin’ any of that turnin-a-blind-eye shite. I mean, these are human lives we’re talking about. And then yer wan, that gobshite getting pelted across the head with a water balloon, and of course the coppers launch a massive investigation like it was a big terrorist attack. Bleedin’ clowns, the lot of them, if you ask me.”

Can’t argue with this guy. Couldn’t even if I wanted to.

DIARY OF AN URBAN BOGMAN, DAY 14: Musing on a food group, or, Beige.

“I’ve been eating too much beige lately” comments Alan, more to himself than to the assembled congregation.

“Bread and pasta, that kinda beige?” I enquire, falsely believing that I had a firm grip on the concept.

“No, no, no… Beige is like, a food group, not just food that is beige in colour. In fact, there’s many non-beige coloured things that would fall into the beige category. It’s sort of a mood, a sense of… Occasion! It tends to be, like… Lots of little things.” He pauses. “Popcorn is beige, for example, even though it’s not beige in colour.”

“Popcorn can be beige in colour” I interject. “Like, toffee popcorn.”

“Yes but toffee popcorn is sweet. Beige can never be sweet. It’s really just a manner of ingesting salt, that’s what beige is.”

“Ah! I understand. So, like, crisps and chips and the like?”

“Crisps, yeah. Very beige. Chips would be more of a meal though. Beige isn’t a full meal, more of a snack.”

“So a chicken fillet roll is out of the equation then?”

“Yeah, definitely. Unless maybe you took the fillet on its own, and sliced it up into little bits. Have a nice B&B…” continues Alan, with a slight (but noticeable) glimmer in his eye as he utters the last few words: “Beer and Beige”.

At the mention of this concept, Anthony chips in, enthusiastically. “My, this could be big.” He speaks slowly and gently, as though considering the weight of every word. “Like, are you beige-ing? No, that sounds too much like Beijing. Do you beige? Yeah, that’s it…” he repeats slowly; “Do you beige?”

And so, not so much out of any desire (I mean who has ever really desired such bland things in life), but more our of economic necessity, and to satisfy some sense of indefinable longing for salt and bitterness and despair… For all these reasons, and more… I beige.

Diary of an Urban Bogman, Day 13. Rickshaw Charlie

Don’t really know where I’m going, and it must be quite obvious, because a fella in one of those bicycles with a box on the back of it stops and asks me if I want a ride. “Cheaper than a taxi” he says, and I agree. It’s pissing rain as usual, and the box at least has a roof and a plastic cover. Before I get in the contraption, though, I demand to know what it is called.

“A rickshaw. They’re all the rage in India!” He explains enthusiastically, as if India has suddenly become the new beacon of hipsterdom.

As we meander through the streets I am quite pleasantly not being rained on, and also not having to engage in the tedious mundane conversation with the usual cabbie types. This guy is pedalling with such vigour that he could probably compete in the Tour de France, and he reserves no time for conversation. Just heavy panting.

Suddenly, he stops in the middle of a busy road, cars speeding past us on either side, and I am about to lift the plastic cover to see what is wrong, when it is kindly lifted for me by someone from outside.

“D’ya want some charlie, bud?” asks a bulging-eyed man with a large shiny oval head and a stomach to match. I look at him, evidently clueless.

“Huh?”

“Charlie. D’ya wanna buy some?” He taps a small bit of white powder out of a plastic bag and onto the top of his hand, and nudges it in my direction. “Here, you can try before you buy. Top stuff.”

I have no idea what he’s talking about, but his demeanour scares me somewhat. “Uhh no… I’m okay, thanks.”

He hoovers the whole lot up into his nose with one swift move. “No problem bud. Here, d’ya wanna take my number? Gis a buzz if you change your mind. Ya might need some in the future, you know…” He takes out his phone.

I agree that one never really knows what the future might hold in store, and I don’t want to be rude. He grabs my phone and swiftly punches in a bunch of numbers.

“Here you go pal. The name’s Chalky. Like chalk, yeah? Chalky. Gis a bell whenever, yeah?” He kindly seals up the plastic cover of the rickshaw seat, and taps the driver on the back and whistles at him to keep on, as if he were a horse.

Although still a bit confused, I find this amusing.