The opening shot of the Centenial Celebration of ‘Only Sixteen’ in DUPlin featured a hideously ideosyncratic video which spotlit Bono and Sir Bob.
It was, incidentally, nick-named ‘Knick Knack, Paddy Whack, give a dog a Bono’ by the video maker’s ideologues, at loggerheads, mar is gnách, with the boggers. Which Mutt enjoyed ginormously in a mature, self-deprecating way, as is his willing wont, being aimed at him, and him alone, on the same page of a similar hymn-sheet, as a token of bespoke re-spect.
Grainy footage of the non-PC pair of Pearse and Connolly, both brain-dead diehard go-against-the-grainers, ended up, where they always belonged. Where? Where else, Elsie, only on the cutting room floor, gan dabht, of the Stonebreakers Fillum Studio, Kilmainham.
To bawls of muted ‘protest’ the video was got rid of in such a jiffy and with such iffy willingness by the Great Civil War Government, that it made even the sniffy noses of some unusual suspects, suspicious. Hastily, too hastily, perhaps, Hastings, a new ball was thrun in, Dunne. So, what kind of ploy exactly was being played out here ?
Flash back to the prologue of this swelling act, 2014 and dwell on this unprorogued thespian farce in the Abbey Theatre:
-Waking the Tabby Cats.
Enter stage front that terrible beauty with an eye for booty, Missy Panti Bliss, in the garish glittering syle of a glam rock Lady Machiavelli – to win us with honest trifles and betray us later in deeper consequence. That sorta thingy.
Morphing the motto for the Old Mott of Abbey Street into:
-No manholes here ! Foxholes, yes; manholes, no.
Fast forward now to 2016, and the epilogue, Logue. When, for the umpteenth time was dumped upon the tickled orange DUPsomaniacs on Liffeyside who cannot quaff enough of this laugh-repellent guff-stuff:
–Somme Enchanted Evening.
From this re-imagining of Arsenic and Old Lice aka the Great Anglo-Saxon Civil War to end all Civil Wars (14-18) as a solemn, sicko-phantic panti-mime, as a space-sharing tribute to the divil-may-caring bomb (but not bum) defying Glenanne Gang prototypes. In which was portrayed the inane Anglo man’s in-house humanity to Saxon man.
A standing ovation once again.
This intellectually-provo-cative, cattle-prod production proved to be THE cultural, political, religious, financial and socio-economic high of the Centenial Celebrations cum Conversations of ‘Only Sixteen’. As is testified by the ongoing mutual back-slapping of the Castle Cattle Set with their overheard mentality and which shows no sign of slacking. The dial of their wireless sets being permantently set at 14-18 MHz. i.e., RTE, the wily broadcasting wing of The Unionist Times.
Yes, a fincancial high. For ‘Somme Enchanted Evening’ with its stunning stage setting of ‘the kicking and the gouging in the mud, and the blood and the beer which is rhyming slang’ even as the shells and the Shel Silverstein lyrics fell around the ears of the hardy boys, collectively known as Sue from Newtownards, brought this quote from one old fogie from Portavogie, oops, Royal Portavogie.
-Hardly ever, I dare say, Mugs, has the milk of human moolah flowed so freely from the dugs of the silk of the kine like this Cash Cow, Johnny.
Jeff, who somehow hadn’t apprised himself of this production, was rapidly wised up by an attentive Mutt of the retentive Hoover of a memory, when. When? When he quoted to a tee this randomly selected snatch of scintillating wit of such a thigh-slapping Wildean standard for the DUP mover and shaker:
Roulston: I suppose they’re saying the same thing over there?.
McIlwaine: In German?
Pyper: No, in Gaelic.
McIlwaine: Germans don’t speak Gaelic.
Pyper: They all learn it from it for badness, McIlwaine.
McIlwaine: Dirty bastards. So that’s what they insult you in.
Pyper: Couldn’t watch them. Fenians, Gaelic speakers. They get
everywhere. Even in the German army.
McIlwaine: No way. Not even the Germans would have them. Did you hear
about this boy Pearse? The boy who took over a post office
because he was short of a few stamps.
This was perhaps THE clincher in Jeff’s eminently sensible acquiescence to record ‘Only Sixteen’. The first verse of which had been rejigged as the reel thing by Mutt the Revisionist lyricist.
It was only sixteen, only sixteen
Last century was only sixteen
And still too young to Rise Up
And the country was too young to know.
On hearing that Erse-free verse and now this wodge of script, Jeff, DUPlin’s newest lodger, instantly fell and almost fell (in love with the traumatic drama; and then out of his standing and over the edge of the roof top of the architectural shoe box except he was caught, in the latter case, and in the nick of time, by the Liberty Halls by his mentor, Mutt, respectively.)
Which is a cue for:
-Phew are chosen for this preferential, reverential rescue by the discerning lapdog.
Serendipitously or not, Ripley, the GPO was in the news (good or bad, depending on one’s point of view of the GPOO) during the week that was. And to do with, of all things, stamps, but more of that below. First up, a chamber pot, oops, a Poet, please. Sashay forward, one:
Or, rather, to do justice to the essence of his poetic soul:
As quoted in TUT:
-I’m not sure if I’ll get to see it, but I want to see Baoite by Darach Mac Con Iomaire which is just finishing at the Peacock in Dublin. It’s an Irish language play but my Irish is not as good as it should be, so I’m glad to see there are subtitles in English. That might be troubling for some purists, but I think it makes a lot of sense. The play about the impact of fracking on a fishing community, so it’s up to the moment.
Yes, P for Purists.
PM, almost as an afternoon afterthought, finishes up with a St.Pat-like patronising pat on the ould droimeann donn dílis from this Giant’s Causeway to the Global Language.
-And it’s good to see a play in Irish taking on issues like this.
When spoken, it sounds even better. For Paul.Muldoon, poet has a unique verbal delivery, as unique to him as, say – lemme see, ah yis ! – the sharp pitched soprano tessitura of Squeaky B. Fromme. His delivery combines sotto voce with a PAUSE. Hey, it should read like this.
–And. It’s. Good. To. See. A. Play. In. Irish. Taking. On. Issues. Like. This.
What’s not to like in (sotto voice) This. Unique. Verbal. Delivery, for frack’s sake?
For all the world it reminds The Perkin of his dear, dead deity beyond recall, his Grand Uncle Willy. (Or, to give him full nine yards: Wilberforce St. John de Pfiffle Warbeck, Esq.).
Now while Grand Uncle Willy in no way could ever be described as a proponent of the sotto voce, nonetheless he was, indubitably, a bellowing sort of jolly good fellow but still a (gulp) sot and also a (gasp) Santa Clause of the PAUSE. In particular when it came to picking a scáth fearthainne from one of the elephant’s foot umbrella stands which are such a feature of Warbeck Towers.
Unfortunately, it was found expedient to confine Grand Uncle Willy in his latter years, to the abandoned sentry’s cell, located just below the battlements, with only, yes, a well stocked elephant’s foot umbrella stand for furniture. There, to spend his remaining days in a daze even as he PAUSED. There he was destined to stay, his mind having clouded over, in the shape of something very like a whale, daydreaming of how to airmail himself to Freedom, UQ.
Sadly, the plummy-vowelled one was to plummet to his doom from the summit of Warbeck Towers one dry day in December when – oh ! the folly – he managed to extricate himself. Only to leap from the battlements, using his last chosen, closed brolly as – a parachute. Alas, he forgot to open it, having had too much rain on the brain.
When found, his forehead – his last remaining distinguishing feature – was discovered to have had the following cúpla focal etched into it, possibly by the big toenail of his right foot, which he hadn’t trimmed since boyhood, an affectation peculiar to the Warbecks. (Say no more, Seymour).
-Pulitzer. The. Other. One. Pul. Eeeze.
Ah, yes, back to Paul. Muldoon. Poet.
Which reminds the Perkin’s inner poseur of a poetaster to pause now at Limerick Conjunction / Am sosa le filleadh, a fhile, ar Acomhal Luimní.
LET’S DO one’s NUMBER 2 outside NUMBER 10
Tá gá aithriseoireacht ar Horace
Le brod-oid a chumadh do Bhoris
Do na Sé
Cé hé sé?
Julian Just a wee deoch an’ doris.
Paul.Muldoon is a Professor in Princeton University as well as being a Pulitzer Prize Winner for Poetry : notice, please, the preponderance of p’s which alluring alliteration once again causes the Pasha-Prince of the Pause to wince not a jot.
Comes over to Occidental England in summertime, when the hawthorn blossoms are in bloom, to tour with his vaudeville group called – note the p-word:
Not, mind, Muldoon’s Teddy Bear Picnic. Possibly on account that it was written by a Tyrone man, one Jimmy Kennedy. Muldoon hails from the Armagh salient of Moy, to which he has an inalienable attachment. Possibly, also, on account of the danger that a Teddy Bear’s Picnic might be confuseded with Aloysius, which is, ní nach ionadh, The Unonist Times pet name for its C.A.C. (Cuddly Anti-Catholicism). And is named after/ for (as they say in Princeton) Sebastian Flyte’s pet t.b.of Bridey Revisited fame.
Nevertheless, always the more, during the course of Muldoon’s Picnic one of the guest artistes will be (gasp) none other than (roll of drums, trill of trumpet) one, Finchely Fintan of the Fuckáil Focal. The venue will be ‘Glor’, an events centre which is located at (gulp) ‘ Causeway, Ennis’. Let’s hope the name of the venue will be free of the fraudlent fada over the o. Otherewise the Merchant of Ennis, one Timmy Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooley, TD, attention-seeker par excellence, will be seeking his pound of flash photography. Fnarr, fnarr.
To fly easily back to Moy, Theresa: one wonders will ‘Delilah’ feature on the song list of the Poet Prince of Princeton in the Land of Uncle Sam, son? Still speaking of Moy, Roy: the most memorable example of poetry as a performance art from these parts was the unique shimmy, Timmy, of Seán Cavanagh in full flight.
Muldoon’s Picnic 2019 coincided with the choice of Kavanagh’s ‘Raglan Road’ as Ireland’s favourite folk tune. The Perkin (note the P, please) begs to disagree with this choice, as his number one would be what might be called ‘Ragworth Road’, the chorus of which is:
–How I love to ramble down the ould boreen
When the hawthorn blossoms are in bloom
For to sit by the gate in that oul’ mossy seat
Whispering to Kate Muldoon.
The word to grab one by one’s lapels here is, oddly enough, not a p-word, but rather a w-word:
Which is a poetic way of what the Merchant of Ennis would say, in his freewheeling way:
-Look, no Hans – tis an Italian word, sotto voce.
So, whispering seems to be a Muldoon thingy. In this case, less Whispering Grass, as bass baritone Windsor Davis used to warble profoundly at garden parties in Das Hausefrauenschloss. More Whsipering Ass, in the case of Paul.Muldoon.
–Oh, dear, how sad, never mind.
P for Paul.Muldoon is much given to singing the p for praises of his P for Professor of P for Poetry when he was a sotto laureato at the Die Hausfrauenuniversitat in B-fast. That would be one, P for Philip Hobsb(a)um.Hence:
It is a kernel belief of Modern Po-etics, that the sotto voce trouser cough which rear exits in Plimsolls with sound-suppressing rubber soles, while silently going about its business, Moll, invariably causes the most malodorous of aftermaths, Matt.
To wrap things up by referring back up to The GPOO, oops, GPO and its recent less than controversial issuing of a damp squib stamp to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the landing on the silvery moon.
–Tá Ard Oifig an Whist dúnta anois / The General Post Office is now closed.
(British) Open next week.
TUILLEADH LE TEACHT: TO BE CONTINUED.