Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Phil Lynott, Dr Seuss and Eminem stroll into a bar.

They sit down, have a few drinks and start to have a raucously good time. That’s the sort of vibe you get from writer and performance poet, JOHN CUMMINS.
John would argue that Bob Marley has a place at the table too. “Bob Marley was huge where I was growing up. You’d hear him out of literally every window. And sure Dalymount Park was one of his last gigs.” John cuts a curious figure. Skinny. Tall. Thin. Bearded. But with a wild braided bardic beard, not a hipster one. Overall there’s a gentle, affable groove to his tripiddy-hop style. city-of-words-john-cummins_0135_360x420
So this poetry business? How did it all begin? Well, not that he makes a big issue about it, but John grew up in Darndale. And poetry was a pursuit you didn’t broadcast. It was kind of secret and furtive, he says. But words intrigued him right from a really young age....


Tuesday, March 7, 2017



How a suspect president used the war on terror to change/subvert the world and sculpt the domestic US landscape. Giving birth to the world of suspicion. Suspicion. Not inequality. Suspicion. Them. Out there. Out to get US. A new world - aided by the internet and defined by government lies - provided fertile ground for the marginalised and the loons to join in, in the execution, the assassination the death of fact. Post fact broadcast by the net and nourished by trauma. All that overseas wars and domestic financial meltdown shit. All those coke head big swinging dicks who robbed and scammed with total impunity. But look we are old, established, integral, too big to fail. Throw the fucking dice. Who cares? Impunity. Occupy. Occupy the fucking toilet. Don't make me laugh. Laugh - like the great white/black hope that was Obama. Barack death of hope. Occupy the flagrant blatant Wall St excess. Bulls. Horns. Toredor. Keep the red flag flying? Fuck off and die. Bankers bailed out. Homeowners evicted. Out there ongoing warfare. Back here the mugging of globalisation. The seismic slap - manual goes digital. Get off yr arse. The buds not for you. The Mexicans are downing it. All of it. All this. And the Muslims. All the fucking immigrants. Somebody got to take the rap. Snowden says Big Brother is on the line. And who the fuck is flying the black helicopters. Russians. UN. Democrats. Liberals. And again the disappointment of Obama. Uppity. Downer. The emasculation of the globalisation. Balls. I got balls. A Glock too. Don't mess with me snowflake. And then treason? The Republican party? Get your head out of the meth lab and you can smell the robber barons lurking behind the party. What's going down man? Are you an American citizen? Extraordinary. Inequality. Militarisation. Rendition. Water board back to the Stone Age. Their families too. Enter a conman. White rage. Appalachian desperation. Snake oil salesman. Lies. treachery. Sociopath. Creature of the net. Reality tv. Glass beads sted of Glass-Steagal. KKK. Nurembourg. Walls. Immigrants. Rapists. Bad hombres. Crime. Gangs. Drugs. Carnage. Pure crystal rage. In the mirror a sociopath. In the white house, sociopaths. Up above the whine! The whine! The whine! Reaper. Drones. Hell. Fire. And brimstone! Shit. Just a wedding party. Hey it's a rock n roll world. Look! Russians in the cloud. In line. On the line. Raining golden showers. Who took my privilege? Send in the hookers. I want it back.Clowns. Back now. You hear. Don't talk too me about technology. Goddamn gay marriage. Uppity niggahs. Michele's arms. How very monkey. Donald- i know where I come from -Trump. Prez pervert. Porn star first lady. Smile! Terror. Fear of her sociopath. Tweeting in the meth-amphet dawn. Up there. Way up there. In drone land. Swamping the drain. Oiling the oligarchs. Fracking. Not Putin up with it. Dissent. Vlad wouldn't. There's a man. Fascism comes to America wrapped in a flag, tweeting insanity. And supposedly carrying a cross - doesn't seem that necessary anymore. Discrimination is the new family value. Them. Them. Them. Us. Us. Us. US is US or Them? Dig it. Dig in. Battle lines drawn. Here comes the war. Time to fight. Now or never. Hopefully see you on the far side. #RESIST

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Duchess of Duke St And the Flower Sellers of Grafton St

The Duchess of Duke Street

Wrapped from head to toe against the hostile elements, surrounded by a riot of colour which cuts a sharp contrast with the grey February day, meet the flower ladies of Grafton Street.
They say the ladies are “the heart and soul of Grafton Street” and what helps save the road from becoming just another English high street. You’ll find the ladies bringing both wit and colour to the corners of Chatham, Harry and Duke Streets.
Tina Kelly tells us she’s been selling flowers all her life, starting off aged 12 helping her mother when Grafton St still had two-way traffic. She has seen a lot come and go from her perch on Duke Street. Tina tells Dublin.ie that one time she even met The Duke himself. “Yeah I met John Wayne.” “Sure I met them all,” she adds. “Sean Connery… I was talking away to him, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Lisa Stanfield. I met an awful lot of them. And sure Eric Clapton, well I was talking to him on the street for nearly two hours and I hadn’t a clue who he was.”
A natural born story teller, you can tell Tina enjoys the banter that comes with the trade. Many of the customers are obviously regulars as there’s lots of first name usage. Sister-in-law Susanne, who mans the Harry Street corner, says “you have to enjoy talking to people.” And in case we hadn’t noticed, she adds: “Now I would be a talker!”.....



Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Chomsky susses the show - we need a 'militant Labour movement' to fight the surreal fascist circus that neoliberalism has delivered to us with #Trump#Bannon of course is aware of the opposition and is into the aesthetics of crushing it.
That's what us normal folks would call 'war' or a brutal fascist state.
Some on the left are thrilled by this 'end of days' prospect.
Neoliberal days.
But civl wars are very very messy events.
With a lot of hate.
And though the Bernie troops and the Trump foot soldiers have much in common.
That common ground vanishes in secs when the victims start dropping.
And the memories linger.
Go whistle Dixie
It's not good.
But I suppose Chomsky is right, it has to be tried.
There has to be organised opposition.
But just remember we are up against a sociopath president with a #fascistwhispering in his ear.
It ain't going to be pretty.
Weird scenes inside the goldmine.
I blame Bush and the whole WMD lie for the degree of alienation that allowed a snake oil salesman like Trump come to town.
All those kids going off to die for a lie.
While Cheney et Blackwater all get rich.
And of course Mr Blackwater is hitched to the Trump snake oil wagon as we speak.
#Tinpot Trump's sales pitch was fuelled by the disappointment of Obama.
But most of that was down to the nihilistic Reps.
The GOPS that are letting Trump run riot unrestrained, are cowering in cowardice or are actually supporting him.
But these fucks have shown us their patriotism.
They were prepared to fuck their country over just to get one over on that 'niggah' in the White House.
Niggah in the White House.
A smart one too.
Jesus Clinton was bad enough.
But Hussein from who knows where.
Show us your birth cert.
Yet the clown rallied the loons.
Pointing out it's called the White House.
And Michelle's arms.
The audacity.
Yet now we have Trump with his daughter in the house.
His 'hot' daughter with a great body.
His daughter he would like to date.
Who he thinks about having sex with.
Hitler meets King Lear.
Then Iago Bannon.
Whispering flattering facist dreams in his Trumps ear.
Visions of concentration camps.
Rounding up all the Othellos.
And Melania Macbeth?
The price of ambition.
Just cos you're a high class hooker doesn't protect you from a sociopath John. 
Incest, plots, covert deals with foreign powers, talk of civil war.
Game of Thrones goes to the White House.
Yo Mr Chomsky we ain't got no flying dragons.
And the fascists got the drones.
And there's not even military and security professionals sitting there adding more voices, perhaps even challenging their use.
No. No.
We are all talk about our vets and our military.
But could you wait outside please.
Can't have people meddling in Bannon's assassination plans.
Alan Ginsberg and Hunter S - we miss you.
You're needed in this war.
OK kids let's go.
Let's lock n load.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


This article first appeared below in Dublin.ie - the Dublin City Council website promoting the city's people and places


It’s an addiction. It’s life threatening. It’s awesome.

Huddling together in the bitter cold, on Friday the 13th, under a weak and feeble January sun, they all argue that there’s nothing better. Sure, there’s dramatic stories of nearly dying. But the group is adamant that the buzz is worth it. Great, they say, for the mental health. “It’s the perfect anti-depressant,” photographer Barry Delaney says. Listening to them, you hear the language of addiction, of love, of religion even.
Welcome to Sandycove’s famous Forty Foot and its crew of year-round swimmers. It’s almost like a cult. But the freezing water keeps things real.
Swimmers from all walks of life. Photo by Barry Delaney
And there’s no mistaking the sense of community. Of camaraderie, wit and banter. “It’s like a great pub,” Barry says. Indeed a few of the swimmers say they were a little too fond of the booze in their day. Here it seems they’ve found nature’s 12 steps. But get to the last step here and you still have to dive into the freezing sea.
“Yeah it’s an addiction with me,” Peter Brady says of his 30-year habit. “I didn’t miss a single day last year. I would feel absolutely guilty if I did. I am retired. It’s something to do and there’s always a bit of fun,” he says. Barry Delaney’s ocean journey started when he was struggling to give up drink. He had been shooting swimmers. And was intrigued. “I thought maybe I’ll give it a go.” And he did. And felt better for it. “I found it helped me deal with all the stuff that is going on in my head.” Barry lives just two minutes from the sea. So for him, it’s nature’s caffeine and therapy all in one. He gets up. He dives in. “Then it’s yeah, let’s go, let’s face the day.”
Artist Gary Coyle’s ocean plunge ended up with him making quite a splash on the international art scene. “I didn’t start swimming for artistic reasons,” he says. But he would be out there and would suddenly find himself awestruck. So he started to shoot while he swam and to document his daily pilgrimage. Notebooks, DART tickets, ear plugs all formed part of his first exhibition of sea photos. He even sold a number of signed jars of Forty Foot water: a sure sign of ‘making it’ in the art world! Laughing he says “Yeah I suppose it’s a profession as well as a recreation”, adding that he’s known as “the wave guy” in that world.
“Yesterday was swim number 4,845,” he says with a smile. “It’s very anal, I know.” But it keeps his engine ticking over physically, artistically and even financially. “I’ve had loads of shows,” he says, modestly. “I have a show touring the UK at the moment and I’m in a big show in the US next month. I never intended it to become art, let alone take over my life,” he says adamantly. “Talk about mission creep.” But it was such a good antidote to stress. “It’s fucking incredible, I just feel amazingly good afterwards.”
A Rough Day at the 40 ft. Photo by Barry Delaney
It’s not without its perils though. Barry says he was out before Christmas on a rough day and he saw a swell coming. He swam furiously towards the steps. But he didn’t quite make it. “I got spun around the railing, caught in what they call a ‘washing machine’. It was like a whirlpool. I thought ‘that’s it’.” He said he had gone in with a head full of financial woes. But when he finally managed to get out, his priorities were quite different.
Gary too had his scary tales. “You get a false sense of security on glorious days. And you think I’ll go just go a little further and further. And then suddenly you realise ‘Jesus I’ve gone way too far’.”
Redmond is 90 years of age and still swimming. Photo by Barry Delaney
Staying calm and “luck” are what saved the day for him. Gary also really enjoys the social aspect. “There’s all walks of life. All different backgrounds and ages. Taking your clothes off too is a great leveller. A really good bar is an apt description,” he says.
It seems the only unruly customers are the seals. People are feeding them so they are coming in close to shore. “The alpha male is huge. Jesus Christ he is huge. And he will head-butt you. I don’t know if it’s play or not but it’s terrifying,” Gary says. “He’s the size of a small cow. And he pops up looking at you. No fun!”.
Despite it all, everyone says it’s well worth it. So if you want a taste of the fabled wit, banter and camaraderie of Dublin pubs but don’t want to drink, try a trip out to the Forty Foot. And if you balk at jumping into the Baltic waters, then just sit back and enjoy the company and, of course, the stunning views of Dublin Bay. A great way to spend a day.
Main header image -From the ‘Lovely Water’ series by artist Gary Coyle

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Pure Crystal Rage

Ronald McDonald
All there
On the edge of
Trump Town

They are all there
Out dancing
On the edge of Trump Town

Appalachian Desperation
-It too-
Is coming to town

And there's nothing
-Or dare I say atomised -

There's nothing post-factual

Sieg Heil Donald
We're cookin
We're cookin


New World Order

We got

I said
New World Order