Wednesday, November 29, 2017


It’s a fine brisk November morning when meets up with Ed Bowden at his office in Blessington Basin, the north side’s secret park. But we are not here to talk about Ed’s job as chief of parks today. No, we are talking about another curious string to Ed’s professional bow.

Curious, quirky and colourful. Because Ed is the Dublin City Council vexillologist. “He’s the what?” I hear you say. Well join the club, I said it myself. But if you are stuck for the answer, we’ll give you a clue. A clue that comes from a recent Nobel Laureate who told us “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.”
Flags. It’s unlikely Dylan had flags in mind, so let’s grab Webster’s dictionary. ‘Vexillology’ is the study of flags. And Ed is the city’s vexillologist. In more common parlance, Ed is the DCC flag man. And there’s quite a range of duties involved. “It varies. But It would be unusual for a week to go by without me doing something involved with flags,” he says.“There’s the national flag, the EU flag and the Dublin City Council flag flying permanently on the roofs of the CIVIC OFFICES, the MANSION HOUSE and CITY HALL,” Ed says.
We put three or four cable ties on them now to try and stop the guys with too much booze and too little history
“We see more of the national flag now because up until a few years ago the national flag was not allowed to fly after dark,” Ed explains. That all changed about four years ago when the Taoiseach’s office amended the protocol, saying the flag can fly at night as long as it is floodlit. The national, the EU and the Dublin City Council flags still need to be changed regularly, as they get dirty and old. Then in addition to these flags there are some 140 distinctive big flag poles along both banks of the Liffey that need to be taken care of. Flying big 12 foot by 4 foot flags, these flagpoles are used to promote different events in the city – whether it’s FESTIVALS, culture or sporting matches.
As we spoke the Green, White and Orange was flying in support of the national team’s match the following night against Denmark. Being fair-minded chaps, Ed says “we also had both the Irish and Danish flags flying on the three bridges: Butt bridge, O’Connell bridge and Grattan bridge...CONTINUES 

Saturday, November 4, 2017


I just took
fish and chips
-the very best of 
Donegal Catch -
Fine fish
the filing cabinets
of the Atlantic Ocean
And Angela Merkel Aldi's
Oven chips
Oh yeah
Oh yeah
Oh yeah
Ah such greedy thrill
And I took em
straight outta
straight outta
straight outta
the oven
Protecting my hands
from the heat of it all
All the potential
the potential
culinary pain
Cu-culinary - as the poet said-
But not for me
Cos I was protected
by ...
not just one
but two
two teal towels
And not your ordinary
one tea towel
Not your common garden
two tea towels
But Mik Artistic's Ego Trip
Two Tea Towels
Purchased at the very end
of the Mik Artisitic's Ego Trip
@ The Grand Social
In Dublin town
And boy was it grand
And boy was it social
And boy was I happy
To have
Not just one
Mik Artistik's Ego Trip
Tea Towel
But two
Mik Artisitic's Ego Trip
Tea Towels
Protecting my hands
My delicate hands
The heat
The heat
The heat

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Trump same as Hilary.
Devoid of decency, logic and principle.
Amidst a category of obscene mendacious drama - corrupt, nepotistic, sexist, bellicose and racist -
Trump has provided us with the email scandal, the Benghazi scandal, the Goldman Sachs scandal.
Just pick your favourite Clinton scandal!
And Trump has done it.
All in a few months
Everything this terrifying sociopathic piece of filth has thrown at Clinton over her long career, he has done in a few months.
Hey bravo
And despite all the Soros boogeyman tales, decency ain't got no Koch Bros, no Mercers, no Bannons. And above all no Russians to propagandise the toxic turds in the
cesspit that is the Trump swamp.
What's more, these are just some of the Trump turds the toxic shite house tries to pass as policy.
Say the Trump dupe scribes.
Their Don ain't no don.
Dictatorial yeah yeah yeah.
You're fired.
Fired up.
But it's all peace.
Peace and Putin and love baby.
Bar a little water-boarding
And -oops sorry towel head citizens - turning Raqqa into a parking lot.
Bombing chunks of Syria n Iraq back to the Stone Age sure.
But you wouldn't find the pragmatist Trumpster hanging with the terrorist theocrats in Israel and Saudi.
No drinking no neo-con cool aid.
No dreams of drive-ins armoured drive throughs,
Tehran Thunder Roads.
Abrams after Abrams
Stryker after stryker
Strangelove Doc
Trump grunts and fellow alpha Hefner Weinstein apes
Hey hey Trump is here!
Grab em by the pussy
So no more nerdy neo-con heroes
Junior Kissinger Jew boys
Sending dumb deplorables to certain death.
Far from old reliables,
Black lung cooking meth.
Mind the fucking mines.
No DC choirboys singing Benny's tunes
Not when Don waves the baton.
When Don wields the baton.
Don wields the baton
Black lives don't matter no more
And Nazis go a marching
Dem niggahs better stand.
No. No. No.
On your knees
Off your knees
Wish we were in Dixie
Cept for making
MAGA hats
Those Immigrants?
No no no
Cept those who mow mow mow
All the Trump greens.
The greens, the greens
Where have all the flowers gone?
No more war
No more war
No more war
Xcept for Iran.
Xcept for rocket man.
The whole world is watching
The whole world is watching
The whole world is weeping.

 Send #MAGA dupes through the Basra marshes
Human waves
Of the Bannon Brigades
Of the teahadi hordes,
All led on by Kushner n lil Miss Incest,
the mutant brothers maddened by the thrill of kill
And ah ah the scent the scent
of awaiting virgins,
All led on by the 'stars'
Look at the stars
Flynn Matthis n Kelly
All itching for paradise
And in the rear the POGS
Stone, Sanders and Scaramucci
And Netanyahu
Manning - you got it - the fort.


America you are fucked.


Learning to deal with


"Yo Blair"

You tell them.

But Brit shit is nothing compared to this...

this this this

Alternative reality

this out there insanity

this hypernormality

 out there, out there out there

walking on the moon

walking on the moon

we can make facts together

walking on the moon

Obama's birth cert

walking on the moon

Trump's  innocence

walking on the moon

The whole sorry fucking show

walking on the fake





Friday, August 25, 2017


Apres Roddy Doyle and his Two Pints. Two? Pussy! This is Six Cans And A Barrel Load of Benzos and it was inspired by a reading I did a week or so ago in the park by Patrick's Cathedral. Given the booze and the benzos, it's fluid, a counter gravity work in progress. Let's go bud. Yeah? Yeah! You ready? Fuck you Roddy!

Scene: St Patrick's Cathedral Park, lunchtime of a relatively fine Saturday.

SFX: Kevin performing

"That's not fucking poetry
That doesn't rhyme.
You know what I mean"

"Yeah. He's all pent up all right
But he doesn't know his arse
from his iambics."

"Yeah bud.
You can't compare this shite to a fuckin summer's day.
You know what I mean.
And the fuckin rain man.
Maybe we should go.
You know what I mean"

"Go where you fuckin pox bottle?
Crack open a can.
And drown out fuckin Shakespeare up there"

"You know Shakespeare you know what I mean bud..."


'Well what is the fucking answer like you know what I mean?"

"Answer to wha? What the fuck is the question. What the fuck are you on about?"

"To be or not to ... like you know what I mean."

"You for fuckin real?
That's the fuckin benzos talkin
You fuckin eejit.
You're fuckin worse than that fuckin prick up there.
Shakespeare me hole.
What's wrong with nursery rhymes for fuck's sake?
And who let these pricks in "

"I dunno. Fucking Humpty Dumpty"

"Humpty Fuckin that's the truth."

"The poetic truth."

"Couldn't have said a truer word Bud."

"Yeah, yeah yeah. Couple of zimmos yeah?"


'Here. To your good health bud."

"And fuck all these cunts"

'They're fucking King's Men the whole fucking lot of them."

"Fucking King's fucking men."

Monday, July 24, 2017


Down by the Secret Garden – Blessington Basin

On the south side, the secret garden was always the Iveagh Gardens. But in recent years music, comedy and food festivals have meant that that garden isn’t so secret anymore. So these days to find the city’s true secret garden, you have to head north side. Up O’Connell St, then North Frederick, cross Dorset and on up Blessington until you come to the black wrought iron gates. In you go. And you’re there.
Yoga (Image: Dave Dowling)
The Blessington Basin, a perfect little gem of a walled park with seats and walkways around the edges of what the locals call ‘the duck pond’. The park is surrounded on all sides by quiet residential areas and the couple of old doors in the walls further enhance the secluded magical feeling. And those lucky enough to live on Geraldine St and Primrose Avenue, which back onto the park, enjoy stunning views.
Originally constructed as the Royal George Reservoir in 1810, fed by the Royal Canal from Lough Owel, it continued to supply water to the north side of the city until around 1885. Right up until the 1970s the reservoir also provided water to two of the city distilleries, Jameson and Powers. Dublin Corporation subsequently took over the basin and turned it into a public park – albeit one with a ‘private’ feel.
But the passing of the years was not kind to the park. “The ravages of time and sporadic acts of vandalism have taken their toll on the former reservoir…” the Dublin Tribune reported in 1990. “Much of the embankment along the water’s edge is subsiding. Iron railings are leaning dangerously close to the water… seating alongside the sides of the reservoir is regularly vandalised… a bricked up toilet provides an unattractive addition…” the paper added.
We all grew up feeding bread to the ducks
As Dublin played host to European City of Culture in 1991, the Goethe Institute paid for Dieter Magnus, a German “urban repair specialist”, to come up with a new design. But as Gerry Crowley tells us in his history ‘Basin At The Broadstone’, Magnus’ design met with resistance from the locals who cooled on the idea of German generosity. However, it did spur the local residents and businesses on into a flurry of fundraising activity. With added funds from the Corporation and with work provided by FAS trainee schemes and corporate donations of materials, renovations finally went ahead. President Mary Robinson and Lord Mayor John Gormley officially opened the Blessington Basin we see today in late 1994. The secret garden was back in business....continues