February 9, 2009

Blood Coloured Moon incorporates two things that used to be important to me: Booze and poetry. Somewhere along the line I managed to give up both of these comforts. It’s easy to quit drinking because there are all sorts of support mechanisms, meetings, medications, self-help books, therapies, but when you decide to knock poetry on the head it’s a different matter altogether. You’re on your own. No sponsor. No twelve steps. Of course I’m not the only one to quit poetry (most of the country managed to do it at more or less the same time) and it is a lot easier to stop when others around you are doing likewise. Those little magic moments that used to crop up in our conversation are not so obvious any more. Our language has grown colder over the past ten or twenty years. We used to fool around a lot more with it. It wasn’t really ours. It was like a borrowed lawn mower. We didn’t treat it with that much respect. After all, it was just something that belonged to the neighbours. Now we own the lawn mower. In fact it’s a ride-on lawn mower and we don’t have to push it and curse it any longer. We quit poetry but we didn’t altogether abandon it. We delegated its usage to ‘proper’ poets, men (mostly) who could take the travelling Irish roadshow to all corners of the earth where they would gather plaudits for their/our lyricism. This short film is about a man, quite literally in the street, who shouts his love at an open window, under a vast night sky where voices get swallowed forever. No webcams. No Youtube. No Facebook. It’s almost quaint. Words directed at only one person. As I write this, in Brennan’s Pub of Old Kilcullen I can hear this poetry being recited in the street outside. The camera is rolling and the rain is falling and the wind is blowing and the lights are swaying. Marc-Ivan, the director, is calling for more magic, more passion, more love, more romance, more energy, more feeling; all the things that everybody wants more of. Maybe this is the new way of making poetry. Digital. Binary. Ones and zeros stretching in phenomenal, almost never-ending sentences in a virtual infinity. Whatever it may be it brings us here, this stormy night, and the one thing we know for certain is We will not quit.

Barry McKinley


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