Like so much of Ireland, there is a duplicity at work on Saint Patricks day, we have our own traditions which we learn in school or as children on our grandparents knees, such stuff as the sainthood for the expulsion of snakes, shamrock etc.. and irrespective of historical accuracy or otherwise those traditions assist us in forming some kind of self-identity. That other stuff the hi-jacking of our collective culture by corporate interests or just drunks in other countries toasting saint Patty.. well that’s all simply beyond our control..
A six foot surround won’t hold him down
for among such clay he found his way
of watching talk become sound
sculpting moulded mounds of say
nothing of his landscape found without
first a deep yet gentle excavation of a soul
he’ll now always be about.
I’ve witnessed a few friends take sabbaticals from social media in recent months, some of them originally swearing off the entire FB/Twitter thing forever and ever and ever and never again… only to see them sheepishly return a few months later. I’m not that naive to think that I could completely disavow all on-line activity connecting me with various individuals, groups and communities, connections for the most part for which I actually feel genuinely privileged in the first instance. Connections seemingly superficial often prove moving on occasion.
Apologies for the time lapse folks but I have just endured more than half an 'Annus Horribilis'. My whole right shoulder was in knots of physical pain just over six months ago so I took lots of painkillers during and between conference visits to Madrid and Edinburgh last year. I was under that cloud of physical pain until it became utterly unbearable and excruciating, totally debilitating really.
“ I must create a cistern or become enslaved by another man’s. ”
– Billy Blake
Above exhibit 01: A mobile phone photo of a cistern in the gents toilets in the Edinburgh College of Art.. just one of the many inanimate objects I chose to photograph in that bastion of creative endeavour while attending the ‘Remediating the Social’ Conference last month.
I’m sort of bound to a new format here for a short wee while. As a writer we get advice from everywhere and everyone, specifically if those giving the advice are in some way deemed successful. It’s also now true for Digital spaces and all manner of creative /commercial activity. I have recently found myself in the situation of offering best practise writing tips to those seeking to use the www.
So I tell them: write short paragraphs containing keywords, craft sentences that are generally succinct, stick to a few simple rules for communicating ideas in the context of SEO and SEM.
I wrote a little bit about some initial experiences with Ireland's first tranche of 'digital humanists' back in 2009: http://www.michaeljmaguire.com/index.php?q=node/33 Coming from a twenty five year writing and technology background, I almost argued, without intentionally offending anyone I trust, that essentially many in Ireland venturing into the emerging discipline at that time were not theoretically equipped to actually comprehend it's true creative potential.
I have never entered a poetry competition in my thirty years of writing. Recently, perhaps due to my involvement with the study of digital literature and digital poetics etc, I have begun to receive a lot of emails and messages about various such competitions. Me being me, I decided to write a short sort of traditional poem about that this evening.. I stuck up a first draft below: