‘I Made Her Moan’

‘Every novelist who has slept with the Bitch (only poets and writers of short stories have a Muse) comes away bragging afterward like a G.I. tumbling out of a whorehouse spree – “Man, I made her moan” goes the cry of the young writer. But the Bitch laughs afterward in her empty bed. “He was so sweet in the beginning,” she declares, “but by the end he just went, ‘Peep, peep, peep.'”

– Norman Mailer, The Spooky Art


For struggling writers, from the Goncourt brothers.

‘Why did we not write, day by day, at the beginning of our career, an account of that hard and horrible struggle against anonymity, that Passion with abuse at every station of the cross, that public sought after and forever slipping through our fingers, that future towards which we marched with resignation but often also in despair, that fight of impatient and feverish will against time and seniority, one of the great privileges of literature. No friends, no connections, every door shut in our face, and our money all spent on books. That conspiracy of silence so well organised against all those beginners who want to eat the cake of publicity; that sadness and weariness that comes from rolling the rock of Sisyphus for years on end. That monotonous, uneventful spiritual agony, written down while it was happening, would have made an interesting and instructive page of our lives; a page which nobody can write from memory because a little success, the discovery of a publisher, the earning of a few hundred francs and the smell of a little incense cure one so quickly of the past and banish it so far away. A ray of sunshine today is enough to heal the sores and wounds of yesterday. A little climb wipes out the memory of that dreadful, drawn-out Golgotha, those choked-back tears, those mute and hidden sorrows.’

– from the Journals of Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

Penduline Press 9 – a Special Issue Dedicated to New, Irish, Experimental Writing

I am pleased to have a piece of mine, Final Email from P Cranley, published in the new, Irish-literature issue of the Portland-based, online magazine, Penduline. The issue is curated by the ferociously energetic writer and editor Dave Lordan, and is crammed with work from a host of convention-molesting writers and poets.

I am also pleased to find that the ‘Ireland Unread‘ section, which asks seven writers to name the Irish writer, living or dead, who they consider to be most unjustly neglected, includes a piece (by my one-time mentor, Thomas Duddy) on the one-man avant garde, Killian Turner, about whom I recently wrote an essay in The Moth.

Penduline 9 features artwork by Conor Walton and Anthony Wigglesworth, and new writing by Kevin Doyle, William Wall, Dimitra Xidous, Lissa Kiernan, Kit Fryatt, John Kearns, Sudeep Sen, Claire-Louise Bennett, Abby Oliveira, Susan Millar DuMars, Kevin Higgins, Graham Allen, Christodoulos Makris, Paula Cunningham, Naomi Richards, Liam Cagney, Tara White, Philip Coleman, Oisín Fagan, Sarah Clancy, Cal Doyle, Anamaría Crowe Serrano, Kimberly Campanello, Leona Lee Cully, and new interviews with Celeste Augé and Dave Lordan, as well as with Featured Writer Karl Parkinson. And that’s not all: Kalle Ryan and Enda Roche of The Brownbread Mixtape in Dublin have also created a special Penduline showcase tape of Irish performance poetry.