March hares seem admirably sane compared to these BAFFLE people. Not sure if it is the recession, the good weather or a particular lunar phase that has propelled them into hyper drive.
The Reading in O’Dea’s Hotel.
How appropriate it was that this took place on Friday 13th. My first observation of the night was of a young-one from Portumna desperately seeking out men to kiss, and she succeeded, throwing herself at a couple of the male committee members who duly obliged. Did she regret her impetuosity in the stark light of day that following morning? Someone said her name was Ellen and only she can answer that question. Absolutely surreal! But now to the main event….. They were expecting two judges to come for the competition but only one guy called Louis arrived. They had informed me earlier that the pair was to attend. However this guy obviously had leaving cert. Honours English, knew his stuff and so was able to discard most of the entries immediately after they were read.
Of the fifteen participants there were the usual suspects and a few besides. I will only mention a few and the first that comes to mind was a reading from my arch-nemesis, that German woman. Well! She blinked her eyes and showed her legs for Louis the judge. Everyone was so embarrassed. Rejection must have been hard to take but oh so nice for me to observe. The Godmother entered the fray later with her usual alphabetical rendition. She tried the old ‘include some Latin words’ trick that Easy Eamonn had succeeded with on a previous occasion, but the judge was wise to this and gave her a fail.
The usual smut gushed forth from ‘Flawless’ Lawless as he recounted his first confession in thirty years. Being a knickers thief among other unmentionable transgressions only warranted three Hail Marys – I think not.
Then came the adult stuff, for over 18s only, with a raunchy reading by none other than ‘Cool’ Conmy and his poem ‘Almost a Perfect Ride’. A number of those attending hurriedly departed the premises at this juncture.
‘Easy’ Eamonn and Mags Hickey were second and third but I suppose Louis had to choose someone. The first place went to a young lad called Kearney whose poem may have been good but he forgot the words and had to whistle his way through most of it.
Bafflers should note the wise words of Abraham Lincoln who once said ‘Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt’. I say no more.
The theme that night was ‘Did I get that right?’ To the committee: NO
Strokestown Poetry Festival
The headlines on The Irish Times could have read:
‘Reputation of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival hangs by a thread’. As an academic I have huge regard for this prestigious competition and cannot fathom how someone writing baudies for BAFFLE could be considered. I do accept however that administrative errors can be made and I now feel that the Strokestown committee should stand down immediately while an external enquiry is undertaken. It is most likely that this entry fell into the wrong pile. As is the case with the Michael Fingleton controversy, ‘Easy’ Eamonn will be under huge pressure to withdraw his entry and we all appeal to his sense of integrity to do the right thing.
I struggled to find a word to describe the BAFFLE participants in this year’s St. Patrick’s day parade. I think the word prats would be insufficient and the word buffoons too kind. Excruciatingly embarrassing exhibitionism is the best I can come up with for their entry. It is said ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ so see for yourself in the Photo Gallery section if you don’t believe me.