Thursday, June 23, 2005

187. Letter to NaGopaleen

I was just thinking about you these last couple of days, wondering
what the hell you were up to, and why I hadn't heard from you. I was
also thinking of dropping you a line to complain that you hadn't
dropped me a line. How's that for logic?

Yes, I know, the poetry is a bit thick on the ground these times. I'm
going through one of my rather embarrassing "fertile" periods when
they knock you on the side of the head and insist to be written. You
go with it (believe me) because you can easily hit a dry spell that
will last five years.

Redbreast? O God, don't be talking. I was in Westport in the County
Mayo back in what? 1987? with a load of German friends who had come
over for the first time. The B&B was miles away and I had stayed in
the town for the music after the Germans had thrown in the towel (a
bit of the ethnic Irish goes a long way). I was sort of aiming myself
from lamppost to lamppost to the west of the town - or was it south? God knows - by the railway bridge, anyway, when the soft welcoming lights of a public house rose up before me. I went in, as any sensible man would
do in similar circumstances. Sure, a restoring pint will do me no harm.

Wasn't I after meeting the Devil himself at the bar? He was dressed up
that evening as a local farmer and he said, "Young fella (I was 18
years younger than I am now), can I offer you a drop of whiskey?" That
was my introduction to Redbreast. You can only buy it in the West and
in certain shops in Dublin. You'll never see it in a Dublin pub, for
example. God, it was pure gorgeous stuff. I've been addicted ever
since but do you think I can find it??? If you have a source, let me


We're just back from the USA in general and New York in particular. We
went over for Siobhan's high school graduation (that was in
Pennsylvania). Tens of thousands of dollars later, she's out with a
diploma and speaks English!!! Can't be all bad. New York was exactly
what I needed. I'm no great fan of America but New York was pure
brilliant. I met dozens and dozens of people (a good half of them from
Leitrim and Donegal) and talked to them all. Check out the
"Broadway/103rd Street" poem: the wee fella wrote itself -- that's
just the way it was. It's on an Internet poetry forum with a few score hits and yesterday some guy (from Leitrim, no surprises there) wrote to say he lives on 104th Street and it was spot on. I refrained from asking what kind of a life he was leading, exactly, but it's always nice to hear from the fans. Sharon might not be that happy, though: might have to find another bar when I go back.

I'm really pissed off being back in Japan because the skoodle is
pouring on the shite-work (I have to set up the exam schedules for 50
teachers and 20 courses with everyone asking for favours and
exemptions. It's a mine-field, quite apart from the fact I've never
had to do this before. I have enough trouble preparing my own exams in
time). They just pour the shit on you, now that our full-timers are
down from 50 to about 33. The administrative side is gobbling up our
teaching prep like runaway weeds. I hate it. The paperwork is beyond
ridiculous. Don't get me started. It is becoming more and more
impossible to function in the job I signed up for -- and,
incidentally, love -- which is to get the little light bulbs lit on
top of their heads. Have you ever noticed how the Japanese create
endless, useless (and very boring) tasks to fill in time under the
illusion that this is "work"? They are driving me insane. Well,
insaner. I used to be quite relaxed and normal. It's got to the point
I dread going into the kip, not because of the students, but because
of the deranged adults.

Enough of that.

Okey-do. Is this long enough for you? A dacent reply, would you be
thinking? Mind yourself, Myler, and stay away from them young hussies
flingin themselves about. Fat chance you'd have down in Nara, come to
think of it.

Go n'eiri an t'adh leat,
Is Mise