Very dry to stormy

set out in steel

your shifting pointer, from a horizon fair

to a cloud-curdling drop

still has a bearing

on my outlook for the day…

Much rain or just tickling 28.


Just a star/ Piano Beast

It was there shimmering on my surface

I told a truth tonight

Backed into the corner

Cited like a street light in a court report

Witness to the persecution,

it took my breath away

and all the words I had to say

kept screaming wild.


A slip of a thing,

a nothing with a giant inside

Grey eating its own path.

A hole and everything within

will turn you inside out

Keep you from your best form

That was mostly a lie anyway.


I remember that the mother of his children died

after they were together

And I wonder if that makes it worse

or better

Only if you have support and distance and who has not guilt?

He fought so long not to write the perfect pop song.

How is he today?


He tried so hard  not to write perfect pop songs.

How is he today?


Fi Smith

Flash Icon Results!

THUNKYUHVURYMUCH! My flash fiction story ‘My Own Private Idol’ came top 3 in the Molotov Cocktail’s Flash Icon contest…I am very proud and looking forward to the publication of the weird and wonderful anthology. Congratulations to the winner and all the finalists. Can’t wait to read ’em all!

The Molotov Cocktail

When it comes to dark and offbeat flash fiction, nothing is sacred. We asked you to mess with iconic people, places, or things and you came through with something truly weird creations. This contest was wide open as far as tone is concerned and we were thrilled to see you all take icons to some bizarre and fantastical places.

Stay tuned in the near future for details on our next quarterly flash fiction contest, which will be a horror-themed #FlashFear contest, with our prizes winners mega-issue appearing on Halloween. 

And now to the stuff you really care about…

Some high-quality work this contest, which made it all that much more difficult to judge. Making cuts was no easy task, and many entries made it through the first couple rounds. That means we have a ton of non-cigars to hand out.

Close-but-no-cigar mentions go to the following writers:

Seth Augenstein
Sarah Beaudette…

View original post 278 more words

Not A Recipe

(Upon the funeral of Orton and Halliwell as told by Dennis Dewsnap)

Scooping and shaking from both lovers’ urns

in turn,

in respect of their mutual life,

beyond the bludgeoning dark that ended it all,

a sister divvies up respective ashes

for a delicate scattering:

“A little bit of Joe,

“A little bit of Kenneth.”

Then dithering

in her distributing:

“P’raps a bit more Joe,

a bit more Kenneth…”


And so Joe’s agent Peggy, 

treasure of the theatrical world,

always mindful of getting it done,

skywards sculpted brows,

pearls straining at collar, snaps:

“It’s a gesture, dearie,

not a recipe.”


Poetry in the wake of violence



My poem Paris 10.15 featured in Incubator Journal earlier this year.

Written in frustration and sadness after the Bataclan siege, it is an inadequate rumination on a city, ideals of liberté, the braver exploits of its denizens, with focus first on the romantic side of Paris, and very oblique nods (some only spotted myself in hindsight) to Truffaut, Situationists, perhaps the ’68 riots and definitely the Resistance, the likes of Violette Szabo, Inayat Khan and the other heroes of the SOE.

You can read the poem in The Incubator journal below.


Shelved – Pear Drop Journal Poetry


My short poem Shelved was published in a recent edition of Pear Drop online literary journal on the theme of Libraries. It details three of my memories of libraries at three different life stages, as a small child, as a precocious prepubescent and as an emotionally drifting student:

“Take a bus to the hexagonal
modern, clutch a school slip
granting ransacking of adult archives
with a nod to the ever-present
Santa Claus of no fixed abode.”

Read here and submit work to the latest issue –

SHELVED by Fi Smith

Oh the humanities…

I’VE been conducting/editing a series of interviews for the First Fortnight blog, aimed at breaking the stigma surrounding mental health issues through the arts) #FiveOnFriday – five quick questions about a person’s creativity and art, their views on relevant topics and examples of works and music that help them through hard times. Recent interviewees include songwriter Grainne Hunt, band Saint Sister, poet Lewis Kenny, comic Alison Spittle, rising hip hop star Damola and Humans of Dublin photographer Peter Varga

Continue reading Oh the humanities…

ATP Festival, Keflavik, Iceland – All Tomorrow’s Parties – Review

PIC: Markus Moises (All rights reserved ATP)

All Tomorrow’s Parties are the quintessential artist-curated festivals – the British version is literally a jolly hipster theme park, originally based in an old Pontins holiday camp, complete with chalets and a quaint retro spirit.

It has since been staged in various corners of the world – the setting for the Icelandic version is a disused aircraft hangar in a former NATO base surrounded by lava fields. The vibe of the event is similarly minimal – aside from a few food stalls in the courtyard, there’s a distinctly no-frills feel around the main venue as well as being exceedingly non-corporate, the bars flogging barely chilled cans from slabs.

A short trot across the base, there’s a second smaller stage and a cinema/spoken word room curated by previous ATP headliners Mogwai, a few resident DJs playing into the small hours rather than a massive dance tent. However the lack of amenities can be forgiven if you also get to spend time exploring the phenomenal beauty of the surrounding countryside – and with the advent of cheaper, direct flights from Dublin, the Irish are flocking. With glaciers and geothermal springs (the famous Blue Lagoon is nearby) the environment is magical, and as it never gets truly dark in summer, the perpetual daylight brings an otherworldly feeling.

This year’s festival bill was curated by Scottish outfit Belle and Sebastian and was a real mixed bag, strong on hip hop heavyweights (Public Enemy and Run The Jewels), 90s noiseniks (Mudhoney, Drive Like Jehu, Bardo Pond) and epic instrumental acts like Godspeed You Black Emperor.

The opening night’s line-up was undoubtedly the strongest, Public Enemy, Iggy Pop and curators B&S themselves. Chuck D and Co are a seasoned festival act, and they absolutely Bring The Noise, with military men back-up dancers, scratch wizardry from DJ Lord and, of course, Flava Flav leaping about the place like a hyperactive toddler. On-point classics such as Don’t Believe the Hype and Fight the Power were a real rush but new single Man Plans God Laughs sounded just as intense.


PIC: Alvpeerz

Iggy Pop doesn’t change. Fast approaching 70, he’s still a bare-chested explosion of raw energy as he sinews across the stage, sucker punching us with a quick succession of killer hits: No Fun, I Wanna Be Your Dog, The Passenger, Lust For Life. At a risk of peaking too soon, he still had a few treats up his (non-existent) sleeve – the Stooges number 1969, the Bowie-and-Berlin era Nightclubbing and pop hit Real Wild Child. A living legend who doesn’t disappoint.

Headlining Belle and Sebastian were a change of pace but did their utmost to keep the crowd hopping with their gentle upbeat numbers, dancefloor-storming single The Party Line momentarily turned the murky black hangar into a charming indie disco. Other highlights were eminent experimental rockers Swans and the Faith No More-meets-Alice Cooper headbangers White Hills…. so for three days this summer, ATP was the epicentre of cool in the coolest place on earth.

The next ATP is in Wales in April as curated by comedian Stewart Lee.

Rainy Boy Sleep and Glastonbury 2015

IF you have a ticket to Glastonbury, lucky you. Ahead of the big Somerset gathering on June 24-28, I’ve been looking at the Irish acts worth catching – although the homegrown contingent is thin on the ground this year, I’m sure the chosen few will come all guns blazing.
Flying the flag on the grand stage is the colossal HOZIER (Pyramid Stage, Sunday, 1-1.45pm), while honorary Irishman MIKE SCOTT fronts THE WATERBOYS on the same stage on Saturday (1.30pm-2.30pm). With the 150 anniversary of poet WB Yeats’ birth, they might well throw in tracks from their 2011 album, An Appointment with Mr Yeats, based on his work. Seasoned trad singer CARA DILLON takes to the Avalon Stage (Friday, 5.15-6.15pm) while Dublin-born DJ ANNIE MAC is broadcasting live on BBC Introducing on Friday, 7-10pm.

Rising acts to watch for include exquisitely harmonising folk duo THE LOST BROTHERS. Now on their fourth acclaimed album – New Songs of Dawn And Dust – they hit the festival’s Acoustic Stage on Saturday, 2.30-3.10. Another must-see is teen songwriter SOAK from Derry, playing tracks from her glorious debut Before We Forgot How To Dream on the Other Stage, Sunday at midday.
RAINY BOY SLEEP aka Stevie Martin makes his Glastonbury debut on the John Peel Stage (Friday, 1pm-1.40pm). His EPs Ambulance and most recently Manchester Post showcase a potential to go Ed Sheeran-huge – catchy electro-folk with a sharp pop edge that puts me in mind of a dark jangly mix of The La’s and I Am Kloot.
I caught up with the lad from Lifford for a swift chat about the festival…

So RAINY BOY SLEEP, the hallowed John Peel Stage at Glastonbury on the Friday – exciting! What expectations have you got?

I know! John Peel Stage is going to be epic! It’s definitely a cool phone call to get, hearing news like that. I’ve seen some awesome bands play there already like The Strypes and Crystal Castles so I know the layout and just how loud those speakers can go.

You’re one of only a handful Irish acts on the bill this year along with the likes of Hozier and your tour mate SOAK. Will you be hanging out? Any other acts you aim to see?
Ciaran Lavery’s another Irish act playing this year, I’ll be catching his set for sure. [Watch out for Northern alt-folk troubadour Ciaran on Friday, on the Avalon & Glade stages – FS]. Reuben Keeney will be coming to help me with the technology side of things on stage. Hopefully we will get to hang out with all the fellow natives.

Any interesting or unusual festival memories, good or bad?
Yea there’s been loads. I’ve played during a thunderstorm at a festival once and got sunstroke at another. It was a long walk back to the car at the end of those weekends…

What’s the story with you singing Time After Time with the legendary Cyndi Lauper in the Hammersmith Apollo?
Haha Cyndi! She’s amazing. Such a cool lady. I don’t remember much about it to be honest, I just got lost in how surreal the whole thing was. It was the last date of the tour I was supporting her on, so she invited me up for a tune. I had just left my job the week before, then for something like that to happen… crazy.

Any favourite London shows or experiences?
I’ve played London a good few times now. My first trip over was for a gig in Proud in Camden. Last time I was over it was a support slot in the O2 arena I think [with James Morrison]. I’ve gotten to play some very cool places.

So what have you got coming up?
There’s gonna be a couple of singles coming out this summer. One is a collaboration with rap artist MC Lynchy [Limerick MC whose freestyle YouTube video went viral last year – FS] – I’m really excited about that! It’s a real left-turn in terms of what I’ve been doing up until now, so I’m looking forward to gauging the reaction.

Rainy Boy Sleep’s latest EP Manchester Post is out now on iTunes. Catch him if you can at Glastonbury on Friday at 1pm on the John Peel stage.


Dan Hegarty’s Buried Treasure Unearthed

Ever look through boxes of old CDs, packed up since your last house move?

Forgotten albums by some defunct bands from back in the day, now mere dust-gatherers whose weird artwork reminds you of the good old days?

Well, don’t cart them off to the charity shop just yet… the new book by RTE 2fm DJ Dan Hegarty Buried Treasure: Overlooked, Forgotten and Uncrowned Albums (Liberties Press) is about to spark a major nostalgia trip and will have you digging through your archives on a trip down musical memory lane.

I had a chat with Dan about how he and his celebrity guest reviewers – including Game of Thrones actor Aidan Gillen, U2’s Larry Mullen and more – unearthed their favourite lost gems…

Read more here on