Wild Irish Poet, It is a real pleasure to have you with us on Spotlight live event, there are certain titles on certain books that immediately attract your attention, and yours is one of them, of course it's inappropriate to ask a poet such a question, but we are friends as well, so tell us why Naked in NY, what is behind this title please?
Wild Irish Poet Well NAked In New York refers to the exposure of the soul in a vivid tough city like NEw York. I emigrated there in 2001. I was very new and young to this incredible place that was exciting but also damaged by the fall of the towers. Naked in New York was the gradual stripping away of my innocence an my youth.. I was reshaped by the millions of faces... races and languages. New york brutalised me but also energised me. I was writing in my journal and i seen a homeless man through a cafe window and he had only his pants on and no top or coat .it was freezing cold. So he was naked and exposed to the coldness of the city thats how i felt at times hence the titled NAKED IN NEW YORK
Shah Fazli Thank you Alan, how do you see this world, there is love and hate, peace and war, life and death, what is your take on all these in this world please?
Wild Irish Poet I see beauty. i see the magic of a smile. I see and hear a million things that do not go reported. The media only gives us a tiny % of the true news. All over the world. there are babies been born. there are celebrations. There are miracles. There IS war and death. But frankly. We are all connected. WE all need love. and we need to only hear the good in our hearts. I believe the media is a vast poison spreading at the speed of light. BUt here with us all connected now we can spread light and poetry and music and inspiration. The cure for all of this is to realise we are all one. 55 million people die a year but millions more are born there there is life there is hope and my job as an artist is to use my poetic skills. my voice , my writing and my films to spread light and possiblity to elevate the heart and to bring us closer to each other. We have enough food. Enough good will, enough limitless potential to change our ability to not only survive but thrive. We just need to rise together.
Shah Fazli Yeah, true Alan, tell us a few of your most favourite romantic and poetic words, that you have used quite a lot in your poems or in your book please?
Wild Irish Poet do you mean a passage from my book? or just words that I like?
Shah Fazli Anything romantic and poetic is so welcome?
Wild Irish Poet Well. I teach words... I am a voice teacher and actor aswell as a writer and film maker. Words change the world. We live in a world where what comes out of our mouths can change our destiny. Everyday I hear words from the media or terror and misery and sadness. I try to create beautiful sentences.. I try and sculpt the unconsicious into my work. I believe we all have great depth. I mean we are BORN ONCE. we die. Inbetween is not just an ordinary life every word should be important and extraordinary. should elevate and lift the reader. here is a small sample '" The soft light around me ,the blocks of traffic blurs in yellow and blues. I look away from the window and upwards and many more hundreds of windows..each with fragments of emotions and staring faces. Each lonely soul looking upon a city shrouded in the dark face of a memory of destruction. This energy spreads its angel wings upon the brows of teachers and bagel sellers, Jewish button sellers on the lower east side, paper men in shacks along times square their stall decorated with a hundred calling cards with symbols of America and the dream printed on their covers. Their smiling faces buried in hats and gloves. Their tender hands handling the wrinkled five’s ten’s and twenty’s of their customers greeting each one with a smile. They share in the silent grief under the stars as I move throughout Manhattan."
Shah Fazli Beautiful, thank you, there are genre in other writings, what is there in poetry, do we know such a thing in poetry, what is your particular way of poetry or style of poetry writing please?
Wild Irish Poet well I am actually a poetic prose writer. I guess when people here the name WILD IRISH POET they assume I am a 'poet' well i write poetically, I narrate all my books in a poetic style. I gather experiences from the streets. There is nothing ordinary in life. Joyce , Henry MIller, Kerouac. These are my heroes. THey seen that every moment is filled with exepriences. Whether it is a bird eating bread from an old mans hands. OR a boy chasing a ball down a busy street. Or the way clouds part to reveal an intense sunset. This is all material to write about. TO see the world in this manner. The sadness of it all dying. EAch moment. That is wat makes me write in a poetic style. One of the lines in my book NAked in New York sums up my experience.. ' My old skin coming apart and my spirit reshaped amongst the millions.' Poetic writing is carved out of loneliness, our of suffering our of hardship and beauty. We are all forged. OUr souls are forged through each experience and thus that is why i haveto let it out. To write it out. I do not have a 'style' but i guess my experiencs create my writing style.
Shah Fazli Can you read a poem for us please?
Wild Irish Poet Here is a passage from Naked in New York> : I began wandering into foreign fields of new experiences . The city’s canvas of energy and the strokes of wind dancing on my skin. I am a ghost of New York, translucent yet human inside my floating luminous body. The million people in their own thoughts pass in waves through me and remaining within. Leaving traces of a life as they walk furious by me in quiet motions upward along the avenue. I see inside the windows of old office blocks. The pale human images behind orange grey and dirty smoke windows. The soft light around me ,the blocks of traffic blurs in yellow and blues. I look away from the window and upwards and many more hundreds of windows..each with fragments of emotions and staring faces. Each lonely soul looking upon a city shrouded in the dark face of a memory of destruction. This energy spreads its angel wings upon the brows of teachers and bagel sellers, Jewish button sellers on the lower east side, paper men in shacks along times square their stall decorated with a hundred calling cards with symbols of America and the dream printed on their covers. Their smiling faces buried in hats and gloves. Their tender hands handling the wrinkled five’s ten’s and twenty’s of their customers greeting each one with a smile. They share in the silent grief under the stars as I move throughout Manhattan. The churches of Priests and saints remain closed. The bell tower of a midtown church remains silent as the clock’s arms strike six. It’s grey carved towers and gargoyles peering onto the street above the heads of it’s wounded natives as the tired soulful masses teaming the streets wander aimlessly in a unified effort of trying to forget. I can sense it all around me an overpowering sadness tonight, drawing me down making my emotion flesh , becoming common in this moment with her -an exhausted New York. A small robin rests on the sill of the church window , hiding in the cracks against the winter wind, it’s fast eyes peering and darting ready to escape . It skirts down onto the cold pavement to collect twigs , it;s tiny body cast around the streets by a vulgar and cruel wind that had come from the Atlantic that night. Increasing in strength,rattling the windows and shaking loose the leaves that began to fall like dried up tears, swept along the city into the paths of hobos and the savage garbage trucks that tear up 3rd avenue shattering the sleep of apartment dwellers on this autumn night. And on I roam like the town fool seeing too many things with the eyes of my soul. My blistering spirit becomes heated as I absorb the woes from the masses which fills my body like lead. I only ask that I am allowed to journey on to find what it is that calls to me and others that I seek, losing myself amongst the dark alleys and cobbled shores of Manhatta. I have seen so much with innocent eyes from the day I arrived upon these dirty streets . I became all of the wonder and carnage . The fallen and the graceful beauty of all my lonely days, the frozen city blocks and the dying sunlit laughter of new friends in my apartment who came and left with their backs already showing to my goodbyes never to appear again. I have faced the tear of a broken shattered hope and picked up the deadly pieces stitching them together with love as my fingers bled, the needle probing deep into the hopes and from that thread emerges a fine silver light working its way around the the shards of a lonely Irish boy whose face is lit by a cafe sign outside my window in Hells Kitchen. Slamming doors and old pipes trembling like lovers legs aching throwing off stinking heat as I stitch and stitch the remnants of what once was . As I lick the wounds I imagine the thousands of soft feet shuffling through the airports Indian, polish Italian, Jewish ,Irish , Arabs Dutch. Each one with a fate mapped in the coda of the streets that awaited them. Some will drop before they begin. Their broken hearts trod under the careless masses. Others will resign their spirits to the working man's dreary daily grind . Some might even ignite a dream which will burn through the world . I await my own strange destiny. The grandiose mirage reflected in my mirror with my own tired eyes, wrinkled and burning blue .
Shah Fazli Thank you Alan, tell us about your poetry writing, when did you start writing your first poem and what was it about, and if you ever want to write in any other genre?
Wild Irish Poet as i said. i write some poems but my books are my main writing of my art. I have two books. Naked in New York and The Spirit of Ireland an odyssey Home. both are finished. One is out now on amazon and the otehr hopefully will be released soon. I have written a bunch of poems but they are unpublished. I have been writing since i have been a child But i only took it seriously when i got to new york and wrote the narration for a film i made called HOME about New York. i never thought i could be a 'writer' as much I never thought I could be an actor or film maker. I am self made to a degree. all my skills were honed from the streets. All my pedigree is from the gutter and the stars. I have infused my poetry into my books. I have infused the nature of my soul into each sentence. I have also written a thriller and also a one man play which i hope to perform. I have also narrated a number of poems of other People like a recent one i did for a genius Micheal Hartnett who is one of Irelands greatest poets. I love performing words I tis in my blood. And I try to make it ALL sound poetic. How do i do this> by believing in it 100%. I give 100% to all my work. Somtimes I feel like van gogh wandering alone in the fields of my pwn experience driven half mad by the artists life but then someone contacts me and is moved.and I have hope again.
Shah Fazli Post a trailer from one of your books please before I leave the conversation and let others to maybe ask questions?
Wild Irish Poet ok .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mD12wAxWQo
Book trailer: Spirit of Ireland An Odyssey Home by Wild Irish Poet
By Emmy winning Writer Wild Irish Poet. All images and words copyrighted 2012 by...See more
Wild Irish Poet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoVOnxcdJjg
Book Trailer - ' Naked in New York' by Emmy Winner Wild Irish Poet
FACEBOOK: Wild Irish Poet. Copyright 2012 - Alan Cooke and Wild Poet Films. All...See more
Lara Goulding Thanks Alan for bringing some light in to our lives....Shah has separated poetry from other forms of writing, but I feel that they are intertwined in your writing and can not be differentiated. You are translating your feelings, insight and love for people in to your writings and work, no matter what format that takes. Do you think this ability is intrinsic to all true writers? An ability to reach inside your work so to speak....
John Howe wont ask a question but want to say Al i enjoyed the intreview.keep it up buddy
Leann Mitchell I watched your trailer for "Home" and would like to know where I can purchase it for viewing. It looks very good.
Shah Fazli Sorry, everyone, Alan is having problem with posting answers, so I will get his answers and post them, if this continues to be Alan's problem.
Roseville Nidea Same here, I have no question. I just want to say I have an amazing journey with your words this early morning here in my country. On-line shopping is very unfriendly here in my homeland, but I'll work on how I can get a copy of your book. I found it very interesting.
Leann Mitchell Thanks for letting us know, Shah Fazil!
Wild Irish Poet ahh
Wild Irish Poet OK HOME has no distribution so it is not aavailabel but that might change.
Wild Irish Poet My next book is THE SPIRIT OF IRELAND an odyssey HOME you can buy it soon on amazon I hope. it is about my journey back to Ireland and my reconnection with my homeland..
Leann Mitchell It would be great if it was out as it looks magnificent!
Wild Irish Poet thanks. Distribution seems to be my issue generally along with exposure..
Angelique Miller Now that you are back in Ireland, do you miss New York? Do you think you will ever return to the states?
Leann Mitchell Understandable. You definitely deserve the exposure.
Roseville Nidea Where else can we follow you, so we have an update of your books?
Wild Irish Poet Well Laura in answer to your question about writing being intrinsicly linkd.. in a poetic manner.well yes it is a gift I think you are born with.. to be able to commune with people through art.. but it is also something you can develope and it needs constant renweing and soul work
Wild Irish Poet Well you can follow me on www.wildirishpoet. and on my facebook wildirishpoet and on twitter: @wildirishpoet
Shah Fazli Angelique Miller, now that you are back in Ireland, do you miss New York? Do you think you will ever return to the states?
Wild Irish Poet Angela I would like to do mre work in the USA. i think it is still the land of dreams. No matter how hard the world is right now. People love my work there and are very open to my books my writing and my voice... America gives you a chance to be a drop on a leaf, unique and alive and ur talent flowing sometimes being in Ireland can feel like a drop in the ocean.
Angelique Miller One thing that we can all do to help Alan receive the exposure he deserves is to leave great reviews on amazon as well as Goodreads and any other book review sites out there that you may be a member of. Also when you are on Amazon anytime, search for his name (Alan Cooke) and his book titles. The more searches something gets the higher it goes on top books lists.
Wild Irish Poet Ireland is going through a very hard time and its people are beaten down. Maybe I am meant to be here for a reason but I am open to the world..
Wild Irish Poet Thanks Angela. I appreciate that. my Amazon iswww.amazon.com/author/wildirishpoet. if you like my work please ask peple to add me on FAcebook or buy my work on amazon or wildirishpoet.com or my audio of Naked in New YOrk is also available where I read the whole book ..as an audio memoir which people seem to love.
Amazon.com: Alan Cooke: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindlewww.amazon.com
Visit Amazon.com's Alan Cooke Page and shop for all Alan Cooke books and other A...See more
Wild Irish Poet if you look below you can see CAtherine posted some poems I have narrated and some of my favorite music that inspires my work
Cuiva Smith Nice One.x.
Wild Irish Poet Any other qustions?
Angelique Miller As someone who has heard the entire audio book of "Naked" I have to say it is amazing! I am usually not an audiobook fan, but I have listened to it all the way through twice now!
Wild Irish Poet thats a lovely compliment angela thanks
Leann Mitchell I think all my questions have been answered by everyone else asking them. I'm looking forward to checking out your work. It all looks amazing!
Wild Irish Poet i have trained my voice as an actor for 12 years. Angelique and i believe my work is deeply related to the voice and the word togehter.
Wild Irish Poet Its important for any artist I believe to have a strong speaking voice. to have a voice that can make their words travel deep into the audience. deep into the hearts of others.
Angelique Miller Yes, hearing the lilt of your voice as you read the words truly does bring the book to life!
Leann Mitchell I agree. You have an amazing voice.
Wild Irish Poet l try also to speak and read and write in the same manner.
Roseville Nidea Same as with poetry, poet have to find his own voice in order for his poems to be powerful. I do agree with all your thought about words, it is truly the mightier weapon than any other sword.
Wild Irish Poet all are connected. and each one supports the other
Wild Irish Poet sadly words have been used for destruction by powerful forces but it is up to the artist to take tht power back
Angelique Miller You are doing an excellent job of reclaiming the words! Can you share an excerpt from "Spirit"?
Angelique Miller Something to show us what is in store
Wild Irish Poet yes..
Wild Irish Poet I was gone again and I was alone again. I was in depth of the moment driving across to the west.It pulled me again towards it’s centre. It was like an ancient magnet force. The landscape and history was a vital part of my odyssey. I kept moving deeper into it. It was like feeling your way through the darkness unsure of what you would find but you keep searching. I know there was something beautiful stirring inside me and those I seen. We were at the end of a long road in our history , one of abuse and torture and suffering. One of oppression and ruination of the soul. But within that scar there was something growing. It was tiny and barely visivle to the eye but it was real. So I drove to it. I moved towards it regardless of the consequences. When I arrived I drove through Galway and stopped in Coole Park.
The home of Yeats and many great writers who gathered to invoke the muse. The house was long gone. But the memories lingered in the thousand acres of forest and land. In the beautiful mirror lake where Yeats sad and wrote his poems. In the silence and the ancient bed of leaves. In the veil behind the trunks and saplings side by side there is another world. I walk the trails and find several ancient trees with their trunks bent outwards like giant curved seats. The trunks themselves look red. Almost like blood. I reach down and touch the curve of each trunk. Maybe giants sat here and pondered this magical island. Maybe they wept as the magic was buried under the weight of colonial repression. I walked further and deeper along the narrow paths.
The smell was invigorating. The soft air , ancient but full of a great breath of divine invisible breezes. I inhaled the layers of living and magic. I came upon the famous lake. It was a Turlough that would fill and then empty out again given certain weather conditions. There was a primeval feel to this lake. There was trees , slim and skeletal and black at the trunk from the water rising around them time and time again. There were giant boulders just resting along the bank. No logic as to their appearance there.
An apparition like so many places I had seen on my journeys here. The land speaks in ways that continued to move me. There was not a soul to be seen besides me. I was left again with the sense of feeling like the last man on earth. The last man on Irish soil. The last dreamer before the swallows will fly away for the last time. Before the children’s cries will fade. I sat on one of the rocks. A large heron rose from the forest and skimmed across the lake.
His slow flapping rhythms almost like the slow beat of a human heart. I gazed upon him. I was hypnotised at how he managed to keep in the air with such a slow wing beat. How his beautiful grey wings cut the air and filled the silence with a note of awe. He flew close to me and over the lake. The tips of his feet touched the surface film of the lake breaking the calm. Then he rose up and into the soft blue sky. He never moved any faster or slower.
It was if there was a metronome within guiding his movement. If only man here could temper his soul with such perfection. The struggle for generations has yielded nothing but chaos and despair. Only love has made it bearable. I put my hands in my pockets and feel the sun on my face. I slip my shoes off and walk into the water a little. It moves around me caressing my tired feet. The soft ripples soothing and welcome. A man appears with his dogs. He is scrawny old and unshaven. His little toy pets run towards me choking on their leads. He breaks into a smile and talks incessantly. He is seventy seven years old and lived here all his life. He has an energy of a young boy. Maybe the boy within him never died. Maybe his skin sags and his body dies but his child spirit is getting younger. He was a sweet innocent man. I was moved by how someone could remain so untouched by such a cruel world. His dogs licked my hands and face.
They were so joyous to be there. They were wagging their tales and filling the air with barks and yaps. He bid me goodbye and pulled the dogs away along the shore. I tread my way along the shores edge. I imagined Yates with his spectacles and his words of beauty and power in composition within his mind. I imagine another time and world. Without cars or noise or industrial madness. A softer time. But maybe it’s an illusion. For in that time was death and suffering. Peace can only be gathered in cup fulls where ever you can.
Silence was precious. And I felt blessed that in Ireland there were still many oasis that could still be visited and enjoyed for the wanderer and dreamer. Even amidst the modern calamity of a crumbling Ireland there was the provocative allure of beauty all around. The senses awaited to be opened and the eyes filled with miracles. I left Yate’s ghost and moved myself back out from a timeless place and into my car. I looked at my reflection in the mirror. I could see the miles travelled in my eyes. I bore the weary distance of all that I had seen felt and heard.
I drove back towards my home in the Burren. I took the back road by the coast past Kinvarra. The stony shore and the sharp curved roads. The cattle and the soft faces. The filling stations and the broken white line splitting the battered country roads. The raggedy surfaces of neglect and the burden of my soul.
The lives remaining in parts of the drive through old towns that I know are dying. And in view I can see the Burren Mountains. Their soft purple heather and rock masses with clouds covering the tips. I slow the car down to twenty and memories start rising from somewhere deep again.
Angelique Miller Thank you for sharing!
Shah Fazli Thanks a lot everyone and Alan in particular for your time and taking part, a lovely experience as Alan put it. Please book your own interview by joining http://www.facebook.com/BeInTheSpotlight?ref=ts&fref=ts
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Shah Fazli http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/2013/03/naked-in-new-york-alan-cooke.html
ShahSight Literary Book Shop: Naked In New York Alan Cookeshahsightshop.blogspot.com
Wild Irish Poet oh wow cool thanks Shah
Leann Mitchell Shared links to this page and your blog and tweeted Shah's page.