Super Grunge Under House Zine Book

Ah, the Word Salad, our favourite kind of salad.

So, the other day I was putting together a CV, as one does every now and then, and because this particular CV is focused on design and creativity, I put in that I make chapbooks once a month as part of Stanzas. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that. Until someone asks, What’s a chapbook?

For us, this question has been four years in the making, and we’re still figuring it out month to month. But mostly: it’s printed, it’s low-volume, it’s one-of-a-kind, and it features art, writing, or some combination thereof.

When we first started, these were A6, home-printed, badly spliced together off-cut barely-books that we made and sold at the third ever event because we wanted to make a bit of dosh. That first event, back in September 2014, was a great one, and people loved the books. Inside, we four stanzas grandaddies, each wrote a few pieces, and I think we made a tenner each on the proceeds. A night of heavy drinking ensued, bellied by the tenners.

But then we opened it up, we asked you guys for your words, and we put that money back in to getting bigger and better guests, to putting on festivals, to making more books, and CDs, and posters, and badges & & & …

For us, the monthly chapbooks are a way to see what’s out there: and there is so much out there! It’s also how we stay afloat while we wait for some rich uncle to come along and make our dreams come true. But most importantly, it’s a way for you guys to see your work in print – even sometimes in poorly home-printed off-cut barely-books.

There’s something succinct about ink and paper. Something definite and concrete. The chapbooks aren’t just a bit of fun, they’re an opportunity. And, if nothing else, they very occasionally help to buy pints. And that’s gotta be worth fighting for.

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This blog post was written by Shane ‘McThirsty’ Vaughan. If you have something to say and nowhere to say it, why not get in touch at stanzas.limerick@gmail.com

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Super Grunge Under House Zine Book

Moon Talk

From the moment I woke it was all wrong, like someone had put my brain in backwards. I was tense, frenetic, nervous, anxious, peeved, miffed, muddled, and, in so many words, wild.

Later, of course, I looked up into the sky and saw the moon: full and bright and glowing like a saucer of insanity.

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It’s not so much the moon’s ‘fault’, but I can’t help offload some of the blame to La Luna. After all, if she didn’t tug and pull at the ocean, maybe she wouldn’t tug and pull at my neurons – but then, yes, a world without waves would be rather dull…

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It was  Aristotle and Pliny the Elder who first subsumed the moon into human ailments. They argued the brightness induced epilepsy and bipolarity, and while I have no experience with epilepsy I can certainly attest to feeling unlike myself when the moon is most full.

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So last night we had SLAMZAS. And it was fun, maybe not as full as the moon, but it happened, it went ahead, we had competitors, an audience, judges, a musician, a venue: all the ingredients for a good night.

We just needed an MC…

Technically, of course, I was the MC. Except you wouldn’t have known I’ve been speaking in front of crowds for years by the look of me. I stuttered, stumbled, misplaced whole sentences and withered on the vine. A part of me, the part still me, was shouting at the back of the upsidedown backtofront brain saying SPEAK! SPEAK DAMN YOU! but the part of me, the moon part, was doing the speaking, and it was moon-talk, not human talk.

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The Greeks knew a thing or two about the moon, and ok it doesn’t have anything to do with epilepsy, but it does affect us. Maybe not all of us, just some, and maybe only some of us some of the time: but it does affect us.

The Greeks also knew a thing or two about poetry. Ever hear of a certain nobody called Homer? No, not that one… Homer was the kind of guy who’d get up to do a poem and still be speaking two books later. The way the Greeks saw it, poetry was meant to be spoken – no paper, certainly no phones, just pure wordage and a captive audience.

It was primitive and tribal and beautiful enough to still be influencing Millenians three millennia later.

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Someone asked me last night why it had to be a competition, why can’t we just share the words? And that’s valid. But we already have a place to do that, it’s called Stanzas. Stanzas is a safe cushion of warmth and love and openness where anyone can join in without fear of repercussion or oppression or hate or even embarrassment.

SLAMZAS on the other hand, that’s where we pull the rug out, take away the safety net and make you work for the words. Stanzas is the kind of place those who listened to Homer would have gone. SLAMZAS…. I’d like to think that’s somewhere Homer himself would have enjoyed.

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Not every moon is equal, not every poem a slam. We have to listen more. Listen to our bodies when they say Not Today… listen to our words when they want to be whispered… listen to each other, even when we say things we don’t want to hear.

Maybe that’s what Lunatics are: the ones who hear; the ones who talk to the moon.

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This blog post was written by Shane ‘What’s My Name?’ Vaughan. If you have something to say and nowhere to say it, why not drop us a line at stanzas.limerick@gmail.com

Moon Talk