Saying “Part One : Life LXXXVII” and “Forbidden Fruit. II. ” by Emily Dickinson

This week here I am saying two short poems by Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886).

Fighting for Emily Dickinson

I was attacked early in the morning on Friday night returning home from a party. I was not far from my house and my two young attackers did not hurt me too much. They managed to take my mobile phone from me, an iPhone 4 (so, at the time of this writing not the greatest phone available to consumers).

Street Fighting 2017

Having fought across the street and knocked me to the ground twice and I only having been able to knock one of them to the ground briefly (by throwing him across a green Parisian wheelie bin) we proceeded across the street to continue in their plan of giving me a sound beating and thereby relieve me of more of my possessions.

The Turning Point

It was at this time that they decided to try to take my bag containing my notebooks and two books of poetry. One of them was a compilation of Irish poets (Ten Poems from Ireland) and the other was a copy of Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson. My notebooks contained various drawings of the Fox and also preparation drawings for the performance piece in Toulon.

As they tried to rip the bag from me I resisted their attacks and grabbed the bag back from them. I managed to knock their plastic bag to the ground smashing the cheap bottle of vodka to pieces. They continued to attack me and lay about me.

The Cavalry (or Angels)

…And then we all heard shouts from above. People on a balcony above were telling them to stop. And then very quickly these people rushed down to us and when my youthful attackers saw that these people were coming they decided to run off. The people on the balcony had reminded them in an indirect way of their higher selves.

The people on the balcony and I gave chase but it was a little too late. I was very lucky that those people came to my rescue. I thanked them and then made my way home. I lost a jacket and a phone. I got a couple of bruises and they got a good kick and a phone. They lost a cheap bottle of vodka. They also missed a chance to spend some quality time with me. But we may meet again and perhaps we could do all of this properly and I could read them some poems, tell them a couple of jokes.

What has been happening to them since that morning

This may sound crazy but I am going to go out on a limb here. In Ireland a long time ago, one of the worst things that could happen to you was being cursed by a poet. Now, knowing a little about language and the danger of curses (they can backfire on you) I have been blessing my two attackers actively since the attack. I feel that violence breeds violence and I think that these two young men may have been coming out of a long period of difficulty. There is very little chance of things going better for them if they continue that way. Despite the general climate of hate and hostility I still believe that they are not choosing a career here.

Black Friday

France had just gone through its version of Black Friday and I feel that these two men were hoping or dreaming that they were finally going to find the thing in my pocket that somehow would fill this gap inside themselves. I am sorry for them that the iPhone 4 was probably not worth all the danger they put themselves through.

Despite all proof to the contrary I have a feeling that they have been going through a difficult time since the attack. My kick may still be hurting them. But more than that there are strange things happening in their dreams. Their imagination has now been opened up to other possibilities. Their plan (which I am sorry to say was not very well organised – another reason why they should reconsider their career choice) definitely did not go the way they wanted it to.

Wrong script

I even managed to say to them “guys you don’t know who you’re dealing with here”. If I’d had more time I would have added in “what I do I have are a very particular set of skills” but I think that first remark really annoyed them (or scared them: same difference) and they jumped on me before I could finish off the speech.

What has happened since then is really anybody’s guess but I believe in magic- I am a Magic Freak  ( link to the music from the duo electromenager where I sang this song over ten years ago- “I’m a victim but I’m always protected, I feel sorry for my enemies so dejected”). Still, my point is that when you meet people and show them another possibility, their imagination is opened, and even if it is not, I have a feeling that there are other forces at work that are now affecting them in ways that they cannot have imagined.


I am talking about dreams. How I don’t know but one of them, he is now remembering a childhood friend who is coming back to him in his dreams, holding his hand, coming back after all these years to play with him. His friend died, it was messed up but here he is reminding him of the beautiful golden things he could do. In another his mother (but it is not only his mother but also the poet Emily Dickinson too but he does not know that) is speaking to him, reminding him of things he had forgotten.

They are waking up and smoking spliffs trying to dampen down these dreams. But you know, Change, you cannot stop it. And that is what has been happening to these two young gentlemen since they laid hands on me. And I also laid hands on them. No punches, just a strange calm, like a dance. I held their arms, I held the ringleader by his wrist I helped him to cross the road.

Fair warning

I warned them. I gave them a chance. They decided to go ahead. So I helped them across the road.

And now, they will maybe never be able to speak to anyone about their strange dreams but their dreams are going to double, triple in intensity. Their only choice will be to turn towards the light.

Maybe I am wrong though…

What About Emily Dickinson?

So here is this week’s poem in honour of Emily Dickinson, whom I think may have enjoyed that night the sight of a poet, fighting, physically for her work ! And maybe Emily interceded with my young attackers and calmed their youthful ardour.

And the Fox?

And I will also be drawing a re- enactment of the fight by the Fox.


Because I am an artist and that is the only thing I know how to do : recycle my life. Turn the shit into something positive or at least entertaining. Maybe just an anecdote. Or a poem.

Thx Emily LOL!

Just remember : self defense = poetry books and sketch books.


Part One : Life

Forbidden fruit a flavour has
That lawful Orchards mocks ;
How luscious lies the pea within’
The pod that Duty locks !

Forbidden Fruit.

Heaven is what I cannot reach !
The apple on the tree,
Provided it do hopeless hang,
That ‘heaven’ is, to me.

The colour on the cruising cloud,
The interdicted ground
Behind the hill, the house behind, –
There Paradise is found !

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

News- but not really

Hello all,

I have been a bad blogger- I spend most of my time on Instagram where I am throwing up a drawing or a film nearly every other day.

Macdara on Instagram

I should try and do that here more often. I did take a new year’s resolution where I said that I would write a blog post here every week. Maybe I will get back to it sometime.

Honestly though, working, making art and raising a family, just makes these things slide.

Here instead is some news before this special weekend.

I’m in a great mood to be doing two dates with Zarboth

We are playing Bourges on Friday 21st April at the Printemps de Bourges (OFF) à L’Hexagone, 11 rue des trois bourses, 18000 Bourges, France

And Saturday 22nd April in Les Hirondelles 2 Place sous l’Orme, 89450 Asquins, France.

On Sunday I’ll be playing with the equally fabulous Onze Onze

We are playing at the MOFO festival in Mains d’Œuvres but come early!

Here is the video (by Auriane Legendre) from our upcoming EP Things Falling…

Under the Radar

Under the Radar

And I quote: History of the phrase; Prior to electronic counter measures, military aircraft would fly beneath the Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR) in order not to be detected by enemy forces. This term started out as a military phrase in the 1950’s. Source:

Under the Radar

This is a feeling that I have a lot as an artist. Fame and art. Being part of the underground.

Stay under the radar. Stay on the edge. Being on the edge.

I work with a lot of different people. In the last week I was working with a business woman. I could tell that she was a killer- one of those great business people, really driven and efficient. We began talking about vision. She told me something that I think all of us already know : the old ways of doing things do not work anymore. What is needed now are people who think differently. That there needs to be new ways of doing things. There is no longer any long term vision for any businesses now. What is needed now is flexibilty, ability to change.

Nobody controls anything. You have to let go.

So what does that mean to be under the radar ? It means that you are flying low to attack your enemy. I think of the underground. I think of the freedom that a lot of artists that I know have.


photo 5

We are all flying under the radar. At the moment there is a state of emergency in France. Nobody wants to appear on the radar. Then we become an easy target. People are trying to imagine other spaces. People are trying to imagine other ways to do things. There is a general feeling that people are fed up with the old way of doing things.

It sounds big and complicated but it can be through very small things that you start doing new things.


Small changes at the beginning of a rocket’s trajectory become huge ones towards the end.

child's playAs an artist we can be lucky that we still have some control over our own trajectories. The old models (that were very prevalent in France before) big companies, big business no longer work the way they used to. Everybody is searching for what works.

So we all believe in the outsider having a chance. However, being under the radar is not only about someday, maybe, being “discovered”.

It can be about remaining under the radar, unseen. Staying on the edge.

Waiting. And most of all existing. Doing your thing because that is what you like. Flying low close to the sea, looking at yourself in the mirror.

Don’t get me wrong : it is not because you are undiscovered that you have more integrity. The time may come that you will be hauled into the glaring neon, the intrusive spotlight, and you’ll stammer and sell yourself down the river.

A lot of our work, of our pieces, come from under our own personal radars : our own radars of control. It is not external things but our own inner workings that we don’t let fly out. Luckily sometimes we do. Recently despite myself I’ve been letting things through my own radar. And some of it is so great. It is scary. I don’t recognise it.

I’ll be sharing some of this soon.

Goto work

going to work

Short version : break out of your own recurrent patterns and ways of doing things. Change yourself and you change the world.

Have a good week and keep making things and connections.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Can you? Everyday? What do you see? What would you like to see?

P.S. Please buy the Zarboth album – those of you who have not and would like to buy it you can get a copy here: Zarboth