First Book of Frags is being launched on Saturday 20th of April at 8 O’Clock in McGrattans Bar on Talbot Street with a introduction by Sean O’Reilly and a gala night of performance featuring Dave Lordan, Karl Parkinson and many more of Dublin’s top spoken word artists.
The Iron Lady, below is taken from the new book.
The embedded video is another Frag, The F**king Titanic read by me using footage from the film ‘A Night To Remember’ (1958). The video was created by the film-maker Eamonn Crudden
According to Mel Ulm of The Reading Life, First Book of Frags is amazing, almost flabbergastingly original.
“Dave Lordan’s First Book of Frags is experimental work of an accessible kind – unsentimental, original.[…] a wry sensibility throughout, reminiscent of the early stories of Peter Carey.” — Patrick Chapman
The Iron Lady
When the Iron Lady died we melted her down immediately.
After some debate (coinage, medals, spearheads, a unique musical instrument, an elaborate candlestand…?) we decided to divide her and use her to make five Alloy Ladies.
These were the Cast Iron Lady, the Pig Iron lady, the Celestium Lady, Lady Cobalt and the Lady of Ferrovanadium.
We placed an Alloy Lady on a special display pedestal at each one of our Starfort’s five points and floodlit them from below. They were martial hallucinations, ethereal and terrifyi.ng.
The Alloy Ladies were taken by many of our citizens to be representations of cult deities; unofficial grottoes sprung up. These were always garlanded with fresh rose and hydrangea bouquets, perfumed with jasmine and incense, illumined by the flames of gigantic votive candles. Some citizens started leaving notes of supplication, as well as coins and other wish-offerings, but this was put a stop to as it was untidy, attracted petty criminals, and generated mendicancy.
The Alloy Ladies reminded one of our more mediocre blank verse poets of impressively-wrought ship’s figureheads:
majesty at the prow
of a majestic vessel
guiding and protecting
remaining fixed and true
during every storm
during every threat
during every unforeseen
eventuality of the
….continuing to lead
and to drive on the voyagers
no matter if it is for a Utopia
which will fulfil their
every fantasy the ship
is bound or whether the whole
crew and cargo will soon
be going over a bottomless
cliff at the edge of the world….
That was all besides the Alloy Ladies’ principal message, to our enemies: Among us, death is only the Chieftain’s latest political intrigue. It is a way of building strength and upgrading in secret, while at the same time drawing enemies into the open. It is a means of entrapment. The Great Ones among us simply step out of their old, exhausted bodies and into new and rejuvenated ones. They stay on top, in a new costume.
Centuries pass and fade and, although appearances change over and over again, the power of the Great Ones builds and builds, rooting and flowering in ever greater proportions and varieties, continuously increasing complexity and strength. Though they die a thousand times, our leaders are as indestructible as they are merciless.
Our enemies, ignorant of our true power, hear the rumours of the Iron Lady’s passing. They have her apparent passing away confirmed by their frontier scouts and their informants. They march from every continental corner and set sail from every archipelago with their miserable conscripts and their ecstatic volunteers, with their grand stratagems to profit from the weakness and instability they mistakenly surmise as having taken hold of us in the aftermath of a head-of-state demise.
Inevitably, they will spy an Alloy Lady through far instruments and inevitably they will turn around and march back in the direction whence they came, embittered and disappointed, scurvy and rebellion coursing through their ranks.
We wait a week or so and then send forth the quartermaster’s squadron to collect the enemy’s abandoned horses and his wasted siege-engines. We do not often find deserters but when we do we interrogate them briefly and then we shoot them on the spot.
The demesnes approaching our Starfort are a confederation of decay, littered with deliquescing, rat-gnawed corpses, with sun-washed skeletons and stage-prop skulls. This obviously serves as another, perhaps even greater, warning to all our potential encroachers.
The F**king Titanic