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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Page #10, 11 & 12 of “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

These long-extended wickets and rueful ruins
Where nought but bowlers reign, and night dark night
Dark as was chaos ‘ere the infant innings
Was rolled together, as black as the pitch
Itself was rolled. The sickly in-swinger
By glimmering through the low-browed misty defences
Furled round with thy spittle and ropy slime
The ball a supernumerary horror
And serves only to make my night more irksome.
Those words which belong to one of the Blair brothers from Otago always enter my head when I am bowled out for a low score and help me calm the immediate daggers of the mind which lead to such thoughts as the dripping carcus of Hadlee impaled on the wickets of my brain which stand the top Gothic Calgary – he lusts after the Bleeding Nun who dances seductively around his writhing body, each movement driving the barbed spike deeper into his body – yet he can do nothing as his desire for the nymph of the nunnery increases –
he closes his eyes trying to shut out the beautiful visage, but she moves closer, her perfume filling his head and all his senses maddened by her touch, his agony and ecstasy complete as he becomes the more ensnared in this trap, this spider webb of human passion, she the black-widow smiling all the while….


“John, you know I’ve said this before a hundred times, but what a funny game this game of cricket is! How many times have I tried to fathom my utter fascination for this peculiar sport and really, it’s like trying to understand the very mysteries of the universe itself. Its great struggle between random chaos and calculated order seem played out over a lengthy period of five days, although admittedly this being a one-dayer somewhat condenses the process. It baffles and beguiles me!
“Dennis – Yes, but wasn’t that a lovely ball by Hadlee. It certainly baffled and beguiled Monk Lewis – in terms of what you’ve just been saying he certainly will be returning to the pavilion with a belief in intelligent beings existing outside his universe!
“Beware the man from outer-Hadlee”, he will be warning his colleagues. I think what you were about to say before that dismissal has validity to a point, although there would of course be little achieved in the like of Chatfield bowling maiden over after maiden over if there was not Hadlee’s penetration to complement it.”
“Of course, I agree with that and you’re really just saying what I said in reverse, but I should like to pursue, if I may, the more philosophical aspects I began on while we await the next Out of It batsman. I heard a delightful comment from a BBC commentator, and I think it may have been Christopher Martin-Jenkins, I’m not sure. But, he was talking in an aside to a game between New Zealand and England where he mentioned that Dereck Pringle happens to wear contact lenses on the field and glasses in “real life!”
This was a casual off-hand comment and would have passed by had someone not jokingly made a comment to the effect that “do you not think cricket is part of real life?”, which in turn led to a general discussion about the nature of cricket and real life. Now the point I make is….”
“I’m sorry Dennis but the real life game of cricket impinges yet again upon our fantasies as the number three batsman, Te Rauparaha, walks onto the field, waving his bat defiantly over his head as though it were a huata, his head held high as he walks towards the battle.”
“Just while Te Rauparaha prepares himself, I’d like to say a few words about Monk Lewis. He never really looked comfortable and an opening batsman’s job is never easy of course. I remember in the New Zealand versus England test series of 1965-66, in the match at Lancaster Park I think it was, the great Boycott himself went out for four, caught off the bowling of Motz in the first innings.
And to top it off scored the score of four in the second innings also when he fell victim to a run out. So, Lewis is in illustrious, if not enviable company with his four runs.”
“Thank you for that enlightening information. I’m sure that the Monk will feel all the better if he’s listening but our attention turns now towards Te Rauparaha and how many times in recent years have we seen a Captain bat at number three – it just makes me wonder, you know….”
“I’ll just interrupt you here John, as Hadlee runs into a slight breeze blowing at his back, he passes the umpire with that magnificent flowing stride of his, and bowls to the Out of It Captain who plays a lovely cover drive and the ball races out to the boundary as Te Rauparaha shows his intention from the start. He’s not the kind of player who likes to be held down or dictated to and…”

The radio commentary was gradually superceded in the Malone’s head by thoughts of his own. He had been meditating on the comment about Dereck Pringle and the difference between reality and dreams, real life and illusion. These were thoughts he had not allowed himself for many moons and he could feel the pull of his former Bohemian life becoming stronger, his sureness slowly subsiding like a seemingly secure stock-bank in times of flood…
“So nothing has changed then, all these years of the illusion of reality, undermined by a single, spring tide of high thinking. The iron curtain had lifted to reveal no security. A short while ago it was I was thinking as one of me Irish ancestors might who had no more book-learning than what you can get at the farm-bog gate, and now I’m seriously discussing with myself, through the catalyst of some comment about Dereck Pringle being in real life off the cricket field because he wears glasses, although when he’s on, bowling that round cork encased in red leather, he’s in some sort of supposed fantasy and then my mind extending the argument to the grand banality of philosophical truth or otherwise and all the time me own wife, Maureen O’Shea, is telling me that I’m living in some sort of unreality, and that I’d better get a job because we’ve got to pay the rent and eat the food and the baby is only two months away ten years ago and yet here I am…”
P.S.M. could hear the low-rev chugging of a diesel engine as it struggled in the Kingsland Embankment bringing a train of goods from Northland in its wake. The German word for train is zug and means the puller. The emphasis on the power in front rather than the “train” which follows had always intrigued Malone, as had the Germans themselves fascinated him.
He had always thought it something to do with the powerless being enchanted by the powerful, and he had also absorbed their guilt for the grand evil of Nazism and used it as a metaphor for his own, although he had nothing to feel guilty about except the fact that he was alive and was aware of the fact! And as he sat there on the Eden Park Grandstand, watching and listening to this fabulous game they called cricket, and

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sonnet to Katrina by Michael O'Leary

Sonnet to Katrina

The boxcars of Biloxi have become homes
Again as the first world becomes the third world

Overnight. The piles of twisted, gnarled debris
And flood waters up to here, all through

The funky, jazzed-up city of New Orleans
Where she once sat in the sunshine, the light

And the heat of a day-time bar, music and sex
Shining across the neo-French playground

My lover, whose colourful postcard from the French
Quarter is at odds with television images from Baton

Rouge bursting through the safety of the lounge, she
Has in the past had a similar effect on my emotions

As though she were also named Katrina, but now I watch
The disappearing Nu’orlins Blues from a distance

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Married Couple is giving you 5 Web sites that "pour" money into your pocket!

Married Couple is giving you 5 Web sites that "pour" money into your pocket!

'Flip Side of the Ballad of John and Yoko' by Michael O'Leary

Flip Side of the Ballad of John and Yoko

6pm News, Tuesday, Ninth of December, 1980
“We have just heard from New York
Ex-Beatle John Lennon was shot today . . . !!!!!!”

i

There I was sitting on a sofa
In one of the southernmost cities of the world
Listening to the radio whilst thinking about cooking tea

Well, how can you be honest about how you feel?

I’d just turned the station over
To get the “real” news of the world
When I heard the words written above: well fuck me!

What else can you do but swear at a time like this

I am thinking about my mother, his mother
Two of the responsible for bringing us into the world
And now John, you’re gone! There’s only me

Yoko and me, and the rest of humanity together in grief and love

Yoko’s in a black scumbag, I left the sofa
Wandered aimlessly around the room the day you left the world
Your death is a climax of events forcing mortality on me

Everybody’s talkin’ ‘bout Pol Pot, Nazism, Socialism, I.R.A. and junkies

Give me a chance, brother
You have helped me understand this world
Now you’re dead, am I enslaved or freeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

Fuck the revolution, we have bred another generation

ii

When it all began, I was just another
Beatle fan. A teenager from the other side of the world
Looking for something more interesting than school’s authority

Distances travelled in space, time and sorrow add up to one thing

Your songs and books helped me discover
In myself, what all the education in the world
Could not; that I could write and illustrate my own story

Knowledge to one is ignorance to another, unless there is love

1968, Hey Jude, the death of my father and mother
Like a lost black sheep I entered the outside world
Sold my records, went to work in a dark, thankless factory

If a person makes enough of one thing, he or she becomes a thing

While I got lost in nothing, you found your lover
For whom you left the Beatles, left the wife, shocked the world
Yoko, through the years of illusion, offered you reality

Eternity may be a stone in Wales, but it is now we must live

And so, lest the press smother
You and your love both withdrew from the world
Which had built you a boat of fame, then left you all at sea

How many oak trees have been allowed to grow from the acorns?

“Just like starting over”
Is not starting over, you are now dead to the world
Sean and Yoko no longer have the shade and strength of their tree

That fallen tree made them a house which they must make a home

iii

We were always a decade away from each other
Yet we were of the same generation
You were the spiritual pathfinder
I followed to the point of penetration
And I never lost you, but let you go

It was not lack of love, but life itself, caused the separation

Now you too have joined the dead and living dead
Who haunt and torment my existence
On this quaint and sadly crazy planet on which
To live is not just to breath, but an insistence
That each such breath is a test of courage and will

Which we understand at a metaphorical distance

Christ!
I know
It ain’t easy!

Page #8 & 9 of “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

“Yeah, anyway the local word for referee was Bumpyre which meant ‘being in the hot seat’ but because the English were not able to say bum they ummed and arred, went red in the faces and changed it to arrpire. However, someone said that arrpire sounded silly and that they should say ‘um’..’um’.. damn I’ve forgotten. (What about umpire said Milligan, an unexploded Irishman who was there and unexplained) – anyway – hey! What’s the matter John! Dennis!…”
The radio commentary suddenly disintegrated into a static sound crackling and distorted but what was really two grown men falling about the small box of a building and trying not to laugh all at once. Watching the last two balls of Hadlee’s over the P.S.M. Malone tried to fix his radio, nearly breaking it forever in the process. He was thinking to himself, because no-one else was inside his head, unless you count God and the angels…Well, that’s that. I’ve lost count of all them angels – but me radio’s broke and I can’t hear what I can see anymore. That is the first time this…? What do you mean by that? That is the first time that this…? I don’t understand what I’m thinking – no wonder other people don’t understand what I’m saying. Now, let’s say it slowly. That is the…I got it! This is the first time that I have had a day off work, except weekends when I really work and I feel so good I feel guilty. I know that’s me Catholic heritage and I’m proud of it! Them Protestants can’t have half the fun feeling good about what they enjoy. Even their priests get married and look happy. Ah! Maureen me love, they got no soul….
The radio came on with a vengeance at that moment.
“Ouch! Me ear! It’s that bloody Protestant God again” groaned Malone.

“Well we seem to be back on the air again John.”
“Yes Dennis it seems that it’s Ewen Chatfield to bowl from the Railway or Sandringham Road end of Eden Park. We must apologise to our listeners for a temporary break in transmission caused by…”

There was a stifled appeal, I mean laugh, and then…

“I didn’t actually see the last two balls of Richard Hadlee.”

More silence and crackling and crackling, then….

“Neither did I Dennis, but I think we can safely assume that – Oh the scoreboard has moved up to eleven so the Mad Monk must have hit a four. Anyway, I’m sure we can sort it all out but in the meantime Chatfield comes in to bowl to Hendrix who defends, playing the ball gently back up the pitch where it is fielded by the bowler.”

Malone’s thoughts took over his mind again. This time they were more subdued and he realises he had been thinking in Irish for the first time in a long time. He had been sober in thought, word and deed for such a long time that he had all but lost his sense of he absurd as his life had revolved around the absurd reality of a nine to five, commuter, suburban existence.
“I must stop tinkin’, I mean thinking like this “thought the Malone to himself – again no-one else was listening. He turned his attention to the cricket, which was why he was here at all. He hadn’t come to Eden Park to hear himself think!

“…and yet again Chatfield proves his worth to this New Zealand side.”
“Yes, he really does have a marvellous ability to get that line and length very early on and just stay there. We have just seen him bowl a maiden over on his first over of the day. Whilst he lacks the drama and penetration of Richard Hadlee, I think we can say he is a perfect foil for the Great New Zealand medium fast pace bowler. If we can just compare the first two oversee as an indication of what I mean. In Hadlee’s first over while producing a confident appeal for L.B.W., which I guess was very unlucky to be turned down, he also conceded eleven runs. And yet old Charley Chatters…”
“I’m sorry Dennis, but Hadlee is running in now to bowl to Monk Lewis. In he comes past the umpire and – Oh, my goodness, he’s bowled him, middle stump! Well, one can only imagine the black Gothic thoughts going through the Mad Monk’s mind at this moment…”

“Ah! How dark
“Yeah, anyway the local word for referee was Bumpyre which meant ‘being in the hot seat’ but because the English were not able to say bum they ummed and arred, went red in the faces and changed it to arrpire. However, someone said that arrpire sounded silly and that they should say ‘um’..’um’.. damn I’ve forgotten. (What about umpire said Milligan, an unexploded Irishman who was there and unexplained) – anyway – hey! What’s the matter John! Dennis!…”
The radio commentary suddenly disintegrated into a static sound crackling and distorted but what was really two grown men falling about the small box of a building and trying not to laugh all at once. Watching the last two balls of Hadlee’s over the P.S.M. Malone tried to fix his radio, nearly breaking it forever in the process. He was thinking to himself, because no-one else was inside his head, unless you count God and the angels…Well, that’s that. I’ve lost count of all them angels – but me radio’s broke and I can’t hear what I can see anymore. That is the first time this…? What do you mean by that? That is the first time that this…? I don’t understand what I’m thinking – no wonder other people don’t understand what I’m saying. Now, let’s say it slowly. That is the…I got it! This is the first time that I have had a day off work, except weekends when I really work and I feel so good I feel guilty. I know that’s me Catholic heritage and I’m proud of it! Them Protestants can’t have half the fun feeling good about what they enjoy. Even their priests get married and look happy. Ah! Maureen me love, they got no soul….
The radio came on with a vengeance at that moment.
“Ouch! Me ear! It’s that bloody Protestant God again” groaned Malone.

“Well we seem to be back on the air again John.”
“Yes Dennis it seems that it’s Ewen Chatfield to bowl from the Railway or Sandringham Road end of Eden Park. We must apologise to our listeners for a temporary break in transmission caused by…”

There was a stifled appeal, I mean laugh, and then…

“I didn’t actually see the last two balls of Richard Hadlee.”

More silence and crackling and crackling, then….

“Neither did I Dennis, but I think we can safely assume that – Oh the scoreboard has moved up to eleven so the Mad Monk must have hit a four. Anyway, I’m sure we can sort it all out but in the meantime Chatfield comes in to bowl to Hendrix who defends, playing the ball gently back up the pitch where it is fielded by the bowler.”

Malone’s thoughts took over his mind again. This time they were more subdued and he realises he had been thinking in Irish for the first time in a long time. He had been sober in thought, word and deed for such a long time that he had all but lost his sense of he absurd as his life had revolved around the absurd reality of a nine to five, commuter, suburban existence.
“I must stop tinkin’, I mean thinking like this “thought the Malone to himself – again no-one else was listening. He turned his attention to the cricket, which was why he was here at all. He hadn’t come to Eden Park to hear himself think!

“…and yet again Chatfield proves his worth to this New Zealand side.”
“Yes, he really does have a marvellous ability to get that line and length very early on and just stay there. We have just seen him bowl a maiden over on his first over of the day. Whilst he lacks the drama and penetration of Richard Hadlee, I think we can say he is a perfect foil for the Great New Zealand medium fast pace bowler. If we can just compare the first two oversee as an indication of what I mean. In Hadlee’s first over while producing a confident appeal for L.B.W., which I guess was very unlucky to be turned down, he also conceded eleven runs. And yet old Charley Chatters…”
“I’m sorry Dennis, but Hadlee is running in now to bowl to Monk Lewis. In he comes past the umpire and – Oh, my goodness, he’s bowled him, middle stump! Well, one can only imagine the black Gothic thoughts going through the Mad Monk’s mind at this moment…”

“Ah! How dark

Friday, August 27, 2010

Page #7 of “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

blood red ball pierces the skin of the air, the wind cries with the awareness of its own existence but the ball keeps coming and coming until it hits my bat mid-on and I’m running and the wind is crying…


“And the Mad Monk is home despite a good accurate throw from John Bracewell. So after the single out to mid-on Jimi Hendrix and the team’s score moves on to seven only after two balls have been bowled.”
“What’s an Irishman of the Holy Roman doin’ at a cricket game and what’s he talkin’ – thinkin’ to himself. My darlin’ Maureen Malone, I was nothing before I met you and without you I’ll return to nothin’. I must be like ashes to ashes except it’s man to man. The Malone will return to just being a man without his wise woman’s influence and love and tellin’ off.”

But the radio broke the Malone man’s talkin’ – thinkin’ with an appeal for L.B.W….

“Well that must have been close. Umpire Woodhead has turned down Hadlee’s appeal. Hadlee went up, Ian Smith went up, then the whole New Zealand team went up, but Willy Woodhead’s finger stayed down.”

“Yes Dennis, the New Zealanders will feel deprived there. Monk Lewis can count himself a lucky man to still be standing in front of those three pieces of wood.”
“Youse wanna hear how the word umpire came into being eh, well I’ll tell you. It was in India eh during the Raj, when the English were Lording it up all over the world especially in India, eh. Anyway the locals used to think they was funny, the British, as locals all over the world did. Anyway they knew how prudish the English were in public (and how prudish they weren’t in private I might add – as did locals all over the world)…”
“I’m sorry Billy but Hadlee’s just coming into bowl again, to Lewis who tries to flick the ball off his pad, but misses and the ball goes straight through to the keeper."
”I think that the delivery before last would probably have unsettled the Mad Monk somewhat and that he’ll be struggling a bit out there….”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Page #5 & 6 of “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

It eleven had been sent into bat, Malone once again looked at his programme and pondered the prospects of the two teams. Both teams were set side by side in a fashion that you could compare each player by their place in the batting order, thus …

NEW ZEALAND OUT OF IT

1) Dipak Patel Jimi Hendrix

2) Ken Rutherford Monk Lewis

3) John Wright (V.C.) Te Rauparaha (C)

4) Martin Crowe Oscar Wilde

5) Jeff Crowe Jim Morrison

6) Jeremy Coney (C) Alfred Jarry

7) Richard Hadlee Janice Joplin

8) Ian Smith Bob Marley (V.C.)

9) John Bracewell Herman Goering

10) Lance Cairns Lord Byron

11) Ewen Chatfield James Joyce

12) Martin Sneddon James K. Baxter




“Yeh, I reckon he’s gotta somehow tap into his mana, e. Seeing he’s not allowed to do it in the old way then he’ll probably try to look for some metaphorical means, maybe use Sutcliffe’s name as a mantra, who knows? Anyway he is the man …”
“I’m sorry Billy, but Richard Hadlee is about to bowl the first ball of the first over of this historical match. Jimi Hendrix takes a look around, just checking who’s where as Hadlee comes in off his short run. I wonder what’s going through Jimi’s mind as he watches one of the world’s foremost strike bowlers moving towards him …”
Hey man, wow like the white streak of power that provides the purple haze which is the universe propelling projectiles such as the red planet of Mars towards me the centre of the star-spangled galaxy there is a theory such as a reverse energy matter which interpreted into reality means if I flick this switch that’s in my hand in the opposite direction, Mars will go flyin’, I mean flyin’, back through the same galaxy of time and space and over the boundary of infinity into eternity, far out man!

“Well Dennis, Richard Hadlee will not be pleased with that. No bowler relishes the thought of being hit for six back over his head, and certainly not off the first ball of the innings.”
“Yes John, you’re quite right there. But what a shot. I think even Vivian Richards would take a bow to that. Well, we said it would be an exciting match and here we see right from the very first ball the intentions of this Out of It side.”
“Yeah, their intention is to hit the ball out of it e, heh heh …”
“Ha, ha, ha, that’s right Billy. The question is how will Hadlee counter this. I think Jeremy Coney will be a worried man, even though it really is too early to say what might happen.”
“Well here comes Hadlee in again from the Southern end, I suppose you’d call it, of Eden Park. He really looks an athlete this man as he passes the umpire now …”

Outside in the distance the wind cries as the man who is as lost as a child throws his round red ball towards my bat which I hold erect, yeah man, the wind cries because this

Monday, August 23, 2010

Page #4 of “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

stays away and we can all enjoy this tremendous, spectacular day’s cricket. In a moment I’ll run through each of the teams but at this very minute I can see Te Rauparaha toss the coin that will decide who will come into bat … Oh dear! There seems to be some sort of controversy brewing out there even before a ball has been bowled. Te Rauparaha looks very angry and he has quite a reputation for what he might do when his feathers are ruffled. I seem to recall that one time he was so furious that he went to Akaroa I think it was …. Anyway somewhere in the South Island and …”
“If I may interrupt Dennis, they seem to have taken a bat out into the middle. It looks like … Oh! How amusing, they are going to decide the toss by throwing the bat in the air and seeing whether it lands on the flat or the back of the bat.”
“I haven’t seen that done since we played at school some thirty or forty years ago. I can’t even guess what that was about, can you John?”
“Not for the life of me! Oh well, no doubt we’ll find out in due course. Now if I may, I’ll just run through the two teams and perhaps we could make a few comments on selection and some of the player’s recent form …”
“Hello, Kia ora, did you hear the one about the fella who ran a fast letter delivery service using a dog. His firm was called Kuria – heh heh.”
“Oh, hello. I’d like to welcome to the commentary box one of our guest commentators, Billy T. Ubufella. And I believe you can enlighten us on the goings on out on the pitch, Billy.”
“Yeah and gidday Dennis, John and everyone. I just been talking to John Wright and he is the man who will vice captain the New Zealand team. He said that all the huhah was about Te Rauparaha taking exception to calling a Maori head a tail and they used one of those ten cents and Jeremy Coney baby called tails. He won, but Te Rauparaha said that’s not a tail, it’s a Maori head. Anyway, he got angry looking like he might eat someone, and so the umpire says we’ll do it like when we was boys, eh boys and that’s it.”

Patrick Malone laughed openly at Billy T’s story but everyone else around him looked either concerned or confused at what was going on out in the middle. Jeremy Coney had also won the second toss and as it was announced over the speaker system that the Out of

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Page #3 of “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

the straight New Zealand eleven. All these years he had been doing all the right things. He was married, had children, a mortgage, was paying off a new car which his wife Maureen used because he refused to drive. It was that and his passion for cricket which Patrick Malone had cherished as his only expression of individuality and rebellion. However’ these feelings and thoughts were far from straightforward.
In the days when he himself had been “out of it”, he had detested cricket as the ultimate experience of the straight, elitist, middle-class whom he had despised. But he had detected a certain elitism also amongst fellow revolutionaries and anarchists which irked him. So, as a test to see how straight these so-called out-of-its were, he decided to cultivate an interest in the game of Lords. His experiment was an overwhelming success and the result was that Patrick Malone was not only a reject from the society he had rejected, but was also now not accepted by the fringe of society which previously he had accepted.
“So, here I am sitting on a wooden bench, a rug around my legs, ready to watch another game of cricket. The whole sum of my life is here with me. All that has passed in thought, word and deed is now past and here I am, one among many who have also thought, worded and deeded their way through life to this point in time and place. Curious! Absurd! Oh well, I only hope Maureen doesn’t leave me and become just another thing of the past. It would probably appear a fairly minor offence to miss a day off work to go to a cricket game or whatever, but I can see how she’s thinking. She’s afraid of my slipping back into how she thinks I was when I met her.”
At this point a roar went up from the crowd as the two captains, Jeremy Coney and Te Rauparaha, cam into the middle of the area. Eden Park was almost full by this time and the great excitement steadily built as Patrick Malone switched on his radio. Cricket commentary added an almost intangible element to the game and Malone followed every word as though the whole fate and destiny of the world hanged on them.


“Morning John, welcome once again to New Zealand and welcome listeners. Well, what an extraordinary game this should be. The sun is shining, the Eden Park crowd is sparkling. There are a few dark clouds over the Waitakere Ranges but let’s hope the rain

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Page #2 of “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

Shamrock Rest Home towards Eden Park, he reflected upon metaphoric elements which led him to go out of his way each of these work days in order to catch the train.
It was true the bus would be cheaper and quicker and he would have been able to leave his little nest a bit later. He concluded, however, that these were the very reasons he did not follow such logic. It must be an assertion of individuality, a Celtic perverseness against a puritanical system which ensnared his life in so many ways. By catching the train he could, in his own way, make his mark against the English barbarians as if were he in Ireland he might join the Republican Army!
“Ten dollars, please sir.” Patrick handed over the blue money and walked through the gates to freedom. Yes, that was the only word to describe the feeling he got from being enclosed behind fences in the midst of a multitude of people all assembled together to experience the magic of a game of cricket. He walked around until he found a programme which he purchased along with a hot pie and a can of Coca Cola, then he found a place to settle for the rest of the day. Patrick had brought with himself a small transistor radio for he enjoyed nothing more than the excitement which came from the commentary box. All the wonderful terms, the vast knowledge of the game and the witty talk from visiting commentators conspired in him to make him imagine that this must be what heaven was like.
Patrick Malone sat alone amidst the steadily building crowd. He was entranced at the variety of people around him, and like a blind person whose eyes are opened after several years of darkness, he looked and looked and looked. Eventually his curiosity of events around him diminished and his attention focussed on the programme which held all the details of the game itself. The two teams for this one day international game had never met before and whilst the New Zealand team was a familiar sight to the Eden Park ground, the Invitation Out of It Eleven were wholly new to this part of the world. Some individual names, such as James K. Baxter and Te Rauparaha, the Out of It Captain, were known locally but in the main, whilst people may have heard of individual personalities at various times, they certainly were not known here in the South Pacific as international cricketers. But Patrick Malone was spell-bound as he read over and over the names of his various heroes. He, of course, had followed each of their careers on and off the twenty-two yard pitch and unlike most of the Auckland crowd, he supported them against

Friday, August 20, 2010

Page #1 “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

“As the train pulled out of Morningside Station and swung in a curve to the left in a steady climb towards Kingsland I felt a surge of subdued excitement and illicit pleasure. It was the first illegitimate day that I had taken off work and I remembered with guilt and sheer joy my wife’s voice lying over the telephone as she told my boss that I would not be into the office that day because I had put my back out on the weekend whilst lifting some posts for a fence I was building around our home in New Lynn. It had taken a lot of persuasion and argument the night before to get her to do what she called “This immoral act”. I had worked at this government department for nearly ten years, since Maureen and I were first married and had settled down along with the dust, and had never taken a day off. “And all for a bloody game of cricket!” she had screamed in outrage and incomprehension as she envisaged the whole of our safe, secure suburban fortress crumbling into a degenerate void. “Don’t shout, dear, you’ll wake the children. It’s only one day and …” “Don’t you, don’t wake the children, me! It’s more than “only one day” and you know it. This little escapade threatens everything we’ve worked for and believed in. I thought after ten years you might have changed bit now I see … now I see … Oh! What’s the use! Neither of us could say any more that evening but I knew she would do what I wanted. So the next morning I woke not to the usual sound of the 6.30 alarm but to my oldest son and daughter coming in and kissing me goodbye before they left for school. “How come dad’s not goin’ to work” I heard Jenny say and Maureen answer, “Well your father’s not well”. Then she came into our room, the baby in one arm and my breakfast begrudgingly balancing in her free hand. “There!” she said, “And I hope ya choke on it!”. But as she walked out of the door I heard a stifled chuckle coming from her, and as I watched her back disappear she suddenly became again the beautiful young woman whom I had met at the St Patrick’s Day dance all those years ago.”
He stepped down off the train onto what passes for a platform at Kingsland Station. As the old carriages of the City Rail train moved on up towards Mt Eden he had his usual feeling of living in a world which no longer existed. For every day of the last decade when he caught the 7.30 a.m. train from New Lynn and then the 5.15 p.m. home from Auckland, he was aware that he travelled on a transport system which had been condemned to death several times over. As he, Patrick Malone, walked past the

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2-Poem #26 Auckland Revisited xxi&Disappearing Railroad Blues - Michael O'Leary

xxi

Leaving next day by car
Heading down the early night motorway
From Mangere Bridge where
We pick up a disputed art work
south-east of Bombay

We get lost on dark, unknown roads
Trying to find Paddy of Patumahoe
In the back roads near Pukekohe
Criss-crossing the Glenbrook railway line
. . . after we have a moe

We are early morning, southward bound towards Kapiti



Disappearing Railroad Blues Sonnet
(thanks to Arlo and Woody)

We caught the last 'Northerner' overnight train service
between Auckland and Wellington in response to

that particular piece of corporate vandalism. It was
appropriate that me and my friend Paddy, who

worked on the railway with me in Otago, should
take the final ticket to ride (Yes, its true, all those

old Irish songs about Paddy and Mick working on
the railway!!!). During the trip I showed my novel

'Unlevel Crossings' to the train crew, and they really
loved it, as part of it describes the overnight journey

from Auckland to Wellington. All the train crew
including the engine drivers, signed it for me

so I have a lasting memento of the event and another
cross-over between working class and literary realities

Monday, August 16, 2010

2-Poem #25 Auckland Revisited xix&xx - Michael O'Leary

xix

Next day we go downtown
Upping the ante above the city
In the Sky Tower
Walking on glass and losing
on the Black Jack

The view is almost as good
As being up Mount Eden
Or Mount Albert, when
I lived out west we would play
. . . cricket there, then

Zoom around town, chauffeured in a Mercedes by Benito



xx

On the Devonport Ferry
The waves are choppy
As we watch Auckland
City recede into
the distance

My sister picks us up as we get off the bus
At Takapuna. After dinner
She drives back through thinner
Evening traffic to Ponsonby
. . . and the inner

City looks bright and rain washed

Monday, August 9, 2010

2-Poem #24 Auckland Revisited xvii&xviii - Michael O'Leary

xvii

A city of empty containers
Stacked several stories high
Has hidden
Nay, obliterated
old Tamaki Station

Where my own life was prematurely
Almost ended, when I was a child
Running free and wild
I pulled ahead of my again pregnant mother
. . . and fell onto the rails

As the guard gave the signal for the driver to go



xviii

Following the route where a cursed highway
Will no longer go
Through G.I., Meadowbank, and looking
Up, I see the haunts of Orakei
of my boyhood

The horses still run
In paddocks by the old school
We travel the rail causeway, past Parnell Pool
And the bay of Judges, where
. . . we kept cool

All day, all summer long

Sunday, August 8, 2010

2-Poem #23 Auckland Revisited xv&xvi - Michael O'Leary

xv

But there are some compensations
Accompanying the new order
Greenlane is a station again
No longer just a coal pit
as we head rail-south

Past the industrial Penrose pineapple
And long-redundant Southdown works
A still-standing shell, the train jerks
To a halt, waiting for a cross-over shunt at Westfield
. . . which lurks

Just beyond the Otahuhu works as the points change



xvi

Because this is an express
It is a clear run to Papakura
Through lazy Mangere
And Papatoetoe and Manurewa
then another changeover back

And this time we take the points
At Westfield, into the Orakei Deviation
With a certain sense of elation
I am homeward bound, I wish I was
. . . the source of creation

So as to recreate the past and its sorrows

Friday, August 6, 2010

2-Poem #22 Auckland Revisited-xiii&xiv Michael O'Leary

xiii

A forest of houses
Made by a forest of trees
Has sprung up between
Henderson and Ranui since
my last visit

A miracle has occurred also
They have turned wine
Into art, which is fine
Although slightly run-down
. . . Corban’s estate in time

Has become Asid-Free and Art Gallery-fied



xiv

Quick turnaround at the bunker
Station of Waitakere
Then the train follows back
Whence it came
the New North Road

Bridge is being doubled in reverse
And old Newmarket Station is worse
For wear and now un-used
. . . its like some curse

Has descended, even at Remuera

Thursday, August 5, 2010

2-Poem #21 Auckland Revisited-xi&xii Michael O'Leary

xi

Double-tracking to the west
From Parimoana memories
Across the just out of sight
Bridge, Morningside where
gum trees glisten

And graffiti gangs battle it out
And the poet’s penis bursts
Through the roof, what’s worse
Is this pain in here, too much of
. . . nothing hurts

Says the New York Subway copy-cats



xii

Mount Albert to Avondale
Then we are heading down into real
Wild Westie country, where
A jokes a joke for all that
then its no joke

But a cruel irony. One job I had was
Writing the history of the cemetery
Out here on the hill at Waikumete
Where my mother, father, and sister
. . . lie under a tree

But none have stones to say which one

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2-Poem #20 Auckland Revisited ix&x - Michael O'Leary

ix

Casting a glance down-hill
Towards Young’s Lane with its Bells
And Lights and the train’s Hooter
Blasts as it backs along
the embankment

Before heading westward
Stopping at the new Boston Road Station
Next to the prison, where, with some indignation
I recall visiting my father, who out of a certain
. . . sense of desperation

Stole money. But the train moves on and away



x

Eden Terrace factories
Show their back view, like
They forget I used to work there
Making stove elements every day, plus
two nights a week

And Saturday mornings over-time
Also four nights night-school
No wonder I’m such a fool
- the back of Kingsland shops
. . . where every tool

Imaginable is employed by track-gang workers

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2-Poem #19 Auckland Revisited vii&viiii - Michael O'Leary

vii

Past the old university goes
The silver-tongued linx
Where we used to sit in B28
Thinking about those B52s
over Vietnam

Now they’re over Afghanistan
Dropping their liberating load
On Mohamed, not Charlie
So it seems fairly
Apt that Khyber Pass
. . . is clearly

The next stop after Symonds Street



viii

Old Newmarket, where Sharpo
The silent voice of Marxism, meets
Bland footpath commercialism
Remembering waiting for Dado
outside the pub

In back-streets of memory
My mind now wanders
And in those thoughts, wonders
How things might have been if . . .
. . . ah! Life squanders

And I’ve got another train to catch

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2-Poem #18 Auckland Revisited-v&vi Michael O'Leary

v

Sitting in Old Ivan’s cafĂ©
Now new not-Ivan’s
Everything is the same
But totally unrecognisable
especially the food

And the wine. What! Wine! In Ivan’s!!!
Oh, this could never be
Where’s me old cup of tea?
And mince on toast
. . . dear me

What happened to the Revolution?



vi

Not far along the road
Where Herman painted other artists
And wrote ‘In Praise of Koba’
In Margaret Street to be precise
number eight

Once offered to me for two thousand dollars
Nowadays tarted up, gentrified
Going along for the ride
The Bohemian new rich
. . . now decide

Good art by its price tag