Stanzas: Shane Vaughan

¨Sing a song about rain like it’s the first time I’ve heard the lyrics¨

 

Who are you? Where are you from? What are you doing?

I am Shane, I’m from Dooradoyle, Limerick. In the last four years I’ve been up and down a bit between Limerick and Cork for work. I do a bit of part-time living between the two cities. It has its own challenges but also its own rewards, as everything has. What do I do? Mostly writing, the most part being poetry, stories, plays. I had a play on last year and it raised funds for the Cork Simon Community; it was all about homelessness. Anything to do with words. I love words. I love the English language.

Where do you find your inspirations? For your poetry or for this poem in particular?

That particular poem is an investigation into when you meet someone and you fall madly in love with them and you bear your whole soul to them and you tell each other all of your secrets and then you break up and then you meet someone else and you bear your soul to them and tell each other all of your secrets and then you break up and how the process of bearing yourself and repairing yourself impacts on the body physically. The idea of trepanning is when you open up yourself to someone you literally cut a hole into yourself to let them in and the idea of scabbing then is repairing that process again and how often can you do that until the wound is a scar. That’s the idea. A lot of my poetry is about relationships and how people interact with one another especially through the medium of love. I would call myself a love poet.

What’s your favourite song about rain?

There’s a great song by a guy called Hashfinger. The song is called B5. He’s mad. He remixes loads of old songs and turns them into mad electronic pieces. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite song but I would say it really hit me deeply. There is a repeating lyric in it, “the sound of rain, upon my window frame,” and it does that for a while. Every time I listen to it I imagine myself looking out at rain on the window coming down and all that stereotypical artsy stuff.

Why do you want to hear a song about rain like it’s the first time you’ve heard the lyrics?

That particular line from the poem is kind of harking towards “I’m singing in the rain” and it’s this idea that you can take what happens to you in life in two ways: One it’s raining and I’m stuck in it and I’m wet and I’m miserable, or you can sing in the rain. Every time you accept and allow yourself to be happy in a negative situation it’s like the first time. You’re not forcing happiness you’re choosing it. Be happy because it’s a good thing, not because you have to.

Are you a fan of Wet Wet Wet?

No. No.

Do you think Ireland is wet enough already?

Ireland is very wet, especially Limerick. I think we are the rainiest place in Ireland. Something like 330 days of rain a year? I don’t understand why we haven’t built a dome yet. Like the Milk Market, let’s do that for the city. Let’s be the tented city.

Except for today when it is ironically sunny.

Exactly, it’s laughing at us.

Is the rain happy or sad?

The rain itself is ambiguous, how you interpret it is the thing.

Do you prefer the sun or the rain?

I like the rain when I’m looking at it, I like the sun when I’m in it.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written?

I’ve written a story about spiders in a bottle, about two young boys who go on a hunt for spiders, put them in bottles of 7Up and freeze them. So a homage to the violence present in most childhood experiences. I’m a happy person I swear! I like to bore holes in my head and capture spiders. Don’t judge a writer on his writing.

 

Trepanning 

She takes the blade to my scalp and lopes off a thick bundle of hair, win-

cing, as each strand falls like off-yellow worms against the carpet swamp,

then scrapes at the roots with rough edge until a patch forms, my tonsurette,

and she can cut deep lines, crevices, an untidy hole, until the floor is covered

in red and blond, little worms swimming in drunkenness. And we wait. ‘til

memories come and she scoops them with closed palms like a child to water

until thirsty no more, drops them to the floor where they puddle and we can

pull on our boots, hers blue mine red, and splash like I’ve forgotten how,

sing a song about rain like it’s the first time I’ve heard the lyrics. Until later,

when we curl up in bed and I bleed all over her, ‘til a crust comes to form a

scab, to be picked by someone else’s nails.

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