Page 1

Issue 1

Cover illustration: William Lynch / Crabwolf

Issue 1

“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.�

contents 2


21 Shake Your Bon-Bon



22 Found


Dublin According to

24 Piracy



26 Hot Sprockets



28 Dublin Live

10 Dumpster Diving

29 Gems

12 Don Fidense

30 A Child’s Story

14 Players

31 Hotels

19 Street Fashion

32 In the Gutter Laid

20 Where are the Irish Films

34 Eye Candy





Staff Editors Lucy Smyth Katie Smyth Art Director Tom Loughlin Illustration William Lynch Robert Maple Daniel Almeroth James Ari King Jason Kerley Fashion Editor Naomi Beauvoir Black Fashion Photographer Toni Ireton

Contributors Paul Lynch Susie Morall Alexander Davis Kathi Burke Chris Coupland Adam Chevis James Ranson Hugh McCafferty Eoin McGuirk Helen Flannagan Freddie Vincent Tom Mead Vinny McEntee

Thanks for picking us up! Hello and welcome to the first ever issue of Limehouse Magazine. We’re here for YOU. We want to stuff your brains like a pheasant in your granny’s attic. No brain will go un-stuffed! Our names are Lucy and Katie. We are two sisters who came up with a very unoriginal but novel idea of collecting artists, designers, illustrators, musicians, typists, whatever - who want to show their work on a wider scale. As you’ve noticed this magazine is free, and as you may not have noticed, it’s monthly. We have created Limehouse Magazine out of our mutual love for all things free and entertaining. We believe that there are never enough free things in the world. Over the past while, many of the free magazines that we used to love have vanished, leaving no trace. We hope our little magazine will fill the gaping void! So come on in to the Limehouse and get your reading shoes on. Enjoy issue one, and we’ll see you next month! Katie and Lucy xx

Photo: Karl McCaughey


Dublin, according to... Burger King, 12am. We were stuck into some chilli cheese bites when we noticed an old lady staring at us. She had a Tesco bag full of coffee jars and was sitting at a table beside us. We thought it polite to smile and say hello. What ensued was a full-blown conversation about coffee, ginger nuts, fags and the old days. Words & Photos: Lucy & Katie Smyth Her name is Maria, and she is amazing. She has lived in Dublin all her life, and my does she have a tale or two. This fast food rendezvous intrigued us. We drunkenly decided that we were henceforth going to walk the streets of Dublin and chat to older people about Dublin for the next few weeks. We woke up with dry mouths and the remains of chillied cheese in-between our teeth. During the day we remembered Maria, the salvation of our night. What could easily have been a ship in the night, we decided to grab on and go with our new idea (drunk talk or no drunk talk) and see where it would lead us.


After procrastinating on it for a few weeks, we went out armed with a note pad (by which we mean receipts left in Katie’s bag) and a Polaroid camera on our mission to find out if all the over 60’s ladies and gentlemen in Dublin had such interesting stories to tell – and guess what - they do. Well the six that we rooted out anyway. Meet Katherine, Isabella, Patrick, Marie, Adie, Margaret and John. All who have seen Dublin through some lows, highs, and all the stuff in-between. We hope you find them as fascinating as we do!

THE WOMEN: The sixties were definitely the best. It was then that men were men and women knew how to rock concealer lipstick. Dances reigned supreme, and “if he had a bike you were sorted.” Marie, born in Westland Row, who we found with two friends Addie and Margaret in the Ilac centre, was all about the dances. “ In the Arcadia (dance hall) in Bray, there was a balcony you could go to with you fella for a club milk - or to look at fellas if you didn’t have one. The fellas would maybe have a few pints before they went in. Women didn’t go to the pub, only the slutty ones did! The fellas dressed up for the dances – just as much as the girls. They’d look like they were dummies out of a Burton’s window. At the dance, if you didn’t like a fella that was chatting you up, you’d say ‘Ask my pal, I’m sweatin’. Mary Quant, black and white dresses, pale makeup, we all looked like bleedin’ zombies. We were coming out of the 50’s and times were getting better – got married, went to New York, Arcadia on a Saturday night. Saw Tom Jones, The Rightous Brothers, scouts hall Donnybrook, Anglasie rugby clubs (for the posh ones), Tennis club dances – it was completely different!”. Is chivalry dead? She thinks so. “When fellas go out today they look like they’re going anywhere – they don’t put the effort in”. Adie and Margaret nod in agreement.

Left to right: Marie, Addie & Margaret

“At the dance, if you didn’t like a fella that was chatting you up, you’d say ‘Ask my pal, I’m sweatin.’”


Dublin, according to...

THE WOMEN: Katherine and Isabella, two older ladies who have lived in the inner city mourn the old dances. “I didn’t dance the horn pipe, I danced with my feet. I just danced” (Katherine). “Was a singer, I just sang” (Isabella). Oh, and Dublin is most certainly not a safe place anymore. “I wouldn’t walk around now a night I wouldn’t” (Isabella). Katherine agrees. They speak about the poverty of 50’s Dublin. “All we had was the whiskey” (Isabella). Favourite dance venues? “Wouldn’t know, I was young”. Favourite song? “They tried to tell us we’re too young” Isabella gives us a rendition with gusto.

Left to right: Katherine & Isabella

“All we had was the whiskey.”

Phrases and words that we feel should be phased back into our lives for everyday use: Words: Alan Smyth 12

Pox Bottle: An insult along the same lines as “knacker”, sometimes used as a derogatory term for Northsider. One might conjure the image of a drug using flat tenant upon hearing the word. To have a straightener: To settle ones differences through fisticuffs.

Goo–ter: A crude term for female privates notably used in the film “The Commitments”. Ya flute: A term used to insult a foolish person by comparing them to male genitalia. Ya Budgie: A term of endearment.

THE MEN: Patrick aka seven drunken nights from Grogan’s pub on South William Street where he had been drinking for years, was born in the city “I was born in Dublin because I wanted to be close to my mother.” He left Dublin during the early sixties and headed to London. “Arriving in London was like arriving on a different planet. I left Dublin because I had to get out there, I never realised until I left how much of an island mentality I had. England seemed to be a place of freedom at the time, it seemed like a more accepting and open place.” He went down south to Bournemouth to work in a hotel. “It was like I was on a permanent holiday, we would work a morning shift and then in the evening come back and work an evening shift - the middle of the day was ours, to do what we wanted. I was surprised when I got there to see that 80 percent of the staff working in the hotel were Irish, and had all left for the same reasons I had.” He also spent time in Holland and Cornwall. After years, he began to feel the pangs of homesickness and returned. “Home is where the heart is – didn’t know it for a very long time. I was wrapped up in so many people and so many people were wrapped up with me. I had nothing when I left and I had nothing when I came home, but it was home”. We didn’t ask about dances, it didn’t seem his scene. Patrick (aka Seven Drunken Nights)

“I had nothing when I left and I had nothing when I came home, but it was home.”

To folly someone: To follow someone, perhaps to a public house, who knows. “I’ll folly you up to the pub after me dinner”. Smell o’ benjy off ya: You smell somewhat similar to a pile of shit mixed with body odour.

We only met a few people that day, but Dublin seems like a completely different place from the one they grew up in and it will become a completely different place again, and again, and again. These are the people that shaped the city we live in today, so boil the kettle, whip out the ginger nuts, and if you have a few hours to spare, turn your ipod off, you’re in for a treat. These are the people that truly know we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Gob-daw: Somewhat similar to gobshite, but perhaps even more dumb. Mainly used by culchies. Spoofer: One whose stories are rather questionable. The scratcher: Ones place of sleep.

To go on the hop: To practice absenteeism from one’s school in order to pursue other activities such as sitting in a park smoking. Americans would say “play hooky”. You would yeah: You wouldn’t dare do such a thing. 13

At christmas she said to me “I am still learning�



13 November 1912 - 29 March 2009

Photos: Tomas Tuboly

PATTERNS Left foot, right foot, seventeen steps. The sun makes metal shine, I squint to avoid it, take a left. Twenty steps down the stairs; grey stone, slight dust. Someone screams, there is the wheeze of an bike wheel that needs oiling, a fire alarm, screeching brakes and the sun hangs & lurks. A mass of footsteps behind me, ascending. I hear them flee. My eyesight works in flashes, my hand shakes, cigarette smoke. Words: Paul Lynch Illustration: Naomi Beauvoir Black Descent. Hospital rooms full of wilting flowers, tasteless food. I watched the snow from my window, the seasons change, my beard trimmed. Gloved orderlies and doctors. Held back. Morphine, fentanyl, demerol, diladaud. My mother talked and left. I had a nurse bathe me, she washed under my balls and stared into my eyes. She was night-shift, mostly, and I would talk to her about what happened. That is, she would ask and I would repeat myself. Days blur. I used to be a smack head, I told her. She said she didn’t believe me, despite the cracked shivers down my arms, hangdog expression, IV drip. Trains are a novelty. Down from the street, money jangles in my pocket. We watch the city drift past in broken pentameter, thoughts jumble. I read my father’s books- war, cowboys, communists, cliché. All it is is all it is, here’s my stop. Tickets, cigarettes. We go to meetings and chain-smoke at the steps at the rear. Coffee, biscuits. We all look fucked. Sarah, her name is, she is relentless, never stops talking. The youngest. I am second. Broken syntax. Sarah skips meetings halfway through and I follow her, four zone travelcards, we skip through the alleys and eyes squint shut. Her hand is cold to the touch, skin sickly. Anaemic white. Drink with me, she says, and her hand shakes and I watch her eyes dart. She’s afraid we were followed; her words overlap. Blonde hair, black eyes, smudged make-up. Breathe. I drink orange juice, vodka. She paid. There was an intervention, I told the group. Metal folding chairs, grey tile, ammonia scent. My teeth stain yellow, prolonged use. My uncles and a cousin had swept me from my haunts and sandwiched me in the rear of the car. Talk radio. The loneliness of the late night caller. Detox, psych ward, parental supervision.

I am 22. So Sarah drinks and she has her flat, trust fund bank account. We fuck on the floor, all rugs and floorboards, I pin down her arms above her head. Impersonal nouns. She has no books or music. I hear the taps run and she fixes me a drink. It’s dusk as I leave. My mother works nights and I enter an empty house; the pipes rattle and talk. My childhood bedroom, the branches of the garden tree shadowed like claws and hawks. Nicotine breath expels greyish blue. I still remember how it felt. First time, I was fifteen. Hadn’t even had sex yet, barely even touched a tit. It was Michelle’s house, year younger, a complete slut. I’d gone there with a friends. I just snorted the dust from a mirror, left in a bubble. Lets not glorify or romanticize, that’s all it was. My dreams are fitful, I wake jumpy, 4am. I was a strange child. The enchanted boy, my grandmother called me. Sadness and boredom stayed in the quiet rooms where I lived alone with shadows. Sometimes it felt like they had taken me for my father, that the right corner of shadow would find him somewhere, rolling his dice between fingers. But the winter was framed in frozen windows and the light marched along barren hilltops. Sometimes his nearness was like a hand on my shoulder but I was always spinning on my heels too slowly, always missing. Sarah is topless with her cock in my mouth in the sterile bathrooms on the second floor. I don’t know what else this building is used for, with it’s succession of closed doors and polished floor tiles but we scamper up the stairs like idiotic children, out of breath and pressed for time. It rains outside and I hear it against the windows. We take meetings and trains, left foot right foot. Stairwells and alleys.



Lost Art of

Dumpster Diving To the untrained eye it might have looked like just another piece of junk on the streets of Dublin. But to me it was not only a tempting, completely salvageable and rather fine looking end table - it was also a challenge. Words & Photo: Susie Morrell

It was daring me, in its silent, wooden way, to cross the road and take it. It dredged up inside me my long ago buried inner junk collector. The thrifty home decorator who once seemed to stumble upon a new gem every day during those poor ‘n happy years spent in that infamous capital of garbage-as-art, New York City. Arm chairs, framed works of abstract art, wooden fruit crates that had yet to be infested. The urge to run across the street and claim that abandoned piece of potential enjoyment was almost too much to resist. My companion, who is of a different mind-set, held me off with his eloquent summing up of the piece: “It’s a piece of shit.” Sure, it was covered in deep scratches and missing a leg, but it could have easily been brought back to life. He’s from Dublin, though. So, he just doesn’t get it. I come from a long line of American dumpster divers, a group of keen eyed treasure hunters whose thrifty abilities to fill a home with the original, the quirky, the one of a kind seem to still be a ways off from catching on in this part of the world. I grew up in a world of yard sales, consignment shops and “free piles” (those tantalizing little pyramids of books, firewood and occasional appliances left by the side of the road for astute passersby). My mother is the queen of stylish garbage. She carries around business cards declaring the title of junk collector,


but that’s just fancy talk for dumpster diver. She has long known the value, in terms of style as much as frugality, of secondhand goods (which often sport posh adjectives like “vintage” and “antique”). And this priceless wisdom she has duly passed on to me. Since moving to Dublin, however, my dumpster diving proclivities have been severely curtailed. There is minor junk appreciation in modern Ireland. Example: it’s apparently socially acceptable now to buy your wedding gown from Oxfam. And certainly the Irish are just as keen as anyone to fork over big PayPal money for any mothball infused clothing they can tell friends is “vintage.” In fact, Irish folk seem to be almost as obsessed with eBay as their American third cousins. Since the dawning of that wondrous online flea market, my mom – along with millions of others – has made a handsome amount of pocket money reclaiming the unwanted and the overlooked, the undervalued and the recklessly thrown out. Clothing, home wares, furniture, collectibles, you name it. If it’s not something that she particularly wants sitting on her own knickknack shelf, there’s always a happy bidder nearby on the interweb. As they say, one gal’s garbage is another’s retro treasure!

“why, when the rarity does occur when I see something of value on a Dublin street, do I suddenly feel a little ashamed to take it? What’s happened to me?”

Given the current state of the economy (read: shitty), you’d think people would be embracing junk culture with open, vintageclad arms. Still, people in this town seem to have some sort of problem with dragging dusty junk from skips into their own living rooms. (All you need is a little Dettol, a lick of paint or some new upholstery.) Is it Ireland’s impoverished past that has put its people in a position to vehemently look down their noses at secondhand goods or the art of junk hunting? I once furnished an entire Manhattan shoebox apartment with roadside finds (mixed with a selection of Craigslist’s finest to class it up) and believe me, it was quite the swanky pad. All my friends and family seem to be on the same garbage wavelength as me. Is it an American thing? There are glimmers of hope in the rising popularity of local, junk-positive online groups like and Jumbletown. But I don’t have a car, so where are all the abandoned, easily accessible bookshelves and ottomans? And why, when the rarity does occur when I see something of value on a Dublin street, do I suddenly feel a little ashamed to take it? What’s happened to me? Perhaps it’s because these incidents are so rare that I’ve allowed myself to assimilate enough to perpetuate that homeless-person-rifling-through-the-bin stigma attached to salvaged decor. In New York, all walks of life from the homeless to

the gainfully employed to the NYU student make fine use of the items left on the street. If my friends and I couldn’t drag it up five flights, we would at least enjoy it on the spot, take some photos and give some transient meaning to the refuse. We once watched a beautiful summer sunset and made a friend or two whilst perched on a velvet couch left inexplicably on the corner of Bowery and Elizabeth. If not always suitable or hygienic enough for one’s home (we do have standards), street treasures can be a source of fleeting amusement. And that’s just as valuable to society. Here in Ireland, we need to embrace dumpster diving in all its glory. If anything good comes out of our economic woes (it certainly isn’t pop music), it might be the rising acceptance of reclaimed garbage. Perhaps more people will get onboard and start leaving decent junk around for people like me to rehome. Everyone stuck in that murky realm between student living and home ownership should turn their attention away from the flimsy, anemic wares of Argos and bring it back to the streets. It’s good for not only the wallet and the environment, but more importantly for the soul. If that table is still there when I get home, it’s mine. And I’m keeping my eyes peeled for the matching wobbly chairs.


nd I)

f me a o n io t a r a p e s e h (or t n: Rob r Davis Illustratio Words: Alexande



have always have been plagued by an unnerving sense that I am alone in this world. The people that surround me appear to be merely a part of the mise-en-scene, decoration. Only now, however, do I realise that my loneliness was a gift and my solitude an illusion. I awoke yesterday having completely lost my sense of time. I could find neither my watch nor my phone and the light outside made no suggestion. Somehow consumed by my new-found sense of timelessness, I left my house without purpose and began walking. No more than a mile from my home, a man in a fluorescent jacket passed me riding a children’s bicycle, his knees scuffing the handlebars with every turn; undoubtedly a gentleman with, at the time, a seemingly futile purpose. The sight of this man made me sick and acted as a catalyst for an involuntary left turn down a narrow street toward town. Once there my sickness was exacerbated by people doing. Doing shopping, doing jobs, doing dry conversation and irrelevant tasks, the determining of which was surely not of their own creation. I detested their ignorance but more so than this I detested the fact that I considered myself worthy of looking down on them. Was I contributing to all this?


Anxiety now beginning to make its presence known, I decided to take up position in the doorway of a derelict café where I could detach myself from the ludicrous performances before me, per chance a greater power might be watching and associate me with these fools. My eyes were suddenly drawn to a line of text written across the top of the door frame in letters so small I questioned the chances of my having seen them at all; the line read: ‘Put it on the page for Dave.’ The words irritated me, they made no sense and I had my suspicions that they had been written by an idiot. With the crude pencil letters now staining my retinas I felt something inside me leave, or arrive, it’s hard to tell. I returned home in an attempt to escape the anxiety that now shadowed me so perfectly I became unsure as to whether it had even been there in the first place. Once inside I proceeded with a brief inspection of all my belongings, realising that they were the only things that could confirm I was me. Jeans; jeans that I bought with holes in them, they were impractical. A magazine; I didn’t recognise the woman on the front cover and neither did I care to learn who she was. I noticed the television in passing but decided to leave it out of the inspection, it spoke for itself and required no evaluation, and besides I dreaded the idea that it might have any say as to who I was. In the bathroom, Aloe Vera

gel, why? For a brief moment the crude pencil letters pushed their way to the front of my mind before being pulled back and moved aside by my increasingly dominating angst. What was the time? I heard a knock at the door and my anxiety was gone, unfortunately making space for the pencil letters to creep forward more cautiously this time in attempt to steal my attentions. ‘Put it on the page for Dave.’ I answered the door. Before me stood a gentleman bulging with such confidence it made me itch; a name tag that hugged to his acrylic suit jacket read ‘Don Fidense’. My gaze drifted down to his side where I saw a vacuum cleaner, the likes of which I had never seen before. It was foul and irrelevant but none the less I was already considering a monthly payment plan. I invited him in a second after he entered, then followed his lead to the kitchen. I watched as he made himself comfortable in a wooden chair at the table, apparently more so than I had ever realised was possible; I envied his posture. I won’t transcribe our conversation since it would be impertinent to anyone who could appreciate my scenario. The fact is this gentleman had come to visit me, as he had done so many, with a view to sell me a product that was momentarily essential but ultimately a tragic waste. I questioned what made

his hoover any different to the rest, despite knowing I was already yearning to try it out. He told me that HIS hoover would suck a hole in the air before me, through which I could climb to see what is on the other side. Considering this a convincing pitch I signed a cheque for a sum that I no longer remember and watched him leave. I plugged in the hoover; what was the time? It has now been thirteen hours since I climbed through the hole that I made in my kitchen wall with the hoover that I purchased from Don Fidense. I know this because I checked the clock on my phone prior to stepping through it. I didn’t find it down the side of the sofa. Here, I am a visitor in my own skin, uninvited and alone. The world is exactly as it was before except for one aspect – I am detached. The smiles are the same, as are the frowns, but unlike before I watch them as a spectator, separate from the synergy of interaction. I crave tedium and the inconsequential comforts of my television and resent the purity of knowledge. Tomorrow an artist will unveil a “masterpiece” no more significant than a man on a child’s bicycle wearing a fluorescent jacket, and the pretence of both these images will be equal to one another. I will not be there to see either.




the Secret

the Boyfriend

Lover the


Photos: Toni Ireton Models: James Kavanagh, Frank & Isabelle Curran from First Options Modelling Agency Styling: Naomi Beauvoir Black Hair: Louise McMahon Makeup: Naomi O’Callaghan Runner: Rob Shaw


“fashion is a form of ugliness so intolarable that we have to alter it every 6 months� Oscar Wilde

James wears: Lyle and Scott t-shirt from Urban Outfitters, levi 501 vintage jeans from Harlequin, Pink heart glasses from Urban Outfitters, Braces from Retro, Nike air max from Size, white socks from Pennys.

Isabelle wears: Pink top from Urban Outfitters, Acid wash Denim jacket from wild chils, Levi 501 from Harlequin, Nike air mas from Size, white socks from Pennys and Necklace from Urban Outfitters.

Frank wears: Pink Fred Perry Polo from Urban Outfitters, Levi 501from Harlequin, pink heart glasses from Urban Outfitters, Braces from Retro, Nike airmax from Size and white socks from Pennys



“a man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her�

Frank and James wear: Animal print jumpers from Urban Outfitters, Levi 501 from Harlequin, Nike air max trainers from size Isabelle wears: Dress with skirt over it from Urban Outfitters. All necklaces from Urban Outfitters


Shot on location @

Nightclub, South William St, Dublin

Oscar Wilde

Isabelle wears: Grey dress and tights from Urban Outfitters and Nike air max from Size, white socks from Pennys. James & Frank wear: Check Fred Perry shirts and navy Fred Perry shorts both from Urban Outfitters, braces from Retro, Nike airmax from Size, socks from Pennys and flowers from Moore street

Thank you to Wild Child vintage clothing, Temple Bar who will soon be moving to George’s Street Arcade


Street Fashion&Barometer

Name: Harry (21) Where he shops most: Circus (when I can afford it) & Zara Hidden gem/fav place: “My friend lives on Fade St and I love her house” Describe your style: “Autumnal”

Name: Tia (31) Where she shops most: Se Si Hidden gem/fav place: Cafe irie (who would have guessed?) Describe your style: “Funky and free, i hate formal clothes!”

Name: Barry (25) Where he shops most: Topshop, Rusty zip (belfast) & Eager Beaver Hidden gem/fav place: The Ivy gardens Describe your style: “Cheap, hippy”

Name: Sinead & Sindead Where they shops most: Urban Outfitters & Topshop Hidden gem/fav place: The park Describe your style: “Random!”

Name: Gavin (26) Where he shops most: Flea markets, charity shops & House of Fraser Hidden gem/fav place: Rosies pub, Harolds cross Describe your style: “Outdoor revival!”

Name: Nomi (20) Where she shops most: Marks & Spencers Hidden gem/fav place: Phoenix park bandstand Describe your style: “nancy spungen at a Salt n Pepa concert”

FLESH-COLOURED TIGHTS: No, they don’t make you look thinner. Just odd and slightly shiny. Like a porpoise. Or an Eel. And there’s nothing sexy about a sea-creature. Especially one wearing sandals. RED MARY JANES: So, you hold tea-parties and draw pictures of birds. You’re a needlework enthusiast and you knew all the words at the secret Belle and Sebastian show you attended in a tea-dress you found at a church jumble sale. Not twee, just embarrassing.   BARACK OBAMA T-SHIRTS: You’re middle aged. You’re European. You’re white. You’re balding. You wear hiking boots to work on casual-friday and think your politically opinionated t-shirt will get you the admiration you deserve from the Intern. NOBODY KNOWS I’M A LESBIAN: As worn by straight girls. Oh, you’re being controversial. Right.

HAREM PANTS: A gift from the fashion-gods that makes wearing period pants a statement rather than a nessecity. GINGER HAIR: 2009’s answer to The Little Black Bob. Will be cool for approximately 3 more months until you’re elbowing over-zealous fashionistas in the Stargazer queue.   SEQUINS: Some say it’s a display of bad taste to flaunt your sparklers during an economic downturn. We say they look just swell with denim and sneakers.   ANIMAL JUMPERS ON BOYS: There’s something peculiar about a boy in his Aunt’s wolf-print sweater from 1984 that makes you want to do snogging with him about 5 times more than usual.


Where are the Irish Films? Ireland can hardly be said to lack creativity when it comes to storytelling. A land of celtic fables and folk stories, Ireland has produced some of the greatest writers and poets of the last three hundred years. From Yeats to Joyce, or Samuel Beckett to Oscar Wilde, the Green Isle has given the literary world some of the most imaginative, emotional studies of the human condition. Words: Chris Coupland Nor can it be said that the country isn’t photogenic. Anyone who has ventured across the Irish landscape will be able to describe the stunning vistas from The Giant’s Causeway to the mountains and jagged peninsulas of County Kerry. It can boast countryside of captivating beauty and variety. Yet, despite its obvious storytelling talent and the rich location possibilities, Ireland has failed to provide the film industry with any significant contribution to cinema. There are no Irish masterpieces, no Citizen Kane, no L’Atalante, no Potempkin to call its own. No master directors who came along and changed the game, nothing the rest of the world saw and picked up on and wondered “why aren’t we making films like that?” Not wanting for a second to imply Ireland hasn’t gifted the industry with some very talented individuals. Daniel Day-Lewis, Fiona Shaw, Michael Gambon are just a few of the great actors to have wowed cinema-goers in seminal roles in Hollywood movies. But rarely do they ply their craft wholly in Ireland, utilising an Irish director, Irish locations, and Irish funding. Even Martin McDonagh -responsible for several award-winning plays set in Ireland and writer-director of Six Shooter, perhaps the first (and only) Irish short film to win an Academy Award- was born in London and buggered off to Belgium to shoot ‘In Bruges’ with Colin Farrell and Brendan Glesson. Take Hunger, the Bafta and Camera D’or winning film made last year dealing with the 1981 hunger strikes. The story of men willing to die for their cause; redefining themselves from terrorists to political prisoners was insightful, cinematic and offered perhaps the two oddest pictorial delights of the year: a shit-covered wall being slowly cleaned, and a long take of urine being mopped up in a hallway. It was widely critically acclaimed,


topping Sight and Sound’s 2008 list as the best film of the year by a considerable margin. Yet Ireland can hardly claim this film as its own. It was made by the London-born Steve McQueen, and funded not just by Irish bodies, but Film4, Blast! Films and a Welsh Creative fund. A worrying trend when you realise many successful releases dealing with Irish issues, are made by English directors. Bloody Sunday by Paul Greengrass, and Ken Loach’s The Wind that Shakes The Barley, being two more recent successes that spring to mind. You can take little comfort in the knowledge that both films denigrate the English in some way. The problem isn’t unsalvageable though. Ireland has talent, scenery, and great tax breaks for filmmakers. It just doesn’t have anyone willing to invest heavily in any kind of industry there. It’s a common problem. Just as many Hollywood films, like James Bond or Gladiator are actually shot using almost wholly British crews, Ireland has found a similar market by providing financial help and technical assistance to smaller countries wanting to expand their own film industry. The danger here is that in reality you are not being used for your intrinsic Irish qualities, nor are you acting as Celtic inspiration to drive a film’s story. The Irish countryside is being used to replicate whatever the filmmaker is after. A forest in Bavaria, A tundra in Middle Earth. The landscape becomes a generic boilerplate background to another insipid love story. If Ireland is really going to have a voice in world cinema, it needs to grab hold of all available assets, and produce quality home-grown films that promote Ireland not only as a country of variety and quality, but to step beyond a parody of its own stereotype. Because without a cinematic Identity, a country will always struggle to have a global identity. And the whole country is poorer for it.


Bon-Bon* * In which we visit Dublin’s oldest Spanish restaurant, La Paloma

After a week of college and general boredom, I was anxious to get out of the house on Friday evening and treat myself to a meal out with my best friend, and favourite lady, Megan. After much indecision, I decided to set the date for La Paloma, Dublin’s oldest Spanish restaurant, set in Asdill’s Row, Temple Bar. Words: Kathi Burke Upon entering, I immediately noticed that Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca was being played, which was a bit unfitting. Actually, as the night went on, I came to the shocking realisation that his entire album was on repeat – Shake Your Bon-Bon being the highlight. The walls were a lemon colour, adorned with a collection of framed Spanish posters and odd images of matadors, flamenco dancers and seafood. The room is full of little touches; tacky blackboards, postcards from Spanish tourist areas, and wrought iron wheels with lights in them. What stands out when you first walk in is a low, whitewashed wall which separates the dining room in two – a cute feature I thought – trying to squeeze a Spanish Villa into Temple Bar is a pretty hard feat. Being the poor student that I am, I ordered from the Early Bird menu (€13.95 for starter and Entrée), but as I read it I was surprised to see a range of Tapas on offer for a starter: a range of garlic and tomato breads, there were mussels in vinegar, Crab in Almond milk, and several Chorizo dishes. For my starter, I chose an Orange and Chorizo Risotto, and Megan chose the Patatas Bravas. They were served within five minutes, which might have had something to do with the fact that there were only two other couples seated at that time. Anyway, I wasn’t complaining. The risotto was cooked perfectly- creamy with a slight bite. The chorizo was the first flavour I got – salty and lightly spiced. However, the orange left a refreshing, citric taste, which made the whole dish more enjoyable, just because I sometimes find that the creaminess can be overpowering and heavy. Megan gave me a taste of her tapas too – potatoes in a rich, tomato sauce with a sweet aftertaste. All in all, we were both pleasantly surprised with our choices, and as we sipped on our “Spanish Screwdrivers” (a cocktail described as surprisingly alcoholic on the menu, and priced at €4.95, clearly for ladies in

our situation) we gave out about a myriad of things, including an English woman sitting by us, who was allergic to seafood – choosing Spanish cuisine probably wasn’t the smartest idea she ever had. The Early Bird gives a choice of two Entrées; Chicken or Seafood Paella. However, for the richer restaurant-goer, La Paloma offers dishes like Seabass Fillet with Chorizo, Catalan fish stew and Crispy Chicken stuffed with Spinach, Pine-nuts and Manchego Cheese. But since this wasn’t an option, I chose the Seafood Paella, and am so glad that I did. Fresh Mussels and King Prawns adorned my plate, shells and all. The rice was full of vibrant flavours and served with a lemon wedge, it was just an amazing dish. For dessert, we shared a Crème Catalana (€5.95), which is a Spanish version of the Crème Caramel. Also on offer were Chocolate Chip Leche Frita and Chocolate Mousse, among many others, displayed on a blackboard above the bar. Actually, as we read it, we couldn’t come to any conclusions about what Leche Frita actually was – roughly translating it as ‘fried milk’ in the little Spanish we know. Turns out that’s exactly what it is, so I’m happy we had the sweet, unfried caramel dish. Eventually, we asked for our bill and put our coats on. I concluded that La Paloma was worth going to again. The atmosphere of the place, as well as the brilliant food, really impressed me. Even the bad aspects of the restaurant were so tacky that they were funny, and made me like it more; for instance the fact that although it is ‘Dublin’s Oldest Spanish Restaurant’, it is actually only 16 years old. Funnily enough - as we were leaving, I noticed that almost all of the tables were full, unlike when I first came in – suddenly I noticed the music being played was a soft, traditional Spanish piece as opposed to the Shake Your Bon-Bon of an hour earlier -two facts that were almost definitely related.


One snowy winter night in Chicago a few years back, Davy Rothbart went out to his car and found a note on his windshield - a note meant for someone else, a guy named Mario:

Davy loved the amazing mixture of anger and hopefulness in this letter as he showed it to many of his friends he began to realise that he was not the only one with a fascination with found objects. As a way for everyone to join forces and share their finds with everyone else, they decided to start a magazine called FOUND, a showcase for all the strange, hilarious and heartbreaking things people've picked up. I first came across FOUND magazine in a little bookshop in England, as I flicked through it I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was a collection of found letters, photographs, and lists etc, basically a little insight into people’s lives.


in association with FOUND magazine We here at Limehouse have teamed up with our favourite magazine to bring you a ‘find’ of the month. Each month we will bring you one of those little insights we just know you will love to read be it a photo a letter a diary entry a list or a receipt. Maybe next time you are walking around and spot a piece of paper on the ground you will stop and look, you never know what wonderful treasure you may have come across...

Found by Marie Doyle 23

Mr Loman had owned Loman’s Video Shop financially outright for approximately five years since he brought it twenty-five years ago. It had been three years since there had been any real profit made. No longer did a small independent video shop stand a chance against its capitalist cousins, colourful franchises Mr Loman often complained that were run by “robot accountants and their computer children.” Words: James Ranson Illustration: Jason Kerley Mr Loman did not understand the mechanics behind his new corporate challengers nor did he care to. The anchor that weighs down on any man’s pride unable to keep his business afloat is always a heavily personal one. However, the effects of such continued failure manifest themselves quite differently depending on their victim. There are those who declare bankruptcy and call it a day, while there maybe others who choose to fight the good fight and wage un-winnable, bloody war with their faceless opposition, whilst some just keep plodding along hoping for a miracle. The manifestation of Mr Loman’s failings awoke with him at 9.00am, two years ago. For every day in the elapsed two years since Mr Loman woke up with an absolute inconsolable rage. His eyebrows have been arched in anger ever since. Whilst some customers and neighbours put it down to old age and dismissed it, there were others who were not unwilling to tolerate it. Jeffrey, Simon, Will and Jason had rented from Mr Loman all their lives; they all lived next door to one another in the same street that Mr Loman lived, above his shop at the corner of their street. All four boys were twelve years old and spending their last summer holidays together before each went off to a different secondary school. Jeffrey, the tallest and the leader of the group had brought along his visiting older cousin Ben to their morning meeting. All meetings were held in Simon’s back garden where upon they suggested and then voted on the day’s activities. The sun like every other day that summer was bright and still rising when they all were finally together. After initial introductions Jeffrey, as he did every morning asked for suggestions from the gang for activities. “We could try and steal dust caps off that massive truck parked down the street?” Jason offered, “what about emptying out the litter bins into the post-


box again?” Will tentatively asked. The group were uninspired. Suddenly Ben stepped forward, glancing at Jeffrey with a mischievous look, “or, perhaps we could get revenge on the video shop man?” he smirked. “What, Mr Loman?” asked Simon, “why?” he added. Ben continued to smile slyly in Jeffrey’s direction. “You going to tell them?” he barked, suddenly filled with energy. Jeffrey emitted no sound and in that moment, Ben became the new gang leader. “Bastard said we weren’t old enough to rent Die Hard”, he announced, “I’d memorised the right date of birth and everything. He ruined our evening didn’t he Jeff?” Jeffrey shrugged, his colour now gone, as if he knew what was about to unfold under Ben’s new leadership. Ben fished into his jacket pocket and brought out a single chubb key. He held it proudly aloft, as high as a runner would the Olympic torch, but his face even prouder. “Nicked his door key didn’t I when he went off to call Jeffrey’s mum on us”, he boasted. A collective grasp from the group, each one imagining the potential of having free reign in a land of videos. They would own every film ever made. Be the envy of all their new friends at their new schools. They would lend people films and become the most popular boys in their school’s entire history. However, their romantic, albeit slightly infantile aspirations were not shared by Ben. For Ben had a big boy’s plan in mind. Later that night the boys watched Mr Loman lock up and drive away to his weekly yoga session, something he had always hoped would combat the stress he carried around. It didn’t. But it was routine now, routine Ben had noticed the last two weeks. His car drove past the neon monstrosity of a truck parked outside his shop. Knowing he would be away for an hour Ben lead the tentative gang towards the front door. He calmly slipped the key in and quickly disappeared inside. They followed him in. It

had been agreed that Jason would wait at the door to warn them if Mr Loman returned early. Jeffrey’s job was to orchestrate their escape, which entailed simply, unlocking the back door and scurrying under the broken fence into Will’s next-door garden and awaiting tent. Forgetting momentarily the crime they were committing, the gang walked through the aisles of colourful cases with wide eyes. They could take any film they wanted, even an 18 certificate if they so choose. Simon started to lift cases of the shelves, flipping them over and reading their synopses. Ben was quick to reprimand him, “Put it down dickhead. Fingerprints!” The sudden reality of their being there in the video store seemed to hit everyone bar Ben at once. Their previous lustful stares now vanished, replaced instead with lost, wide eyes. Ben, sensing the dwindling support grandly announced; “We’re going to wipe his database and take his front window”. His statement met with blank expressions, as if waiting for the rest of his plan. His downfall had been in not factoring into account the age gap between himself and the rest of the gang, and therefore his quite brilliant, quite malicious plan was lost on his accomplices. “Delete his records of customers, films, everything. It’ll be absolute chaos,” he promised. The group however, needed something slightly more tangible; this was after all their last summer crime together. Ben had booted up the computer and was already in the system profile section, a box flashed up: ‘Delete all Records? Y/N’, the group watched eagerly over his shoulder, not really aware of the gravity of a video store loosing its database. They continued waiting. Ben was hesitating. His finger hovered over the keyboard; his previous criminal swagger now eluded him. Finally, he dropped his hand to his side in defeat, thus relinquished his leadership. “Take three each” Jeffrey whispered firmly, his authoritive air once more around. The next morning as Ben was bringing his bag out to his mum’s awaiting car the owner of the large truck parked in front of the video shop jumped in and started his loud engine. Ben got in the car with his mum, a smug look on his face. The truck loudly lurched forward before jerking back slightly until with an almighty crash consumed all. The video shop’s front window was completely wiped out. The truck’s tow lead had somehow been tied to the letterbox and had haphazardly ripped the door and front panel out. Mr Loman would accuse his competitors and rotten luck. However, the insurance damage pay-out was so substantial it prompted Mr Loman to shortly burn his store down, claim the money and buy a quaint little kebab van.


Legend has it that The Hot Sprockets formed when two friends, Joe and Soper set out on a trip across the wide, open plains of North America. Stopping one day by a cornfield, the two discovered that a local farmer was looking for men to work the land. Hoping to make enough money to fix their beat-up guitars and fill their rumbling bellies, they signed up and started work that very day. Words: Hugh Mc Cafferty Photo: Toni Ireton The labour was tough, but before a week and seven days were out, their old six-strings were as good as new. Taking a break from the harvesting one day, they struck up a conversation with two other farm-hands by the name of Frank and Age, who, as it turned out were musicians too. Joe and Wayne got to thinking and decided to ask Frank and Age if they wanted to play a few tunes with them under a big old tree in the yard. Their new acquaintances thought this a damn fine idea and they all ran over to the shade. On their way, they came across a man, just lying there in their path. Tim, as the stranger turned out to be called, happened to have a guitar of his own and the rest, as they say, is history.


Like all good blues bands and musicians, then, the Hot Sprockets have a suspiciously made-up-sounding biography. When I meet Tim and Soper, I decide to get to the bottom of the story straight away. A little disappointingly, the real origins of the band are just as mundane as expected: one day, about two and a half years ago, five mates from Rathmines, Walkinstown and Kilnamanagh decided it would be fun to form a band, hang out and play some gigs together. Luckily, their refreshingly loose brand of ramshackle blues more than makes up for the underwhelmingly typical nature of their formation. This looseness is probably down to the fact that most

of them were relatively new to their instruments when they started playing together. Tim explains: “When I started out, I was only playing a year and Frank only started playing the day of our first jam. He just grabbed his dad’s harmonica and he had a tambourine as well. Age wasn’t playing too long either. We’re all just kind of new musicians. That’s why all the riffs are mad easy, like two chords.” Soper is a little apologetic for this but, at the same time, knows that a little sloppiness never did anyone any harm: “We’re not really as tight as we should be. Now we’re starting to practise more, but we’re still kind of loose. It’s always going to be kind of messy, that’s just kind of the way we are.”

“When I started out, I was only playing a year and Frank only started playing the day of our first jam. He just grabbed his dad’s harmonica and he had a tambourine as well” Why blues, though? Isn’t it a little anachronistic? “Pretty much everything came from blues,” Tim begins, “it was a genre that created a load of other genres. So many types of music over the last hundred years kind of branched out from it. It came over here in the sixties with lots of English bands like The Rolling Stones; they were doing the same thing that we’re doing now, y’know? The Stones weren’t really able to do traditional blues, but they were influenced by it and they were able to put their own twist on it.” With all this talk of the blues, Soper is eager for the band not to get pigeon-holed: “We don’t play blues covers; we have those influences but we’re not a full-on blues band. We like to branch out and play other types of music as well.” Before the Sprockets, Soper was in a band with his brothers and current Sprocket bassist Joe – their music veered more toward the experimental side of the musical spectrum. “I loved Sonic Youth and stuff like that. We’d spend days on our songs, y’know, they were real complex with lots of parts. It was a good laugh, but the Sprockets just took over and that was more fun.” Having fun is obviously high on the Sprockets’ list of priorities, as is playing gigs. In their two and half years together, they’ve managed to put in a fairly impressive 200 plus appearances. So how have they managed to sort out that many slots for themselves? Tim’s answer is simple: “We just don’t say no. We play anywhere, really, we just do it. At the end of the day, every gig is worth it and it’s good, as well, to get to know other bands.” “Yeah, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with playing Dorans,” Soper adds. “It’s actually better,” Tim returns, “cos if you sound good with a

crap sound system [sorry Dorans], then it shows that the band is good and there’s usually a better buzz as well. But if you’re playing The Button Factory, like, nearly every band sounds good cos the system there is sweet.” Sticking with The Button Factory, the venue played host to the launch of the Sprockets’ debut EP Country Dirt last November. The CD is out on The Mighty Stef’s The Firstborn is Dead label. It was a hectic gig, as Soper tells me. “It ended up being a cool night; we filled the place and everyone that we’ve known since the beginning came out to see us play. Then they all went wild at the end, they all just jumped up on the stage and the place went fuckin crazy. We got cut off,” he explains and then, in faux indignation, “It was our EP, like, we paid for the venue and we put in all this work and they cut us off.” “That was kind of what we were hoping would happen,” Tim adds, with a grin. The night was significant for another reason as it marked the live return of drummer Age after he was out for several months as a result of a slightly bizarre accident. “He got run over by the Luas,” Tim tells me, matter-of-factly. “He was in hospital for six months. There are cameras on the Luas, but they didn’t release footage to anybody – his parents found it hard to get any information. It was kept low-key. He gets free Luas trips now, though.”

“Everyone that we’ve known since the beginning came out to see us play. Then they all went wild at the end, they all just jumped up on the stage and the place went fuckin crazy. We got cut off” With their full line-up back in business, then, and providing no further unfortunate light-rail-related mishaps befall them, the Sprockets intend to continue doing what they do best – playing music in front of people – with a view to maybe touring a little further afield and heading back to the studio to record a full length effort later in the year. To list upcoming shows would probably be pointless as there’s likely to be a million of them at any one point, so your best bet is to take a look at


Words: Eoin McGuirk Rarely Seen Above Ground (RSAG) May 2nd / Whelan’s (19:30) Kilkenny troubadour Jeremy Hickey showcases his remarkable Organic Sampler to the Whelan’s collective. A percussionist by trade, Hickey’s soaring vocals and relentless energy invariably invoke nods to Talking Heads (the vocal similarity is uncanny – in a good way) amongst others, but his ability to marry obscure beats with a polished, charming groove suggests an originality and flair that could succeed far beyond our shores. One for the dancing shoes, I would imagine. rarelyseenaboveground Peter Broderick May 4th / Whelan’s (20:30) Ghostly folk from Portland, Oregon, via Copenhagen, Denmark, on a Monday in early May is an admittedly obscure contender for gig of the month, but the Efterklang violinist brings with him a singularly mesmerising brand of dense atmospherics and classical arrangements that may well result in an evening to remember. Not to be missed. Fennesz May 6th / Andrews Lane Theatre (20:00) Electronica legend continues to blur the line between guitar and laptop with his beautiful compositions in ALT. Ronan O’Snodaigh May 6th / Whelan’s (20:00) Indomitable Kila front man keeps the fuse lit.


Passion Pit May 7th / Academy (20:00) Everyone’s favourite Next Big Thing return to give us a second dose of psychedelic Mary O’Hara samples in the space of only two months, this time at the front tail of a seemingly endless world tour. It comes on the eve of the much-anticipated Manners LP release, the success of which will undoubtedly render the Bostonian quintet ones to watch on this summer’s festival circuit. Expect enormous choruses and an outrageous falsetto (trust me) set against a frantic backdrop of synths, beats and twee melodies . If it’s anything like that surreal Sunday in Whelan’s it should be a belter. Matthew Dear (AKA Audion) April 12th / Tripod (23:00) Those of you lucky enough to have heard Asa Breed will need no encouragement for this one. Re-released on Ghostly International last year, the record is enjoying a gradual ascent into the realms of legendary status. Not content with that, of course, Dear’s evil alter-ego, techno superstar Audion, is putting the final touches to a re-emergence, characterised, apparently, by “powerful experiments in chaos and hypnotic depth, tearing down the walls of the live electronic-music experience.” Now. Whichever his identity on Easter Sunday, it is guaranteed to be a thumping gig. Health April 17th / Whelans (19:30) Scenester noise-rockers best known over here for providing the elements for Crystal Castles’ remix of Crimewave. Perhaps best left to fans of, eh, noise-rock.

David Kitt April 18th / Whelan’s (19:30) Kittser’s probably a mite pissed off with the ‘comeback’ status he is assuredly handed on the advent of each new release. Maybe The Nightsaver – his latest battle against adversity – will finally be the one to banish the hard luck stories. It is a record at once liberated and focused, expressing both an ebullience and depth reflective, perhaps, of the absence of label pressure and the resultant decision to entrust himself with production duties. Whatever the cause, his eclectic blend of electronica, folk and synth-pop is accompanied by a fresh confidence that should result in an engaging live show. Get there early support is provided by the brilliant Somadrone. Doves April 20th / Olympia (19:30) Lead track from the upcoming Kingdom of Rust album, Jetstream, would be cause enough to attend this one. That they continually produce great music is perhaps another. Ellen Allien April 25th / Twisted Pepper (23:00) Bpitch Control queen brings her darkest record in years to Abbey St. GET IN LINE 15.5 Super Extra Bonus Party / ALT 19.5 Telepathe / Academy 2 22.5 Deerhunter / Andrews Lane Theatre 23.5 Jape / The Button factory 29.5 Final Fantasy / Whelan’s 3.6 Dan Deacon / Andrews Lane Theatre

GEMS As a child I spent most of my blissful summer days with my grandmother. I watched her and silently learned countless valuable lessons about the rituals of life, how to put on lipstick, how to walk gracefully in high heels and the importance of going for tea after morning mass. Words: Helen Flannagan As a child I spent most of my blissful summer days with my grandmother. I watched her and silently learned countless valuable lessons about the rituals of life, how to put on lipstick, how to walk gracefully in high heels and the importance of going for tea after morning mass. When her watchful eyes strayed to more important business I found myself in her jewelry box, my grubby little fingers poking through her various rings, paste broaches and glass beads. Her hidden gems so to speak. Cafe Bell is one of those hidden gems, exactly the kind of place my Nana would have taken me for tea and cake on a Monday morning. Tucked away in behind Brown Thomas and the Church on Clarendon Street, Cafe Bell is a quaint little tea room, quiet and secluded right in the heart of the city’s busiest centre. Outside in the courtyard there is a small seating area, under a canopy where total strangers will talk to you like they’ve known you for years. Inside is cosy with little round tables, wall hangings, mirrors and a grandfather clock, there used to be a grand piano one lady tells me. She’s been coming here for about ten years. I’m told by two friendly ladies that they’ve been coming here for years now too. They tell me that the cafe is independently owned by the church who’s courtyard it occupies. It’s reflected in the menu which serves reasonably priced food, with no airs and

graces, bar the religious names the sandwiches sport, Hells Bells, the Bishops Hat. Outside the church organ sounds out midday mass and the cafe fills up with churchgoers and regulars for lunch. The staff are young and friendly and the patrons know them by name. The cafe closes at five every day. I only just discovered this quite, unassuming place, but I reckon like the other patrons I’ll be coming back for years too. Maybe I’ll take my Nana here some day.


Words: Alaine (age 7) 30

Words: Paul Lynch


nd turning a packet of hotel matches in my hand, slightly twisted with the drink, the rain still dashes the windows, my brother still sleeps, and some minor chords pipe through the speakers that surround us. It is piano, just piano, and I take the silver foil from the cigarette box. White filters stare at me, twenty spread through three rows. I guess I started smoking because my older brother did, and it seemed only natural that I would do as he did, and still does. I found it hard to get his attention when I was younger, thirteen years old. The only time I seemed to see him at home was to comb his hair, a cigarette hanging from his lips unlit. Black tee shirts with short, short sleeves. And I started from there. I quit for my daughter, at my ex-wife’s insistence. But my daughter is not here now, and the whisky working around my body has me holding this packet like some holy grail.And I drag a match along the strip at the bottom of the packet, my white filtered Marlboro clenched between teeth. I feel thirteen again, in the back alleys surrounding our Ichigao home, frenzied drags on Seven Stars stolen from my brother’s pockets. But I’m not, I’m staring at this cooze. She’s looking back at me, too, six tables down with her reflection in the window so I’m looking at her twice. She’s drinking something in a highball glass and I’m thinking it’s probably the wrong move to send a drink over because then she’d expect something more than I’m willing to give. I’m whisky drunk, the heat rising up in my face and my eyes feel heavy, red. The smoke plumes from my cigarette and I’m sat in smog - still sober enough to manage a task should one arise, mind you, and just on the edge of being drunk enough to not care to take her number, to remember to forget her name, that is to say if I even get past this awkward look at my eyes shit from the other side of the room - it’s good to smoke. I missed a lot about it. And my drink is empty. I stand at the bar, some brown haired gaijin pouring me a whisky, and he’s not holding back either, which I appreciate. “What do you say when you meet a girl,” I ask him, twice, and it’s not even loud in here. “How do you get past that first sentence?” “Hello,” he says, charges my drink to my room no doubt and I take the glass, my receipt. “What is the woman in the pink dress drinking; the blonde?” “To your room?” I light another cigarette, I don’t think it’s smoking at the bar but who really knows. I don’t see a sign so hope for the best, stare at the bottles and optics in front of me, wobble a little on the balls of my feet. And I turn around and look to walk towards her, the whisky and

the highball, cigarette pressed between lips. I feel to be an unwieldy combination. And her seat is empty, the glass gone, I see no trace. Fuck it. But you turn around and there is another right on your feet. This one, brown hair blue dress, older than me. Older than me, no doubt, but not by much and I am not an old man. A fortunate situation, perhaps, and she is alone. She’s alone and I pass her my highball glass, take the cigarette from my mouth and toss it on the floor beside me, stomping it out with my expensive black shoes, exhaling, “Darling, you’re right on time.” And she stares at me, this is a moment of idiot savant or I’m full of shit, but she just stands at me, she’s took hold of the glass, “Who the fuck are you?” “Johnny Dempsey from South of the border.” It is 1992. My brother and I are playing cowboys and injuns, I am without a gun, always, he stands up and throws half his round into my chest, his plastic magnum bursting through caps of ammunition, this little clap clap claps into the air. He’s Johnny Dempsey, some cartoon cowboy. But brown hair blue dress doesn’t know what I’m talking about. “I’m John, who are you?” “Veronica,” and her name doesn’t sound real either. You’re no Veronica, I want to say but I don’t in case she is. I have no idea who this woman is. “How about you and I get reacquainted, how about that?” “You’re all backwards about coming forwards.” “You’re splitting your idioms.” “A house divided against itself can’t stand, John,” and this one impresses me, she’s nice and firm where it counts. “I guess you got me. Are we drinking together or not?” “Where do I sign?” She’s just a bad girl on the bus, though, her mouth is vodka martinis, six seven eight, I lose count as she spills out of her dress, into my hands, my brother’s room beside my own, and she’s leaning against my door, I have the key card in my hand and there’s a flame in her face now, my hand on her hip. She leads me into the room, switches on a lamp and she leaves the curtains open. Her hair looks red in the yellowing light, the curvatures and monoliths, the skyline I could see from my window, yellow lights everywhere, those empty offices and endlessly cooling fans. I wake alone, my phone ringing wake up call, and she hasn’t even stole my wallet. It was a good weekend, all in all.


“Well, I don’t know if he was born in the gutter, Dick, but he certainly died in one.” I shuddered, spat a piece of tobacco from my lips, and crouched, looking deep into the gutter, or, more precisely, the slumped shape currently occupying it. I could hear Eavis breathing next to me, and, faintly, the smell of stale coffee shaved my nostrils. Words: Adam Chevis Illustration: Naomi Beauvoir Black


My eyes shot sideways, but I didn’t move my head. Eavis looked beat-up, drained, his face wearing a saturnine, unhealthy intensity under the abstract glare of the streetlamps. The kid needed some sleep. My eyes rolled back, watering from the sand that seemed to be coating them, sticking to them the way grit does to a shelled whelk. Hell, the kid wasn’t the only one who needed sleep. I lit a cigarette, briefly watching the curls of smoke twisting in the breeze. Then, slowly, sadly, my eyes looked down, toward the slumped shape. The slumped shape had belonged to a small man, no more than five six or seven, lightly constructed. If I’d had to make a wager, something I’ve been known to do in rare moments of lucidity and piety, I’d have said no more than 130 pounds in his suit, a suit which certainly didn’t belong in a gutter anywhere in the City, let alone in front of a gin joint on Columbus and Gibb. Lushes everywhere here, lushes and big-timers, with big pockets, big eyes, and big mouths. But behind the flash, the gleaming smiles of the women, the gaudy dresses and flash suits, there were rotten souls, and other things had been known to gleam and flash in these darkened alleys. No, this man’s suit had none of the cheap flash of it’s usual incumbents, none of their desperate vulgarity. This suit was of a tasteful and expensive European cut and design, a beautiful slate, with a dark brown pinstripe, and single silver studs at the wrist. His shirt was a probably a pastel yellow, but the neon glitter from a thrift store four or five parked cars away made it seem brighter, almost luminous. Yet something was spread across that expensive silk, something in a random spattered pattern, that at it’s dark centre shone, wetly. A big sedan, a Packard, swept past, it’s white-walled tires hissing angrily on the wet pavement. Behind it, as if dragged along by the shark-like automobile, came the lilt of a voice. My eyebrows knotted. Miss Otis Regrets, from one of the bars further up the block. Something about it made me feel sick, the way the tune hung there; hung, then faded, as ephemeral as the tendrils twirling from my ash-laden Marlboro. “.38 slug, Dick,” Eavis offered me in a hoarse whisper, making the muscles of my neck tense slightly. “Straight in the guts. Must have taken a while to die, but couldn’t make a sound, it penetrated his diaphragm.” “No Cole Porter to rock himself to sleep with, then.” My reply was harsh, harsher than I expected. Too harsh for the kid too, I heard him clear his throat with obvious discomfort. Too bad, kid, I thought bitterly, with no trace of amusement. This is the way things are. Get used to it, or hide it. Only chance you got. Either that, or get the hell out of it. I stood up, threw my butt onto the tarmacadam, where it sizzled, fighting to stay lit. I grunted as I twisted a dirty wingtip on it, extinguishing the life from it. I glanced back at the corpse.

Yeah, the corpse, I thought. He’s got a name now. Another sodden, languid gust toyed with his trousers, like a bored cat with a mouse who’s long-dead body just isn’t fun any more. I spat savagely. This whole scene had a feebleness, an awful pathos that made whisky glasses fairly dance in front of me, seductive as sirens. Just more reliable. Then I saw the guy’s face, and he was no longer a corpse. Unlike the garments that framed it, the face bore a careworn expression of such pathetic defeatism that the whisky glasses started doing a tango, tumbling over and over in perfect rhythm. A wan face, and one that bordered by a shadow that had seen several five o’ clocks come and go. As much as I hate histrionics, it was a tortured face, its greying promontories and darkened valleys turned my stomach. But the eyes. The eyes. Wide, and oddly receptive, with a softness that even death hadn’t stolen away. They still seemed alive. I turned my trench coat-huddled body ninety degrees, and slowly, my eyes followed the line of sight, to peer at the last thing the man ever saw. A gigantic billboard, rocking slightly in the wind, blared out the flavour of the month. Veronica Lake’s sultry lips, impossibly composed face, stared back at the corpse. Then, from the back of my mind, a memory tumbled forward, rolled around, and then stopped in a black ocean of clarity. Wilde’s words. Gutters and stars. Except these stars shine dark, kiddo. “Cover him up.” I snapped, my eyes fluttering away, thankfully. I turned the corner, lit another cigarette, and had already walked two blocks before I stopped, leaned on a crumbling wall, and burst into a long, desperate laugh.


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Scabgate Vinny McEntee

Limehouse Issue 1  

Issue 1 of Limehouse magazine, a Dublin based art and culture zine.

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