get up ya bowsies /  and clean out your cells

What time of day do you write?

There’s an Irish song written by Brendan Behan that goes: In the early mornin’ /  the screws were bawling /  get up ya bowsies /  and clean out your cells. Well, that’s how I feel in the early morning: Get up, ya bowsie. I want to get up before the small mundanities and the stupidities and the prison guards of the Internet. Clean out my cell. Or my cells. Get the words down on paper. A perfect day for me begins in the dark before anyone else has woken, say 4:30 or 5 am. Two hours or so of this. In the quiet. And then, when the house begins to stir, the rest of my life will too. But for a small parcel of early morning hours, I feel entirely free. And then I go out and walk the dog.

~ Colum McCann, from “Colum McCann on Ulysses, Mary Lavin, and Drinking with John Berger” (Literary Hub, February 25, 2020)

Notes: Thank you Sawsan for sharing.


  1. I’m in great company!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. brilliantly put. Same here….. (at least today, HH got up at 5am and his dutiful wife made breakfast, as one does!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i so get this and enjoy this time as my favorite part of the day. working on the creative skills.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those precious, pre-dawn hours are the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “…and walk the dog.”
    “…and walk the dog.”
    “…and walk the dog.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is just right for you early-risers! I once was one of you but now that my schedule has changed, no longer an option…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You’re very welcome!
    My favorite part was,

    “How do you tackle writers block?
    I tell it to f*** off.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. it’s the perfect time to exercise…

    Liked by 1 person

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