The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, November 25, 2006

a slice of the pie

This is an auspicious day! For the first time ever the number of people logging on to the blog from around the world has exceeded the number logging on from Ireland. The USA leads the charge with twenty percent. (Scrapper the Rover and Genevieve, hello!) Canada, once neck and neck with the US, has dropped back into third. (Oh Canada. Oh Schneewittchen. Oh Kimmers.) Andrea in Germany still appreciates fine writing obviously. While my favourite four percent in the world comes from India. Laure in Belgium wrote that she finds it interesting seeing my bitter side on the blog. Mr Sean Landers in Taiwan occasionally ends up on this page by mistake and gets off it again quickly. Our UK correspondent is Jill Don't Call Me Professor Allaway. From Greece an accomplished musician and poet by the name of Alan Massie is our regular guest.
You people are the icing on the cake.
Thank you one and all.

Friday, November 24, 2006

iambic bastameter

Phone call from Rowena Hampton who writes the Entertainments Section.
She is the only member of staff that I hold in high regard.
Someday she will edit the Lootheramawn.
Or perhaps a real newspaper.
She said: "James I've received a press release about your new song. But the editor saw it and he said a lot of it is to be cut, and then I'm to resubmit it to him before we publish it."
There was a moment's silence.
"James," she said. "Why is he doing this?"
My answer wasn't long in coming.
"Sneeran's got nothing left," I told her. "He's tried to run me out of the place for eight years. And I haven't gone. Now this is his best shot. Messing with a press release. It's all he's got."
Rowena sighed.
"But why James?" she persisted. "Why is he bothered?"
"Because he's spent eight years covering up what he and Pieface did in that office," I told her. "For eight years he thought he could make me walk away. He promoted her to Assistant Editor. He was sure I'd be gone. But no. It didn't quite work out. Everybody else left. Everybody Rowena. Not one journalist based in head office over the past eight years has lasted more than one year. Sneeran is left there with Pieface. No one else will work with them."
"You're right about that anyway," Rowena murmured. "No one will work with them."
"So that's where it's at," I continued. "A dozen journos have left in eight years but the one he wanted to leave wouldn't play ball. You know what to do with the press release for my song, don't you Rowena?"
"What will I do with it?"
"Throw it in the bin."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

upping the ante

Coffee with Baldy Mangan the tame trade unionist in Yum Yums of Naas.
The journos are ballotting on strike action at the Lootheramawn.
He wants my advice.
Today our talk touches on all the issues.
The union man explains to me that the assistant editor Serena Pitchfork has suggested we shouldn't strike in the weeks coming up to Christmas.
Well she would, wouldn't she.
I give the union man the benefit of my expertise.
"Listen," sez I. "The editor and assistant editor are management. If you're letting Pitchfork sit in on union meetings you are allowing a management spy to report on your activities."
"She's in favour of the strike," replied the union man.
I nodded grimly.
"She's a management spy," I told him again. "She's not going to hold up a sign saying: I am a management spy. But that's what she is. She'll be in favour of the strike alright. But always a couple of months down the line. Never now."
Our conversation turned to the forthcoming clash.
Once more I stooped from on high to share the benefit of my sublime analysis.
"There's only one way to go about it if push comes to shove," I averred. "We don't strike as a gesture. We don't strike for an honorable draw. We strike to win. It's a dirty business. Don't think it's going to be civilised. We've got to fight dirty. We've got to get mean."
My voice was raised. People at the surrounding tables looked up curiously. I wasn't too worried.
If it's to be now, let it be now.
"What are you suggesting we do?" said the union man.
"Whatever it takes," I answered. "There are too many nice people in this union hoping for a quiet way out. You've got to think of it as a war. Because that's the way management are thinking of it. If we go on strike we've got to stop that paper appearing, one way or the other."
This last one liner had definitely drawn an audience.
"One other thing," I said leaning forward. "Lose Pitchfork. She's working for the bad guys. She's spent eight years with Sneeran running journalists off the payroll. She's not on our side and neither is he."
Our conversation ended soon after that.
When the union man had gone, the beautiful Polish waitress refilled my coffee, and I sat alone at the window watching main street fill up with the dusk.
An oddly ridiculous, faintly romantic figure.
The Arthur Scargill of the coffee shop.
Each man must be a legend to himself.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

the long and rocky road to fame

"Will I make you really gorgeous?"
The words were those of Medbh Gillard the artist currently designing a cover for Not The Theme Tune To Casino Royale, the new song from James Bong And The Villains.
"Just do me as I am Medbh," sez I.
"So not gorgeous then," sez she with the air of a woman rather enjoying herself.
Truly bold readers, I suffer for my art.
Later the same day I had lunch in the Chat And Chew with the Mammy.
The Mammy was mighty curious about the forthcoming CD cover artwork.
"What way is she drawing you?" quoth the Lildebeest.
"Like I am," explaineth me.
"Ah God," quoth the Lilt.
"What's wrong?" wondereth me.
"I'd prefer if she made you good looking, gave you a few muscles and all that, you know, for the public image," quoth she.
Words failed me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A BIT IRISH (by Medbh Gillard and James Healy)

"When you've finished doing nothing, for God's sake do something!"

on the avenue

Strolling on the avenue at midnight with Paddy Pup. A million stars glittering above us. Orion himself standing on the topmost branch of the Dad's chestnut tree. Gospel shiver in the hedges. Freezing wind. The coldness of the truth. Destiny. Let it be now.