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, January 13, 2007

this evening

Standing in the book shop on Grafton Street.
Something drew my attention.
I turned.
Behind me lay the poetry section.
The books themselves had drawn my attention.
I started with surprise.
Because...
Because for once I didn't feel a wave of resentment towards the poets and their books.
So long I had thought of them as my enemies.
Resented their achievements.
I started again.
A thrill of delight shot through me.
I no longer have any fight with the poets.
I am free.
An idea struck me.
Instantly I opened my diary and tore out a page with one of my poems on it. I signed the page and placed it gingerly on the shelves between The Collected Works Of Seamus Heaney and The Complete Des Egan.
I smiled.
Walking away.
It's been a long time coming.
At last my work can be found amongst the immortals on the shelves of Dublin bookshops.

Friday, January 12, 2007

o tempera o mores

The tired Polish waitress at the counter in Yum Yums Cafe in Naas glanced past me.
Her face brightened.
Briefly she became more radiant than the angels.
"Naily," she breathed. "Hello Naily."
I turned.
The Irish international footballer Niall Quinn was standing behind me in the queue.
I didn't snort.
Not out loud.
I spiritually snorted.
Naily indeed. Evidently a regular customer. He greeted her jocosely enough with that insufferable bonhomie of the moderately famous.
Now get this.
The waitress had been taking an order from Ireland's greatest living poet and finding nothing to get too radiant about.
Then lo.
Six Draws McGraw walks in the door and the sun comes out.
Shaking my head at the unfairness of it all, I returned to my table where the Mammy was waiting.
I began to engage her in a discursive and entertaining manner about my latest experiences in the pop music industry.
Presently I noticed the venerable parent's attention seemed to be elsewhere.
"Liller," sez I, "what are you looking at?"
"Niall Quinn is sitting at the table behind you," said the Mammy.
This time the snort with which I replied existed in time and space and decibels.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

the knight remembers the road forth

on the road to arcady
did not our foolish knights chide
the manly ones for inconstancy
with the maidens of the passing way
censure them for dolority of soul
bid them hold their honour to their shields

and standing there
drenched in light and dust
i felt the life force dancing in our midst
in carnival in parlay and in tryst
and i too kissed a frenchman's daughter
in montretienne
two days before the slaughter

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

heelers the baptizer

The Mammy and Ireland's greatest living poet quaffing coffees in the Chat And Chew Cafe.
January blusters up main street Newbridge past the great bay window where they sit.
"Aunty Teresa is after baptising the baby," quoth the Mammy.
This piece of information causes Heelers' handsome features to crease into a wry grin.
"Another of the most baptised babies in the history of the Christian religion," I proclaimed.
A short explanation folks.
My cousin Rowena has just given birth to her second child, a little girl called Helen. Rowena professing atheism has refused to have the child baptised.
Rowena's mother, the legendary Aunty Teresa, professing her own brand of executive decision making, has given the child a personal baptism on the qt.
Ah. Give me an Aunty Teresa large enough and I'll move the universe, as Einstein always used to say.
Anyhoo.
My favourite running joke, as you all know, relates to this tradition within the faith, (certainly within my family) whereby believers may bestow the odd baptism surreptitiously.
I reckon Rowena's first kid, now in her second year of life, has about twenty four names.
(The name Rowena knows about is Sheila.)
I'm telling you folks we were all at it.
Rowena would hand us the baby. We'd coo "oh how lovely," while muttering darkly "I baptise this child Cecilia Mary in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."
And Rowena would say sharpish like: "What's that?"
And we'd go: "Oh nothing. Did you notice the child's got a little dimple?"
Magic moments indeed.
Yes gentle friends of the internet right this moment I can hear the ghost of Perry Como singing:
"Magic moments, when two hearts are sharing.
Magic moments, when two hearts are caring.
Do you remember the night of the dance when the moon was hazy?
Do you remember the morning we sneaked a baptism for Rowena's baby?
Magic moments, time out of time."
But I digress.
So that was Sheila.
And now there's Helen.
"Listen Lil," sez I to the Mother. "Imagine Judgement Day when Saint Peter calls us forward by name. Think of the look on Rowena's face when her own daughter Helen is called out of the crowd. Saint Peter will say: Step forward Helen Mary Frances Lisa Therese Mariana Margaret Alexandra Philomena Bianca Luisa Beata Marina Andrea Diana Anne Cristina Laura Sarah Jemima Healy. And Rowena won't have a clue who gave the child any of these names. Except for Jemima. When she hears that she'll let out a scream: Jaaames!"
The Mammy eyed me keenly during this spiel.
"Why Jemima?" sez she finally.
"Feminine of James," I replied. "I thought the kid deserved a name with a little class."
The Mammy's gaze deepened.
"You're rehearsing material," she murmured. "You're rehearsing material on me. What is the point? You don't have a humour column for it anymore."
There was an odd stillness in the universe as I answered her.
"Liller old pal," sez me, "I'll probably find a use for it somewhere."

interiors

Monday, January 08, 2007

apologia pro buns mea

Afternoon coffee with the lady known as Lil.
Around us the Whitewater Centre cafe burbles with life.
The noble Heelers looks troubled.
"Why so blue?" sayeth the Mammy.
"I'm sensing something," replieth moi.
"What is it?"
"A disturbance in the force. It's as though three hundred and fifty million people suddenly cried out with relief and were still."
"What are you on about?"
"Hodders. She's left America and she's back in Ireland. I just know it."
My aged parent shot me a worried look and said no more.
Late that same evening back at the chateau, the phone trilled.
I answered.
And lo.
It was she who knows not kismet, it was she who knows not taste, it was Big Hair, it was Bunford, it was Hodders at the gate.
Well you know what I mean.
"Jamie," quoth she without any preliminaries. "Check out Channel Two. There's a film on. You really should see it."
"Ummm."
"Quick check it out."
"What's the film Hodders?"
"It's called Shallow Hal. It's about this guy who's just into looks and who's really superficial. Remind you of anyone?"
And somewhere the ghost of Ennio Morricone went: "Aaiiiiiiaaaiiiiaaaaah!"