The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Friday, December 07, 2012

come back bette davis all is forgiven

Ireland's greatest living poet giving a talk on poetry to a writer's group in the town of Naas.
Outside it's winter.
His style of exposition is anecdotal with occasional smidges of maniacal method acting and extracts from his own work thrown in.
It's in your face.
But in a good way.
In any public performance, I am always desperate to reach my audience, to surprise them, to let em know they're in a ball game.
They come to hear me talk. They think they know the limits and conventions of what I'm going to say and do. And I like to bring them somewhere else.
Whether they want to come or not.
So I'm reaching out.
Kneeling before the better looking ones.
I've chanced a grab at one woman's collar in the front row and hissed into her face a la the promo for the old Patrick Swayze Demi Moore Whoopi Goldberg film Ghost: "You will believe."
And so it goes.
At the moment I'm pausing for breath.
The audience still seems a little placid.
I am tempted to remove all my clothing as had been suggested to me by American expatriate musician Alan Massie who lives in Greece, when I asked him how on earth I could surprise audiences who already know everything I can do.
Mr Massie claimed the poet Alan Ginsberg had once been asked by an audience member: "How much should a poet show of himself?" And that Alan Ginsberg had immediately stripped off and replied: "This much."
If my own audience tonight doesn't start to look more impressed they're going to find themselves contemplating a Heelers' willie.
I'm just saying is all.
Between valiant attempts to break on through to the other side, I recount stories from my life.
Just trying to get their guard down again.
Just trying to bring them into the unseen world.
(Wot you talking about Guv? - Ed note)
"My feminist cousin Pauline has an opinion about poetry," I venture.
I am interrupted by a firm faced British lady at the back who has raised her hand.
"Is that Pauline Fagan?" enquires she.
The noble Heelers looks a tad surprised.
Well done Pauline, he's thinking, you're famous.
Seeing my look of confusion the lady at the back hastens to shed some light.
"We're a feminist writers group," she explains.
I smile.
But not as Muslims smile.
More like a very self indulgent wolf on the verge of exploring his limits with some unsuspecting bints, I mean sheep.
"Fasten your seatbelts," I tell the fembos. "We may be in for a bumpy ride."


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