The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Thursday, October 25, 2018

de ducks publica

Sitting with Phoenicia Baines in a cafe.
There is a display of carved wooden ducks in the window.
Some of the ducks are dressed in coat and tails.
Some are dressed as bridesmaids.
Two are dressed as husband and wife.
I find the whole montage quite charming.
Phoenicia calls over the Manageress who runs the place.
"Are those ducks a comment on gay marriage?"
"They are."
The two preen happily while I look a bit rum.
"Very progressive."
"It's just my way of saying what I have to say."
They're still preening.
I look at the display whose deep import had earlier escaped me.
There are indeed two boy ducks together.
They had looked to me like Best Men having a casual chat.
Two girl ducks.
They were the ones I'd thought were bridesmaids.
And a boy girl couple of ducks.
Boringly married without any progressive variations one assumes.
Well, I'd guessed correctly they were bride and groom.
The Manageress and Pheonicia turn to me for comment but I am gazing into the middle distance.
I am thinking: If this is how it is with cute wooden duck displays in the Tearman Cafe, then who can stand?
But I do not verbalise.
Presently Pheonicia leaves.
The Manageress returns to the kitchen.
I look at the ducks tenderly.
"Don't worry," I tell them.
It is the work of a minute to rearrange the ducks as boy girl, boy girl, and boy girl.
And of course Phoenicia Baines comes back.
Of course she does.
Maybe even to check.
She hurries to the kitchen.
I actually hear her saying: "James moved the ducks."
The Manageress appears.
Phoenicia exits again, damn her.
There follows some Benny Hill hokum.
The Manageress exclaims "James," and returns the ducks to the progressive line up.
I wait till she goes back to the kitchen and move em back to boy girl, boy girl, boy girl.
The Manageress returns again.
Hands on hips.
"Wait," I say.
Then I stand to better demonstrate.
"This duck here is Tom Robinson Duck. He's not the British political activist who has tried to warn about Islamism. He's the Tom Robinson who had a rock band in the 1980s. He sang War Baby which was rather good. And also something about a radio which was brilliant. He also had a song called Sing If You're Glad To be Gay. A lot of people sang that song and died of a big disease with a little name. Then Tom Robinson met a woman he loved. They settled down together and have children. It was too late of course for all the people who died singing his song. Wait. Wait. Just a minute. This duck here is Black Lesbian Feminist Duck. She was wandering around Central Park and she met Mayor De Blasio Of New York Duck. They fell in love. They got married and have children and are still together. These two other ducks as you know have been together from the start and are still together."

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

i know why the caged bird gives people a peck in the bawls

Sitting in an armchair.
A freshly brewed cup of tea beside me.
All is right with the world.
Presently I turn and accidentally knock the cup to the floor.
The road diverges.
I can see an option for self loathing fury.
And I can see an option for a wry smile, a soft chuckle, a gentle reminder to myself that I am one of those absent minded genius types who knock things over all the time, that this is me and I'm happy with who I am.
I choose the second option.
Ignoring the cup on the floor, and with that faint preraphaelite smile still playing on my handsome features, I go out to the kitchen and make a second cup which I place on the armrest of the armchair.
The sheepdog ambles in and licks up the spilt tea.
I clean up the rest and remove the first cup.
I return to my armchair and sit.
Then I knock over the second cup.
"This is starting to get a bit fucken Irish," I murmur dangerously.

towards a declaration of independence

The Pharmaceutical Industry's primary colonial possession is the Medical Profession.
The Pharmaceutical Industry's secondary colonial possession is Academe.
It is time for the Medical Profession and Academe to declare their Independence.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Hunched at a table surrounded by creative detritus, bits of poems, song parodies, religious maunderings, occasional pseudo scientific speculations.
It is late.
I am haggard. (Though in a ruggedly handsome Charlton Heston sort of way, I think you'll agree.)
I have been searching for causalities for Parkinsons Disease.
As per usual I'm rooting through the environment, the emotional, something that's been missed because the pharamaceutical companies and their prime colonial possession the medical profession can't make money out of it, unhealed wounds, bitchy spouses, drug use, familial stuff, hostile housing estate living conditions, whatever.
Now you see me staring into the darkness.
Looking again briefly at some case histories on my desk.
"No! No. No. The fools. No."
Very like Charlton Heston staring at the statue of Liberty half buried in sand and realising at last the destructive evil of remorseless human vanity.
The question that had crystalised for me was this.
Would the medical profession when dealing with people being treated for cancer, subject them to a post operative chemo and radiation therapy treatment mandated only to reduce the risk of a recurrence of cancer, but often harsher on the patient than any of the cancer treatments they have already had, would the medical profession do this without having first having verified that the said chemo and radiation therapy does not cause Parkinson Disease?
They wouldn't.
Would they.

Monday, October 22, 2018

of guv kids and men

Many years ago in the dulcet Spring of 1991.
An innocent abroad.
I'm an Irish teenager wandering in the morning of the world down the London thoroughfare known as Picadilly Circus.
I'm with teenage versions of my brother Barn and cousin Vincent, neither of whom were ever innocent.
Barn turns to a street vendor and buys a newspaper.
The newspaper seller hands him his change and says: "Thanks Guv Kid."
Guv Kid?
Guv is short for Guvnor and is derived from the standard English word Governor.
I suppose he means the brother looks classy.
It's true that in this period of our youth, Barn has a certain sense of style.
Whenever he wins half my wages off me at Poker, he goes out and buys a Crombie coat and a few Matinique jumpers to add to his collection.
Vinnie who regularly wins the other half of my wages has no dress sense and will never be referred to as the Guv Kid by anyone. He spends my wages on purchasing racing greyhounds.
I kid you not.
But what a great phrase.
Guv Kid.
Even then I was thrilled by the cadence of it
Resonant and redolent of an older London glimmering in the shadows behind modernity.
I'm convinced that when the Messiah returns to the metropolis of Great Britain, the newspaper sellers of London will refer to him as the God Guv.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

considerations of medjugorje

The Two Who Walked Away

A curious side story relating to the Medjugorje apparitions comes in the form of two young people who supposedly saw something on the first day of the events on 24 June 1981 but who never saw anything afterwards.
A little girl called Milka Pavolovich and a gangly teenager called Ivan Ivankovic.
Milka is not to be confused with her sister Maria who became from the second day one of the core group of visionaries.
Ivan is not to be confused with Ivan Dragicevic who was there on the first day and also became part of the core group.
Why did Milka and Ivan Ivankovic never go back?
The second day Milka wasn't let go by her parents while Ivan is said to have refused to go, merely exclaiming: "These things are for children."
Did either or both go back eventually and still see nothing?
Had the moment passed?
Nearly 40 years later Milka's sister Maria and Ivan's friend Ivan Dragicevic still claim to be seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary at Medjugorje.
I know one thing.
If was investigating these apparitions, I'd want to talk to the two who walked away.