Having my way with Ulysses

What celestial sign was by both simultaneously observed?

I saw that each, amazingly, appeared contorted between the chin and where the chest begins; they had their faces twisted toward their haunches and found it necessary to walk backward, because they could not see ahead of them.Right. 2:30 am, Universal Time 2:55, Sidereal time 20:09:45. Conception location: 6w15, 52n20. Is this date right? You are how old? Wow. You look great. Really amazingly great. Did you get much work done? Botox? Doesn’t matter. Gemini sun, Gemini rising, Leo moon. Anyway, the shooting star witnessed at the precise moment your mother centripetally united with your centrifugally oriented father originated from Vega you say? The falling vulture. That would generally suggest a rapid decline of some sort: 32 feet per second per second. And headed right toward Leo’s ass with great apparent velocity. Here, take a look. See? Direct hit. So. Today, Leo’s ass is in direct opposition with Uranus, which at the time of your conception was in the 28th degree of Sagittarius, eighth house, house of death. Let’s look at the progression, Vega, vulture, and holy christ would you look at that. Uh, hum. Just thinking aloud here. I’m not. I want. I want to be very careful I don’t get it wrong here but I see. Huh. It’s just so clear. I’ve never seen. And Uranus in the twelfth house trine moon, which was in Leo at the time of your birth too. Well, for just this moment now at least, we can. Or. Huh. Why don’t we look at Moon trine Saturn first, then we can address the, ah, other thing. Moon trine Saturn says you might want to be alone for a while. Stay away from, um, people. And Saturn trine Neptune, yes. Go on a retreat alone maybe, take a long hike into the woods and stay there by yourself for a while. Meditate maybe. Do you want some tea? Here let me light some incense, your aura is looking, well, let’s clear the air a little. How are you feeling? I’ll be honest, from what your chart is telling me you really ought to be in bed. I can’t in good conscience keep you here. My agenbite of inwit: I’ll need to check my own chart about this. I feel all turned around, so yeah. I need to get my head on straight and you need. Well. Go now, go home and get in bed. If you ah, when you wake up call me and we’ll go over the rest of your chart. But you’d really better, ah, here’s your coat. Oh, and let’s settle the bill now.

And I seen maneaters in Peru that eats corpses and the livers of horses.

I seemed to see their flanks torn by sharp fangs. 1:16 am

Mmm, look at you. You look good enough to eat! Come here darling, let me nibble on you just a bit, hey? Now now, don’t look worried. I won’t bite hard. Yet. You’d make excellent chicharrones, don’t you think? I know a chicharroneria in La Punta where we can take you and we can eat on the beach, little black rocks under our feet. It might be hard to render your fat first.  I don’t want to insult you, but you are now don’t take this the wrong way big. But once that’s done and we have the wood fire going you’ll be all meat. Nice with a good salsa criolla. I’m hungry now. Maybe something faster. Lomo Saltado? Too typical? I have the garlic, here peel that, will you? I have the aji, you, a nice onion. Shall I use a white or shall I use a red? Yes? Might not have enough tomatoes but that’s ok, I have the potatoes, cumin, soy sauce. I’m out of vinegar. Damnit I knew it would be something. Sweetie, be delicious and go to the store for me? Thank you honey.  And give me that. Who taught you how to peel garlic? What a mess. Now go.

Continue. Lie. Hold me. Caress.

It seems that you can see, if I hear rightly, beforehand that which time brings with it, but in the present you have another view. "We see, like those who have bad vision, those things," he said, "which are far remote; the Highest Lord shines on us just so much. When they draw near, or are, all our intellect is in vain; if no one brings it to us, we would know nothing of your human state."12:46 am

Let me see your hand. Come on then, hand it over. You worried I’ll see something you don’t want me to know? Oh sweetheart, we all wear our interiors on our surfaces. Honey it’s the same damn thing. Just look at what you show with your eyes.  I see your fate there. You’ll meet with a, well, I’d better not say.  Would do more harm than good perhaps.  But I see it in your eye; I see it in the corner of your eye.  Go look in the mirror honey, you’ll see it too. Don’t you want to? Go look.  Look at your eyes like you are seeing somebody else.  Stare hard.  Look until all you see is eyes and the rest slips away. You’ll see what you are.  You’ll see what I see, baby, you worried? You should be. Now go.

We are observed.

The face was like the face of a just man, so benign was the appearance of the skin; and all the trunk was the body of a serpent; it had two paws hairy up to the armpits; the back and the breasts and both sides had been painted with knots and wheels. 12:37 am

Do you feel my basilisk stare? I’ve been trying to have a sniff for a while, so off with your shoe why not indulge just a little. Go on. How about just your heal, let it dangle on you row a little. Gimme something. Just a little bit of a real sweat smell. Good god I can’t decide if I want to dominate you or be dominated by you. What do you think? On which side do you tie your knot? Like I’m expecting an asnswer. I can’t cipher you. So many and so many and so many much and so silent. Jesus Christ say something, could you? You’re willing, you want me to force you?

Though they stink yet they sting.

Look and see if anything is as great as this.12:34 am

Everything’s a temporary dream. Look at the great pyramid, my creation of longest duration.  A fat triangle in the desert, eh? You think they call me thrice great for nothing? I’m still dripping with the music of mathematics from since I played at dividing flowers and sweeties. I mean listen to it and work it out like a good young idiot. You people couldn’t do the half. Are you divided from your own organs? Listen to the harmonies of proportion and ratio; what composer tell me ever moved number so well. All is lost. You think I left it looking like that fat heap it is now, squat and spreading. But do you do anything about it, no. Nothing. Renovate it. Go ahead, it needs it. You have my permission, if not my help. Put some people on the job. Choose your most, your beautiful, your delicious, and your delightfuls, force them to say coactus volui and give them my pyramid so it might sing again. Paint upon it a diabolic rictus of black luminosity. Give it phosphorescent scorpion tongues. Paint its shafts like coal black throats and shine lights through them so out of itself it would make itself a lamp. Let the shafts open their windpipes to the outside all bloodred and sing. Add a few octaves. Here and or there. I’d hum along to that. Cover it. Take the original and jazz it up. What did I do when it was mine? I divided myself with the potentiality of it. Then I made a choice and left the rest unchosen. I covered it with white limestone and polished it to a mirror. And the sides: they were two in one and one in two. You think you see a triangle there? Look again. There are eight sides and though they sink yet they sing when the sun hits dead on. On the solstice the mirrors’ split face would absorb refract no reflect a divided sun like what do you call it gossamer. Is it a dream to think there’s nothing new under the sun?

Slumberous but awake

Father, it would be far less painful for us if you ate of us; for you clothed us in this sad flesh -- it is for you to strip it off. 8:58 pm

Memory.  Remember.  I am almosting it.  I dreamed I was wearing red slippers and scarlet pajamas slashed with gold.  I remember rising from a red carpet and walking amongst my sisters in the street of harlots.  I remember the sea wind, and sickness around me but I was not afraid of death, only of becoming lost.  In my dream, i remember now, my menarche shocking my mother into her old age.  She sees me with pity and jealousy.  I am what she was, another herself.  She’ll murder me, the fear of God in her face.  Laughing, she will, she’ll gobble all her family.  I remember.  I was.  I gave a melon to a king disguised as a carpet merchant.  And then a shift.  It was as if in that instant, that moment when melon became gift or closer in, the moment when melon was simultaneously mine to give and his received, both and.  That moment something confused.  That instant of transformation I became not the dreamer but the dreamed.  I saw myself stuck to a rock on a beach like a diseased mussel.  Dull, waking from sleep, but waking to a different place and in that different place I remembered my life.  I was almosting it.  I felt myself in a bath languid, and I spoke to a woman and I stood by a grave.  I saw keys, crossed and held up my fingers, two keys crossed.  And then and then goddesses, three moving slightly, breathing.  Do they have?  And I heard music, a song.   I listened so beautiful see me.  You see me.  And and and and what and what I spoke against God and flew.  I flew.  I could feel myself flying, a bird flying with three fangs in my mouth and I understand them.  Forgive them.  Yes.  Fate that is and I fell.  I fell.  In a house of death I died and I don’t know what else.  Because you don’t know.  You never can know.

A cluster of violet but one white stars.

At once I understood with certainty: this company contained the cowardly, hateful to God and to His enemies. These wretched ones, who never were alive went naked and were stung again, again by horseflies and by wasps that circled them. The insects streaked their faces with their blood, which, mingled with their tears, fell at their feet, where it was gathered up by sickening worms.8:57 pm

Why one white? It means something perhaps. A lonely sign telling me what? That I’m superstitious perhaps. I can’t help it. Have to come back to see. Have to. Murderers do. Was it a job well done or should I sting him again? Stuck to this question like a shadow. I’ll fly to his ceiling and wait. It’s not superstition to want to be sure.

Who am I and what is this and when?

Putting truth and untruth together a shot may be made at what this hybrid actually was like to look at.14:14 pm

Nostra. Our. We. I think about that word sometimes.  Dante doing Borges and I.  Borges doing Dante and I.  Joyce does Shem the Penman and I in Finnegans Wake (but every honest to goodness man in the land of the space of today knows that his back life will not stand being written about in black and white) and whatever other colors you got.  Veronica Maria Robertson Gonzales de Reyes. Changed it to Veronica Tonkin.  Most people call me Vern.  But Veronica Maria Robertson Gonzales de Reyes was what it was until we moved to the States and people don’t have so many names here.  I didn’t have this name at the start, understand, they didn’t have my name picked out right away.  And as an aside which might be somehow related to the acquisition of my name, my parents referred to the day I was born as the night my dad killed the general.  I’ve asked.  More than once.  I got side stories and whatever else  I could get when they’d switch over to Castellano.  With a little symmetry under the cemetery wall I was born at 14:14 pm, so whatever else went down happened later that night.  There was some catastrophe going on in that I was supposed to be a boy so they never imagined a girl name.  Didn’t think one up.  But worse than having no name, they had no earrings.  There I am a girl and no earrings.  So you can imagine.  It must have been chaos.  There was never any doubt they were getting a boy; the opposite possibility never crossed their minds.  This was before finding out early, you understand.  I was supposed to be a boy because that is how it was supposed to be.  But, besides the complication of no penis so no earrings and no name.  There was, remember, the matter of the possible slaying of some sort of general at the hands of my father.  My uncle was a general.  But he survived my birth.  And I don’t know if he was a general yet.  He commanded the Peruvian army at some point.  War with Ecuador.  Cars with armed escorts.  This was all long before he went to America with his cancer dying in what was that hospital?  East coast somewhere.  My mother didn’t go.  But the night after the afternoon on the day I was born, my father killed the general.  And I didn’t have a name. I don’t know for how long, it was a blank period.  Not a lot of time passed, I’m guessing, but try telling that to a newborn.  Even two hours is everything.  All there is and was and has been and none of those things matter.  What is there of time at the start?  At that moment of the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, what is it like?  I forget.  So I didn’t have a name for I’m now guessing a long time.  They wanted names that were spelled the same in Castellano and in English.  My sister already had one. Virginia Maria. Virgin Mary if you really want to translate; try living up to that one, girls.  She did what she could.  Me?  Why Veronica?  My uncle the general who survived the day of my birth had a thing for Veronica Lake.  You know the one, silver screen blonde hair covering one eye.  Sexy.  Ended up an alcoholic prostitute, and lost it a bit upstairs toward the end.  Imagine a spectrum starting with the Virgin Mary to no end point.  I did what we could.  Me.  Vern and I.  That’s me in the picture writing us.

The bloody mongrel let a grouse out of him would give you the creeps.

His eyes are bloodred; greasy, black, his beard; his belly bulges, and his hands are claws; his talons tear and flay and rend the shades.5:06 pm

Arrgh I saw it all and played my part in it too. I’ll tell you but you won’t look my way except to complain about my noises and let’s look at the truth now, my smell. But I’ll tell it anyway just so I have my say. I was lying on the floor next to my person as always, passing the time with him and waiting for what the sky would drop in the way of food. Well in walked a couple of em both I’d like to take a good bite of but I waited for the signal you understand. One of them came out with money for beer talking about he got it on a tip from some prudent member I heard him say. Give me a minute. Scratch. Aye. Damn I could sleep. What do you want? You don’t smell like you have much on you. Where was I? One of them saw the guy in the market looking at the fish. And believe me, I smelled him coming a mile away. Look I’ll say more but you’re not listening to me, I smell you. I smell biscuits too. They yours? You don’t care. All eyes on the citizen. Well, I’d keep an eye on me if I were you; I’m getting hungry.

That which I was is that which I am and that which in possibility I may come to be.

Within my memory is fixed -- and now moves me -- your dear, you kind paternal image when, in the world above, from time to time you taught me how man makes himself eternal; and while I live, my gratitude for that must always be apparent in my words. 2:16 pm

Scene: [Around the ideal form of a table sit Cassandra, Caesar, Thoth, Lizzie Twigg, Brunetto Latini, Mother Dana, and Little John.  The theatre is darkened and an appropriate number of candles are burning with an inward light alongside several vestals’ lamps.  Peatsmoke rises from the trapdoor along with wafts of incense made from opoponax and violets.  Rest suddenly possesses the discrete vaulted cell, rest of warm and brooding air.]

Lizzie Twigg:  Right.  Thank you all for coming.

Little John:  [Drunk, a little dumb] When are we getting paid?

Cassandra:  Why is he here?  His breath is harming the vibrations.  And are those birthday candles?

Lizzie Twigg:  Yes, they seemed appropriate.  Don’t mind Little John, I found him vomiting in the greenroom and we needed one more body.  Seven is the perfect number for a séance and I am determined to get it right this time.  So let’s get started.  Æ is loose among the living, he’s only just managed to go undetected, though just barely.  So far he has appeared in Scylla and Charybdis, but there is no telling where he’ll turn up next so we have to get him back.  Thoth, am I speaking too quickly?

Thoth:  No, I’m recording it all perfectly, thanks.  Learned from Chitragupta.

Cassandra:  We won’t get him back.

Lizzie Twigg:  He’s coming back.  Now, be prepared for paradoxes.  He is alive but he is also dead.  His body has regenerated and though he appears normal, he is greatly decayed.  But from looking he is what he was; his moles still appear in their usual places, but he is a bit soft.  Also, his molecules are shuttling to and fro much too rapidly.  Mother Dana, we will need your help to repair him when we get him back.

Cassandra:  We won’t get him back.

Caesar:  You said that already.

Mother Dana: I can weave and unweave bodies and reconcile him to himself, but I’m not sure what to do about sharpening him up.

Lizzie Twigg:  Well, we’ll cross that Rubicon when we come to it.  First, there can be no reconciliation if there has not been a sundering.  Should be simple after that.

Caesar:  [Simply] You think it’s so easy.

Cassandra: [Easily]  Down, boy.  Life was hard for us all.  No need to get worked up about it now you’re dead.

Caesar: [Deadly] Vixen.  Whore.  Who listens to you?  Your kind sickens me.

Little John: [vomits under the table] Shagart! Shagart!

Lizzie Twigg:  Bear with me people.  When Æ resurrected he took my heart with him.

Thoth:  What did it weigh?

Lizzie Twigg: And I want him back.  Besides, I may see myself as I sit here now, but by reflection from that which then I shall be.  And that future which casts its shadow before includes Æ.

Cassandra:  But this is eternity, honey, there is no future.  The future is the conjoined twin sister of the past.  That which was, is.  That which may come to be, is.  It’s an all-at-onceness, sweet girl, nothing more.

Lizzie Twigg:  Exactly.  And he’s not here.  My is, is missing an aeon.

Cassandra:  I warn you, Lizzie, bring him back and he will crave the world of the living.  But you won’t bring him back.

Brunetto Latini:  Dear Twigg, when he returns you must reassure him that he will live on in his work.  Glory gives the wise man a second life; that is to say, after his death the reputation which remains of his good work makes it seem as if he were still alive.

Cassandra:  It won’t be enough.

Lizzie Twigg:  [Tossing off a glass of brandy neat] Please, let’s get started.  Where there is reconciliation, there must have been first a sundering.

Caesar:  You said that already.