Having my way with Ulysses

There as in a retrospective arrangement, a mirror within a mirror (hey presto!)

The relief was hinted to me from a superior power when I, poor slave, had not a hope but that I must wait another seven years with Jacob; and lo! the Rachel which I coveted is brought to me.10:39 pm

My father had a mirror, it was the most astonishing thing this mirror. My father had a mirror he kept behind a picture of my mother.  The picture made no sense because it was blurry and ordinary. Her mouth was open. She could never shut up long enough to smile for a picture. Anyway. it’s the kind of picture you’d delete or not develop or whatever it was they did.  Develop and leave in the envelope with the negatives.  Anyway, he had it in a thick frame but if you turned it over and pushed the little metal clips to one side and pop the back off, there was a little mirror in there. I didn’t get it.  What’s a mirror doing in there? He saw me see him messing with that picture and I knew something was up with it. I figured something was in there.  But I was hoping for money or a note or something. Treasure map. A woman’s phone number. Something. Made no sense.

Once when was sitting behind a chair, hiding and pretending to write in my notebook, he either forgot I was there or didn’t notice, and I saw him do it.  I saw him close up.  He was smoking that pipe of his and then he did it so fast.  Picked up the picture of my mother and popped the back off of it.  He pulled out something that fit in his hand I didn’t see.  And then and then he breathed smoke into his hand.  He exhaled into his hand.  And for an instant (fiat!) light filled the room.  Then that feeling, the vibe of it.  I’ll never forget it.  I’ll remember it forever.  It was like passing from life into eternity.  I can’t explain it.  But there behind my chair I knew within me the precise age of my soul so immense, but also I knew my soul to be something shriveled, something that dwindled to a tiny speck within the mist.  It was horrible.  Before all that murky bright could clear away, I got the hell out of there.  I was young, and I was utterly blown away.

So I tried it myself.  I said I was young.  By myself.  I got the pipe and my mother’s picture and I looked her straight in the mouth.  And then I lit up.  I took a lots of short fast puffs and held it in too long while I twisted the metal clips to the side.  Then, out it popped: a little mirror.  I didn’t pause.  Ok, yes I did pause.  I coughed up a lung.  But I wasn’t scared of anything apart from being caught.  So I stared myself in the mouth, and I took another hit.  Held it in, not so long this time.  Then I exhaled right into my mouth exhaling.  Hold.  Back.  I’m tripping balls.  Entwined in the nethermost brightness I was looking at mirrors within mirrors within mirrors and in one of them it was raining and I was with a girl in the rain pinned up to a wall.  And in another mirror I was holding a baby and the baby was still.  Still and cooling.  In another I was typing.  I was at a desk typing.  And there was my father holding a mirror looking at me, watching the letters appear as I typed them.  Under his nose as I type them.  He isn’t looking at me; he’s watching the screen.  He’s witnessing the letters appear one after the other, left to right and together he and I have a feeling. We have together an obscure feeling that some good has happened to us.

(for all accounted him of real parts)

Thenne kynge Arthur and alle the Court made grete doole and had shame of the deth of the lady of the lake thenne the kyng buryed her rychely.10:08 pm

What is worse within your soul, guilt or shame?  Take a look now, will you?  Turn those avid shameclosing eyes inward and see what you think.  Our souls shamewounded by our sins cling to us yet more, the more the more.  Yes.  I see what it is for you.  For me, well obviously.  I feel it.  A failure of duty.  I am responsible, at least in part.  I feel it sometimes, troubled bits in there arising.  In my mind but where else really.  I deserve what I get, in part.  In part.  My boy, sweet boy gone.  And Stephen.  Is his guilt or is his shame?  I worry.  I feel for him a trouble arising in my mind.

So dark is destiny.

& there they layed his corps in the body of the quere & sange & redde many saulters & prayes ouer hym and aboute hym 10:06 pm

There was no stopping her.  He died on his eleventh day, dead of winter, and he was getting cold.  So tiny.  So small.  A week and a half old, just changed enough from his first moments to start to look like her and to start to look like me.  It was a start.  Eleventh day. Eleven.  Elf.  Elfin boy he’d have been now.  Sweet eleven.  She measured him and got out her best wool she had been saving.  Measured him around.  Circled his little body.  Cannot make a circle without eleven.  Measure a circle seven across and it will measure eleven halfway around.  Seven and eleven, a thread between square and circle.  Square the circle and maybe.  Maybe eternity.  Find him there.  She orbited around him as he cooled.  She is the moon and while she knit he was her whole world.  She orbited and he cooled in 3:11 ratios.  Moon:Earth, he took on enormous proportions but she would knit for him.  She had wool and time had stopped.  Oh the ground.  The Earth is cold in winter and his sweet little body was cooling.  Pull the moon to the earth.  Pull her close, the three to the eleven.  Now circle them.  I circled them. I circled them in radii of seven.  Our circumference was 44, the same as the perimeter of a square around Rudy, named for my self-murdered father, my whole world.  She knit, I circled for the length of his body cooling. She measured. She chose her needles and her best wool she had been saving.  Soft, no itch, 4 ply dk merino. And she swatched. She measured. She cast on 32 stitches and knit two rows.  Then she knit 2 * yfd k2tog, to end k1. Next row K.  The next row she k2 * and she made 1 in the next of each stitch to the last k3.  Next row K. Next row K3, P to last 3 then K.  He cooled, she knit in patterns:  K4 *k1B k1 to last 3 sts k3, next row k, k5 k1B *k1 k1b to last 5 sts k5, next row k and she continued for five inches.  Then she k6 k2 tog k1 to the last 5 sts k5.  I circled.  I squared.  She k3 P to last 3 K3.  I circled.  She K3 yfd K2 tog to last 2 sts K2.  I squared.  K3 P to last 3 K3.  He cooled. The perfect square lacks corners. She K2 tog, knit in pattern to the last 4 sts and she k 2tog twice.  Then a row of K she knit.  She knit for two more inches.  The wrong side facing, all wrong, k to the middle, k 2 tog twice, k to the end.  The next wrong row she did it again.  And the next wrong row she did it again.  One last row in pattern.  Last time.  Then our sweet, our little, our baby love.  We placed him inside.  We put in our kisses, warm to cold.  Weeny hands.  Smallest love.  Our sweet circle.  Our whole world.  Then the seam.  She grafted 32 stitches and snipped the yarn with her teeth.  Basta.  Enough.

I was happier then. Or was that I? Or am I now I?

1:36 pm

The moon and the sun are the same size.  Apparent size, but what else is there for us on the ground?  They are both 110 times their diameters away from us.  Why the same?  Now that’s really a coincidence.  Maybe it has something to do with parallax?

Measure your diameter.  Then multiply by 110.  Now, stand that far away from Molly.  Go ahead, you’ll be in good company.  That’s where I am, apparently.  Welcome to my world.  She said she could never like it again after Rudy died.  Something changed.  She held up her finger.  Hold up your finger and measure your finger tip.  Multiply by 110 — that’s about your arm’s length, a coincidence?  Stretch out your arm with your finger erect and blot out the sun.  Go ahead, give it the finger!  Feel that power.  Sexual.  Yes.  Yes.  Ah.  Well.

It was a full moon that night walking with Molly, he on the other side of her.  The daughter of the moon and she’s beaming.  He’s blazing.  Their fingers touch palms.  Ask with finger in palm, a little tickle.  Touch me.  Answer back.  Yes.  Eclipse me baby.  Stop.  Stop.  If it was it was.  Is, is.  Done.  Stop.  Something else.

Would I go back to times before fingers and touches and apparent distances?  Can’t bring back time.  Can’t bring back anything.  Like holding water in your hand.  I am the water.  Time is not a thing, it is an experience and even a feature of me.  And I was happier then.  I was.  Was that I?  Am I now I?  If it is true that I am someone, and that I was also someone, are we (this I, that I) the same I?  If we were all suddenly somebody else.  I was happier then.  Absolutely.  There is no absolute.  And I.  I am not I.  I am a multiple divided creature.   I am we.  We are legion.  Enough.  The machinery of the world is much too complex for the simplicity of men.

Thanking her stars she was passed over

In the ignorance that implies impression that knits knowledge that finds the nameform that whets the wits that convey contacts that sweeten sensation that drives desire that adheres to attachment that dogs death that bitches birth that entails the ensuance of existentiality.11:00 am

We should all thank our stars, death is a horrible thing.  Dying, there are good ways to go.  But death?  No connection, no contact with those who are now.  In it, you see.  Make room, I’ll ride with you.  Here.  I’ll get that door.  Again.  Got it that time.  Now what was I saying?  What were we talking about?  Oh yeah, the woman watching us out her window, grateful to the stars for the mark on her door.  So death.  No bridging from what will be to what is.  Will be always turns to is, and I’ll tell you what the meaning of is is.  Look around you.  Feel it quickly.  Motion, stillness. Stillness, motion.  It’s a protean thing. Smell, breathe in.  Is that smell you?  Yes, and catch that?  Listen.  You heard a click.  Finger on plastic.  Tap.  Click.  All that is part of is.  And that’s all there is for the likes of you and me.  And that woman there watching us out.  Glad to see us go we give them such trouble coming.  And once we leave the is?  We’re dead, we won’t even know who will undress us and how.  Wash us.  What do they wash?  Cut a new omphalos and pour the fluids in and out.  Too much?  Fine.  Cut our fingernails and hair?  Okay I’ll stop.  Sheesh.  Keeps growing after we die, I wonder how much?  Waiting.  Sitting on something.  That soap in my pocket.  Will wait.  Move it later.  Blinds down.  Keep the house dark, hushed.  Whispering.  There’s a young guy in black.  Have seen that hat before.  Hey Dedalus, there’s somebody you know.  It’s your kid.  By himself.  Nosy.  Full of his son.  Crissie is how old?  Richie Goulding that Sunday morning.  Had two hats on his head dancing around in the street.  Shitfaced drunk.  Bad back.  No insurance, lots of pain meds.  If Rudy had lived.  He’d have me in his eyes, hold our hands.  Somebody to pass things on to.  Teach him something from me.  Was an accident, really.  Happened by chance.  Molly at the window watching two dogs going at it.  She was dying for it.  How life begins.  Got big.  I could have helped him.  Sent him to college.  Milly, same thing as Molly watered down.  Fifteen now.  D Papli, Thrs a yg Im crushin on.  Grown up now too.  There we go.  Nice they rented limos, crushed in here though.  What is that on the seat, crumbs?  Unless I’m mistaken, that’s not food crumbs.   Well, that’s natural.

The Gods themselves are simply agents of a great high mystery, the secret of which is found in mathematics.

Before a thousand years have passed -- a span that, for eternity, is less space than an eyeblink for the slowest sphere in heaven -- would you find greater glory if you left your flesh when it was old than if your death had come before your infant words were spent? 9:24 am

Milly is fifteen but I remember like yesterday calling the midwife when she was born.  She was the same one.  She knew instantly Rudy wouldn’t live.  God is good she said and she knew better.  He lived eleven days.  He’d be eleven now.  If I could overreach, into this now or out of this now.  Oh it is a difference of all enormity.  I was so proud.  I’d give my every eyeblink.  She knew at once.  She knew.  From the first.

קדיש

This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory so that the son of Bloom may be glorified through it.

9:12 am

Have been looking at The Bath of the Nymph print we got from a magazine last Easter, can’t remember which one.  DDI?  I paid about $190 to frame it in oak.  Looks like Molly.  Slimmer.  Easter, now that’s a concept.  Resurrection is nothing like metempsychosis where you don’t know where your soul will end up, no.  A tree, a cat.  No.  Get resurrected and the body you died in comes back too.  And not like Lazarus either, all fucked up and reeking of grave rot.  Come out Lazarus, but woof, you stink! Go back in Lazarus.  No.  I want him back, but the way he’d be if not.  If he hadn’t.  You know.  Rudy eleven years ago today.  My boy my boy.

Quick warm sunlight came running

The tasks above are as the flasks below, saith the emerald canticle of Hermes and all's loth and pleasestir, are we told, on excellent inkbottle authority, solarsystemised, seriolcosmically, in a more and more almightily expanding universe under one, there is rhymeless reason to believe, original sun. 8:39 am

Sun break.  I can hear the warm running sunlight.  Milly in sandals along the brightening sidewalk.  A girl with gold hair running to meet me.  Rudy’s birthday today.  Would have been.