Having my way with Ulysses

by God yes wait yes hold on he was on the cards this morning when I laid out the deck

The cards are vague and mysterious.

Scene: [On a bed of something as soft as what do you call it gossamer, wait, what is that, snakes? That’s a bed of snakes now? How the hell are we paying for this? Did we have to hire snake wranglers too? Jesus Christ!]

Jesus: [On the god mic] Yes we have wranglers, but just for one infinite snake. God says don’t worry about the budget he thinks he has a donor. Ok head in the game people. Places please Cassandra, Lakshmi, Vishnu keep Rip Van Winkling it right there where you are. He’s sleeping hard. Let me know when we have places. From the top of the show, standby on lights 1 through 5, and snake wranglers: go.]

Scene: [On a bed of snake soft as what do you call it gossamer, Vishnu is sleeping while Lakshmi massages his feet and gossips with Cassandra.]

Lakshmi: So how is God’s play going to go, it must be opening soon, no?

Cassandra: Wait, am I sitting on a snake? I better not make an alnight sitting on this affair. I mean. Sorry. What? His one man show? Oh honey you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.

Lakshmi: That bad?

Cassandra: I did the cards, and first off I get reversed four of pentacles crossed by the happy squirrel.

Lakshmi:  Oh that’s cute. Isn’t that good?

Cassandra: It’s bad. I mean, corners are being cut all over the place and it’s like he’s obsessed with promotion. He says that he has money of course so we’ll be all right, but you know the membership numbers have not been good lately. Christmas drove in a few advanced ticket sales, but we won’t see any of those people again until Easter. And then you cross all that with a happy squirrel: this show will stink like road kill.

Lakshmi: But it will have a long run?

Cassandra: No. And it’s his own fault. He got reversed 5 of swords at the top, I mean, come on. He brought it on his own damn self and then hooking up with his with his ex wife all the time squandering money and getting drunker and drunker. The rest of the time he’s been just plain intoxicated on himself. He has wardrobe making skinny jeans! You should see him all squeezed and squashed into them!

Lakshmi: No!

Cassandra: Sure enough. It will be a spectacle on the stage, imagine paying $450 in the preserved seats for that to see! It was all right there in the reversed three of cups. Yeah it’s all great fun, and won’t it be the biggest hit show of all time, so hey! Lets celebrate now!

Lakshmi: Was that his attitude?

Cassandra: Acting upon him.  His attitude was the reversed ace of wands. So.

Lakshmi: Blocked.

Cassandra: Yup. He did have Judgement straight up; that was interesting.  He’s going to have to make a change.  It’s time to look everything over and weigh it all out.  The show can’t sustain itself as a one man thing.  It just doesn’t work in this day and age, with audiences like these.

Lakshmi: I know it. Fickle. He should have stuck with the triple act. So much less pressure when you’re in an ensemble.

Cassandra: Don’t I know it and I told him too, but does he listen to me? No. Does anybody listen to me? No.

Lakshmi: They don’t.

Cassandra: No they don’t.

Lakshmi: God’s tongue is too flat.

Cassandra: Really? Ew. I wouldn’t let him lick me.

Lakshmi: He does it all wrong too.

Cassandra: Pigs of men. And what about that one? Don’t you get sick of Vishnu’s big square feet up in your mouth like that?

Lakshmi: The first night ever we met, I had just floated up out of the ocean and we stood staring at one another for about 10 minutes as if we met somewhere. It was a recognition, you know? I saw him and I knew I’d be rubbing this man’s cold feet for all eternity. So tell me more. What’s the future, what’s the final outcome for God: The One Man Show!

Cassandra: I drew the king of swords for the future, so he’ll find a different layer of consciousness to work in. He’ll have to. He’ll figure it out, he just has to be rational about it. And the play? I don’t even know how to tell him.  What am I going to tell him? It was the five of pentacles reversed: he’ll lose money on this thing. Really, he ought to lose money itself from the whole enterprise: money has nothing to do with being god. I tried to tell him. I talked and talked until you couldn’t even see me anymore, I was just this angry woman’s mouth telling him come on man, believe me! This is how it’s going to be damn it, listen! I’m telling you!

[Cassandra is interrupted by somebody on the god mic. Who the hell is that?]

no thats no thats no way no stop just stop shut up cassandra shut up people dont believe you because some man told them not to believe you here i am apollo telling the story first so dont believe cassandra when she talks the one who tells the story first wins my ass ok my motherfucking ass is that what you think chica no just speak girl and let them all believe what they will and you know what congratulations everybody wins so lose it just let it go baby love its no loss what are you losing whats lost its a gain you want to spend all time trying to make people know the future you want them to see dont you see it too the truth its true its true thats you all the time with believe me believe me and they dont believe you and poor me im such a victim is that what you tell yourself and why because ajax raped you and whats her face athena just stood there and watched is that going to be the why for everything you going to let that be your loss forever get over it its done let it go no loss ok its a gain to be done with that lot and let apollo say whatever he likes to any born fool wholl believe all his blather because hes god hes god so what you be god too ok youre god too you are god done moving on now go

In what final satisfaction did these antagonistic sentiments and reflections, reduced to their simplest forms, converge?

Shhh.

3:25 am

[Scene: Two lovers in bed, AE with Lizzie Twigg: coiled head to toe they quietly discuss the fixity of their volatility and the volatilization of their fixation, until within his fixedness AE has become nothing and feeling everything, Lizzie becomes volitive. They communicate intermittently in increasingly more laconic narrations. Also a small angry dog is trying to take up as much space as possible between them. It’s so cute! Come here little puppy, come here. What a good doggie. Who’s a good doggie? Oh Jesus God! He’s all teeth! Get off me! Like petting a piranha with fur.]

AE: It’s just that we define ourselves contrarily to each other. I am me because I am not you, and you are you because you are not me. We are poles apart.

Lizzie: We are the same person, AE, don’t you feel it?  After all the mutual deaths we have died? Resurrection, translation, return, distillation, putrefaction, decay, still you don’t know you had it backwards the whole time. You were resurrecting in the wrong direction.

AE: I know. I know it. I just wanted to be the material representation of eternality, in linear time. Just once. Just for a little while. Only long enough to re-experience that feeling of linearity. Don’t you miss it? And feel what it could be, to be linear and eternal simultaneously.

Lizzie: But you can’t just translate yourself into linearity and say I’m back, everybody, I’ve  gained bodily entry into eternity and now look at me! Look at what happened to Lazarus. No. If you want to see how a human mortal finds a place within eternity, that’s not going to cut it. That gets you nothing.

AE: Nothing’s not nothing. Don’t knock nothing.

Lizzie: No, nothing’s not nothing.

AE: I was trying be the eternal temporalized. I wanted to be the all at onceness linearized. I wanted to square that circle, just once. Just the one time and be it and feel it, really feel what it is to be the coexistence of the infinite and the finite.

Lizzie: Be eternality living in linearity? Darling, you’ve done it. You’ve been there already. The infinite and the finite are the same things whichever side you’re on, if you really must take sides, can’t you tell? Just look at us, two beings contrarily defined yet coexisting as aspects of the same reality.

AE: I know. I get it. You don’t have to scratch me like that.

Lizzie: That wasn’t me, but here’s a flash of light for you AE: when we were mortals we didn’t have to go around worrying all the time about gaining bodily entry into eternity: eternity had already gained bodily entry into us. We have always already been since time immemorial and forevermore, the material representation of eternality.

AE: We are God.

Lizzie: Exactly. We are already a squared circle: we can take a finite form, but our infinite selves are in there too.

AE: We are a circle, containing everything.

Lizzie: Everything and nothing.

[At rest relatively to themselves and to each other, the lovers settle into silent contemplation. Small birds rise gently, sweetly, from Lizzie and from AE. Hundreds of them flitter up in swirling concentric patterns bringing with them, as if reflected from the sheen of their feathers, an increasing luminosity of ruby light. Thousands of little birds, aeons of them, softly forming clouds as soft as what do you call it gossamer, the clouds forming mist, the mist gently drifting downward covering the lovers, the lovers blurring about the edges. Together they coalesce and dissolve, their bodies languid, breathing, watching their spirits unrestrained, circling, birds rising into mist falling, like self knowing wheels revolving uniformly: self knowing and self known.]

What points of contact existed between these languages and between the peoples who spoke them?

All things are words of language that Someone or Something, night and day, writes in an infinite clamor which is the history of the world. In this confusion passes Carthage and Rome, I you, him. My life, which I do not understand, this agony of being chance cryptographic enigma and all the discord of Babel.

The proportion increasing and the disparity diminishing.

Under the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brightness. At first I thought it was spinning; then I realized that the movement was an illusion produced by the dizzying spectacles inside it. The Aleph was probably two or three centimeters in diameter, but universal space was contained inside it, with no diminution in size.Holy Mother Public Relations, Inc.

10th Heaven
Empyrean

Meeting Minutes

Date: November 18
Time: 2:11 am
Location: 10th Heaven conference room C, Empyrean building
Purpose: Commission of a sculpture of the Immaculate Conception

Attendees:

The Virgin Mary, Holy Virgin of Virgins, Mother Most Pure, Mother Most Chaste, Mother Inviolate, Mother Undefiled, Virgin Most Prudent, Virgin Most Venerable, Virgin Most Renowned, Virgin Most Powerful, Virgin Most Merciful, Virgin Most Faithful, Queen of Virgins, Queen Who has Never Known the Touch of Man. Never. Also, Martha, Jesus, and Gabriel.

Agenda:

1. Discuss the commission of a hyperrealistic sculpture of the Immaculate Conception to be created by Martha, a woman of no independent means, currently residing in the third floor copy room of the Empyrean building, Holy Mother Public Relations.

2. Get Martha off our hands. No offense Martha.

Discussion:

1. With this sculpture Mary wants to express in the most more-than-realistic way possible, the experience she felt deep within her body, a pounding fullness of infinite size deep within her most finite space burning hot and dripping wet. Mary very gratefully, with grateful appreciation, with sincere appreciative gratitude, in appreciatively grateful sincerity, expressed her gratitude to Gabriel for delivering God’s message with such gratifying skill and finesse. Gabriel expressed to Mary that the pleasure was all his and indeed, worth repeating. Martha suggested Mary and Gabriel get a room.

2. Jesus proposed adjourning the meeting. And also, if God is an intelligible sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere, the moment Mom had knowledge of Dad might be expressed as an inscribed polygon within the sphere that grows more like a circle the more angles it has. Yet even though the multiplication of its angles be infinite, nothing will make the polygon equal the sphere unless the polygon is resolved into identity with the sphere. Martha asked so now she’s expected to enclose infinity within a finite space. It was really more of a statement than a question. Mary said yes, square the circle.

3. Jesus stated that the whole problem in planning an end of the world (particularly the end of history) sculpture, is that you have to speak of what lies beyond the end and also, at the same time, of the impossibility of ending.

Action Items:

1. Gabriel suggested he could provide Martha with an Immaculate Conception demonstration. Martha declined. Mary said Martha really should reconsider.

2. Mary stated the sculpture should be ready for the perceived if not actual cessation of the existence of temporality currently scheduled for this coming December 21st, though the date might be fudged a little.

3. Joseph will check Mary’s schedule and compile a list of possible alternate dates for the annihilation of the world and consequent extermination of the human species, inevitable but impredictable.

4. Joseph to check with Cassandra’s assistant: see when we can schedule a prediction on that.

4. Because Jesus is so damn linear, he will provide us with an end of the world, despite mathematical appearances that there will be no end because we are already in an excess of ends: the transfinite. And in an exceeding of finalities: transfinality.

5. Mary wants the sculpture to be both fascinating and spiritually enthralling, and as we have no vision of final conditions, it must portray an image of negative destiny in a kind of a retrospective arrangement. Also, Mary wishes to see herself as others see her.

6. Martha requires the following materials: two brushes (one green one maroon) and one thousand one hundred thirty two sheets of tissue paper.

Minutes typed by: Joseph
Approved by: Mary, Virgin and CEO

Separating forces.

A god limited in his omniscience and of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a . . . sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created systems or mechanisms that served specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.2:09 am

Anagrams of names: Uslessly wishy-washy, smug vanity. Try this one on, as kinetic poetry it will invoke either desire or loathing:

Nova coin tinker,
(Akin to conniver!)
Can’t invoke iron?
Crave ion, not ink:
A rock invention.

See? Feel it? That ain’t desire. Shall we try for something more esthetic? Something static, that we might arrest our minds (put a pin in that!) just enough to feel ourselves freely rising above desire and loathing without fear of floating away. Words that say you are mine, the world is mine.

You are mine. The world is mine.
The world is mined. You are mined.
You are mind. The world is mind.

Too Stanislaw Lem? Perhaps we should stick to mental poetry, otherwise we are not gods but tinkers.

The difficulties of interpretation.

A small cronopio was looking for the key to the street door on the night table, the night table in the bedroom, the bedroom in the house, the house in the street. Here the cronopio paused, for to go into the street, he needed the key to the door.2:06 am

First it happens, then it means something. Rarely, the bolt of lightning will hit one directly (perhaps from a forty five degree angle like a shot off a shovel) and there within the simultaneity of the electrical discharge and the acoustic report you know as it’s going down that this now this is it is this moment (this very instant) that means already in advance and simultaneously what it will come to mean. But really what are the odds of an event and its significance occurring simultaneously? We can’t know all the conditions so there must be some sort of calculable probability. Twenty to one? And this is assuming of course that there is indeed such a thing as simultaneity, but this is no time for parlor games. There is no simultaneity, event and meaning intersect only with lovers, and there is no free will. Oh yes, also: do not risk, do not expect, do not be disappointed, be satisfied, sustain no positive loss, bring positive gain to others. Now, finish carving that on the tablet, make a duplicate to use as light to the gentiles, and bear it down the mountains in your arms, the secret of the race, graven in the language of prediction.

Having reached the end of his tether.

I turned aside Ulysses, although he had longed to journey; who grows used to me seldom departs -- I satisfy him so.1:57 am

Oh I’ve had the bit between my teeth like a knife in the mouth, but now my tongue is severed and I’m free as a god. Yes, yes, another gone. Not that there is anything so free about gods, and certainly not the one Dante chased, those three globes fluxing together, usurping each other. Like smoke. What’s wrong with the three-in-one, you say? It’s dead I say. And they’re full of itself. No, this is a different kind of free, I don’t mean I think I have free will. I’ve not lost all reason, what do you take me for? I’ve changed sirens and this one sings more sweetly. When I listen to her I can see the past and the future and feel atonement with all. I can hear her now. She’ll say show me the edge of the cliff she’ll say. She’ll say you might have to force me a little. I’ll say I might not have a choice. She’ll say i’m willing, but leave me wanting. She’ll say I’m willing, now force me. I’ll say delicious. She’ll say make me wait for mine. She’ll say I’m wearing something you can rip right off of me. I’ll say you’re killing me. She’ll say I’ll be so grateful. She’ll say I’ll beg you on my knees. I’ll say where are you? She’ll say where do you want me? I’ll say oh god where are you? She’ll say follow my voice. She’ll say can you hear me? I’ll say where, here? She’ll say can you feel me? I’ll say where are you? She’ll say follow my voice.

Then he looked up and saw the eyes that said or didn’t say the words the voice he heard said, if you work.

(Ah, crabeyes, I have you, showing off to the world with that gape in your stocking!)1:35 am

Stare at nothing in particular, but do swim your eyes closer. Work with me here, and I mean that in the widest possible sense. I work, though it seems my work is taken as a word of a different color being so translucently pro bono. Why work? Someone asked me this. What difference if you miss a day or don’t do it at all, are they paying you? Are you making any money? Think of all the money expended on your education, you are entitled to recoup yourself and command your price. We all have a price. Ah well, look here, look there. No price here. No space sold to others: I pay for that privilege. I have every bit as much right to live by my pen as any other but come on now. What the hell are you doing I’ve heard coming from eyes I didn’t expect. Stop. Who said anything about stop? It would take the hand of God, clawlike, crabby shaped, green with malignant red eyes sticking deep its grinning claws into my heart to make me stop.  Beware God’s hand.

You call it a festivity. I call it a sacrament.

IX. Do not write under the empire of emotion. Let it die, then invoke it later. If you are able then to revive it as it was, you have arrived in art, in the middle of the road. 12:07 am

Scene: [As McIntosh begins his return descent through the trap door, decreasing luminosity of ruby light burns inwardly.  The muses enter en masse from the grid.]

God [On the god mic]  And now, the 9 new muses present the 10 new commandments!

The Muse of Commerce:  [Stabbing herself through the heart] You shall have no other gods before me.

The Muse of Operatic Music: [Chained inside a water tank]  Create no images of any thing that is above, on, or beneath the earth. And nothing underwater.

The Muse of Amor:  [Drinking prussic acid]  If you do make images, you shall not worship them or buy them. You love only me. I get jealous and I’ll come after you, your children, your grandchildren, and their kids.

The Muse of Publicity: [Sucking on a pastille of aconite] My name is under copyright protection. Don’t invoke me.

The Muse of Manufacture: [Snorting arsenic] Only one day of rest, people, not two.

The Muse of Liberty of Speech: [Opening her veins]  Don’t talk back to your parents.

The Muse of Gastronomy: [Refusing food]  Don’t kill.

The Muse of Plural Voting:  [Casting herself under Jagannath]  If you’re married, don’t sleep around.

The Muse of Private Hygiene:  [Casting herself from the top of the Space Needle]  No five finger discounts.

The Muse of Seaside Concert Entertainments:  [Casting herself into a wine vat]  Don’t talk about people behind their backs.

The Muse of Painless Obstetrics:  [Asphyxiating herself in a gas oven]  Don’t lust after married people.

The Muse of Astronomy for the People:  [Hanging herself with stylish violet garters]  Just don’t even look at what other people have.

The Veiled Sibyl: [Leaping from Windows]  And don’t read fiction published on the internet; there’s no future in it.