Having my way with Ulysses

For the solution of difficult problems in imaginary or real life.

These are portents; but yet I hope, I hope, they do not point on me. 2:07 am

Now, the best answer to any problem, not to be too woo woo about it, is to let the universe decide, or rather, leave it up to the universe to tell you the best path.  The choice is yours, you have free will as far as I can see. You do. You have lots of it. But it can help, or at least it can’t possible hurt to gain a little advice from a power greater than ourselves.  So come on, do you have cold feet about the cosmos or are you with me?  Now. Hold the hand mirror in the proper position and imagine any problem you might be having.  A matter of the heart maybe, or a financial problem.  Perhaps another person is sleeping with your beloved. Or maybe you can’t decide how much cream to put into your cocoa.  It can be anything, just hold your question in your mind with clear intent and allow me to practice sortes Shakespearianae on your behalf.  I am using a leatherbound Shakespeare complete, 1926, kept carefully upright and once owned by Guare Swofr Jr. from what I can make out of his or her appallingly illegible signature.  Ready? We ask the blessed universal oneness to grant us clarity and insight and guide our hand to the correct place for enlightenment. The answer to your problem is:

Shame and confusion! all is on the rout; Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds where it should guard.

That’s from the second part of King Henry VI, act 5, scene 2, spoken by Young Clifford.  Tell you anything?  Tells me you should maybe avoid the cocoa and stick with water.  And somebody is definitely sleeping with your beloved. Oh dear. You look terrible.  Do over! Let’s do it again.  This time we’ll try sortes Biblicae. I have a nicely dogeared copy of the bible inscribed To Mike. From: Robbie Nelson.  The copyright page has been torn out. Ready? We ask the universe with full hearts and clear heads for the answer to our questions and your solution is:

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits.

Pretty! Book of Daniel 3:1, so I’d say pour the cream! Not sure what this says about your other problems though.  Perhaps you should find a nice golden idol to worship?  Or craft one of your own?  Maybe we should try again. The universe is never wrong, you understand, it does sometimes want clarification. How about sortes Cortazarae? In times of confusion I often turn to, yes, where is it now? Where? Green book, paperback, yellow piece of paper with chapter numbers and checkmarks marking chapter 110. Here! Ready? Now, we ask the universe and so on and so forth:

If the volume or the tone of the work can lead one to believe that the author is attempting a sum, hasten to point out to him that he is face to face with the opposite attempt, that of an implacable subtraction.

So you see! So use mathematics and start subtracting: lay off cocoa and dump your lover. Can’t get a clearer answer than that.


In its own way, this book consists of many books, but two books above all. The first can be read in a normal fashion and it ends with Chapter 56, at the close of which there are three garish little stars which stand for the words The End. Consequently, the reader may ignore what follows with a clean conscience. The second should be read by beginning with chapter 73 and then following the sequence indicated at the end of each chapter. In case of confusion or forgetfulness one need only consult the following list10:11 am

Anemone:  I have been so looking forward to seeing everyone, and look, here we all are!  I can’t remember the last time we had our full membership together.

Forget-me-not:  I can, it was last spring.  But then our group didn’t include Cactus or Nightstalk, and Primrose was still with us.

Violet:  Can’t count on her.

Tulip:  Good riddance, her opinions pissed me off most of the time.

Anemone:  Well, welcome to Manflower.  Do you know everybody?

Manflower:  Everbody but this American beauty next to me.

Rose:  [blushing] how lovely!

Violet: That’s enough false modesty Rose, so did everybody do the reading?

Cactus:  I read every word.

Forget-me-not:  So did I and I remember all of it.  I loved every part of it!

Rose:  Wait, stop right there.  Remember that we don’t say if we liked it or not until the end.

Forget-me-not:  Oh that’s right, how could I forget.  Manflower, that’s one of our only rules.  That and we never reschedule via email.  If you cant come you can’t come.

Violet:  You didn’t forget.

Manflower:  I can come.

Rose:  Oooh!

Tulip:  Well, I had a hard time reading it.  How do you read the bloody thing anyway?  You click on it and there you are somewhere in the middle.  Who reads anything from the middle?  It makes no sense.  Then you have to click to previous posts to find out what’s been going on in a kind of retrospective arrangement.  There’s no linearity to it.  No logical flow.  No forward progression.  I don’t get it.  Who reads like that?

Rose:  Use the tags.  They are so beautiful!

Tulip:  So what?  What about important things that happen only once?  The tags don’t help with that.  You might as well cut all the pages out of a book, scramble them up and then read them that way for all the sense this makes.

Nightstalk:  You have to start at the beginning like I did and read it backwards.  I read every word.

Violet:  You didn’t read it backwards.  And you didn’t read every word.

Nightstalk:  How would you know, you pansy?

Cactus: I can endure anything Nightstock, but don’t be so prickly.

Violet:  I’m telling you with full candor that you didn’t read it backwards.  I, however, read it, then I found out that there is text under every picture so to be faithful to the thing I went back and hovered over all of them.  And I looked for all of our names using the search, except for mine of course.

Anemone:  Oh, tell me what you found!

Violet:  Not much.

Forget-me-not:  Maybe we should all say which picture we remember truely loving the best?  How about you Nightstalk?

Nightstalk:  Um.  I liked.  Lets see.  There was that one.  Um.  All of them.

Violet.  You didn’t look at any of it, did you?

Tulip: This whole conversation is as pointless as this month’s reading.  It isn’t even a real book!  Who can get any pleasure from this?  Look, I’m wilting.  Let’s have dinner and say if we liked the damn thing or not.  I hated it.

Manflower:  So did I.

Rose: Oh me too!  How beautiful that we have that in common.

Cactus:  Careful Manflower, she has thorns.  Rose, get a room already.  The book, non-book, or whatever we are calling this thing just touched me the wrong way.  I hated it too.

Forget-me-not:  I loved it!

Anemone:  We know.  Thanks for ruining the anticipation.

Nightstalk:  I enjoyed it.

Violet:  You didn’t even look at it.  Well I suppose there is enjoyment in that.  I hated it too.  So thats all of us then.

Anemone:  You forgot me!  Why am I always forsaken?  I didn’t like it.  For next month let’s read a real book.