Having my way with Ulysses

Nother dying come home father

I heard this said to me: "Watch how you pass; walk so that you not trample with your soles the heads of your exhausted, wretched brothers."11:13 am

So I came home.  I went to Paris, starved, feasted, starved some more.  I sent pathetic messages to Nother, persevering self-pity, today I am twenty hours without food, your money was very welcome as I had been without food for 42 (forty-two) hours, spells of fasting are common for me now.  And from her position prostrate before the door she would sell furniture, rugs so her suffering boy might eat and buy magazines and a blue condom.  Once I missed her money order by two minutes.  Encore deux minutes!  Ferme.  See what I mean see?  I had nothing when Dad’s message came and had to pretend to speak broken English to avoid tipping a porter.  Inhabit the obsequious manner of a foreigner.  O, that’s all only all right.  And home.  Now I march over the piled stone mamoth skulls.  Proud, though it is not a task to take in jest, to show the base of all the universe — nor for a tongue that cries out “Nother.”

And on the heath behind winking stars a fox

But for her the race of the world would have trampled him underfoot.10:16 am

Look at the snail.  Lean neck, thick.  Ugly.  This is one of my students, Sargent.  He waited after class for a usual reason.  His weak eyes blind to the futility of his academic career.  He can copy but not create.  Still, somebody had loved him.  Had borne him in her womb; two souls in the same body like the Nestorian Jesus.  And she had borne him in her heart. This boneless snail, protected by amor matris from being trampled underfoot by the world.  Well, all in good time.  Still, she had loved his weak watery blood.  Is that what Cranley meant?  Is what she feels the most real thing in this stinking dunghill of a world?  What would we ever know about what she feels?  I see a white dove standing on a broken calculator.  Beautiful.  Horrible it is enlarging.  White feathers are turning to fur, changing color, darkening, bristling.  Brown.  A bear standing on its back legs regarding me, calculating his path.  He gives me sight, and he multiplies my bread and my beer.  Now he is falling forward and catching himself with his front legs and with an intent I fear to place he moves.  His haunches, his breath, he is closer now.  He runs.  He leaps over a protective female form my mother lying prostrate before the door.  She is like the skeleton of a twig burnt in the fire and he is closer.  I see his eyes even with mine, yellow now and the fur around them reddening.  He strikes.  He shrinks.  He is shrinking.  His largeness, his roundness melts into  points, his ears and nose.  I see him now small and slender.  Merciless.  I smell his thievery.  The door and walls are gone and he scrapes the earth and listens.  The stars wink.  Complicit.  At least they know why.  And he scrapes the earth.  I can hear him, I know what he is doing.  And I know what he has done.  Scrape.  Listen.

Mute secret words

No, mother! Let me be and let me live. 8:39 am

While she died everybody prayed and the priest came with his recommendation for her departing soul.  We all (but one) kneeled, bowed our heads, and listened with pious reverence to her loud rattling breath.  Liliata rutilantium te confessorum turma circumdet:  iubilantium te virginum chorus excipiat.  That breath makes the dream not a dream.  I can smell wet ashes still and it tangles into my soul.  She comes staring at me, striking me down with her eyes.  Speaking and help me I hear nothing.  Her agony on me alone.  We were all (save me) chewers of corpses.

Phantasmal mirth: her secrets.

Not could. Will. I want to. So it is the old meat after all, no matter how old. Because if memory exists outside of the flesh it won't be memory because it won't know what it remembers so when she became not then half of memory became not and if I become not then all of remembering will cease to be. Yes he thought between grief and nothing I will take grief. 8:36 am

Memory is more than ideas and sensations.  Yes, Buck is right.  Ok.  I give him that.  But it is also an experience, my experience and my memory of it is a feature of me with a logic internal only to me.  What am I but memory?  That’s it.  Memory of the past that was and the past that never was (but might have been was).   A growing, solid, massive, increasing expanding thing, and just over there, look there, the paltry and shapeless future.  Small.  I hope (not much) I fear (too much).  I had hoped more but that is part of the past now too, lurching away.  I remember my mother and here she is now, enormous.  She fills my now.  She’s right here, do you feel her filling the room?  Of course you don’t.  I do.  Her things, her smells, her tap water before mass, her baked apple filled with brown sugar.  You can’t smell it but I can.

Sun break, slowly.

Grey. Far. No, not like that. A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead sea: no fish, weedless, sunk deep in the earth. No wind could lift those waves, grey metal, poisonous foggy waters.8:33 am

The Sound is a mirror today, at least while the sun break lasts.  But I can see now the clouds are beginning to cover the sun, slowly wholly and the water’s morning peace is turning dim.  I sang for her while she was dying.  Her door was open and I sang so she could hear until she cried and I went to her.  The words she said made her cry, love’s bitter mystery.  I was silent.  The Sound from here is a bowl of bitter waters.  Where now?

Beastly dead

Why this text came to be written? It was intended to be a Trojan horse allowing a bit of mathematical esoterica to infiltrate surreptitously hence near-painlessly, the investigation of the messiness of raw nature. 8:30 am

Here’s what happened.  And it happened, by the way, not by accident of matter or the motion or immovability of things in the space we occupied, but encased within one of the ineffably ridiculous number of possible ways in which it could have gone down.  Buck had hold of my arm and I moved away from him and he asked so I finally told him look, do you remember what you said the day after my mother died?  I came to your place and your mother asked who was in your room and you said O it is only Dedalus whose mother is beastly dead.  I don’t care that he sees death all day and night at the hospital and the blood and the smells and the bits of meaningless matter.  What is dead, he said.  Anybody’s death, what does it matter but the matter that he has to shovel away.  I saw my mother die and I wouldn’t (couldn’t) humor her.  End of story (that particular version). Cranly said the same, just kneel and think what you want.  No.  What does the Sound care?  Look at it he said.  Well look at it.  It ebbs and it flows but it also swirls and eddies.  It can be anywhere do anything move in all directions simultaneously.  And when you look in infinite directions at its contact with dry (relatively) land, it is contained by nothing.  No different in length than the coast of Britain.  The Sound doesn’t have to care.  It doesn’t have my problems.

The man in black absorbs

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree: where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea.8:15 am

Wearing black conducts reflects refracts heat.  Black more professional.  If it were possible to stay in front of the sun forever, never let it past, just travel ahead of it. Won’t get a day older, technically.  If the sun were slower or I could speed up.  If I could get in a plane and just move ahead of the earth as it spins away from the sun.  This is the real time travel.  Like astronauts going to the next star and then home to dead relatives.  If it moved more slowly I could wander in front of it on a plain.  It would seem as if all is stopped.  Could steal more time that way.  Or I could walk to the east, know the lands unknown.  I could find a gate there, and a sentry like Tweedy say, leaning on a long spear.  Wander Der voglenish meshumed.  Turbans, carpet shops, Görünmeyen Adam.  The hooka, sellers in streets, fennel water, sherbet.  Meet a robber?  Hello brother,  I am one like you.  What are you stealing?  Shall I help you? Sundown mosques casting shadows on pillars.  Another time even, another time again, another time more.  A damsel with a dulcimer playing to the shivering trees.   Mother calling children home.  Fading gold to violet garter sky.

Toys of Desperation

This is not a bowl of vomit.8:12 am

I can’t sweat for speaking no speak for sweating.  It was my mother I dreamed dead in her body.  I thought I was sleeping but I had to be dreaming, it was bits of both and there she was bent over me.  I could smell her breath wet ashes and formaldehyde.  She had a tube, there in the hospital, that went down into her body and out from it came green and yellow and sometimes bloody mucus.  Neverstopping.  It was all I could see while pretending not to look.  How are you you look good today.  Other bags of waste too.  Unbearable to sleep on the floor watching those bags fill and waiting.  She bloated toward the end.  Her skin puffed and filled with fluid until the geography of her hands stretched smooth.   Maps of wrinkles none of us needed consult until they were unrecognizable.  She couldn’t breathe out very well, but they were filling her with oxygen to keep her alive and poison her slowly.  She was bent over me where the wall should be.  There she was.  Silent.  Repoachful.  Vomiting into her white china bowl.

Standings לֹא אעבוד

Are you trying to make a convert of me or a pervert of yourself?8:09 am

Buck thinks he is a stand up guy, speaking without a filter about everything, bleeding me for money too  He wants me to get some money out of Haines but I can’t stand the thought of bowing down to him.  I will not serve.  And if Buck thinks I’m a bit sinister for my beliefs so be it.  Better friends than he have questioned my disbeliefs.  My mother asked me to pray for her while she was dying but I still cannot pay a false homage even to the most logical and coherent of absurdities.  That may shock Buck’s Aunt, but I will stick with my usual defenses.   Cunning.  Exile.  And this time silence.