Having my way with Ulysses

Sounds are impostures, like names.

This never changes.1:11 am

Well hello darling, what’s your name? What do they call you, honey? I’ve been called plenty, I can tell you. Here’s a list:

  1. Veronica. My first name. After some delay possibly whispered to me with kissing and disappointed relief. Perhaps sung to me by Mamáma or The Maids.
  2. Virginia. My older by two and a half years sister’s name. Mine too when my mother yelled it.
  3. Ronnie. My American grandfather’s name for me. His name for loving me. Don’t call me that. Only Grampa can say my sweetest name. His mouth saying his my name says I was something a bit different for him than anybody else was. So only him, yeah? Nobody gets to call me that call me Veronica. Don’t you come any closer. I never should have said. So now get out please. Go.
  4. Vicki. Great. My bully. My mortal enemy. The only other girl in my grade when we moved to Colorado and we both have V names which people found interchangable, even in an isolated mining town.
  5. Scrawny Ronnie. I was tiny. Don’t call me Ronnie.
  6. Vero — My mother would scream this at games in which if I had not been coerced into joining the team there would not have been enough of us to play. Go Vero!
  7. Bero — The way Vero sounds to American ears whose mouths called me that too.
  8. Bennie — Timed typing. Maybe six of us. Mr. Stroh behind his novel saying on the count of three one click two click click clack. Who’s cheating? It was Veronica. No it wasn’t it was James. Shut up Benedict! Benedict Arnold was a traitor not a cheater and to betray you I’d have to be aligned with you which I’m not. Veronica, load a new piece of paper. Hey let’s call her Bennie. It wasn’t me; it was James.
  9. Victoria — Nobody called me this in my home town. The town had one Vicki and one Veronica one Virginia and one Valerie. No Victoria and never any confusion.  In college the unsure of my name called me Victoria.
  10. Vern — College Friend: Hey Vern, know what I mean? I didn’t like it and then I did like it. This became my name.  Hi, my name is Vern.  Everybody calls me Vern.
  11. Vernie. Close friends, mostly in college, mostly females but for Tod where the hell is he? Who disappears in the information age? But Tod is only one of his what’s in a names and I can’t find him under any of them.
  12. Um. Coined by students finding Veronica too impersonal and Doctor or Professor Robertson or Browning or Tonkin too formal.
  13. Verne — Sounds the same as Vern. But the sound I hear from my inlaws’ mouths is spelled differently in South Africa. Verne is what they say when they say Vern.
  14. Maria — My middle name. Not my middle name.
  15. Robertson Gonzales Reyes — The names I was born with, a portion of which feels foreign and awkward next to my other names, depending on the speaker’s hemisphere of origin.
  16. Robertson — My first last name I used. Much more simple in America to think and not be required to speak the Gonzales Reyes part.
  17. Gonzales Reyes — My silent names.
  18. Browning — The name I never wanted. I stayed Robertson for over a year. Then I found the last thing my husband had been lying about. He was so relieved. I had stepped closer to the meanings behind the sounds of his names. The great burden of being known only partially had lifted from his shoulders and landed on mine like a toad on my shoulder. Whispering names in my ear. So I changed my name. It would help.
  19. Robertson — It did not help. I was Browning for maybe eight months. I was Browning when I finished my degree. Dissertation submission paperwork, should I write Robertson? I sent in Browning. And by the time I got Robertson back I didn’t want it anymore. The Robertsons had shown me their meanings behind their sounds too.
  20. Tonkin —  I love my Tonkins. I am an imposter Tonkin, so I am free to invent Tonkin history. Tonkins are good at hard things, I tell my children. And so they are.
  21. Bitch Cunt Whore Baby Babe Honey Sugar Sweetie Darlin Little Filly. Please feel free to add to this list. I know who I am to me. I want to know who I am to you. We all do.

Nes. Yo.

Orca Bellona! Heavencry at earthcall, etnat athos?12:36 am

In the beginning was the world, in the end the word without end. Oh my heart, am I my mother? Fantasy. Just anima’s fantasy. Here’s how it goes; you’ve heard it I’m sure: there’s nothing naked under the clothing moon. But first, I’m all of a mucksweat. The day ins and outs of it born from a heart and nine months hard labor, but then coming forth of darkness and Orc’s away now! Nice, no? Every phenomenon has natural cause, even revolutions in the word. First, cause. Then I’ll be thy mouth given unto me! Fly as the hawk’s right eye! Free will! But watch out for the 32 feet per second per second. Oh that. What goes down must come. It goes the other way too. As below, so above. Rock becomes root becomes worm becomes serpent in the garden. Beryl was there, and the other rainbow girls. How’s that for gloomery glamory? Shall I be the toad on your shoulder? Come here, my Athos and warm me up.  I’ll whisper little somethings right where the camel went through the needle. I’ll obey your every. I’ll be slave to your chic, Dave to your dick, and we’ll root in the fat of the land. I’m willing, now force me. Good dog.


In search of whom they sought: him there they found squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve; Assaying by his devilish art to reach the organs of her Fancy, and with them forge illusions as he list, phantasms and dreams, or if, inspiring venom, he might taint th' animal spirits that from pure blood arise like gentle breaths from rivers pure, thence raise at least distempered, discontented thoughts, vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires blown up with high conceits engend'ring pride. 11:32 am

I thought I heard a toad whispering into my ear.  That is how the dream began.  It was a strange dream or nightmare, I do not understand which, of a place I have never seen and people looking unlike anybody within the walls of our dear abbey.  I sensed that the toad was most troubled.  I have spoken with many creatures but never with a toad, so I am not certain of his words or meanings, but he had a fluent croak.  Werburgh.  Werburgh.  My name came forth from his bulbous throat most naturally.  I am uncertain, but I believe he may have shifted his appearance, for at times I thought he resembled a bulldog.  Or a sheep.  Even a rook.  Oh the things he showed me disturbed me greatly.  I saw a coffin and mourners, but they were strangely dressed and the poor deceased had not a full mass, merely the absolution and that was all for to send the dear pitiable creature to our eternal Father.  Oh how I shall pray for that sweet soul!  The toad then whispered into my ear a most grievous vision; a man of dour countanence, not of our faith, improperly kneeling and unable to pray.  Within his thoughts he held such little understanding of the sacred rites we hold so dear, and he occupied his mind most shockingly with the flesh of his wife puffed with air.  I can hardly bring myself to see it.  Then most dreadfully he imagined the light which might come from igniting air released by the desecration of tombs long sealed!  I grieve greatly for the everlasting soul of this wretched man who damages himself with his thoughts.  How I tremble for the future of our existence as I believe this was the purpose of the wise dear toad.  He showed me such disturbing revelations of what is surely to be the second fall of man so that perhaps with piety and prayer we can change the miserable lot of our wretched future bretheren.  I see now my friends the wild geese in their pond.  We shall cook the fat one in a pie this evening and tomorrow I shall gather its feathers and bones and resurrect the dear creature.  That is, if the rest of them give me their solemn promise to stay out of the cornfield.