Having my way with Ulysses

Yes because

Now go.

eureka i was in the bath like archimedes when the idea came clean i am god and you too and why not let my work be delightful and with ulysses why not what a year it could be and i laughed every day and cried some too, the installment i knitted with molly crying as she was the death bunting for rudy have you ever knit anything people notice when she says whats the use grieving for something that was neither one thing nor the other she wont think herself into the glooms about that anymore because you know at that moment she has done so already and more than once and i don’t care how fast a knitter you are even for the tiniest little newborn which rudy most certainly would have been knitting takes time thinking and measuring and increasing and decreasing grafting and sewing it together weave in the ends and blocking if she blocked and put it on him it would have been all day and into the night I know what it is to be a woman and a mother twice over and pregnant more often than that and i felt molly that day back in oxen of the sun though thats not the only way we are in synch which made me laugh too mostly i laughed from the pleasure of it working with ideas i keep around what has love to do with free will and time and eternity simultaneity mathematical esoterica death and god both and or i would write something to crack myself up and laugh that way too each day long and crammed full i would wake up exhausted around 5 my boys wide awake up and busy id start all the simultaneity of life looking after my boys basic survival needs and sometimes my own food pull ups check the schedule what do i think im writing about today half awake without a god’s notion and clothes socks shoes wheres your jacket reading and waiting for it the first mad thing comes into my head no time to overthink anything commit to what comes research it and write and image and caption and keep going tomorrow comes fast and boys play read love kiss comfort and feed them dos huevos estrellados maybe today but no dear god they eat like damn birds one eats nothing new and the other eats two raspberries and is full both curly and sweet beautiful and neither ever eats the same thing as his brother ever smart curious both confused in my eyes sometimes when it comes to weather look mommy blue clouds northwest kids in the dumping rain peacefully doing whatever when people from well normal climates run at the first drop whether it is just misting out or pissing down rain the little one still wont pee in fish heaven where we poured bloop and flushed him on to eternality tell me how do you argue with that our 1st death too it was they learned to swim and play chess and checkers and watch out for the little one he cheats and read i love watching brotherhood happen ive never seen anything like it the sun shines for them and for my marriage too my second one and thank god for it my love my life and i moved to the backroom when was that during circe maybe where i could do my writing and studies at the table in there so i can think and the days slipping sideways and i stopped paying attention to months and started thinking in chapters each one a newness and a different kind of pleasure and in the bath nightly a languid floating flower alone and done for the day and this one the last one nearly done too yes and nothing to do tomorrow for the first time since long before a year ago but it is time now to stop to look around a bit take it in and rest quietly for just one time a short time perhaps or a long however it comes and be still yes because a woman whatever she does she knows where to stop.

Lord the cracked things come into my head sometimes


and why did i do this work have i no manners nor no refinement nor no agenbite of inwit well i do have the ayenbite of inwyt though i had the devils own job translating it from old kentish dialect and itself literally translated from french but there is so much in there sirens and lapwings and cuckoos I came to this idea while translating old english the anglo saxon rune poem my littlest boy started preschool and like melanctha i had been was always desiring to get back into a classroom and time and writing and who can wait i though id have four hours a day four days a week i can work with that what to do i didnt yet know so i translated the rune poem and somewhere between god mouth and journey by road i thought well as well joyce as another ill let ulysses be my playground what harm if i did i have a little time ill take the book of a day whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere and stretch it into a year ill put bloomsday in the middle of the path of its life and ill write according to the time in ulysses and let it be what i like it to be the first ones came out and no damn fear once i started i tell you as the inner voices of stephen worlds weary because he is overwhelmed by too many choices creating too many worlds and bloom nowthenowhen or maybe better in finite time because hes trapped in the present but that looks like infinitetime not the same idea the same and not the same and too easy to mistake so narrative young and narrative mature could be bloglike and everything in first person voice and lots of voices too and let the styles evolve whatever direction i like images yes they had to fit what i see in my mind for that day and sometimes hours and hours of work to get the picture just right captioned with something that would explain comment transform deepen amuse and the styles changing with the year and never enough time for it four hours a day four days a week was not even a drop of what this took seven to nine hours a day or more every day every day every day every day through child illnesses and birthdays and school holidays and emergencies and exhaustion yes and joy too and problems and life and life and life which i knew going in this is what i wanted i real year packed to the gills with life and work and no looking back no time for revision tomorrow is a new day will be so there are holes in my stockings and naked words all over the place and even my bare ass in tessellation and why not can writing be performance art and what does that look like and how does it happen and what can it be to read something a writer puts out there in real time and who would read i dont know who but i see numbers hundreds a day and increasing so many people half from overseas india reads me during their night and europe in their day ireland england france germany netherlands italy spain south africa egypt japan russia australia new zeland mexico canada argentina peru brazil the middle east asia south america the world i missed one installment for a bad concussion but i made it up the next day though i don’t remember how looking back in a retrospective kind of arrangement there are two or three summer weeks i cant quite recall it all comes floating back in a jumbled simultaneity like dreaming in water but i kept going nothing would stop me not even nothing sometimes i wrote in advance doubling the length of my days i neglected my family who were marvelous good sports about it and the laundry general house cleanliness and personal health i felt sharply the agenbite of inwit but a deal is a deal is a deal is a deal im doing this for a year and i did too and by the by a couple extra weeks on top i found so much in ulysses even at this pace that i had never slowed down long enough before to see not even when i was teaching spend hours on just a page or two every day and things get more clear and as easy to see as where was moses when the candle went out and more muddy too is molly lying about her age i think shes fair and forty who is macintosh ah well who the hell knows everybody and nobody pieces of ulysses float through my dreams when i sleep and joyce too this whole thing has been a dream and my dream if you were to do this you might not speak of mathematical esoterica or temporality though i cant quite see how and youll probably not discover as i did that god and mary are divorced and share custody that martha is so angry and lizzie twigg would show up so often or cassandra and the nuns of tranquilla convent are men and the afterlife is a theatre and god is a stage manager or is it jesus and circes pigs are dogs and having once been repulsed by a friend cooking his cat whenever ago in italy i would write a recipe for it and there are as many hindus as greeks amongst the eternals in ulysses and my earliest childhood living in the black hills during the pine ridge uprising is in there too with grandfather tatanka iyotanka and growing up in a colorado mining town what do you know its in my ulysses there in the back peeking out at the end and when once i had favorite chapters i cant say that now no i cant say that now there was nothing i couldnt say and much i didnt say no time no time tomorrow is a new dream will be

I couldnt rest easy till I bolted all the doors and windows to make sure

vern what the hell were you thinking daily for a year

i am sure I heard burglars in lestrygonians i know i did, even with sirens making as much noise as it possibly can and that crack forming in eumaeus maybe i can get a watch cat that can be useful later on too i wonder if they can see anything that we cant staring like that but i hate their claws im not going to rest easy until i lock this place down bolt all the doors and windows to make sure there isnt much to steal indeed the lord knows you put it all out there for free the past year and then some still its the feeling it would be all confusion if we moved when ill bring a bit of salt in uncross the knives i knew thered be a parting that bit stitched on the day after it happened when was that nausicaa one installment late out of how many and this one is number 453 O Vern what the hell were you thinking daily for a year id like to give you 2 damn fine cracks across the ear for yourself take that now for going ahead with all this temporal stretching to dig up whatever you might find down in the cracks you think nothing happens in a year everything happens in a year and you with two of them and each one too little to wipe his own ass too impatient with the waiting always waiting to send them down to some school to learn but o patience above it all had to come pouring out of you too soon what you dont want to hear that well you cant say i pretend things can you im too honest maybe i am the pan calling the kettle blackbottom but every day i get up theres some new thing on and im to get in front of the footlights again and let it out full sweet god sweet god well when im stretched out dead in my grave i suppose ill have some peace

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.

Looking back now in a retrospective kind of arrangement all seemed a kind of dream.

I danced over the water, I danced o'er the sea, and all the birds in the air couldn't catch me.1:43 am

It’s all lit up now, but try explaining to people more invested in my marriage than I was, and there were plenty of them, surprisingly. It was the oddest thing. Don’t get me wrong, he was a nice enough guy, just not up to scratch. A diamond in the rough somebody nice said. Yeah, I could see that. Going to be a diamond.

Looking forward in a prospective kind of arrangement I saw sparkling things, an illuminated life filled with art and philosophy. He was a talented musician despite having never heard of mathematics. Well he had three chords and the truth, so that’s all you need baby, that’s all you need. And if you have more than three chords and fewer truths than the truth? Then you still have >=< so that’s ok: it evens out. Well, to be fair, he did often speak the truth, he’d just leave out the jucy parts. And consider. Just think what he could be, given the proper pressure. But without the only effective kind of pressure (of the self inflicted variety) coal lumps don’t turn into diamonds. Natural forces, not artificial, or you end up with a drunk ass cubic zirconia. A drunk ass cubic zirconia is not as good as a lump of coal. And a fine lump of a coal all the same. I liked the lump of coal.

Now let me tell you about being Peruvian, or half so. I can’t tell you much because I don’t know that much about it, but as a half Peruvian and a half Canadian and half Swedish, via half German, who was caught mingling in there with the half Scottish who was half Ulster, and as it turns out not half French (the half German half Swede, not the half Scottish half Ulster) but half Jewish in disguise. Oh yeah and half Dutch in there somewhere. I thought the Swedes and the Germans would be neck in neck, but for the Dutch to pop up was a twenty to one shot at least. So that’s being half American. But only half, the other half’s Peruvian. And types like us: the passionate abandon of the south, casting every shred of decency to the winds, wouldn’t do things by halves. What is the half life of real love existing between married folk supposing another man? Now, I had loosened many a man’s thighs but never when I was in a relationship. Then I was loyal and loving and after the first I’d say two months of sex it settles into lots of god knows what and no sex. In these situations other men, no matter who, take on a what do you call it gossamer quality. See right through them. But. And it’s a big but. No wait, that was the lump of coal. Ha! Sorry. The hemispheres on him! Haha! Just had to. You know. A big butt! Whooo. Let me catch my breath! Oooh. That felt good. When were we? Oh yeah. Butt. I am so trying not to laugh. Butt. Butt butt butt. Ok. Ok. So funny. Butt.

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.

Who am I and what is this and when?

Putting truth and untruth together a shot may be made at what this hybrid actually was like to look at.14:14 pm

Nostra. Our. We. I think about that word sometimes.  Dante doing Borges and I.  Borges doing Dante and I.  Joyce does Shem the Penman and I in Finnegans Wake (but every honest to goodness man in the land of the space of today knows that his back life will not stand being written about in black and white) and whatever other colors you got.  Veronica Maria Robertson Gonzales de Reyes. Changed it to Veronica Tonkin.  Most people call me Vern.  But Veronica Maria Robertson Gonzales de Reyes was what it was until we moved to the States and people don’t have so many names here.  I didn’t have this name at the start, understand, they didn’t have my name picked out right away.  And as an aside which might be somehow related to the acquisition of my name, my parents referred to the day I was born as the night my dad killed the general.  I’ve asked.  More than once.  I got side stories and whatever else  I could get when they’d switch over to Castellano.  With a little symmetry under the cemetery wall I was born at 14:14 pm, so whatever else went down happened later that night.  There was some catastrophe going on in that I was supposed to be a boy so they never imagined a girl name.  Didn’t think one up.  But worse than having no name, they had no earrings.  There I am a girl and no earrings.  So you can imagine.  It must have been chaos.  There was never any doubt they were getting a boy; the opposite possibility never crossed their minds.  This was before finding out early, you understand.  I was supposed to be a boy because that is how it was supposed to be.  But, besides the complication of no penis so no earrings and no name.  There was, remember, the matter of the possible slaying of some sort of general at the hands of my father.  My uncle was a general.  But he survived my birth.  And I don’t know if he was a general yet.  He commanded the Peruvian army at some point.  War with Ecuador.  Cars with armed escorts.  This was all long before he went to America with his cancer dying in what was that hospital?  East coast somewhere.  My mother didn’t go.  But the night after the afternoon on the day I was born, my father killed the general.  And I didn’t have a name. I don’t know for how long, it was a blank period.  Not a lot of time passed, I’m guessing, but try telling that to a newborn.  Even two hours is everything.  All there is and was and has been and none of those things matter.  What is there of time at the start?  At that moment of the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, what is it like?  I forget.  So I didn’t have a name for I’m now guessing a long time.  They wanted names that were spelled the same in Castellano and in English.  My sister already had one. Virginia Maria. Virgin Mary if you really want to translate; try living up to that one, girls.  She did what she could.  Me?  Why Veronica?  My uncle the general who survived the day of my birth had a thing for Veronica Lake.  You know the one, silver screen blonde hair covering one eye.  Sexy.  Ended up an alcoholic prostitute, and lost it a bit upstairs toward the end.  Imagine a spectrum starting with the Virgin Mary to no end point.  I did what we could.  Me.  Vern and I.  That’s me in the picture writing us.

Damn her. O, well, she has to live like the rest.

They mouth love's language. Gnash The thirteen teeth Your lean jaws grin with. Lash Your itch and quailing, nude greed of the flesh. Love's breath in you is stale, worded or sung, As sour as cat's breath, Harsh of tongue. This grey that stares Lies not, stark skin and bone. Leave greasy lips their kissing. None Will choose her what you see to mouth upon. Dire hunger holds this hour. Pluck forth your heart, saltblood, a fruit of tears, Pluck and devour!4:55 pm

Undante umoroso. M. 50-50.


Well now look at that one, pretending he don’t see me. I knew his woman, whatsis, fat singer wore the brown costume. Wouldn’t you like to know how. I should say his name, make him look at me. Look at me. Now when did I first see that form endearing? Yes, raining in some street fuck knows where. Woof he stinks! Passing the silent and deadly. Thinks nobody notices. I can see him looking at me through the back of his head. Sees my reflection in the window too. Coward. I’ll let it pass. This time. Thinks he’ll never see me again. Hardly ever. I have done, for now.

Love or money

Ay mi pobre hija, se van a quemar juntos en el infierno.

4:08 pm


These two bitches been doing a shit job of things. I see luring but no devouring. Where’s the devouring? Why I leave girls to do a woman’s job? Move over, all of you, let me through. Mama’ll fix this mess. Lidia, ready to kill herself over that one just left. He’s on his way to a real sirena baby, go play sad music and cry. Stupida. Where’s your sanity? Stand up straight! God give me patience these girls make me crazy. Who told you to warm him up for somebody else to finish off? Did all her work for her. She’s a better singer too. She knows what sells. Think. Remember when she was selling clothes? And singing in bars. What do you think made her money, eh? Those old theatre rags don’t sells themselves, you see people lining up for that? It was the men. The men. The men she lured singing. Learn something. And Mina. Who you going to get standing there doing nothing? Look at that fatso there slapping that piano with his meat hands. He knows. Or that fake priest who helped him knows: put on tight pants when you sing to the girls. It’s not the voice it’s the body. Even a fatty like him. Come on chicas! Why is it taking men to teach you a job you should know by instinct? Listen to these guys:


They know their business, ya. They’ll eat you alive then drag your soul to hell and you’ll want more. Listen to their promises. Even I’d take my panties off for them. Get your shit together. Now Lidia don’t cry. An idiot who leaves just like that isn’t worth throwing yourself away over. Mi pobre hija. I just want you to get them to come to you, to see you with their own will. Now enough of this, you give me a pain deep in my heart. You have work to do and another one coming in. You get him, ok? Enough tears chica, you make yourself crazy over nothing and me with you. Now go.

How flat they look all of a sudden after. Peaceful eyes. Weight off their mind.

shhhhh1:23 pm

Time means nothing.  Nothing at all.  Eighty seven hours so far?  Is that what they said talking about me like I’m not here in this body.  It’s the body and the baby they focus on.  I’m in here if you want to know is she Latina ask me bitches I’m right here!  Talking behind my head here comes one.  Pain it comes from far away, a distance away.  From some other place then it is here now ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


Remembered not to hold my breath that time.  Make the noise.  Helps, not sure how.  Sacred ohm sounding, but doula didn’t get it when I told her.  Minute and a half?  Means nothing.  Time stretches and contracts like me stretches contracts dilates, not like me.  Never felt it like this before.  Feel it undulating with me during, when.  Pushing through me like a wave in a tube.  How many centimeters.  Just a bit left they said.  Stuck. Watching me watching them sharpening the knives.  Give her one more hour then cut her open, get it done.  Walk more.  Rock.  Birth ball.  Dance shuffle side to side.  Again same hallway again.  Walk.  Come on.   Anesthesiologist checking in.   Standing by.  Wants to go to lunch probably.   Plotting.   Here comes one, distant traveler, coming closer, time unduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuulaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatiooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum.

Oh.  Never ends.  I live here now.  The after, it went more quickly than they say.  I am fine between.  Ready.  Should have ignored midwife.  Get in the bath she said, slow it down so you can rest.  Rest my ass.  Pretending to sleep so he could sleep.  I need him later.  Rest, you’ll never rest again.  Pain worse lying down.  Pacing in patterns.  I don’t remember the first day much.  Now.  All that is.  Everything and nothing.  Time shortened and lengthened together.  When the pain comes time comes with it, squeezing.  A peristaltic now.  They told me not to eat.   Don’t vomit when we slice into you.  Sneaking food.  Can’t do it for this long just on fumes.   Inhumane.   Do they remember my humanity.  I am a human body and no more.  I was in here too.  Before. Then there’s that one at her computer.  Recording angel obstetric nurse who never had a baby.  The miracle of life, the beauty of birth, shut the fuck up.  Coming now.  She’ll see it on her monitor.  Hasn’t looked at me in hours.  Like a visit from purity of and God and pain and pain.  aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Oh Christ I am running out of time.  I need help.  help me.  help me.  Grandma come.  I need you.  Show up.  Everybody out grandma come.  Hello.  Hand on my face.  smile.  She looks.  And then she is with.  Mamama.  Mamama here.  Hello.  Hello.  Help me Mamama.  She stands aside and a veiled woman.  Older.  Mamama touches my hair, holding me calm.  The veiled woman her hands inside me swirling in patterns, pushing, moving, gentle.   What.  They look at each other.  Nod.  Mamama.  Oh she is holding me I’m in her arms so little and she loves me.   She loves me.   I was special to her.   I didn’t know.   I didn’t know her.   She loves me.   Look she says with her eyes.   Look and I’m holding him, my beauty love.   I’m holding him.   She’s gone so fast and he’ll be here now.   He’s coming now.   She has me, we’ll be ok.  Thank you.   Thank you.

uuugh          uuugh          uuugh          uuugh          uuugh          uuugh