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A Bloomsday Eve Teaser

June 15, 2012

[I sent what follows out to the Subverbo email list, titled as above, exactly one year ago as my traditional Bloomsday email. I did not send out the promised follow-up on the next day or the day after that, so I suppose the time has come. Or it will come tomorrow or the next day or next year. I have not given any thought to Ulysses since last June so I feel ill-prepared to tackle the topic, but maybe once I get a few pints of Guinness and drams of whiskey in my gullet and a potato in my pocket on The Day itself I will remember what I had in mind to write and get it on this blog, if clumsy Irished hands allow.]

Stuck on the pane two flies buzzed, stuck.

Glowing wine on his palate lingered swallowed. Crushing in the winepress grapes of Burgundy. Sun’s heat it is. Seems to a secret touch telling me memory. Touched his sense moistened remembered. Hidden under wild ferns on Howth below us bay sleeping: sky. No sound. The sky. The bay purple by the Lion’s head. Green by Drumleck. Yellowgreen towards Sutton. Fields of undersea, the lines faint brown in grass, buried cities. Pillowed on my coat she had her hair, earwigs in the heather scrub my hand under her nape, you’ll toss me all. O wonder! Coolsoft with ointments her hand touched me, caressed: her eyes upon me did not turn away. Ravished over her I lay, full lips full open, kissed her mouth. Yum. Softly she gave me in my mouth the seedcake warm and chewed. Mawkish pulp her mouth had mumbled sweetsour of her spittle. Joy: I ate it: joy. Young life, her lips that gave me pouting. Soft warm sticky gumjelly lips. Flowers her eyes were, take me, willing eyes. Pebbles fell. She lay still. A goat. No-one. High on Ben Howth rhododendrons a nannygoat walking surefooted, dropping currants. Screened under ferns she laughed warmfolded. Wildly I lay on her, kissed her: eyes, her lips, her stretched neck beating, woman’s breasts full in her blouse of nun’s veiling, fat nipples upright. Hot I tongued her. She kissed me. I was kissed. All yielding she tossed my hair. Kissed, she kissed me.

Me. And me now.

Stuck, the flies buzzed.

— from Ulysses
by James Joyce

On June 16th 1904 Leopold Bloom stopped in at Davy Byrne’s Pub in Dublin for a light lunch. Still in existence, this pub will probably be quite crowded tomorrow, and a contemporary Bloom would certainly avoid it; but back then the Bloomsday hordes had not yet begun their annual descent upon the city, and Poldy had no trouble finding a seat and ordering his Gorgonzola sandwich and glass of wine. His mind wandered, eventually reaching the point quoted above. What happened next? Whose fat nipples were they? What does it all mean? Did the flies ever free themselves? These questions and more I will address tomorrow or the next day or next year. Until then, have a happy Bloomsday.

From → Bloomsday

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