Monday, May 21, 2012

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The same room and hour,  the same wisdom:
and I the same.
Three times now. Three nooses round me here.
Well?   I can break them in this instant if I will.
Because you don't save, Mr Deasy said, pointing his finger.
You don't know yet what money is. Money is power. When you have lived as long as I have. I know, I know. If youth but knew. But what does Shakespeare say? Put but money in thy purse.
Iago, Stephen murmured.
He lifted his gaze from the idle shells to the old man's stare.
He knew what money was, Mr Deasy said. He made money. A poet, yes, but an Englishman too. Do you know what is the pride of the English? Do you know what is the proudest word you will ever hear from an Englishman's mouth?
The seas' ruler.
His seacold eyes looked on the empty bay: it seems history is to blame: on me and on my words, unhating.
That on his empire, Stephen said, the sun never sets.
Ba! Mr Deasy cried. That's not English. A French Celt said that. He tapped his savingsbox against his thumbnail.
I will tell you, he said solemnly, what is his proudest boast.
I paid my way.
I paid my way.        I never borrowed a shilling in my life.
Can you feel that? I owe nothing. Can you?
For the moment, no, Stephen answered.
Old England is dying. He stepped swiftly off, his eyes coming to blue life as they passed a broad sunbeam. He faced about and back again.
Dying, he said again, if not dead by now.
The harlot's cry from street to street shall weave old England's windingsheet.
His eyes open wide in vision stared sternly across the sunbeam in which he halted.
A merchant, Stephen said, is one who buys cheap and sells dear, jew or gentile, is he not?
They sinned against the light, Mr Deasy said gravely.
And you can see the darkness in their eyes. And that is why they are wanderers on the earth to this day.
On the steps of the Paris stock exchange the goldskinned men quoting prices on their gemmed fingers. Gabble of geese. They swarmed loud, uncouth about the temple, their heads thickplotting under maladroit silk hats.
Not theirs: these clothes, this speech, these gestures. Their full slow eyes belied the words, the gestures eager and unoffending, but knew the rancours massed about them and knew their zeal was vain.
Vain patience to heap and hoard.  Time surely would scatter all.   A hoard heaped by the roadside: plundered and passing on.
Their eyes knew their years of wandering and, patient, knew the dishonours of their flesh.
Who has not? Stephen said.
What do you mean? Mr Deasy asked. He came forward a pace and stood by the table. His underjaw fell sideways open uncertainly.
Is this old wisdom?               He waits to hear from me.
    History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
I foresee, Mr Deasy said, that you will not remain here very long at this work. You were not born to be a teacher,  I think.   Perhaps I am wrong.
A learner rather, Stephen said.  And here what will you learn more?
Mr Deasy shook his head.   Who knows? he said. To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher.
On his wise shoulders through the checkerwork of leaves the sun flung spangles, dancing coins.
Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes.
Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot.
Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane.
But he adds: in bodies.
Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How?
By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy.
Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in?
Diaphane, adiaphane.
If you can put your five fingers through it it is a gate, if not a door.
Shut your eyes and see.

Stephen closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells. You are walking through it howsomever.
I am, a stride at a time.
A very short space of time through very short times of space.
Five, six: the nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes. No. Jesus! If I fell over a cliff that beetles o'er his base, fell through the nebeneinander ineluctably!
I am getting on nicely in the dark. My ash sword hangs at my side. Tap with it: they do.
My two feet in his boots are at the ends of his legs, nebeneinander.
Sounds solid:  made by the mallet of  Los Demiurgos.

Am I walking into Eternity along Sandymount strand? Crush, crack, crick, crick. Wild sea money. Dominie Deasy kens them a'. Won't you come to Sandymount, Madeline the mare?
Open your eyes now.  I will.
One moment.           Has all vanished since?       If I open and am for ever in the black adiaphane.
     Basta!         I will see if I can see.
See now.
There all the time without you:    and ever shall be,  world without end.

Wombed in sin darkness I was too, made not begotten. By them, the man with my voice and my eyes and a ghostwoman with ashes on her breath. They clasped and sundered, did the coupler's will.
From before the ages He willed me and now may not will me away or ever. A lex eterna stays about Him.
Is that then the divine substance wherein Father and Son are consubstantial? Where is poor dear Arius to try conclusions? Warring his life long upon the contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality.
Illstarred heresiarch'  In a Greek watercloset he breathed his last:
With beaded mitre and with crozier, stalled upon his throne,
widower of a widowed see, with upstiffed omophorion,
with clotted hinderparts.
Airs romped round him, nipping and eager airs.
They are coming,  waves.
The whitemaned seahorses, champing,  brightwindbridled, the steeds of Mananaan.
And after?
The Ship, half twelve.    By the way go easy with that money like a good young imbecile.
Yes, I must.
       ulysses  1918

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

the posh lawned isles
don't daunt me
but scare the paper rich
cooped behind wall hedges
eyes closed

my street tonight hosts
a dead drunk middle aged woman
whistlin at me across the street
as her neighbor
circles a fatboy in his backyard
and i lean against my ragtop
on the same blacktop
i did thirty years ago
and little separating us

for my best pal
lived in a  plex
and i on a river
a bike ride between
on the way
to the same classroom
and the same girls

p'ing off the upstairs porch
a purple green humbird
came straight up
staring at me
stopped and looked
me straight in the eye
with reptilian superiority
cocked his head
and veered to the right
in a perfect line
snatching insects in mid air

it was grand white
moon star lites

cuz all the roads lead to me

draping the brothel
in a commune of antipopes
squatting with grapes
and the moon
Paul stares at us
with a eye in blue
i am here
i paint this
and you a watcher
wearing your mask
filled with angles
peep at our fates

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

the moving information
all around "me"
in here
one to ten
elements of code
that persist as me
before the clockmakers
designed dissolution
must there be a hum
all this innet is silent
to assimilate life
a being
into the net
keep your difference
your lack of connection
and its danger


Saturday, May 5, 2012

For I prophecy that men will live to a much greater age.
For I prophecy that they will grow taller and stronger.
For degeneracy has done a great deal more than is in general imagined.
For men in David's time were ten feet high in general.
For they had degenerated also from the strength of their fathers.
For I prophecy that players and mimes will not be named amongst us.
For I prophecy in the favour of dancing which in mutual benevolence is for the glory.
For the Venetian will know that the Englishman is his brother.
For the Liturgy will obtain in all languages.
For England is the head and not the tail.
For England is the head of Europe in the spirit.
For Spain, Portugal and France are the heart.
For Holland and Germany are the middle.
For Italy is one of the legs.
For I prophecy that there will not be a meetinghouse within two miles of a church.
For I prophecy that schismatics will be detected.
For I prophecy that men will learn the use of their knees.
For every thing that can be done in that posture upon the knees is better so done than otherwise.
For I prophecy that they will understand the blessing and virtue of the rain.
For rain is exceedingly good for the human body.
For it is good therefore to have flat roofs to the houses, as of old.
For it is good to let the rain come upon the naked body unto purity and refreshment.
For I prophecy that they will respect decency in all points.
For they will do it in conceit, word, and motion.
For they will go forth afield.
For the Devil can work upon stagnating filth to a very great degree.
For I prophecy that we shall have our horns again.
For in the day of David Men as yet had a glorious horn upon his forehead.
For this horn was a bright substance in colour and consistence as the nail of the hand.
For it was broad, thick and strong so as to serve for defence as well as ornament.
For it brightened to the Glory which came upon the human face at morning prayer.
For it was largest and brightest in the best men.
For it was taken away all at once from all of them.
For this was done in the divine contempt of a general pusillanimity.
For this happened in a season after their return from the Babylonish captivity.
For their spirits were broke and their manhood impaired by foreign vices for exaction.
For I prophecy that the English will recover their horns the first.
For I prophecy that all the nations in the world will do the like in turn.
For I prophecy that all Englishmen will wear their beards again.
For a beard is a good step to a horn.
For when men get their horns again, they will delight to go uncovered.
For it is not good to wear any thing upon the head.
For a man should put no obstacle between his head and the blessing of Almighty.
For a hat was an abomination of the heathen.
For the ceiling of the house is an obstacle and therefore we pray on the house-top.
For the head will be liable to less disorders on the recovery of its horn.
For the horn on the forehead is a tower upon an arch.
For it is a strong munition against the adversary, who is sickness and death.For it is instrumental in subjecting the woman.
For the insolence of the woman has increased ever since Man has been crest-fallen.
For they have turned the horn into scoff and derision without ceasing.
For we are amerced of God who has his horn.
For we are amerced of the blessed angels, who have their horns.
For when they get their horns again they will put them upon the altar.
For they give great occasion for mirth and music.
For our Saviour had not his horn upon the face of the earth.
For this was in meekness and condescension to the infirmities of human nature at that time.
For at his second coming his horn will be exalted in glory.
For his horn is the horn of Salvation.
For Jesus has exalted my voice.
For he has answered me in the air as with a horn from Heaven to the ears of many people.
For the horn is of plenty.
For this has been the sense of all ages.
For Man and Earth suffer together.
For when Man was amerced of his horn, earth lost part of her fertility.
For the art of Agriculture is improving.
For this is evident in flowers.
For it is more especially manifest in double flowers.
For earth will get it up again by  the industry of man.
For the horn is of plenty because of milk and honey.
For I pray be gracious to the Bees and the Beeves this day
                                jubilato agno 1763

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

To John Adams   10.28.1813
I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men.  The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Formerly bodily powers gave place among the aristoi.  But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground of distinction.

There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth without either virtue or talents, for with these it would belong to the first class.

The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society.  And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society.

May we not even say that the form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government?  The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government and provision should be made to prevent its ascendency.

On the question  what is the best provision, you and I differ but we differ as rational friends using the free exercise of our own reason and mutually indulging its errors.  You think it best to put the pseudo-aristoi into a separate chamber of legislation where they may be hindered from doing mischief by their co-ordinate branches and where also they may be a protection to wealth against the agrarian and plundering enterprises of the majority of the people.

I think that to give them power in order to prevent them from doing mischief is arming them for it and increasing instead of remedying the evil.

Nor do I believe them necessary to protect the wealthy because enough of these will find their way into every branch of the legislation to protect themselves.
I think the best remedy is exactly that provided by all our constitutions,  to leave to the citizens the free election and separation of the aristoi from the pseudo-aristoi, of the wheat from the chaff.  In general they will elect the really good and wise.

A Randolph, a Carter or a Burwell must have great personal superiority over a common competitor to be elected by the people even at this day.

In some instances wealth may corrupt and birth blind them but not in sufficient degree to endanger the society.


But we have a faction, to whose hostile passions the torture even of right into wrong is a delicious gratification.
Their malice I have long learned to disregard, their censure to deem praise.
But I observe that some republicans are not satisfied that this small return should be made.
They will think more justly at another day but in the meantime I wish to avoid offence.

Thomas J    

Tuesday, May 1, 2012