This was his first and never-forgotten image of the city; those massive buildings that seemed to say We are here forever. Salman Rushdie, Joseph Anton: A Memoir
What made time? This is the western world I'm swimming in; within these waters I know deep in my gills that time was made. I open my eyes and see fish; perhaps you open yours and see flow. Maybe your temporality isn't something that can be said to have begun. What the hell do I know about that, I'm breathing water here. Your geographical location will tell your gills other truths. Maybe your temporality has no need of a beginning. So. What made time? This time, yeah? A god? A god made time? Nice work dumbass, you made something that breaks too easily. Your temporality is too fragile. It smashes whenever we make something formed from what is that word everybody knows? What's the point (ah the point!
) of a temporality that breaks whenever we corrode sublimate smash something into nothing
. Break it down boys. We can clear this place out in no time flat. Make quick work. Sudden, sometimes. But look at the materials: creatio ex nihilo
, so what do you expect? Shows what you get when you make something from nothing. Must not have been much of a primary void. You want void? You want nothing? We have nothing. We have plenty of nothing right here. In this country. Right here. Go look at the sky just above our greatest city. That particular nothing ranks with some of our greatest and most terrible nothings ever to cleave time, and we've had some enormous nothings on our record. Millions of leaping final flames. Tear stained trails of them. When a world watches with hearts in mouths while receiving a nightmare's bad kick, what is the more grievous sight? The buildings falling? The dust clouds and smoke rising spreading filling smothering settling? No. It's the oh my god the towers aren't there. That. It was that. Remember that? That ripple of obvious entwined with inconceivable? It was visceral, that moment. That's the sight that cleaved time. There's what rent temporality. That monument of nothing. We look into that nothing. That hole in our sky. That hole in our temporality. And we look into that nothing and name everything on the other side "before" and on this side "after."Sly Uses: Having My Way with Ulysses
The Twofold form Hermaphroditic: and the Double-sexed; The Female-male & the Male-female, self-dividing stood Before him in their beauty, & in cruelties of holiness! Shining in darkness, glorious upon the deeps of Entuthon. -- William Blake, from Milton: A Poem
From Sly Uses: Having my way with Ulysses
Scene [Tranquilla convent, in the back garden. The sisters are preparing to receive a novice for initiation into the order. St. Agatha and Sister Mary Peter wait with ten fingers locked for her to arrive. ]
St. Agatha: Sister Mary Peter, have you seen my breasts?
Sister Mary Peter: You left them in the rectory Reverend Mother, shall I retrieve them for you?
St. Agatha: No, no. No. Nuisance they are anyway, really, although I do feel like I lose a charm every time I take them off. Still, we have a new novice coming and it would be a waste of this whitewashed face and cool coif not to long to appear, well, complete.
Sister Mary Peter: It is a natural craving, Reverend Mother, but you're looking splendid. Dressed up to the nines.
St. Agatha: Never mind, no time. I can see her coming with my dexter optic! O look who it is for the love of God! I thought they were dumping Martha on us and instead it's Lizzie Twigg! How are you at all? What have you been doing with yourself? [kiss] and delighted to [kiss] see you!
Lizzie Twigg: Hello Agatha. I would have been here sooner but there was all that barbed wire.
St. Agatha: We do like to cloister ourselves here! But never mind never mind. No hurry, my dear sister soul. I'm just so happy you're not Martha! So vindictive for what she can't get. Oh my child! So, here you are, giving up your desire to aid gentlemen in literary work.
Lizzie Twigg: Yes, I'm done with men. I loved an Aeon and that ended badly. Felt like I was drowning half the time. Now I want to dedicate myself to somebody more, I don't know, along the straight and narrow. Linear minded. Gets us from then to when.
St. Agatha: Well as a fellow bride of Christ you will have that, even the calendar starts with him, to some end point. So, let's have a look at you. Nice well-filled hose, though they are a bit down around the ankle.
Sister Mary Peter: Voice like a pick axe, no good for the choir. Are you lame?
Lizzie Twigg: No. My boots are a bit tight though.
St. Agatha: You might have a high arched instep.
Lizzie Twigg: Um. I have a question. I've heard things about the sisters here. That some of you get a bit, well, odd. I've heard about some sisters licking pennies all the time, and wanting to smell rock oil, and all kinds of. Is this, is this true?
St. Agatha: It's only the virgins who go mad in the end. I take it you're?
Lizzie Twigg: Not. No.
St. Agatha. I thought not. You have that I'm all clean come dirty me look. Now, when was the start of your last menstrual period? Must have been within the past couple of days.
Lizzie Twigg: Today. And it's awful. Feels a ton weight. How did you know?
St Agatha: The plants are withering. And the fiddle strings have all snapped.
Sister Mary Peter: The milk is turning too.
St. Agatha: Sister Mary Peter, go get St. Patricia, she can coagulate Miss Twigg's blood. Now Miss Twigg, we'll stop your menstruation for now, but you'll have to get into step with the rest of us. We all bleed together according to the moon.
Lizzie Twigg: I'm sorry. I mean, I don't mean to be rude or question is it all a fake or anything but, none of you look like, well, like the menstruating type. No offense. How many women?
St. Agatha: Listen sister, we feel it ourselves too, ok, all of us together. We can be a pack of devils when it's coming on, I can tell you, especially Sister Mary Peter!
Lizzie Twigg: She's a hot little devil all the same. We were girlfriends at school you know.
St. Agatha: Oh were you? And how do you find her now?
Lizzie Twigg: Well back then she was yours for the asking! And not to pick holes in her appearance or anything, but she does have fewer teeth than before.
St. Agatha: Never you mind that now. We all have bodies, we all have curves inside our deshabillé, but if you are to undertake a novitiate with us you'll find within our walls sanctity and corporeality intermingle. Bring your agenbite of inwit, but don't forget your frillies for Raoul, honey, He likes them both. Now come with me child, that's a lovely shirt shining beneath your what? But we must get on with dressing each other for the sacrifice.
What is love? 'tis not hereafter; Present mirth hath present laughter; What's to come is still unsure: In delay there lies no plenty; Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty, Youth's a stuff will not endure.
Sly Uses: Having my way with Ulysses
From Scylla & Charybdis
I married a ghost. And I died before I was born. Liliata rutilantium. Well, I died sixty-seven years after I was born, but what is it to you how we lived or died? Forget me. He did. He left me and he gained a world of pretty theatre boys in the cast off armor of court ladies. The world believes William made a mistake marrying me. And got out of it as best he could and quickly too. Stephen thinks a man of genius makes no mistakes, that his errors are volitional, to be used as portals of discovery. Well William's genius discovered my portal sure enough. Made use of me. And don't think that because I was twenty-six and he a full eight years younger than me that I drew him in, trapped him into bed and then ruthlessly wed. Listen to greenroom gossip if you like, but consider: what would I want with a boy pauper for a husband? Call me a whore before and a shrew after, what do I care, but the truth is he came after me. The mistake was mine and he knew it. He made it Ophelia's mistake too. But instead of drowning myself in the Avon, I told my family and they fixed it. Took care of business. Five months after our wedding I gave birth to our daughter, my sweet light-of-love. But did he care? No. Gone he was to London and no agenbite of inwit to it. And for me what was he: a ghost by his absence to haunt me. And my status? Not widow. Hardly a wife. A stationary target for his debt collectors. As he rose I became conspicuous. Like a bad smell in the room, worse than that stench hovering around Æ. The smell of him! I may not have a nose left to my face but wow! That reek will raise the dead. But the point odoriferous Æ makes is valid. What use is it to pry into my husband's life, the bastard. Good for nothing. Lousy father. It was no use to me, that I can assure you, I wept alone. Leaving us to starve on our own in Stratford. His drinking, his debts. Stephen owes AE almost $100, did you know that? But did he catch AE's hint? Bringing up my worthless husband's financial incontinence. He caught it. Then he rationalized his way out of it. Stephen five months ago was a different set of molecules went his logic. It wasn't me. It was those particular particulate molecules of Stephen that borrowed the money, Stephen now is composed of entirely new stuff and cannot be blamed for what any prior Stephen has done. Free and clear. No agenbite of inwit, eh Stephen? Nice try kid. Good use of physics. That handy second law of thermodynamics, those molecules from five months ago will decay as plainly as did the nose on my face. But don't you forget that first law. There are still constants to deal with and your memory persists. It changes things, does a little rearranging here and there, always a bit of phenomenal fluxing within grey matter, but memory persists. And don't forget your form of forms. That soul rattling around within those nice new molecules of yours persists too. Just look at me if you need a bit of proof. Or get a whiff of AE if you prefer your proof to be more on the measurable side of things. You owe what you owe. Pay your own damn way.
January 1, 2012
From a Gnat to the Mountain Battery:
It is a matter of common knowledge that the Ulysses of Mr. James Joyce is being republished in the United States in a blog edited by Sly Uses, and that this republication is being made without authorization by Mr. Joyce; without payment to Mr. Joyce and with alterations which seriously corrupt the text. This appropriation and mutilation of Mr. Joyce's property is made under colour of legal protection in that Ulysses is as of this day not protected by copyright. The question now in issue is whether the public will encourage Sly Uses to take advantage of the resultant legal difficulty of the author to deprive him of his property and to mutilate the creation of his art. The undersigned protest against Sly Uses' conduct in republishing Ulysses and appeal to the American public in the name of that security of works of the intellect and the imagination without which art cannot live, to oppose to Sly Uses' enterprise the full power of honorable and fair opinion. Worlds WearyNowthen Nowhen