Authors: James Joyce
Who? A pale face surrounded by heavy
odorous furs. Her movements are shy and nervous. She uses quizzing-glasses.
: a brief syllable.
A brief laugh.
A brief beat of the eyelids.
Cobweb handwriting, traced long and fine
with quiet disdain and resignation: a young person of quality.
I launch forth on an easy wave of tepid
speech: Swedenborg, the pseudo-
, Miguel de
, Joachim Abbas. The wave is spent. Her classmate,
her twisted body, purrs in boneless Viennese
The long eyelids
beat and lift: a burning
quivers in the velvet iris.
High heels clack hollow on the resonant
Wintry air in the castle, gibbeted coats of
mail, rude iron sconces over the windings of the winding turret stairs.
Tapping clacking heels, a high and hollow noise. There is one below would speak
with your ladyship.
She never blows her nose. A form of speech:
the lesser for the greater.
Rounded and ripened: rounded by the
lathe of intermarriage and ripened in the forcing-house of the seclusion of her
near Vercelli under creamy summer haze.
The wings of
her drooping hat shadow her false smile. Shadows streak her falsely smiling
face, smitten by the hot creamy light, grey
shadows under the jawbones, streaks of
on the moistened brow, rancid yellow
within the softened pulp of the eyes
A flower given
by her to my
gift, frail giver, frail
Padua far beyond
The silent middle age, night, darkness of history
under the moon. The city sleeps. Under the arches in the dark streets near
the river the whores’ eyes spy out for fornicators.
A dark wave of sense, again and again
eyes fail in darkness, mine eyes fail,
eyes fail in darkness, love.
Dark love, dark longing.
Grey eve lowering on wide
shedding silently dusk and dew. She follows her mother with ungainly grace, the
mare leading her filly foal. Grey twilight molds softly the slim and shapely
haunches, the meek supple
fine-boned skull. Eve, peace, the dusk of wonder.......
Papa and the girls sliding downhill,
astride of a toboggan: the Grand Turk and his harem. Tightly capped and
, boots laced in deft crisscross over the
flesh-warmed tongue, the short skirt taut from the round knobs of the knees. A
white flash: a flake, a snowflake:
And when she next doth ride abroad
I be there to see!
I rush out of the tobacco-shop and call
her name. She turns and halts to hear my jumbled words of lessons, hours,
lessons, hours: and slowly her pale cheeks are flushed with a kindling opal light.
Nay, Nay, be not afraid!
Mio padre: she does the simplest acts
The old man’s face, handsome, flushed, with strongly Jewish features and long
white whiskers, turns towards me as we walk down the hill together. O!
Perfectly said: courtesy, benevolence, curiosity, trust, suspicion, naturalness,
helpless-ness of age, confidence, frankness, urbanity, sincerity, warning,
pathos, compassion: a perfect blend. Ignatius Loyola, make haste to help me!
heart is sore and sad. Crossed in love?
lewdly leering lips: dark-blooded mollusks
Moving mists on the hill as I look
upward from night and mud. Hanging mists over the damp trees.
A light in the upper room.
She is dressing to go to the
play. There are ghosts in the mirror..... Candles! Candles!
after music, all the way up
San Michele, these
words were spoken softly. Easy now,
! Did you
never walk the streets of Dublin at night sobbing another name?
Corpses of Jews lie about me rotting in
of their holy field. Here is the tomb of
her people, black stone,
brought me here. He is beyond those
trees standing with covered head at the grave of his suicide wife, wondering
how the woman who slept in his bed has come to this end..... The tomb of her
people and hers: black stone, silence without hope: and all is ready. Do not
She raises her arms in an effort to hook
at the nape of her neck a gown of black veiling. She cannot: no, she cannot.
She moves backwards towards me mutely. I raise my arms to help her: her arms
fall. I hold the
edges of her gown and
drawing them out to hook them I see through the opening of the black veil her
lithe body sheathed in an orange shift. It slips its ribbons of moorings at her
shoulders and falls slowly: a lithe smooth naked body shimmering with silvery
scales. It slips slowly over the slender buttocks of smooth polished silver and
over their furrow, a tarnished silver shadow.... Fingers, cold and calm and
A touch, a touch.
helpless and thin breath.
But bend and hear: a voice.
A sparrow under the wheels of juggernaut, shaking shaker of the earth.
God, big mister God! Goodbye, big world