“The society emerging from this unpromising beginning was callous, hypocritical, legalistic, but good at making the most of anything, whether native grasslands or human weakness. It was self-reliant, enterprising, with a kind of cocky confidence partly Irish, partly native-born, masculine and energetic.”
1. Black Knight (2 pm)
If one enters an office in a skyscraper, turning the gaze from the internationally renowned harbour of Sydney, Australia (Cadigal/Eora) to a glass door and travels across open-plan space, somehow made maze by carpet-coated partitions, to the reception area, the traveller must undergo scrutiny from a busy bespectacled woman settled on a low chair before a typewriter. One might be forgiven for thinking that removal from this station would leave a bas-relief behind her on the wall. The front of the desk at which she sits is surmounted by a solid and ungainly, almost overbalanced, plank of Swedish lumber. Atop it, trays are brimming with files and correspondence. Her left shoulder is surmounted by a black plastic emblem depicting the profile of Byerley Turk, the first British sire, captured at the Battle of Buda in 1686, long and high set of neck with high carriage of tail, whose progeny included the mare that founded Thoroughbred Family 1 as well as the famed “Dam of the Two True Blues,” taproot of Thoroughbred Family 3, according to Weatherby’s General Stud Book, positioned above the appellation of the apparently prosperous financial services organisation, the Welles Investment Group (“WIG”). She is watching us without generosity; for we are without status for her. You sign for your cheque. This is a new indignity imposed by the CFO and apparently approved by your brother. She closes the book and opens the intercom. Les Hallem closes the front gate. Ana Lafei scores a plumb parking spot opposite Artspace. She walks down Governor Bourke Street. A hire car emerges from St Peters Lane. She baulks. It was Bourke who created the domestic conditions in New South Wales that rendered transportation impractical. Currency Lads and Lasses, the first generation of British offspring were called. Their existence was thus defined in juxtaposition with Sterling. Non-legal tender. A gold sovereign set against mere paper. Inferior in value in perpetuity. Sydney was an economic bubble-bath nonetheless. This was Charles Darwin’s lament. Everyone is hell-bent on wealth, he wrote. Mere sensualists. Why, an ex-convict could return to England with £100,000 in notes! This represented a failure of punishment. Commissioner Bigge had been appalled. Yet New South Wales was still a penal colony that compared favourably to Spanish settlements in South America and thus engendered pride in an Englishman. The “Wandering Rocks” episode dramatises the spiritual sterility and moral cannibalism of Dublin under occupation. Ireland’s position as indentured servant of both the Roman Catholic Church and Imperial England is framed in the first and last sub-episodes by Father Conmee and the Earl of Dudley respectively. Both characters epitomize the tactics used by their caste for Joyce. The former moves through the local population eliciting information and smoothing the surface of a traumatised society. The latter races through the crowd in a sealed carriage showing no interest in the local people or their welfare. These extremes are used by Joyce to establish the conditions for the emergence of the Holy Trinity of: Bloom as Elijah (Humanism), Stephen as Artist (Joyce himself) and Molly as Earth Mother (see three-master at the end of Ulysses, C1). Together, they will redeem all Ireland. Ana passed across a porthole in the recessed wall of Aston Hall. Their letterbox was empty. Matt must have gone to his studio already. She unlocked the door. Darwin’s mysterious agency. Strong extirpating the weak. Cruel but unavoidable. Turning from the sceptical glare of the receptionist, wrote Bardun, her voice rising richly to greet an established client on the switchboard, while lesser mortals are left at the mercy of recorded muzak, we await the elevator. Its wires cried. A seagull shrieked angrily. Les picked up a piece of gravel and shot it sidearm towards the bird. Joyce kept a pocketful of stones to fling at stray dogs. It flapped part-airwards angrily. Three quarks for Muster Mark! It landed, ran then bounced. Ana entered a first-floor apartment, discarding her uniform as she walked. A coin dropped onto the damp tessellated tiles. ALP was the sound it made. Puakaeafe. INSERT WHITE GAZE. Fairy Princess Moe. Admiring eyes. Gaugin’s wicked art. Don’t you remember Black Alice. Mix European & Aboriginal experience in this episode. Also, English and Australian history. Plus expose yourself against Joyce. Naked, Ana entered the bathroom. She went to the pedestal basin. Te Nave Nave Fenua composed in a shaving cabinet mirror. Bust of Truganini by Benjamin Law. She dipped both hands into the flesh-coloured rinse limply. Our unsteady eyes are engaged by a press cutting mounted in a fine tortoiseshell frame of rising business identity, Ambrose S. Welles, known colloquially as Stan, being presented by the Premier of New South Wales, the Hon J.J. Cahill, to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second during her maiden visit to Australia in 1954, the first by an English monarch, part of the House of Windsor’s benighted lap of honour to apply belated unction to a fast-unravelling empire. The bright monarch gloves his hand lightly. Cocoons of spittle grip the corners of his mouth. Shower steam fog. She lifted each leg into a cornsilk bath. Pomaded waves shone darkly. His buck teeth caw with delight. His son measured himself against his father in the bleary reflection of the mount. I am not so tall, he thought, though of more robust stock. Incisors withdrawn by expensive dental procedures. Straight sorrel hair. A water spirit like my mother. Phar Lap was also a plain horse. A great big lump. But the more races it won, the more majestic it became in the media. The telephone rang. Joyce’s style occasionally disappoints the hieratic reader in this episode, especially when he relies on the one-trick pony of stream-of-consciousness internal monologue. In general, he depends on past-tense “said” when composing dialogue between characters. “Replied,” in comparison, is only used 14 times (whereas it is employed 117 times in this work). “Asked” is equivalent across both novels. Coincidentally, it is employed 193 times in both Ulysses and the current draft (as at 04/09/2018). By contrast, the post-modern technique of signposting correspondences with “INSERT” is wholly absent from Joyce. He selected this word on only ten occasions and always for purely functional purposes. Here, it is utilised more than 240 times.
“Reverse charges call from London, sir,” the receptionist announced into her headset microphone. Old Albion. Always up for a free feed of lamb and damp(en)er.
“Tell them I’ll call back later,” crackled the immaterial voice of Edmund Hamley lowly. CUT.
Tommy Townsend planted a seed in secret. Cast-offs sent seven months hence. Cenotaph of dead species. Call Arthur Philip in Spain. Mix omens with auguries. Bastards bearing their father’s coat of arms altered with cadency. Gin-busting gangs. Shoot a blackfella take his woman back to camp everyone rapes her then we kill her with an axe. Whorehouse rabbit cages. Fig of tobacco leaf. Truck-stop grog-swaps at Moree. Eureka race riots. Irish revolts 1846. Lambing Flat. Buckland River. White Australia. Haigh’s trench cattle. There was no Imperial Preference in 1930. Just Niemeyer’s cold facts. Pay back your war debts or else we’ll send Jardine. Or here’s a deal. You stop Rommel: we’ll fuck you over in Greece. Do not pass Rangoon, do not collect 200 Spitfires. Changi’s sagging stalks. They planted a seven-star cross on Maralinga. Black mist over Anangu country. Death march like Sandakan. Puya entered their bodies. Tumour-clouds floating as far south as Ceduna. Femurs harvested by British Intelligence. Dead Robert. Richie’s baby. Chaim. A long bell.
“What’s next in my diary?” his brother asked.
The stainless-steel gates slid apart. Edgar Welles farewelled the receptionist, mumbling salutations. Her head pivoted on its uncomfortable socket and stretched sideways to follow his departure. He contemplated the bare compartment.
“Your next appointment is Colonel Cornwall,” she continued. “The US folder is in your tray. I thought you could watch the race in the boardroom. It starts at two-forty. The executive team will assemble at two-fifteen. Beverages and snacks have already been purchased.”
She cupped the mouthpiece. Ana brushed gleaming teeth. She rubbed her armpit with a wet cloth. He had a crisp cheque in his pocket. Maybe it could still be cashed if he hurried to the bank. Fetch provisions from South America. Telemachus leaving port. A virgin helpmate ocean. Ana passed rag through cleft. Athena sitting in the stern. Peter Cook in the saddle. Barrier twelve. Ana stroked her breach. Get three wide. Go fwd come back draw a diagram mix characters. Need a Gantt chart. Would extend even Joyce. Don’t just stitch places together. Ana moved her fingers testily. Become clairvoyant like Tiresias. Insert Shanghai Dog. Like Telemachus, reach all the way back. Evidence from Nestor. First detective story. Fingers punching a worn-down keypad. Surftide suck’n’spit. Rush away thus returning. Ana rested her forehead on glazed tiles. Lead footprints on sodden sand. Yielding flooding effaced. Leon’s first sarcoma. A death sentence. FINAL RESULTS STILL PENDING. Seven nuclear tests. Elizabeth Archer picked up a medical notice: “Your next appointment at the Albion Street Centre is with [handwritten] Dr Julian Gold [next line] on [next line] Tuesday, 6 October, 4.30 pm.” Elizabeth crumpled the sheet and threw it in the bin. The Tank Stream bore a Throwaway down its sandstone vein. Blood verdict. Ana Lafei severed the gush. Now the adventurer must cross the crevice between floor and elevator, beneath which drops black and ineffable space. She drew back the curtain. SEE ABOVE. These are all mutability symbols. Occasionally, a coin spills out of your pocket, drips into this slot and descends towards Earth; reminding you of a pebble plummeting silently down a bottomless well in some childhood fairy-tale. Perhaps the crack itself is the stimulant for fears of anarchic descent: all too explicable when they grip you. Edgar Welles passed over the threshold. Mast in a hollow mast-box. Twisted hide ropes. Stretch tackle. The wind bellied out. The keel lapped loudly. Sail. You turn to the board, press the ground floor button and wait. Ana Lafei slunk against the wall, flushed eye sockets out. She observed her own fingers moving manically in the mirror through a chink in the stiff shower curtain. Bathsheba at bath. Jags in the scrub over the fence watched Penelope Hallem unbutton her blouse. A heavy white brassiere. Both wings moved to her back thrusting her chest forward as she detached its intricate wires. Bloom handling his cock watching Gerty. Klute documenting Bree’s tricks. Pakula’s Paranoia Trilogy. It is disconcerting inside the cabin to be confronted by your misshapen reflection (link to Ana above). To turn to the lighted keys across walls draped with coarsely stitched padding. To look at the ceiling (as if for God) to avoid the glances of familiar strangers. You are never alone in here yet somehow you are always turning nervously, alien to both yourself and your fellow-beings. The doors close. Space tightens like a damp cathedral baptistery, all too close, until you want to press your cheek into the thickly stitched swabs, as if into a loving shoulder for the last time (link back to Tom Hallem in Chapter One), not to be salved but rather smothered and ultimately denied Life. For just a moment you recall the name ‘Desdemona’ although who she is – and her context – completely escapes you. Edgar Welles was the successor of all those defenestrated heirs shut out of their birthright by paternal angst since Adam and Kronos first crawled out of the muck demanding obeisance all-the-time modelling inappropriate behaviour. His father had not covered well-bred mares. He was poor at stud. Only got one-in-three mares in foal. Low sperm count. First me. Then Edmund out of Shagga Maher. The dark and vicious place where thee he got cost him eyes. A metaphor is turned into a physical infliction by Shakespeare in the blinding of Gloucester. My mother and I writhed along the dunny cart lanes of Sydney with miscellaneous bags after we left. A series of bedsits in Kings Cross, Marrickville and Kirribilli followed. Poor plots. Regional racetracks. Weak fields. She died at the start of a Dickens novel like Mary Wollstonecraft. A common chambermaid swept from a burning room. Dad sent us both to boarding school. Godwin’s Utility. Either save the valet, my father, and thus our line, or else rescue Fenelon, who could ameliorate all of mankind. Put aside such niceties. Call in Larry Conrod from Perth. Raise some capital. Launch a hostile takeover. Take back the family business. Conceal madness with mildness. Wear a patient’s face. The outsider will race in blinkers like bung Gloucester. Dark bay. Molos. From that outstanding racehorse and useful sire, Donatello, out of One Thousand Guineas runner-up, Aurora. Daughter of Hyperion who sired Helios, Selene and Eos. Ranked amongst the best stayers in history. Fifty kilos in the saddle. Quiet as stone. Adrift Sargasso. Proceed. You are travelling through the floors. Encased in the elevator and proceeding through its workings. Listening to its intestines as they rave at you. Following its shifts through stasis and decline. Observing its patrons entering and departing. Some parrot its noises in the rumblings of their own bodies. Others remain silent staring at the doors. Some drop single storeys. Most will fall until even at the street. Everybody’s off to the pub to watch the Cup. There are many umbrae. Most have signalled their intentions by leaving their briefcases under their desks. This will simplify the trip home along Sydney’s over-burdened rail system half-drunk and holding onto a bladder full of piss hoping their wives will surprise them at the kiss’n’ride. Otherwise, they’ll be forced to queue in the dark in a leaky shelter for a Bosnjak bus. They fiddle with frayed umbrella straps > note the apparent impossibility of competent dry-cleaning > recall a recent holiday (did they say it was on the Gold Coast or near a golf course) > grind their teeth recounting the flaws of incompetent support staff > speculate about the length and depth of the current recession blame Keating praise him scarify Lynch regret the fall of Whitlam and/or Fraser cursing our apocalyptic rainfall (what kind of spring is this, anyway) until at last slotted into their conversation like an afterthought although in reality haunting every waking moment (like sin) emerges the prospect of retrenchment in the current corporate downsizing. The cost of attrition can be discerned in their dislocated faces. They glance sideways, heads tilted at an unusual angle, cheeks vaguely swollen by harsh fluorescent lights that gouge out each imperfection. They chew on Quick-Eze until it burns like some long-forgotten teat. In this Purgatory, they await punishment in a daze. The car doors part. They jig forth. You watch their hinds gallop around the bend. Lastly, an elegant lady. A jogger waits impatiently to rise. The security guard offers short blandishments. The lift doors compressed shut methodically. None will remain with you for the last descent. Invisible from the place in which you are standing but lying just beyond the marble foyer is the bustle and excitement of the modern city. Workers mimic busy streams of ants, cars stutter like beetles, buildings burst like beacons blocking out the day. Fresh thunderstorms press perspiring air down skyscraper wind-tunnels. Sydney is busy tearing itself down to reassert its ego out of sandstone wells. Centrepoint revolves high in space on Phoenix wings. You can drink coffee by the mountains. Beaches stroke its eastern flank. Concave Pacific bending against a teal horizon. Olympic metropolis. Dublin is the main character in “Wandering Rocks.” Joyce creates a tone of postpartum stress in the population as 3 pm arrives. The daily grind has started to slow inexorably. Activity is frenetic yet unproductive. Symbols of decline surround all characters. Sydney displayed the debility of High Modernism. Trapped between a dead economy and one yet powerless to be born. What Keating was fixing. A one-dollar note floated down the gutter. Edmund means Wealth Protector. For all this discursion, Ulysses is still charter-driven in Episode Ten. The progress of different characters can be plotted across time in each sub-episode. CREATE SPREADSHEET. The Right Reverent Arthur Kemp picked up the soggy bill, rubbed it on his coat sleeve, deposited it into his cassock and brushed a cable of lank hair over his exposed skull, displaying two black hands on his pearl wristwatchface. The longer leaner aspired to reach One. The smaller thicker dropped beneath Two. A red second hand ticked out each allotted instant. He crossed the road at an illegal angle. A busker’s tin whistle whined some patriotic aery. Aengus’ heart still pulsed for antipodes / Despite comparables like New York, Paris and London / Far and wide roaming made no difference / he stilled call Australia HOME. A security guard wagged his finger at Pan pressing him to keep on the get-go. They exchanged fond whispered words, heads flicking from side-to-side like sprinklers, before the musician hustled past the scaffolding girdling Mark Foy’s building and crossed Liverpool Street. At the centre of the novel, Joyce’s central characters recede as if to suggest that the world can no longer yield heroes. The episode’s technique is “Mechanic.” The hand of the author is continuously displayed in the arbitrary criss-crossing and forced interpenetration of passages: in both its senses as ‘course’ and ‘discourse.’ Reverend Kemp (Father Conmee) proceeded along the footpath towards the anxious gait of Missus Janet Howe (Mrs Sheehy), wife of the Deputy Opposition Leader. She lowered her bowed head still lower. The Minister called her name. She confected a tight grin.
“How are you, Mrs. Howe?”
“I’m in good spirits thank you, Reverend,” she stated fanatically. “The children are well. Richard starts primary school next year. Then I will have more time to help John in the electorate office. He’s stuck in Canberra most of the time.”
The Minister delivered correspondence on the benefits of a consumption tax from a recently retired constituent. Professor McNab got down on beige knees and shone a flashlight through a grate in the car park wall. The security guards strained to observe his latest discovery. The illumined letter “G” was extinguished. Edgar Welles hung in limbo watching the lightless screen. The counterweight stretched at the top of its ascent. He neared the bulwark. The slow-down switch clicked. Finally, all motion ceased. The “B” of Basement shone. Edgar Welles collected his white sports bag. The doors of the elevator spread like oars and he moved across a stark concrete floor. Its echoes were so sharp that the space seemed overhanging. The ceiling bulged under the weight of sprinklers and light fittings. Wide pliant air-conditioning pipes had been swaddled in foil. The stark cubed columns possessed nothing of colour. They were pitted with the fossils of tiny air bubbles from the moment of construction. Sailor Time from Space. Only the luminous paint gridding the car spaces warmed and directed Edgar. Sequenced numerals propelled his path. Their shape and colour cut the very eye which struck them. The executive car park had emptied steadily all afternoon. SHIFT TO DIRECT PERSONAL PRONOUN. By the time your leather-sole shoes crackle across the bald surface only a handful of vehicles remain. You move towards a car with personalised numberplates. A car alarm light beats back from the cockpit. Its red pulse blasts off the chrome gearstick (Pisa). Lamp-throb-over-heart in dim reflection. In the gap between each beat, your head is noted by the window. You select a car key, press it into the lock, and turn it so brutally that we must really fear for its shape on extraction. The indicator lights begin bleating. You wrench open the door. Howling commences. Systolic/diastolic. Clamp/release. You slip sideways into the driver’s seat. The dashboard is covered with instruments which have been perfectly positioned by computer program to resemble a children’s toy. You defuse the alarm. You check the glove box. There is a log book, a service book, a street directory and a small hand-compass trapped in the corner by a screwdriver on a bed of dust and copper coins. You extract the directory, lay it on the passenger’s seat and open the back flap. A foil is secreted in glossy magazine paper inside the sticky thick cover. Crumbly white powder quivers. It cracks with each compact movement of your body; slowly gathering in the folds. You take a small blade from the moulded plastic tray behind the gearstick, dice the powder, separate it into two mounds and stretch them along lines. This scene has barely any parallels to the Odyssey. You collect a five-buck note from your wallet, roll it into a tight purple straw and place an index finger over your left nostril. Inhale. Suck mucus. Change hands. Re-inhale. Your head it simply swirls. Lovely seaside boys. Accelerate machinery. Joyce’s love of speed. He lent Boccioni’s book to Bugden. Your technique is so methodical that there is almost no scorching. When it is all done, you lean back into the bucket seat and stare through the windscreen at the blank wall right on top of the bonnet. You perceive a security guard approaching as his image cuts across the rear-view mirror pane. Palazzeschi. He comes to your aide. Trouser belt before pane. Forearm on roof. He has bent. His bald dome glistens like polished stone. Nestor. You shunt the street directory onto the floor. Return upright. He leers. Millennial Eden lurks beneath his face. You turn the handle to allow ingress. Humid air. He thrusts his beak through the available casement.
“Look at this flyer, Master Edgar” he said, pressing a brochure into my soft hand.
HARD COCKS, it read. Elijah is coming. New Hellas. Demesne for mammon to infest. He assumed an expression of wonderment. TOP ADULT EMPORIUM!
“It was lying on the ground,” continued the guard, “right underneath your car door.”
“Must have blown there,” replied Edgar nonchalantly. “Windy down here. What horse you on?”
“England and Scotland,” quipped the guard. “Each way.”
“You’ll blow your dough,” I replied.
Mouth weeping spit. Young man seeks mature Dom. Well-compact dimensions. My pricksong plays. Bona constrictor. Pox of antics. Duellists. Let him recoil in disgust. Zip it off. Would he beat me? I mean punch my face in anger not love.
Keith Carpenter looked at his wrist watch suddenly.
“Must dash. Almost time for the Cup.”
He withdrew into the shadow of a concrete column. Edgar Welles smiled. Wandering Rocks is directed out of the page. The reader must navigate its scattered dividend, forever keeping in mind the story to date, whilst being drawn down an ‘unambitious underwood’ of local journeys that dwindle towards stark dead ends, as if mis-guided by Robert Browning, in order to reach the other side of the page, unwaned, and stand Hieratic. Joyce needles the text with recurrent images, characters and themes like sew-many Ariadne. But he also shreds narratorial authenticity with what Clive Hart called lies of omission, mal-connections and deliberated gaps. The technique of the episode is ‘labyrinth.’ Yet even Joyce is ultimately driven to formal closure. He must start, cross and finish the episode directing every journey across mapped space. This is no anti-closure Romantic trope. It is a finely tuned schema. You could set your watch by it. Everything is clockwork. Father John Conmee opens the episode. He is an affable imbecile whose attitude is symptomatic of the veneer of civility exercised by the Roman Catholic Church. Joyce repeats his name and title fifty-seven times in this short sub-episode. He is a weak reader of life with a reductive mind that misrepresents people and activities in his haste to pin unthinking slogans UP/on a grateful populace. He is a cultivated CON artist. Voyeurism, materialism, envy and repressed sexuality are his most prominent traits. This is a familiar group of vices in Victorian fiction. Swinburne’s Faustine got Ruskin “all hot, like pies with the devil’s fingers innem.” Chidley wore sweat at a washer-woman with her skirt up standing over a bubbling copper. Pale Nausicaa in a stream. Let us F**k, ejaculated the Superior in Autobiography of a Flea. Amen, chanted Father Ambrose. Good luck Mister Edgar, said Keith Carpenter in echoes departing. A servingman proud in heart and mind. Who gives anything for poor Tom. Vaults. Underground. The pipes. These things remember me. My name is still such and such and thus I am thy son. He does not begrudge status to his brother. It is Edmund who possesses all volition in King Lear. Edgar speaks on less than one hundred occasions. Many times, it’s just single lines. He uses the phrase, “foul fiend,” on eight occasions. He weeps in pity for another old man’s plight. He is stoic towards his own. At the end, he turns a knife in his brother’s guts saying “let’s exchange charity.” His trouser pocket contained a $50 TAB ticket on Black Knight. Third in the Dalgety last Saturday coming home. Five-year-old gelding. Right age; correct birthplace; requisite number of nuts. A technical decision. A five-year-old had won 13/28 Cups since 1955. New Zealand bred horses had been successful 19 times in the last 28 races. Lighter bags would help it over 3,200 metres. Flat wide Flemington track. Not hard like Royal Randwick. Up the rise and over the hump. The car bumped on metal plates at the Hunter Street exit. Good preparation. Raced every ten days since August. The engine purred. He moved off. Never back top weight. Get some rush in Newtown maybe trawl the stalls at the bath house on Albermarle Street. Place a sign on the noticeboard. Bottom seeks Top. Thirty years old. Tanned. Muscular. Likes Bears. Meet opposite Camperdown Grandstand. Ten pm weeknights. You press down the accelerator pedal. Rise up like a spout. Tom Bass urinal. QANTAS House’s double curtain wave. Old tram tracks shining through worn asphalt. The passport office queue stretches onto the forecourt in jaundiced light. Idle in front of pedestrians at Macquarie Street. A bronze of oxidised characters is marooned on the median strip in the Cahill Expressway. Cut off from the State Library. Abiding metaphor for Australian culture. Betwixt high columns, scholars and shelter-seekers alike stride or stagger. Plane trees give way to State Parliament set back from the track like a Colonial homestead. First legislature. 1856. Bob Askin helped all his developer mates to the trough. Sydney Rum Hospital built by the Blaxcell family for a franchise on rum. Piked fences. Statue of Albert the Good. Orb protruding from his well-garnished groin. He invented birth-stirrups. Queen Victoria flat on her back cunt aloft under stinking gas lamps. Pass the Convict Barracks. Stop. More traffic lights. Gaze left. A rigid gold arm covered the hour-hand utterly. L Macquarie Esq Governor 1817. Take the swerves past St Mary’s Cathedral. Spireless sandstone block. Hyena anem. Sauce of all distaste. Squat gargoyles. Its quire marks time. Two-fifteen. Rough palms. Wiggling my buttocks on the warm leather seat. Strap off his trousers long and unwound. As you came fwd, palm-thrust-on-nape. Go down, old Hannah. Rise you no more. In the gloomy presbytery, his arthritic talons manipulated my nut. Hard-on rising deep behind the shaft under my arse-flap. Sticky, he lifted its web in gloating fingers. Sick stomach-lust. Power of first orgasm. Still craved. I cannot detach myself from it. Need sordid places. Shame. My family name begins with the letter HAITCH. He raised a black cassock. Systolic spasm. Revelated depths. High cum fountain. Tartan kerchief swipe. Remove the evidence into his uniform hastily. Quiet instruction. NEED IT HERE. NOW. DESPITE. Unobserved in College Street. Milky stained-glass light. Frrip Kleenex from box. Shuffle the zipper on your pin-striped trousers over the rises and falls in your lap. SPRUNG! Well, hullo there. Left hand on steering wheel. Right hand upon. Cresting hardness. Stroke the badly stitched underside with your index finger freewheeling down Elizabeth Street. Red arrow. Two-twenty on Central Station clock. Broken alabaster face. Recent hail damage. Turn out of Eddy Avenue. Rise slowly. Wait. Put on the lock. Those dirty first rapes still dry out my gums. Need to suck be sucked swallow ammonia. Trapped at the clogged entrance to Broadway. Pause. Some air out of my balloon. Repair your clothes don’t be stupid. Pass Kent Brewery left. Fairfax buildings all gone grey. Broadway Hotel opposite Saint Barnabas. Competing chalkboards. The eight faces of Grace Bros registered eight different times. A metaphor for the use of time in this chapter. Accelerate alongside campus. Under the footbridge. Cute student seeking shelter in bus shelter hard right. So wet you can see his plate. No place to turn to offer a ride. Edgar Welles proceeded down Parramatta Road. At Australia Street, he ceased in front of a high terrace. The French doors of an upstairs bedroom flapped. A young woman in a loose singlet moved into open space rolling a dirty white bed sheet. Her breasts spread in crescent arcs. Worn cotton. Cheap hospital detergent. Rows of bunks along the dormitory wall. Thin fabric partitions separated the junior boys. Silently, late, on heated summer nights, the house monitor would come and rouse him, placing a gentle hand over his mouth, inner arm wound around his hips, turning him flat on his belly. Final weight. Relax, he said. A few pumps. Orgasm released. Cum and a little blood on extraction. Silent parting. Tissue-paper remnants attached to his deflated head. Alone again in my cubicle as the empty goods trains clattered along the freight line past Mungo’s flour mill. Harbinger of grinding sleep. Peroxide Girl looked straight at the car. No recognition in turquoise eyes. Edgar surveyed the compartment. His guts churned. Temples roiling. He left the vehicle. He walked through a playground. Grandstand hatch. There was a single entrance under the west staircase. He advanced to the far cubicle. Leave the gate slightly ajar. He sat on the toilet lid. His cock snapped. After some time, he heard muddled footsteps. Light pressure applied to the flap. A gentle breeze settled upon the thin page of his breviary. Stand in awe. Valiantly, I wait. Pax multa diligentius legem tuam. Psalm 119. Hebrew letter S(H)IN. Second last condom. Kiss the Mazzuzah. Shabbai. Yeshua. Shalom. Number 300. Letter “T” (Gk). A Cross. He takes my covenant and presses it towards his robes. Screwing my wig. Will he bruise my plump willing cheek? Pulse racing.
FX: A single lamp set on a wide desk illuminates a male figure front of stage. He is wearing a navy pin stripe suit, which accentuates his robust casing. His fingers are poised against an intercom switch. An enormous industrial clock is suspended above him centre stage. It ticks loudly. The time is One Forty-five. A mechanical pulley raises a palette of Sodium Hydroxide drums from a concrete loading bay. Human silhouettes feed vats. A storm is raging. Hail peppers the corrugated iron roof. A chorus of characters enters stage left prefacing a regal cavalcade. They begin the strophe. Exeunt. He tosses back a fringe of sandy hair and depresses the intercom. Epode.
I want to begin speaking now and never finish and I will continue without pause if you will allow me. It would be good for us to talk quite frankly … or, at least, it would be good for ME to talk and YOU to listen. I have been talking long before this moment when you finally joined me. And I am the kind of man who is delighted to continue; delighted, at last, to have means of mass communication at my disposal. [Strokes intercom. Primitive feedback] But enough ploce. If I’d known about these devices at the beginning then all the many explanations which I’ve dredged up … in times of panic … out of necessity … with some vain hope of being just once in my lifetime comprehensible … would have all been unnecessary … as would all the complicated cross currents which, ultimately, failed to reconcile my manifold untruths … until, at last, like Ibsen’s Gregers, I became trapped in a procedural impasse. And always at the worst moment. And always in the midst of the harsh audience. [Sighs] That’s the “play.” [He drinks wine] My words have never been allowed to rest on their relative merits as well crafted prose or vivid scenes from the Imagination. No. They had to be summoned to an Ideal. And that was a mathem-oracle … mathem-oratical … anathem oral … moral impossibility! [Wipes brow] Because you could hardly call anything I’ve ever said “cast iron evidence.” My natural impulses fall under the classification of tactics. I feel somewhat fortunate to have held Shakespeare as well as his spastic sons like Ibsen, Ionesco and Beckett at bay for a few scenes while nature takes sport. [Reflective gaze] Yet it hardly seems worth it sometimes. I am empty as blind Gloucester’s sockets. Saggy as Corny Kellaher’s soggy left eye. The epic savagery of Classical drama has been rendered absurd by progress. Sometimes when it’s dark and cold, futile movement-and-speech reveal the essential stupidity of the human condition. I call that artwork, “Storm on Polders.” [INSERT ARBITRARY ACTION TO ALLOW TEXTUAL SHIFT] I’ve often asked myself after yet another synopsis so implausible that it astounded even me: “Why, Sir? Why go on with all this holy-poley … diplomacy?” But this sort of feeble speculation soon gives way to renewed cunning. For example: “If they’ve fallen for such patent garbage, then why not concoct still more outrageous fraud?” I’m that kind of chap. I’ll ejaculate without difficulty what I’ve extorted from the flames. And I’m likely to go on sprouting whatever it is that I’ve just plucked out of ether … like … like … ZEUS! [He turns sideways and spits phlegm into a stainless-steel spittoon then examines it.] Ha! Horrible green phlegm. But still OF me. And for that reason, precious. [Picking up a microphone] Ladies and gentlemen, my name is, and I am, Edmund Jollymount Hamley, Vice President of the Welles Investment Group, whom the great God, Bacchus, granted the secret to cultivation of the vine. His life-story was the atomic seed of Greek drama. Sadly, like a penis, its rise dominated its form. But that story is immaterial to this one. In other words, it can’t help me out of the jam that I am currently inhabiting … right here … right now … and therefore I have no desire to recount it. Instead, I’ll reconstruct some other tale from my retinue of japes. Get them out of my thigh, as it were. For the sake of posterity. Or just to get my version onto the public record first. [Garrulous] What does it matter so long as I speak? For I love talking. Like Coriolanus, I love to hear the sound of my own voice. The oral field is where my intellectual content is processed by live streaming. And I have never been without it … never stilled it … never allowed it to be stilled … even when masking tape was applied and Sirens assailed me and the cymbals of the Corybantes clanged in my ear in a vain attempt at plugging my audition. I have talked, I talk, I will talk, I continue, and I will not cease or perish. If you leave the pit, I will be waiting for your return. And I will be all the more insistent for your absence. For so much has happened in the interim! So much for ME to tell you! And YOU to hear! [Menacingly] But are you really ‘listening’? Are you really out there, mummy? [Despair] I have long feared it would come to this. No, that’s not correct … never feared … well, only for my survival … that’s a whoreson’s right … but rather I have expected it would come to this: YOUR questions and incredulity; MY excuses. I’m sorry it’s come to this, believe me. I had hoped, when you realised what you’d let yourself in for, that you’d quietly evacuate the stage. But that’s not possible. I can see that now. Very well. [FX: Turning to desk. Depresses intercom] Miss Gallagher!
[Officiously] Yes, Mister Welles.
Is Edgar outside?
[Aside. Exasperated] What does he want?
His weekly allowance.
Ah. His twelve-guinea prize. Hold him.
Are you physically restraining him?
Is he also bound by Nature’s law as well?
Relatively, I mean.
Good. What time is it?
Send him in. [Footsteps increase in volume along hall. The door begins to open] No! Wait! [Racing to the door. Slamming it shut. Returning to intercom] Hold him there. I want to prolong this moment. Don’t let him enter my world prematurely. [Alarm goes off. Intercom] MISS GALLAGHER!
Yes, Master Bill.
Don’t call me that name. Is Edgar still present?
Do you mean that he is static? Or that he remains a material presence? Or both?
And denying struggle?
A true Gloucester. His placement?
He’s seated on the stool.
Has he been tightened?
Like a tap.
So no dripping?
Good. And no creaking when you revolve the seat?
I don’t know yet. I was waiting for your order.
Turn him, girl. Turn him! [Listening over intercom] Good. Is he being rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise?
And no sign of mucus?
What time is it?
Then send him in. [Pause. Footsteps. Door opens] No, wait!
He rushes to the door, shunts it shut and deadlocks it with a key that has been hanging from a heavy chain off his belt. He moves to the rear of the office. Over the next 60 seconds, he pushes and drags a heavy metal filing cabinet towards the door. Sporadic improvised phrases by the actor, including the following precepts:
1. The final format of my execution is still subject to arbitration.
2. Heads of Agreement have been signed to the effect that I will finish second, in a field of two.
3. A documentary is to be broadcast, articulating my personal philosophy.
4. Codicil: did I really use the term, “philosophy”? Substitute another word (insert various options).
5. My heirs have been injected with The Blue Dye under the aegis of ‘oral history’.
[He returns to his desk] Keep him out there just a few more moments, Miss Gallagher. Just in case. [Quizzically] Are you sure it’s even him?
Does he bear the mark?
The special symbol.
That’s only for bastards, sir.
[Wistful] I know. [Opening his business shirt to display a heraldic tattoo across his gut] Mine is spectacles. [Intercom] Can he answer the secret question?
He already has.
What did he say?
He said it was the happiest day of his life.
More turpitude. Outline the plot.
He had a sequence of false father figures. He followed a precept. He seduced two sisters. Their children were abominations. He married his father’s mistress. Their daughter is his sister. A man is jailed for a crime he did not commit. A period of apparent domestic calm follows. There is a dramatic revelation. The harvest fails. He goes off to war. Insert various fatal women and female martyrs. A long time passes. It all ends in tragedy. There is justice in the last Act.
[Exasperated] That’s out of order! In sequence please.
Alright. Martello, the dead dog, Dignam’s funeral, Shakespeare, statues with arseholes, Gerty, the brothel, pissing, Head to Toe.
What of my own soul?
It’s still bung.
Then fix it. Maybe you can graft it onto something symbolic. Does he still retain our father’s portrait?
Yes. It’s an heirloom.
Speaking of which, when did he last see Gloucester?
[FX: Background whispering.]
He said last night.
Did they part on good terms?
[Laughter] Are you serious?
[Also laughing. Slapping his thigh] No. Was he given any signs?
Then the trap is set. What time is it?
Have you examined him?
No. And I won’t.
So what proof have you got that it’s really him?
[Comically] I don’t got nothing, boss.
Are you angry?
[Exasperated] Of course.
Good. What time is it?
It’s still one fifty-four.
[Decisively] How time flies. No need to send him in. Just get him to sign the paperwork. Give him the cheque. Let him go. Then bring me the documentation. [Walking to front of stage. Musing] Ah, Edgar. Dear simple Edgar. Edgar the wastrel. Edgar the heir apparent. Edgar … I-must-have-your-land-and-birth-rite-Edgar. [Calmer] Naked in tempest. Feigning the fool. Absolutely committed to depicting the uncompromising truth of average lives in his hometown as they pass before those steel-blue eyes. Closing his lashes at sundown and spreading his petals at dawn. Nourished by the Tank Stream! [Sensual. Emphatic] I spent the best years of the worst part of my life hating that person! [Shrugs] But he’s really not such a bad chap. Quite the actor! I enjoyed the scene where he and our father provided the template for all of Samuel Beckett’s plays. He should get royalties! But he had to go the same way as all the others. It was something to do with my stature. And era. It was a time when tyranny against the aged was afoot! It’s enough to make my grandfather harden somewhat in his grave. [Picking up a family portrait from his desk. Grinning] We’re those kinds of chaps! [To door] Perhaps I’d better remove these impediments. [Scraping cabinet from door to create a thin aperture. Buzzer sounds. He rushes to his desk] Are you still out there, Miss Gallagher?
Yes. Reverse charges call from London, sir.
[Collecting a bust of Churchill from his desk. Stroking it. Smirking] Ah! Old Albion. Always up for a free feed of lamb. In return, they just dished up Niemeyer’s cold hard gruel. We deserved it! But how the worm has turned. [Intercom] Tell them to fuck off, Miss Gallagher.
Right. I’ll tell them to call back later.
Great. Who is my next appointment?
Don’t call her that. Call her Daisy. And then?
You’re seeing Mister Cornwall. The folder is in your tray.
And what of libations?
The Cup starts at two-forty. The executive team will arrive in the board room at two-fifteen. Catering has been arranged. Your father rang from Chinatown to say he might be late. He has a meeting with the Minister.
Fine. Send Daisy in. [Door starts to open] No, wait! [He rushes to the door and presses his body mass against the cabinet. There is resistance. It begins to close. Finally, it shuts. Returning to intercom] Has she killed the wild duck yet?
You’re not taking her word for it, I hope.
No. She’s got the carcass.
Good. Tell her to leave it on your desk. And send her in. [He removes the filing cabinet and stands at the entrance. Enter Daisy. He follows her to the desk and pulls out a chair. Ingratiating] There’s my girl! [Bowing] Sit down, Miss Daisy. [She sits] Such a long wait! Such a heavy weight! Let me look at you. Bonny Sweet Robin, what happened?
I told you before.
[Distracted] But I love to hear it! Tell me again!
You shot motion pictures of the event.
[Panicking] What will it cost to ‘disappear’ them?
[Winking] To get my hands on the negatives. [Holds out a fistful of battered notes] Take some hush money, Gertrude. Get out! Take my keys. Go!
[Checks her watch] But it’s too late now. I’ll never get a bet on.
Is that all you care about? [Recoils] This country! This unbelievable place! But that’s typical of me. Always looking on Ibsen’s oeuvre as a master metaphor for my personal woes. Always assuming that you’ve painted the castle in the worst possible shade of puce when it’s really only a horrible sort of magenta. Ipsa omniparente natura. Forgive me, mother. [Intercom] Forgive me, Miss Gallagher! [Cuts. Rises. Returns to intercom] Also ask Regan for forgiveness.
She’s not here anymore.
Look her up in the book!
[Sound of pages being shuffled] There’s no Grogan’s listed in Sands Directory.
Have you checked her married name?
[Pretentious] It’s too common.
Fair enough. Cross her out and insert ‘Cordelia’ on my will. And hurry. We don’t want another war with France. And get Edgar back here at once.
But he’s gone.
Run and fetch him. I need to hear that story again about our father. The one with the runny eyes. And the cliff. He really played the old barstead for a fool that time. [Wistful] I could almost love him. [Reaching window] But that’s not possible. We’re locked in mortal struggle. I have already beaten him twice in this year’s Spring Campaign. Apprentice Darren Gauci in the saddle. But today is the race that really counts! Deformis formositas al formosa deformitas. We’re dramatic foils: Edgar inhabiting a formal narrative in prose; me living out a freewheeling absurdist farce. Not inexplicably evil like Iago. More like Angelo with his deformed head. I mean, ‘deed.’ [Picking up a framed picture of Gonerill and Regan from his desk] Yet Edmund was also beloved! [A document slides under the door. He collects it and opens it to the last page. Macabre laughter] Fool! Now I have his imprint! I shall forge a bogus contract and disclose it to father. He shall be disinherited. I will become the legitimate heir. [Noticing Gertrude is still present] Tell me exactly what happened, mother. Tell me where it hurts. Trust me. I’m a doctor. Here. Drink this.
FX: She drinks from a steaming beaker. Trumpets peal. His retinue enters. A jogger crosses the stage. Lou Monaro enters and waits centre stage. He checks his watch. He clicks his tongue. Brian Deverill arrives in a panel van. The Vietnamese shopkeeper stands idly behind her shop counter. She is expecting her lover. Barry said he would come over straight after he dropped his wife at the shop. The Tank Stream dribbles down a tormented drain towards its sluice at Circular Quay. Wet swollen motes of Banbury cake float upon. Elijah riding down Anna Liffey. Edmund forces a stamp onto a large red ink pad and presses it against Daisy’s forehead. She falls to the ground dead. Enter a Gentleman with a bloody knife. The protagonists are married in a parody of the conventions of courtly love. More paperwork. Various messengers. Comings/goings. A tangled node. The climax of King Lear is like the terminus of Wandering Rocks. Insert man carrying young woman’s corpse from the stage. Curtains close. Juxtapose the brothers in sub-episodes One and Two as loser and winner respectively. The reader should have noted by association with Black Knight (Edgar) and Chagemar (Edmund) respectively that their current situation will be reversed at the end of the Melbourne Cup. Applause.
3. Mapperley Heights
A dishdirty busker tripped on the thick lip of an iron fire hydrant, forged by J. Burrows, outside the Market Street entrance of David Jones. His dilatory frame rattled inside an oversized coat. He braced himself against a black marble panel between two display windows and swore. Cloudy fingerprints striped the glass. He checked the inside pocket of his checkered coat for a TAB stub. Two oversized mannequins looked down pointy plaster noses at his unmade pate. He raised defunct eyeballs on their cleavage. A greyness occurred in the unlit recess of his lips. Peroxide Girl drew shut the blind. She stepped into a short white summer dress and lifted it over her shoulders. A hand-written card which read Unfurnished Room for Rent fell off a ledge of the boarding house. Molly Bloom, invisible from Eccles Street, physically appears for the first time in the novel in sub-episode three of W.Rocks as an anonymous arm throwing alms to a crippled sailor. This body part is used as a metonymy by Joyce as well as suggesting the missing portions of Venus de Milo. Her coin goes awry. An urchin retrieves it and deposits it in his cap. Leon Daniel sprang across Elizabeth Street like famous Jorricks, the Iron Gelding. Named after Surtees’ grocer. A writer ranked with Dickens by William Morris. Keith Carpenter, perceiving a silhouette fossicking under the dashboard, walked briskly towards his master’s car. Hurriedly, he extracted a heavy Maglite torch from its holster. Daisy Tonner-Kelly walked straight across the road to the pub. The Tank Stream shimmered under Hamilton Street sluiced by blistered stormwater. Vessel lens. She entered the saloon bar. Here’s to all the steeds that ran / and all the ones I rode, she toasted. Young Healy bestrode the grand bay. Henry VII came off a horse. Lester lay comatose where he landed in the vacant shaft. Ophelia fell in the water. Ambrose E. Welles fretted over a carnation in his lapel. Eighteen carat watch-chain. He nearly bumbled into a beggar. Poor chap. A valet in a red equerry jacket and top hat held the door ajar. A slate podium exploded in sliced bright reflections. The busker laid a rectangular piece of emerald rag on the footpath in a recess before the department store window. He placed a battered blue cricket cap on its lip with sixteen sucking stones to hold it in place and plucked a tin whistle from his crumpled white shirt. His rippling black hair gleamed with grease, sweat and rain. Silver threads spotted his beard. He moistened thin lips and probed his mouth with the cool tip until it rested on his forgiving tongue. Soft incantation. Missus Maree Swain, perched on the gutter, nudged her son, Tug, for change. Ma bouchal. He dug into loose second-hand jeans. She took a slender silver coin from his open palm and turned from the traffic lights to propel it onto the jade cloth. Green flag of freedom. Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can. Her late husband brung back a chunk of that stuff from Singapore when he’d done sailoring. Intricate stone lizard curling and rearing on the mantelpiece long after they’d dumped his legless carcass in mud. Too many smokes on the spree got his veins clogged. A dbrop of the crathur. Inked by the harrow in Old Rangoon. Jumped a steam packet to Nantucket. It was a dang and stormy night. One carpet bag and one harpoon his provenance. He entered the St Outer Inn looking for lodgings. A greasy cook with a sore-eyed look was making bad hash cakes by the slush-lamp. “Maria’s Lament” churned out of an old barrel-organ. A callow mewt in smack-fits wetted the straw. German Eva heard the thump above. She looked at Francine whose gaze remained fixed on the television set as she lit a fresh cigarette. Days of Our Lives continued after the break. Edmund Hamley left the office. Jittery stallion in the mounting yard. Just 12 or 14 moonsores lag. No paternal stamp or birth rite. A blank certificate. Light the lamp! Maree compelled her gaze onto the flashing red WALK symbol. To race. Or not to race. To wait? Or to advance on one’s destiny and bearing forward make it real? This is not fucking Hamlet, exclaimed the author. She lapsed. The clock at the tunnel entrance to St James Station was surrounded by orange and blue neon advertising Chateau Tanunda four-star brandy. It slid towards Two-Thirty-One. “Anshewealderwheelbarroe,” ummed Maree to the merry tin whistle melody projecting herself down them manky lanes of various apertures in restless manual labour. John Dengate gulped. Listeners presume that Miss Malone is engaged on some jolly Southside procession with all the pretty Milly Bloom’s, Lame Gerty’s and Martha Cuntworthies of Dublin, but it is a tragic song. She is fading from death fever as she passes through the city’s shattered shell. A ghost poisoned at a billabong. Grey forms wheeling. Plover song. Insert scenery from a Sean O’Casey play. Joyce mainly deals with the lower middle class in Ulysses. Low sandstone prospect of Hyde Park shat with figbulbs. Moneygrub sipped his claret. Two plump private schoolgirls, candy sticks protruding from flushed orange lips, halted at the back of a parade ring of pedestrians. They turned towards the skinny pisspot and sucked. He lowered his eyes onto the pinchgut belt holding up his stained crotch. Not enough takings for another dab. A runner in synthetic shorts streaked through the crowd ruffling damask. A flaky gelding. I’ve run Centennial Park ten thousand times. Jocks knew how to steer. He trod on my kingdom. Send him on his way, chum. It doesn’t keep me square but I need every swy and zac this evening. A hand tossed thick copper coins at my bowl. They dull-jangled and exploded across the track. Velocity of History. The schoolgirls chased them into forbidding columns of legs. Straight shiny flesh covered in transparent down. They laid the retrieved coins carefully in his cap. Jesus wept! John Dengate had made the wet uphill walk from Central Terminus on the wrong side of Sydney’s rail girdle past Sharpie’s neon hole-in-one along Wentworth Avenue to the arse-end of Mark Foy’s bankrupt titan all glazed orange stripes like Twelve July in Belfast available types of female finery inscribed in black brocade get Laces > Gloves > Corsets > Silks > Millinery > Mourning Gloves an obituary by Warren Fahey said John was a failed punter in that all punters ultimately fail he has backed number fifteen today for a WIN NO PLACE never take no middy measures he preferred the full schooner shout like his hero Henry Lawson the son of bare-legged Kate a country lass give him paper and pen he’ll travel any place Bush his first teaching job was out of Menindee reciting Banjo Paterson to peach-pickers blowing the Apricot Express through Riverina orchards his father worked as a sheet metal worker at the Eveleigh Railyards dressed in an oversized smock he dominated the union picnic singing boss in a cane bottomed chair drugged with summer cicadas song / drunk with freedom horses that raced all day he loved ALL sports never got a car license Jimmy Carruthers fought Toweel and Gault at Sydney Stadium 30-foot tapeworm unscrambling his guts outside the Communist Bank on the prow of Foveaux and Queen Elizabeth Streets Silent Bill McConnell his trainer click click he took over Bells Hotel at Woolloomooloo Bay where he made a stand for the waterside workers against Corrigan’s scabs and thugs we won’t go down the union’s strong I drank there sometimes myself but not a FANMAIL type fuck Menzies Askin L.B.J. and all the mindless mob that Big Business likes robbing our Ashes defeat last summer left him run out at the non-striker’s end he loved Australia tin whistle in hand strolling through Saint James like the Pied Piper serenading the bare-bellied ewes at lunchtime then taking his tips to the front bar of the Friend in Hand pint of Guinness in his grip or some Jacaranda Juice he preferred guitar but his whistle worked better in Sydney’s bustling streets beautiful old Irish tunes and bush ballads or the words of ‘‘Faces in the Street’’ set to a traditional air he was a bridge between Australia and its Irish past sometimes we win, sometimes we lose the Battle of Castle Hill England home and beauty growled the one-legged sailor citing ‘Death of Nelson’ many have sung along to the ‘Song of the Sheet Metal Worker’ his last lyrics attacked Murdoch’s phone-tapping Duke Tritton of Five Dock once told John if the audience can’t understand the eighth word of the sixteenth verse then you’ve buggered the song fat chance for Joyce the Penman then Ballad of Les Darcy poison ate his massive frame like Big Ben Pies and Coopers Sparkling Ale like Phar Lap in the Irish corner of Eveleigh railyards with Mannix and Bold Bill from Erskineville who got warned off the yard in 1917 Joe Cahill was one of the greatest Labor men he died at his desk on Macquarie Street they played “Freedom on the Wallaby” and “Waltzing Matilda” at my funeral I took The Lidcombe Train last stop Rookwood a Republican the Answer’s Ireland his songs and stories about his uncles in My Name’s Eric captured Australian life just after the Wars you’ve not heard the last of O’Meally, Jin and their battler mates they go on disobeying FRASER LYNCH ANTHONY AND ALL THEIR MEDIOCRE SCUM we’ll pillage your banks and rob your stores blue asbestos breeze of Wittenoom blasting crocodiles through the miners’ lungs we’ll keep the mine open each link is stamped with dead men’s names sons of toil arising to welcome the bright morn braving the anger of the purse-proud mocking Moneygrubs we won’t surrender we won’t give in we’ll never bend the knee no matter how far nor wide tin whistle straining to regather the proud days of the Moratorium movement playing real folk music at Green Ban pickets down Victoria Street near the home of Smacka Fitzgibbon blast those developers Welles, Theeman and Saffron cronies of Sangster I bet I’ll never cut cane for those bastards wasted all my hard-earned kip on his nag Sir Tristram out of Claudine won the big Australian Plate piled with Susso from Fraser’s coup a Dark Eureka night the squatter’s keep gone silent in old pioneering days down south with Snake, Razorback Warrigal, Toad and Brown we’ll kill the tyrants one by one and shoot the floggers down. He dropped amongst the green traffic light mass counting up his coins, cherishing most those coppers retrieved by thoughtful schoolgirls.
4. Rose & Thistle (2.15 pm)
Brian Deverill left Lou Monaro in no doubt. None. He had cut out on a mate’s wake at South’s Juniors to fix the roller door on that warehouse in Newtown as a personal favour to Lou and he would get it done by COB but he was going to knock off at two-thirty go down the Shakespeare to watch the Cup then come back at 3.30 pm to repair the second track. Greg Wheaton pumped the hand flush on the toilet. It suckt and exhaled sharply. He had a buck Each Way on Rose and Thistle at sixty to one. Colonel Cornwall took a spreadsheet from the safe. It was labelled New Business Development. The first column was titled: Deals. Row One: Farm, Riverina. Next: Stud, Hunter Valley. Followed by Nickel Mine, North Queensland in Row Three. The next column was headed EV. The last two columns contained Fees. He turned the page. Ian Westacott marched down a bright alley towards the School Quadrangle. A boy was drinking from a bubbler on the north wall. Creamy sunstruck tiles. The Headmaster stopped to inquire. Mister Doyle had given him permission, sir. A friendly lad. Not good at sums. Mister Doyle said he needed private tuition. An extra hour on Tuesday and Thursday at 7 am. Cash OUT column. Codes. It was almost time for the two-twenty bell. Westacott wanted to ensure that the School moved smoothly. The students were not to be distracted by horse racing. He took up a concealed position on the east side of the Quadrangle underneath the Poplars. Missus Brennan hated the thirty minutes before the Cup. The shop was always empty. Not a single soul for a quick chat. No action at the bowsers. She never even sold a pack of gum. Her husband was hiding under a car in the oil bay with his transistor radio tuned to Johnny Tapp. He had his bets on. All tuned by a head algorithm. You couldn’t stop him. Why try? Perhaps Mister Monaro was not wrong. Maybe it was not time to continue. Keneng. Shanghai Dog watched Xiao Fang move to the bathroom. Her hind flicked lazily. The horses were parading in the Mounting Yard. Skelton on R&T in royal blue with red stars, yellow sleeves, grey armbands and a blue and red quartered cap. We could pass on our clients to Barry Capri. He’s a gentleman. He might even take on the mechanic. Daisy ordered a glass of Hock. She liked a horse with a classic physique. Sculpted sprinters. Not stayers. Edmund Hamley had been raced too young. Before his bones set. Same as Tom Hallem. Too alert. I prefer a relaxed one. And I worry about a horse that’s sweating. Ed Welles welcomed the executives on behalf of his father who was unavoidably detained. The reception girl was acting as waitress. She carried a tray of cold Crown Lagers around the room. Jean Wheaton and Eleni Loukopoulou annexed an empty table near the doorway of the Crest Hotel. Gary Hampton sent an urgent signal from Electrical Stores (Naval), Zetland. Capacitors for HMAS Hobart. He hummed a popular love song as he leaned against the heavy iron filing cabinet. INSERT CLUE. The singer was the registered proprietor of a desolate organ of blood circulation. “The Thrissil and the Rois” is a poem composed by William Dunbar to mark the wedding of King James IV of Scotland to Princess Margaret Tudor of England in August 1503. It was a time of false hope, and all delighted. The poem utilises the popular medieval device of a dream vision. Elizabeth and Leon standing under the canopy in Newtown Synagogue. Don and Penelope, Penelope and Les, Don and Richie, Shanghai Dog and O. A wedding photograph of Helen and Barry stood solid by the shop phone. S. Spams encountered Jackie as she left Broadway. Come back thou lost one. Shanghai Dog waited for Xiao Fang to dress. He needed time. Nor hald non udir flour in sic denty. Fresche Rose. Goad her to the barrier. Text message from his wife. Their son had been struck in the face with a ten-pin. He was in hospital. Plastic surgery would be required. She needed details of their global insurance policy. It had lapsed last month. Call later. He must serve Doctor Gu tonight. Maree squeezed her eyes. Poem 43: “The Headache.” Her son patted her shoulder jerkily. Ed Welles was distracted, seeking the time on Grace Bros towers. His car veered onto the road markings. Clunk. A horn sounded. I’ll take that big one, Ambrose E. Welles said. Professor Milkmaid recited a line of Pope. Than say not MAN’S IMPERFECT. Katey and Boody Dedalus surveyed remnant keepsakes and books for something to sell. Their mother’s LAST KISS. The School Sergeant roused the boys from the west side of the Quadrangle. Mister Westacott strode across the elevated turf to join him. The class bell cut. No soft incantation. Tin whistle steill dertis. John Dengate packed his swag and proceeded down Elizabeth Street towards the NSW Rugby League Club. I’ll grab a schooner of Reschs, he thought. Watch the Cup. There’ll be a decent crowd from Wentworth and Selbourne at the main bar. Simon Dedalus launched into song at the Ormond Hotel. Lost Mary. Yes, I am lost for she is gone. Weeping still for dear Martha. Why do the other characters still respect him in Ulysses? He has maintained a veneer of respectability. It is only his family who see the sharp sad drunk. Don’t deceive your free will, sang Jon Anderson. A man buys honour with good deeds and mirth. Opportunity cost of capital. His quotient had not yet expired. Farquhar sat bolt upright in the front seat of an unmarked Holden Kingswood on Wilson Street, Chippendale alongside the railyard fence. His face was set. His eyes unseen behind broad sunglasses. He laid a hand-drawn map on the dash. “You just got to turn right then go straight,” he said to the driver pointing ahead wanting to clip him on the side of the head for good measure. He checked his watch and told the driver: TEN. He was timing his run to coincide with the horses coming down the straight. Maximum shock. Same as Tet. Quick run down Shepherd Street. Allocate two minutes for the Cleveland Street lights. Idle outside the Native Rose. Two-thirty-nine on the dot. GO. I’ll take the Parramatta Road entrance. Gravy’s got the west door. One sweep across the bar. Grab the Gear. Bolt out the fire door onto Grafton Lane. Getaway car waiting. Go back to the Iron Duke. Divide the junk. Pay out the wheelman. Buy Deb a decent feed. She’s whippet-thin since James was born. Don Cane rested. Sleeping as I lay. Reliving Episode 9. Faithless Richie. Our dead son. Bound to an altar of my preparation. I have been an unfaithful husband. Multiple wives. Two living sons. Keep them all separated. Man and Ideals. Stephen sails closer to Scylla. Shakespeare’s life loops and pools in Charybdis. The Tank Stream crossed Crane Place under the NSW Rugby Club and entered low lying swamp. Plato was a soldier’s philosopher. Beat your enemy’s head with a rock. Ambrose E. Welles entered the foyer of David Jones. Two strippers were dancing on a makeshift stage. That’s a nice giggle. There, boxed in the corner stall, sat Young McCann, whose fault it was not really, being poorly raised, I mean what kind of father, it’s not a trade like plumbing, next to him was a small cunt, blond and tanned, hairdo like a bluddy Shire slut going down Caringbah Inn, expatriate orphan, mule for hire, then Costello, that deadhead drongo what crawled out of the muck and at his side squat Madden, all blisfull soune of cherarchy, showing off his collection of teratological slides by J.P. Witkin. Gravy kicked open the door and went straight over the top of the bar. Farquhar blocked the Broadway exit. Get under the table like a BLUDDY GREAT CRUMB. Insert map of Dublin. Insert picture of hand-drawn GANTT CHART of the movement of characters in Wandering Rocks. Insert chart of “times and places” (Hart, 215). Overlay with map of Odysseus’ travels from Troy to Ithaca. Check for correspondences. Insert traffic flow model of the 1984 Cup. The Wandering Rocks episode occurs from 2.55 to 4.00 pm. It contains 19 sub-episodes that all commence between 2.55 pm and 3.26 pm. It involves over 30 characters with leading, secondary or minimal status in the rest of the novel. There are numerous cross-currents throughout the episode. An exhaustive analysis is not possible. We will focus on the main characters and events. The opening and closing scenes of Father Conmee and the vice-regal cavalcade are the longest sections. Wandering Rocks is not sequential. Each sub-episode commences at a time dictated by its own internal needs. They are WANDERING in their own right. The vice-regal cavalcade retrospectively links most sub-episodes from 9 to 19. It is referred to directly and obliquely. It starts when the gates open at 3.39 pm. Plot intersection with characters in other sub-episodes does not adhere to a strict temporal sequence. The first four sub-episodes occur in North Dublin. They are relatively self-contained. Sub-episode 5 depicts Hugh Boylan in South Dublin moving north from Thornton’s shop. A gift-pack of perfume acts as a substitute for his basket of fruit in this chapter. He has not yet crossed the Liffey. Welles is still at Town Hall. He is far from Molly in Eccles Street. Elizabeth Archer has already arrived at the Menzies Hotel. We hear the only internal thoughts uttered by words Boylan in Ulysses: “a young pullet.” Sub-episode 6 finds Stephen Dedalus and Almidano Artifoni (note pun) discussing the former’s future from 3.22 to 3.24 pm. They separate. Stephen reappears in sub-episode 13 at 3.30 pm outside Russell’s the watchmaker. There is a general discourse on time. At 3.35 pm, he meets his sister Dilly who has just encountered her father at 3.22 pm at the start of sub-episode 11 (see below). There is a telling contrast in the sensitivity exhibited by father and son. But it is all care no substance. Joyce reinforces Stephen’s material privileges over his sister. He has attended university, lived in Paris and has salary in his pocket while she scrounges enough money to feed their family and buy a French-language primer. He is notably absent from home on an existential crisis throughout Ulysses. This is the end of Stephen’s involvement in Wandering Rocks. Sub-episode 7 comprises Miss Dunne answering a telephone call from Boylan at 3.11 pm (see Welles as). Ned Lambert is conducting a tour of St Mary’s Abbey in sub-episode 8 for a visitor later identified by his card to be the Reverend Hugh C. Love. He is Conmee’s landlord. He is trying to evict his tenant. Tom Rochford demonstrates his music hall machine in sub-episode 9. This appears to be an inconsequential piece of narrative but it acts as a symbol of Joyce’s technique in Wandering Rocks. Sub-episode 10 covers Bloom’s exit from the Merchant’s Arms at 3.08 pm. He walks to the book cart by the Liffey at 3.17 pm. He is next found at Wellington Quay at 3.40 pm. He crosses Essex Bridge at 3.45 pm and enters Daly’s shop. He leaves at 3.49 pm, meets Stephen’s uncle, Richie Goulding, an attorney who specialises in corporate rescues, and they proceed to the Ormond Hotel. CHECK! Sub-episode 11 starts at 3.22 pm with Simon Dedalus encountering Dilly for four minutes. He walks on to meet Cowley and Dollard within 120 seconds at the start of sub-episode 14. They proceed to the Ormond Hotel, arriving at 3.43 pm. During this trip, he observes the cavalcade at 3.37 pm. Sub-episodes 12, 15 and 17 are largely ornamental with the crossing of multiple minor characters. Sub-episodes 13 and 14 have already been discussed (see above). Mulligan and Haines discuss Stephen’s mental condition at a restaurant in sub-episode 16. Mulligan makes a joke that Stephen will write something in 10 years. Haines comments as an aside that this might be prophetic. It is a self-reference by Joyce to the composition of Ulysses, which began approximately 10 years after the events of 16 June 1904 and was completed in 1921. Sub-episode 18 takes up the case of Master Dignam dawdling along Wickham Street with sausages. The principal event is his observation of Boylan with a red flower in his mouth listening to a singing drunk. His recollections of his father on his deathbed and his current state of mourning are relevant to the death of Stephen’s mother. Young Dignam exhibits the detached recollection of an immature boy. Stephen Dedalus showed similar detachment in front of his mother only to be later tormented by regret. Sub-episode 19 chronicles the west–east course of the cavalcade passing many of the intersecting, adjacent events of previous sub-episodes. Joyce lists thirty-four characters in total, including the man in the brown mackintosh and all five letters of the HELYS sandwich board. Various persons and items with no other role in Ulysses are cited, including Mrs Paget, Miss de Courcy, Mr Ward and Lt Colonel H.G. Hesseltine (inside the gubernatorial carriage); an elderly female (outside the office of Reuben J. Dodd, solicitor); a tongue of liquid sewage at Wood Quay wall (Joyce passed up the opportunity for an anti-Imperial symbol by naming it Wellington Quay, which is where the event actually occurred); a poster of Marie Kendall (soubrette); a hoarding of Mister Eugene Stratton; assembled guests at a restaurant; and a chessboard being evaluated by John Howard Parnell (thus he is NOT a direct observer of the scene although his pose is highly symbolic). Of note is the fact that the avowed nationalist, Simon Dedalus, bows and offers his hat to His Excellency. The main characters are introspective when they appear in “Wandering Rocks.” Blazes Boylan is moving inexorably north. Bloom reaches the outward goal of his journey by purchasing Sweets of Sin while Stephen confronts his guilt over his mother as external events harry him. We learn more about Bloom as he is observed at the book cart by Lenehan and McCoy in sub-episode 9. McCoy notes his ability to cut a good deal by buying a valuable book cheaply. This is evidence of his prowess in commercial negotiations (or “sales” as McCoy calls it). The subject of his purchase, astronomy, becomes relevant later in Ulysses when he is urinating alongside Stephen in the Ithaca episode. Stars also serve as a symbol for Shakespeare as a child. Billy Capri was conceived under the stars. The narrative of sub-episode four shows three of the Dedalus sisters back at home after a failed attempt by Maggy to sell Stephen’s books to McGuinness. She is washing shirts in a bubbling vessel on the range. Alongside, a pot of peasoup from the Sisters of Charity is boiling. Dilly has gone to meet their father (see above). The lacquey’s bell intrudes on the text. Barang! This alludes to section 11. At this exact moment in the plot, their father is cursing them outside the auction room. Boody makes a blasphemous aside. Maggy chastises her. They eat. Joyce ends the scene with an image of the throwaway making its way down the Liffey under Loopline railway bridge along George’s Quay. It’s a symbol of resurrection. But the tide is going out. Soon the abysmal floor of Joyce’s Anna Livia Plurabelle will be exposed.
5. Foxseal (2.15 pm)
The assistant in the black stretch skirt sorted lipstick testers into slots in the Perspex display stand. She tidied fingerprints off the nebuliser triggers with a crimson cloth. A brief spray fell in a weak arc. She wiped the top of the glass case leaving an evanescent streak. Beneath, bottles of French perfume nestled in silk boxes. She disappeared under the counter. A customer approached. He waited at the vacant register silently. A hawk hanging. Old fox amongst chicks. The sales assistant was surprised to see him when she arose.
“Do you sell gift packs,” asked the man.
“Yes sir,” she answered turning to the top shelf and pointing.
“I’ll take that big one,” he said pointing also.
“Yes sir,” she replied lifting down a heavy pack.
“Do you provide a courier service?”
A dark figure streaked across the department store gates. It is Bloom en route to the bookcart. Boylan is buying items that will satisfy Molly physically: fruit, wine and perfume. Bloom is seeking to find a gift that will satisfy her at a psychological level. Boylan is aiming to seduce Molly. He will do the rest of the job himself. Bloom is focused on the imaginative side of her sexual gratification.
“Then take down this address. I would like to send the package to Miss Elizabeth Archer, care of – the next bit is complicated so make sure you get it right – E.A. Squared – that’s the mathematical sign … not the word – Gallery, 13 Hargraves Street, Paddington.”
She transcribed the address into the order book.
“Would you like to fill out a gift card?”
She handed him a biro and a white card bearing a lilac bouquet. Yours forever SH, he wrote hastily. Her dry lips pouted. Enormous mouth. Jaws of life. Io. Tethered to a tree. A tender, blemished cheek wearing the gadfly’s blush. She lowered her head over the gift pack and tied it shut with scarlet ribbon. Straw bobs he always liked. SH. His little joke about silent tristes. SHSHSHSH.
“It’s for my sister,” he added unnecessarily.
“She’ll be delighted. It’s a beautiful presentation.”
“Can I try this perfume as well?” he asked.
She grabbed a paper tab, sprayed some sampler and passed it to him. He held it to his nose.
“Oh, that’s nice,” he said. “I’ll take it too.”
“Shall I put it with the parcel?”
“No. I’ll take it with me now.”
“Would you like it gift-wrapped?”
Ambrose E. Welles watched the girl’s movements. A wenche thikke and wel ygrowen she was. Fat lips. She unfolded pink wafer embroidered with white dahlias. Swaddle the babe and slice it down the line. Turn the edge. Firm taping. Lovers can see to their amorous rites. Only when the door had been locked did Fiona let go. Slip a ribbon under. Cross stitch on top. Turnover. Make a bow. He had known Elizabeth forever. Like Victor and Nina, they came together with mechanical assurance. He knew exactly how to tread lightly. Strip, said Tomas. Just leave the bowler hat. One of the most famous images in modern cinema. Lie Tereza down like a plank. Buttokes brode, and brestes rounde and hye. Fat heavy garters. Set the shores a little wider, as Henry Miller put it. Flower of the valleys. Kissed under the Moorish wall. Eyen greye as glas locked on mine. Kamus nose. Stew’d in love with Dog Mellors. There had been no sex scenes for three hundred years before Lawrence and Miller. Acquire their glued-up novels in seedy premises like Gould’s in Castlereagh Street. It all changed when I met Elizabeth. Reciting Tropic of Cancer on a pension bed in Greece, sunset breeze blowing back plain curtains. Almost horizontal flow. The sea gone crimson sometimes like fire. Fig trees in the Alameda gardens. Come, civil night. She relit her candle from his. Gertrude sucking off Claudius. First, I put my arms around him yes and drew him down so close he could feel my breasts all lumpy yes his heart was going mad on my thigh. Last time at Fialta. Nina symbolised the motherland for Nabokov. So different to London women. They reconnected in Sydney last year. Living in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed. Strange love, grown bold.
“You can never get the smell off,” he said tweaking his nose.
“The smell,” he repeated sniffing his fingers. He smiled horse canines. They resembled her father’s undernourished mouth. Output of a wartime diet in England. Seaside evacuation to Wales. Black hairs sprouting from his ears and nose. She collated the cost on the cash register. Welles extracted some bills from his wallet and placed them on the counter. She lowered the package before him. He glanced at her unbodiced breasts drooping inside a silk shirt. She didn’t flinch at Boylan’s gaze so he held fast. In Ulysses, he extracts a red carnation from a vase and places it between his teeth. He is already half-planning his next conquest. This scene is different in intent. It describes an ageing lothario who must play the odds these days. Seduction has become a game of ratios. There is no Athene to temporarily conceal his turpitude. He will employ any means necessary. Cash is a bait. He is still confident in his technical skills once he has got them back to his place. She offered a mound of change for his palms.
“Can I leave a tip?”
“It’s against company policy.”
“What about a ‘hot tip’ then?” he asked flirtatiously.
“I don’t have time to go to the TAB,” she said. A retort of deep symbolism for Daisy. But I’ve got Foxseal in the sweep, she added. Where do they get these silly names? Stan Welles blurted. She shrugged. A pawprint, she guessed. Why don’t you call me some time, he added pressing a business card onto the counter. We can have afternoon tea, he added. Or cocktails, he concluded gaily. She read his name. And then as a bank business. Be noncommittal. Keneng.
“I’ll think about it,” she said.
“That’s something. What’s your name?”
“Gabby,” she lied.
“It’s says Vanessa there,” he replied pointing at her tag.
“That’s my birth name. All my friends call me Gabby.”
“I’ll be seeing you soon I trust … Gabby,” concluded Welles, biting on each consonant. He turned away. She watched his long retreat over the marble floor. Blazes Boylan claims his gift is for an invalid. Perhaps this is ironic. Molly is certainly bed-ridden. She tore the card in half and shoved the pieces in the bin. A customer stood at the counter somewhat impatient. Welles departed by the Elizabeth Street exit. Foxseal. An odd name. Hasty dance step with a marine mammal. Linguistic amalgam of unlikes. Seal: to block up and make impervious. No passage. No breath beneath. Against fox. A smart scavenger. Highly motivated. Great in an open field. Also, a burrow builder. Parnell’s pseudonym. Riddle of Stephen Dedalus. Fox burying its grandmother under a holly bush. Suffocating earth. Metaphor for the past, self, mother. Virgil’s tomb. Inscrutable symbol. See C7, FN 5 for the solution. A newspaper placard caught his attention. KIWI SCRATCHED, it said. The vertical spatial projection of Classical literature is always UP. That’s where Olympus stands. Romanticism inverted such. Shelley’s vapours are always going updowndownup. Rooster barracking as some church bells bonged. Cunning Odysseus stuck in a cave. Polyphemus capped their exit with a massive rock. Foxsealed. At least until Foxysseus poked out his tongue. Curl into the underbelly of a ram clinging for dear life as it shot out of the barrel. Exit stage right. Foxeyed Bloom, Celtic heir of the shrewd one, was bestowed with this favoured animal metaphor by Joyce. Also, Shakespeare, who Joyce tagged Christfox. The Wolverhamptine Ba-ba-bard of Stratfox-on-Avon. Bloom equals Shakespeare. A father figure. What Tom Hallem had in abundance (falsely). Hamlet’s spiritualised sire. Stephen as son. Saw himself as a wily one. Dodging Simon’s paternity. That’s easier if you’ve got a tangible father, thought Telemachus. Luxury of detachment. Avoid capture for as long as foxible. Sometimes I feel like a fatherless son. There is a legend that Sisyphus enjoyed Anticlea’s favours so she was already pregnant with Odysseus when she married Laertes. Bob the breach-filler so to speak, cuck-cuck. Hamlet myself then: bitter stepson of Claudius. Regicide. Cain to his Abel. Shaun to his Shem. Joyce’s brother Stanislaus was a potent commentator but never a competitor. Edgar and Edmund. Bifurcated seed. Forked tongue in the mouth of Medusa. Nothing straight in Denmark. All is subterfuge. Riddle me this. My mother’s cousin is my father’s wife. My brother was my cousin. My father is not my father. Intersown/scattered genealogy. Seal/fox. Compulsive craving for unity and closure. Always a misadventure. Joyce the father. I the son. To be so Minor is TO BE. Defer. Joyce annexed Shakespeare by reconstructing the Bard’s life to suit his own personal and aesthetic agenda. I will become Joyce’s father through a text about HIS SON. Homer inside Joyce around Shakespeare inside me. Absurdio inflatus. Russian dolls. Build a bigger one. Gigantism of Modernist Art. Guernica. Ulysses. Strategy of most minor literature: make a bloated replica of the TRUE machine. Self-deprecation of Joyce’s triumphant SELF. Metonymy of the Irish national epic in Australia. Sacrifice readability to form. Use the style of Joyce. Also, substance. Wine and wafer. Uselessys. Why go on? Go on. GO. Welles left the department store and walked towards Parliament swiftly.
6. Affinity (2.30–3 pm)
“Jackie,” exclaimed Starpunk closing quickly on a sculpted blonde leaving Grace Bros. He wriggled his feet inside glittering blue socks within worn cowboy boots. She was wearing a tight red polka dot dress. Pat Hyland in the saddle. She carted a black bass guitar case.
“Stuart,” she responded averting her gaze to a billboard above the cast-iron fence of St Barnabas’ church. A signboard read: Don’t Punt on Eternity – Back Jesus! Stephen Dedalus bumps into Almidano Artifoni in this sub-episode. He has been transplanted to Dublin from the Berlitz school in Trieste where Joyce taught and pulled backwards in time. They converse in basic Italian. This is a gesture by Joyce rather than a narrative imperative. There is no corresponding scene in Homer. He has a relevant comic name, which no doubt tickled Joyce’s fancy. Artifoni tells Stephen that he could make a career from singing. I guess the only thing it does is help build the narrative theme around Stephen’s vocal potential. He asks him to reflect on this opportunity. Like father, like son. I guess the only thing it does is help build the narrative theme around Stephen’s vocal potential. He asks him to reflect on this opportunity. He asks him to reflect on this opportunity. Music is the connection between these sub-episodes.
“Are you here to see Holly and The Nut?” he asked.
“The Lingerie Ladies,” he said pointing at a chalkboard outside the Broadway Hotel. Sacrifizio incruento. Make sure Holly and the Nut are named as Lydia Douce and Mina Kennedy at least once. Maybe while they are dancing on top of the bar to BP. Underneath, it read Cup Day Show 1–2 pm.
“I didn’t know anything about it,” responded Jackie.
They reached the traffic lights looking south across Parramatta Road. A man was holding up a broadsheet newspaper. Last year’s champion had been scratched with a suspect foreleg.
“Come along. It’ll be fun.”
“No thanks. I think it sucks. They’re just junkies stripping for cash.”
“It’s just a performance,” he replied.
“Dealing has fucked with your head. You should get out.”
“I want to. But I can’t. I got to detach myself from Chubby carefully.”
“There’s nowhere to hide. He was part of the Paltos syndicate. He’s got contacts all over Asia and the Middle East.”
“Go to Europe.”
“The States is the plan. The Buttholes live in Texas. But for that I need serious wedge. That’s why I got to keep working. It’s chicken and egg.”
Green WALK sign. They crossed Parramatta Road. A tour bus idled. Sydney–Katoomba announced a sign on the driver’s sunshade. A tourist in the front row of seats raised a heavy camera. The punks sneered theatrically. Groveller raised a middle finger. F-flash. The tourist smiled. Her husband waved. Jackie and Stuart waved back. There’s my bus, said Jackie racing towards the bus stop. The guitar case hammered her leg. Wait, replied Stinkbug face full of feeling. She flew through the doors. Fine Kiwi stayer. Fifth to Bounty Hawk in the McKinnon Stakes (2000 m). Winner of the Caulfield Cup (2400 m). Some members of a school cadet band disembarked. The doors closed. The bus commenced grinding uphill loudly. Tempe Depot was imperfectly scrolled on the side indicator board. Spams watched it pass trying to find Jackie’s face inside the cabin through filthy panes. A black BMW cut off the bus causing it to break suddenly. Tired hydraulic grunt. Horn blast. The car straightened back down Parramatta Road. The driver shook his head and accelerated harder into the steep incline leading to City Road. Spams turned to the pub. Two men were pressed against thick glass. One had clear vision between two dark curtains. He was relaying information. The other leaned against his back. Spams approached. Black leather jackets. Both secondhand. One blank. The other bore a CRASS logo.
“The Nut’s stripping,” said Toe Cutter to Fish Pump gleefully.
“What can you see?” Fish Pump asked.
“Her gear’s off. She’s well-oiled.”
Bersabe at bath wesshe her body. Gerty McDowell pressed into bold cardinal sequins. Holly twirled. Dumbshow Nausicaa grinding on a pole. Enter Starpunk.
“Hi Stew,” said Fish Pump in an unsurprised tone.
“Are you going inside?” asked Starpunk.
“We feel a bit reluctant,” replied Toe Cutter extracting his gaze.
“Far out,” replied Starpunk. “I don’t know what’s got into everyone lately. Come on.”
“Yea. Let’s go inside,” said Fish Pump. Spams opened the door. “We Are All Prostitutes” by The Pop Group relayed their entrance. Stuart patted Fish Pump on the back. They smiled. Toe Cutter split to the bar. Everyone has their price, sang Mark Stewart. Puker was propped on a high bar stool leaning against a flat middy. We’re the ones to blame. A lean knight with sharpened eyes sunk in a reptile’s face. Black mane falling upon a bright blue dinner jacket. Brindle. Blood of some Abyssinian hawker. Far West genes. A silver piercing shone in his nostril.
“This is a pretty masque,” said Spams to Puker.
Fish Pump had taken a seat next to the stage peering straight up Holly’s grind. The Nut bounced towards a drunk businessman beckoning. He stuffed Lawson’s face under a tight elastic strap. She leered carmine lipstick. Doll-baby blonde. Her ample bosom hung low. Crassus made the universal sign. She held out an open palm. Five full fingers with tongue. He extracted a Pineapple from his damp shirt-front pocket and crunched it into a torch. Doc Florey was gazing sideways sheepishly as if mildly discomfited at his predicament. The Nut abandoned her mount. It bounced off stage into Nature’s sticky underworld. She grabbed the note then the hand that offered it. Varinia come to my cell. They disappeared.
“Will you endure such insults,” asked Spams.
“I was rather enjoying the prospect,” replied Puker lugubriously.
“It does add a certain piquancy to life,” added Toe Cutter joining them. Puker took a mouthful of beer. O’ervolumed. A tad of froth slipped from his mouth.
“What bounty?” inquired Starpunk.
“That’s commercial in confidence. But I can confirm it’s a lucrative trade.”
“So, cash plus tips plus free use of backstage for tricks.”
“Backstage is a bedsheet around the fire stairs really. How goes the life of a humble mule?”
“I’m late paying Chubby.”
“That’ll make for bold adventure,” replied Puker gaily.
“It’ll be okay. I’ve got a plan.”
“That’s fixed then. Come on,” he said draining his glass. “We’re late for rehearsal.”
They rose to exit. Puker waved at his girlfriend. Holly opened her legs and thrust. Puker raised a fist and grunted. Fish Pump whooped as Holly’s foot hovered inches from his tongue. ‘We Had Love’ smashed to life. She kicked hard. His head flicked back. Blood advanced into the margins of his teeth. He jeered. A car pulled up in Grafton Lane. Exit Puker and Fish Pump. Two men walked to the boot decisively. They each extracted a polyarmour cricket bat. Farquhar slammed the boot. The musicians turned into Knox Street. Vivien turned off the tape recorder. Overdose thanked him for the interview and asked when the next edition of Vibes would be released. The boy shrugged. They both thanked his father Bruce for milk shakes. The rest of the members of Gag of Corom arrived.
7. Rocky Rullah (2.15 pm)
Ms. Dunne hid her copy of Dolly magazine in the top drawer of her desk under a retractable stationery compartment and returned to typing. Madonna or Cyndi Lauper, it asked. She applied the date to a piece of stationery bearing the Welles Investment Group letterhead. Flashback to Hely’s sandwich-men. Who will win the New Wave Diva Battle? She stared at a poster of Marie Kendall. Two advertising firms are competing for trade on Dublin’s streets in Ulysses. Special Issue. She doodled and daydreamed. The telephone rang. It was Mister Boylan ringing from the fruit shop. She told him that Lenehan had just called. He’ll meet you in the Ormond Hotel at four o’clock. Yes, she’ll ring someone else after five. She hung up and examined the newspaper. Melbourne Cup Lift-Out. Rocky Rullah. Yes, Lear divided his kingdom causing mayhem. Rocky Thumb out of Butterscotch. He had three daughters. A gelding. Xi Jinping has got two former emperors still alive at court. Cerise with grey sleeves. Capable stayer with two victories over 2500 m. Better off with a sweepstakes ticket. Ms. Dunne turned to the foyer with an infant’s innocent smile. Ms. Iris Gallagher glared back. She was settled on a low chair before a self-correcting typewriter with her head mostly hidden. A tall beehive vibrated as she attacked the keyboard. Occasionally, she peered over the top of the counter like a soldier peeping over the lip of a front-line trench. Marie Brennan waited for customers at her support post. Maree Bung hustled her son down the St James station tunnel. Ms. Dunne returned to a spreadsheet of ABN registered businesses controlled by WIG. It incorporated 303 Imports, Aquatique Pools and Spas, Australian Direct Investment Group (A-DIG), BCCI Australia, Brown-Gouge Dry Cleaners, Budget Rent-a-Car, Castle Bank and Trust (Asia), Green Beret Healthcare, Lok-Blok Construction Technology and Pastika Investments Ltd. She screwed up her nose as if partaking of an unpleasant odour. A call. “Yes, Mister Welles,” she said. “You’re stuck in Episode 12. I understand. About to enter Town Hall Arcade. The room at the Menzies Hotel will be ready at Four. Yes, I’ve booked the Beach Boys suite. I’ll make sure that Miss A. gets the message. Thank you, sir. Goodbye.” Ms. Dunne examined the dormant handset. A one-legged sailor jerked into Eccles Street. Retrieve a coin from my dresser. Peroxide Girl opened the front door. Her boyfriend entered. He went straight to the kitchen cabinet and collected his Gear, which was kept in a tin labelled “Oxford Set of Mathematical Instruments.” The bed sheet had a bloody nose. Candy stripped it off the mattress and cursed. She picked fragments of bleached hair off the pillow. Jackie wrenched the Grace Bros door inwards. She held it open with her back twirling her guitar case through the thin egress. Francine passed Eva another cigarette. The television advertisements ended. The serial recommenced. “Pamela, how do you get your money for drugs,” asked Doc Evans. Willy left his girlfriend. He had an appointment with Old Tom Hallem. She went to the kitchenette to retrieve cleaning products from underneath the sink. She must scrub the mattress of menses. Hired bedding. See Elizabeth (C10). The switchboard illumined. A call on the private line. Ms. Gallagher’s voice rose richly. Ms.Dunne looked at the wall clock: 2.25 pm.
“Hullo, Mister Welles. Successful meeting, sir? Alright. I’ll tell Master Edmund. When will you arrive? I took the liberty of purchasing a ticket for you in the office sweepstakes. You got Rocky Rullah. Yes, I know it’s a roughie. But you never know. That’s the wonder of the Cup. Don’t mention it. Yes, sir. I’ll get onto it right away. By the way, Mrs. Archer called. No message. Have a good afternoon, sir.”
Ms. Dunne started to decipher Ms. Gallagher’s shorthand notes. She clicked at the typewriter. Mr. Cesar Tuason, President, ARMSCOR, Marikina City, Manila 1800, Philippines. Dear Sir, I am writing in regard to recent disruption in deliveries of M1911A1 hand guns. Holly’s dressing room was a blue plastic tarpaulin hung in front of the fire door. A folding picnic table displayed her wares. She bent over crackt laminate. It bit her soft white thighs. Master Lenulus pressed her cheek flat with a firm palm. Her speedrush was gone. All the showbiz adrenalin. Lousy twenty-buck strip job on the dead side of the city. He fiddled with his trousers to get his great fat cock onto the stage. Box opener with a carved wooden grip. He thrust into her cheeks. She was greasy from oil and sweat. It went in fast. He grumbled about Tarzan’s Grip. She succumbed. Breathslown. A hater. Best zone-out. She was glad not to look at his face. Penelope at her loom never observed her interrogators. All the suitors wore the same mask. Scrawled frantic smiles. It is a wise child that knows its own father. Edmund Welles held a bottle of Crown Lager tight. Holly ground her teeth to exorcise speed shudders. Air close’n’bad like a drifter’s swag. Edgar awaited the sacrament. Et non est illis scandalum. Had to beat it hard. No cumshot. Hardness ebbing. He retracted. The condom slimed off. Fundant labia mea. I ought to get my money back, he muttered madly. Odysseus pumped the bat. Gravy had reached the hall. Peroxide Girl looked off her balcony at Willy’s back tightening along Australia Street. Helen gazing down off the ramparts at Troy. PAM: (Restlessly) “I don’t have a home, Doc.” Helen Capri waited for the passenger’s side door to be opened from within. A short old woman in black behind the baklava watched a student enter the unassuming doorway of her son’s Lebanese sweet shop. “But where do you sleep, Pammy,” asked Doc Evans. “On the streets,” she replied. Francine stretched upright in the sofa. She held her elbow upon which a hand raised a cigarette. This short scene discloses the date of the novel. It also contains the only appearance of Boylan’s secretary. Compare and contrast her condition with that of the strippers. Her life is a sad minuet played out of tune, out of time. The tone of this short passage is redolent of Dubliners. She is like Shelley’s Sensitive Plant rooted inside Browning’s dystopia. Yes, I am stuck like that, thought Ms. Dunne too.
8. Lancelotto (2.10–2.30 pm)
Les Hallem was watching the horses travel. Watching the lemons drop. Pulling his lucky arm. Sensing the movement of shrapnel through his body; movement of drugs through his head. Under Loopline bridge, shooting the rapids where water chafed around stone bridge piers. Minefield threading Phuoc Tuoy. A horizontal severance to traverse. Gouge apertures. Suicide peasants digging up Claymore’s with jam tins. Rebury them on the track. Exhumed corpses re-interred. A real game of Battleships. Hair trigger. Wait for the blow. The Jumping Jack heaves. Vertical uplift. Dirt and bodybits sail eastward past hulls and anchorchains. Sparkles of Corporal Horne wet the most sensitive nerves of my face. Saltspray off harbour. Manly ferrychop. Suspect some of my own stuff is missing. Frisk frantically. Bore’s lance in my side. But I’m NOT dead. Lloyd Bent massaged his stumps with retained fingers. Ian Westacott shaking hands with General Westmoreland. You Aussies got to get more kills, said Westy. Same gripe as Macarthur. I sent a firm directive for more aggressive patrolling from my desk at Saigon. Light fire seduced us. Suckered into foothills above Long Hai. WHOOSH. A trap. Get up. Fast. Rise. Find sanctuary on eggshells. Hopping from rock to rock like fucking frogs. Not to touch the earth it’s a fuckblast. Run run run out of the clearing. Hop into the gaps between big boulders. Bayonets probing dry dirt. Descend. Grovel. Collect human scraps. Kevin Coles got caught in the wrong place in a napalm drop. Carcass spluttering flames in No Man’s Land. Not much difference from the immolated monk that started this whole fuckup. Lucky Les Hallem got blown above the blast cloud. Sheep threw a thresher. Mostly intact. Bloke should buy a lottery ticket. He picked up a wet drink coaster advertising Dick Stone Meats. The medic was lowered into Charybdis from an Iroquois. Keep highest height. Don’t want the downdraft setting off more mines. Mortar fire stun. Doctor Lippett swung off a strap. Applebee beat back forty NLF with borrowed armor. Les Hallem got up for a piss and leaned his stool against the poker machine on two legs. Siege Perilous. Nine mates lost in one blue. Jewels tossed out a casement. Zero kills on the other side of the ledger. Bad odds. Desk jockeys at HQ sent the platoon back out next morning like it was a game. Ulysses S. Crossin walked towards his boss across the car park. Mister Carpenter was talking to a scrawny bloke sucking a pipe. A third gentleman was circling. The odour of Erinmore Flake enticed the young man to close-up the triangle.
“Could I have some light please,” asked the Professor.
“Whatchoo look infer?” asked the young guard flaring his torch.
“Tank Stream,” explained the Building Services Manager.
“Whah?” queried Crossin.
“It’s the creek that fed Sydney with drinking water,” replied Keith Carpenter sternly. “That’s why they started the settlement right here and not Botany Bay.”
“I’m writing a book called Underground Sydney,” opined Professor McNab composing a false title instantly. Actually, he was writing a history of urban water systems. But that had no cachet. Fast-flowing streams. Mill wheels turning. Trap for defence. Build deep moats. Scrape saltpeter off the subterranean walls of the castle for gunpowder. Start another plot. The NVA invaded both sides of the Pearl River. Like many cities, Sydney’s past has been iced by progress. In Wandering Rocks, the ancient council chamber of Saint Mary’s Abbey is all boarded up with seedbags. Joyce creates an emblem of Irish dislocation from the condition of its neglected legacies. We will examine Joyce’s use of water imagery in Chapter Nine. McNab placed an ear against the thick concrete sleeve. Blood leaking lungs. Diastolic rush. A lament imbued the dim pub backroom. Holly tightened her gaze. Pinhole light. Wet business shirt flap. Pants tying his ankles. WHOMP. He dropped off. Crawl like a slug. They used cockroaches like canaries down Sydney’s phone tunnels. His hair a blood mat. Does Private Richardson still heave? She observed a man swinging a bat into her customer’s hind and fled.
“Why would anyone be interested in that stuff?” pondered the young guard bluntly.
“This is the most historic site in Sydney,” enthused the Building Services Manager.
“I don’t get it. Greek culture goes all the way back to Styx. This is just a puddle.”
“Quite so,” replied the Professor smiling.
Mister Carpenter grabbed the young guard’s arm and mouthed some words.
“Stop, Keith. Your young colleague’s quite right. There are grander waterways than this. Paris has the Seine. London grew along the fast-flowing Thames. Berlin was well-positioned on a bend in the River Spree. But this was all they could find around Sydney. Just a dribble.”
Why is it called Tank Stream?
“It was nameless at first. There was a drought in 1790. The stream dried up. Governor Philip ordered three tanks to be cut into the adjacent sandstone to act as wells. Hence its name. The Tank Stream was abandoned as a source of water supply in 1826 but it remained an open drain. It was progressively capped until the job was finished in 1878. Incredibly, it was still used for sewerage until 1939 when a new pumping station was built to stop overflow reaching Circular Quay and creating noxious conditions around Wharf Eight.”
“On the other side of this wall is the end,” added J.J. O’Molloy patting the car park.
“Back that way,” said McNab pointing with his pipe towards King Street, “it gets too narrow to pass.”
Where is its origin?
Its source is marshland on the west side of Hyde Park near Park Street. Sydney is a steep town. The catchment started at Brickfield Hill in the south and continued in a vale between York Street and Macquarie Street. Sacred lochflows. Maid of Astolat shining a shield with her strawberry handkerchief. Glimmer in gloom. Dusk at four-thirty. She knows the story of every scraping. Ian Westacott admired his clean service revolver. A barge draped in black carries her casket down river to a lonely grave. A concrete diversion channel was installed when they built Australia Square in the nineteen sixties, said McNab. After that point, it turns into swamp. The cistern contains. The fountain overflows. Dry dirty canula. Les chopped off the dribble. Spent drops spreading through his underwear. He wandered back to his lucky machine cadging smokes. Rooting around the dump for scraps outside a fortified hamlet. Cashing his pension cheque at the bar. Simon Dedalus dropped a coin into his daughter’s palm. She scoffed at him. He is all fault who hath no fault at all. The barmaid tapped a middy of New. The bar manager was distracted by the horses parading in the mounting yard. She waved away his money and winked. Number 19 passed across the screen. Jockey in orange with purple sleeves and a black cap. Ron Quinton. Six successive Sydney premierships since 1979. Four Golden Slippers, 3 AJC Oaks, 2 Doncasters, an Epsom and a WS Cox Plate. But no Melbourne Cup.
“There is another tunnel in this vicinity built in the 1890s to link the GPO with the Royal Telephone Exchange. It extends up Broadway all the way to Newtown. You can still walk—”
“Excuse me for a moment Professor,” interrupted Carpenter striding from their orbit abruptly.
Ulysses S. Crossin, Professor McNab and J.J. O’Molloy followed his withdrawal towards an apparently vacant car. Elizabeth Archer stumbled off an escalator in a low-cut lime dress carrying a large black cardboard cylinder. Her boots clomped on the steel landing. She gathered herself, scratched beneath a heavy zipper cutting her calf and preceded onto the waxed floor of David Jones tea room. Move languidly if you can. The Francis sisters. Ugly Carol. Plain Kay. Skinny Liz. Their father spent every pay day at Randwick racecourse until he got home drunk and broke. A rented flat in Kingsford. Three girls sharing a bedroom. Small pair head to toe on the bottom shelf. Kay up top. Charity soup from Our Lady of the Rosary. Spotted pears from Castellorizo’s fruit shop. Broken bags of biscuits. The tea room seemed distant – impossibly distant – across the meltwater surface of Ladies Fashions. Elizabeth proceeded across the ice age of shop assistant glares.
“What did you get for those prints,” asked Lady Peasoup looking up from a deep wide wicker chair.
“Not much,” replied Elizabeth Archer slumping.
“Even the Miro?”
“There’s no market in Australia.”
“Quite. Ruined by Ken Doll. What will you do?”
“It’s okay. I’ve got a plan.”
Lady Peasoup removed a fresh packet of Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes from her Chanel Classic Flap Bag and ripped away the cellophane wrap.
“I can’t smoke. I’m meeting Stan.”
“So that’s your ‘plan’,” replied Lady Peasoup derisively tossing the box onto the coffee table. “Not very original.”
“He’s my white knight.”
“Knight!” her friend exclaimed. “Well he’s certainly moyen age. Bordering on ancienne regime.”
“Don’t poke fun. He’s good on the job. And modest in his needs. Which is most fortunate. I’m sore all over today.”
Elizabeth Archer cradled her abdomen. Triton lapped the Quay.
“I spent last night with Tom Hallem.”
“Oh God, it’s the tragic tale of Menelaus, Helen and love-sick Paris all over again.”
“I thought you’d moved on.”
“I want a baby,” replied Elizabeth blandly.
“What?” exclaimed Lady Peasoup.
“I can’t have children with Leon.”
“Of course not. What prompted your … change of heart?”
“I realized I’ll have no one left when Leon’s gone.”
She spoke awkwardly wiping a single tear from her eye with her friend’s used serviette. A scrap of wool. Burnt thigh. Erichthonius. Put it all in a small box. Troubles borne of earth. DO NOT OPEN. Lady Peasoup couldn’t help prizing it apart.
“What do you know of his family,” she asked spitting soggy cracker sparks across the glass table. “They could have all kinds of flaws.”
Half baby half snake. Chaim. Spine medallion. Wet and unfloored. Sump hole. Touch his underformed back. Go down a tunnel. All inside-out. Shoot a man through a loose singlet. Blow his guts out. Roll over the corpse. Check for documents. Insert autobiographical note on spina bifida.
“His mother is in sales. She has a husband on an invalid pension. They live in Burwood.”
“Promisingly bland,” mocked Lady Peasoup. “What about his father’s bloodlines?”
“His father was a soldier. He died in Vietnam.”
“Any hereditary diseases?”
“No. Leon got into the Medibank records. There’s no mental illness. No birth defects. No cancer.”
“So, Leon is ‘in’ on the deal?”
“It was his idea actually. And the best part of the whole scheme is that Tom will know nothing about the baby until it’s done.”
“How will you pull that off?”
“All will be revealed tonight,” smiled Elizabeth conspiratorially.
Outdo Joyce in drama. Write a ripping yarn. Holly scooped up her backpack and palmed the fire rail. The latch dropped. Light steeped the alley. Sisters throwing themselves off high places. She jumped to the lane. Another body followed almost immediately. The Nut crumpled against the liver brick wall of the Humanist Society. Herse and Aglaurus. Farquhar stood there shaking his head. He was a father himself. Agamemnon’s staff hung by his side.
“Go that way,” said Farquhar to the girls gesturing to the western stand with his bat. “Piss off!”
Eva turned up the volume on the television set. Pamela, how do you get your money for drugs, asked Doc Evans. Let’s just drop it Doc, okay? she replied. DOC: But I want to help you. PAM: Don’t you understand, Doc? Tom Hallem released the Mexican belt from his bicep. Leon Daniel turned towards an acquaintance as he jogged on the spot at the traffic lights. Nil recognition. He shrank. Risk of mixed fluids. Farquhar and Gravy reached the laneway. Farquhar signaled the driver. He had McCann’s stash in his massive grip. Billy Capri walked across the pedestrian crossing at Carillon Avenue. Why bastard? Wherefore base? The Vietnamese shop keeper realised too late that the young man who ordered a tin of pineapple off the high shelf had burgled the cash drawer when she’d turned. She chased him down Eton Street. He vanished left or right. Down to the velodrome or over Salisbury Road who knows. She trudged back to the shop. A handful of lobsters had taken flight. She would have to find a way of replacing the cash before her husband got home from the markets. Les Hallem lost his last ten-cent coin down the slot of his lucky machine and proceeded to the lounge to watch the Cup. He’d put his last two-buck note on Lancelotto each way because he liked the pun. He preferred to bet on machines. They were less engaging than flesh and blood. Dick Stone delivered a frozen meat platter to Besley’s Stationery as a sweepstakes prize. A folded note was hidden inside the invoice. Time and place proposed. Holly and the Nut struggled out of Grafton Lane. A chopper lifted the remnants of Applebee’s platoon off the LZ. In a tone of quiet desperation, Pam looked Doc Evans straight in the eye and said, why don’t you just do the world a favour and let me die. The shopkeeper telephoned an anonymous number. Bobby would bail her out. Les Hallem steadied his drinking hand. Arthur’s love for Guinevere. Tennyson’s exemplar of an unfaithful wife. Lancelot rejecting Elaine. Degraded icon. Their child was perfect but. Leon Daniel rolled against the wet humid grass like a wolfhound. Ana Lafei was drowning. Her face pressed the towel. Flat on her belly under her husband’s palm his workbench legs held taut by fallen overalls. A comma of gleaming hair fell over Boylan’s handsome face. After he withdrew, she rolled onto her back and brought herself to orgasm blank pupils staring into an access hole in the ceiling that disappeared into a void of webs and cracked rooftiles.
9. Pass the Baton (goes back to 2 pm)
Persian Jones reached the Mitchell Street squats after dodging the Filth down the arse-end of Toxteth Estate. His pockets were stuffed with analgesics procured at the Ross Street Family Pharmacy using a forged prescription off a stolen prescription pad. He had Petra and Dougie the Animal in tow. Weasel Bob had gone off to collect his wrap from Barry McCann Jnr down the Broadway Pub. Ambrose E. Welles ascended Pitt Street from the ruined wedding cake of the Universal Provider. Farquhar met Gravy out the back of the Iron Duke Hotel. He passed him a cricket bat. Gravy produced a controlled shot pulling John Snow to leg. “Nicely weighted,” he smiled. Six lunchtime schooners exhaled from his gums. Steak-laces tortured his canines. He picked at them with a soft fingernail incessantly. Someone cracked the reinforced front door.
“You missed Vikings,” an unbodied female voice disclosed granting entry.
Persian Jones shrugged. A scraggy arm harrowed with scabs hung a burning cigarette like a censer as he passed. Days of Our Lives projected seriatim plotlines unremittingly. Farquhar tossed Gravy a warm KB from the boot. Francine closed the door and resumed her seat. Adbreak. Wayne went straight upstairs. His body ascended out of frame. The stairs creaked underfoot despite a cushion of thick bone carpet pomaded with wear. Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas star as Eric and Einar in this tale of star-crossed brothers. The King of Northumbria has been killed in a Viking raid. His wife is raped by the Viking warlord, Ragnar, played by Ernest Borgnine. She becomes pregnant with his child. The bastard is sent to Italy to hide him while events unfold. Gravy let trapped lager fly. Welles gazed at a shop face uncomprehendingly. Eric takes out one of his brother’s eyes with a pet falcon. Farquhar eyeballed the wheelman. “Just do what you’re told,” he advised. “Don’t think, just drive like I said and you’ll be home safe tonight.” Tom Rochford disclosed the top disk of his machine. The Nut inserted a cassette into the sound system. Rewind to start. Unsettle the temporal plate of this chapter. A baton relayed backwards by a backwards travelling runner. Beckett to Joyce to Pater to Shelley. Starter’s pistol smoke seen. Then sound. Crockery rises off a milk bar floor re-assembling. Time spelled backwards. Hieratic utterance. Reflection of a signifier in a still POOL. Gnawn Narcissus. Odin reverses the tide. Eric rises. Tom Hallem was a giver not a user, reflected Shanghai Dog. I was not one of his best friends but he was mine. He showed me fidelity. I just couldn’t reciprocate. But you can’t expect equivalence from people. They just save what they can. Nut pressed PLAY and rushed to Holly’s side. Puker wupped. Fishpump friezed. Dougie got up. He twisted the volume knob hard on the big TV. Close-up of DOC EVANS. I’ve been reading about it in the papers but I never believed it. These kids are actually LIVING ON THE STREETS! Oliver replied. Yes, Doc. Runaways like Pammy. They got no place to go. So, they drift. They beg and steal. They hide … from the law … from their folks … but mostly from themselves. HAND’S UP WHO WANTS TO DIE! smashed the shallow bar. Holly and the Nut raised their arms. Stan Welles made bold signage across a moat. A false quest founded on a false premise. Edgar as Tom Bedlam. A decoy. Gravy’s job was to distract McCann while Farquhar forced his way through the ruck. Holly displayed an unshaven pit. The Nut followed. Peroxide by tarnished bronze. “Are the plates off,” asked Farquhar. The driver nodded. Some locals leaning on the bar looked up then re-studied their flat schooners. One glanced at a bright wall clock. Two pm struck on one of Grace Bros various timepieces. Frayed denim jacket sleeves taped a poster against the glass lens. White frog upon clover green background gaping. The Lingerie Ladies assisted each other onstage. A scarlet stiletto heel slipped through the brown milk crate frame causing Nut to slump. Read scraped a pencil arc across a sheet of Kohzo paper. I shudder to think how she survived, Doc said. Mick Harvey’s drum pattern kick-started the song. FRENCHS TUESDAY 10 PM. Just remember. Sydney is my town, counselled Farquhar. I got the green light. And I don’t tolerate weak cunts. If there is a fuck-up, I will find you and I WILL kill you. Nick Cave grunts. The Nut grinded. Fishnets diastolic systolic diastolic clamp. Tautslacktaut. Traverse the parapet. Two hills right. Turn when you reach the weeping silver taps. Count SIX. A tall scalped mountain. The gang got into the car. Stan Welles disengaged. He climbed harder faster older past the Lismore Hotel. Skinny relic like him. First floor bar quite intimate. A nice place to take a much younger lady. Bloody devil-horns shimmied on the strippers’ flips. The bone Kingswood rolled into McEvoy Street. Scarlet-sequined bikini briefs rose. Precious clear flesh twixt groin’n’garterbelt. Sweats of Sin. Read scored his wife’s wide buttocks. It hardened the drawstrings somewhat on his white linen pants. Cuthbert’s reddening face disclosed his struggle. Francine wriggled in the sofa. Her patterned black tights clamped her crotch. Elizabeth Archer’s warm milky gut received his impress. Zakinthos. A Greek island near Ithaca. Classical parts litter the fields since the big earthquake. Did Hellenic sculptures possess anuses, asked Bloom. This spurred his visit to the National Library on Kildare Street where Stephen Dedalus was rending his Shakespeare theory. Young McCann focused his attention on the strippers high up on the bar. Cuthbert and Jiles blocked his gaze. OLIVER: You know a lot of these kids are forced into prostitution, Doc. I’m afraid that’s probably what Pammie’s been doing. CUT TO DOC’S FACE IN SHOCK. INSERT CAVE: (Sudden. Forcefully. Down.) Have you heard how Sonny’s burning? Rowland S. Howard’s o’erspeeding all-but-falling guitar slid untrammeled raking the speakers’ dock. Like some bright erotic star that Bloom and Stephen piss under. Holly’s breasts went spilling at the crowd. Gravy leaned across the back seat languidly. Arms all akimbo. Guffawing. She rose as the guitar ceased. Welles crossed Central Street. Farquhar sat bolt upright. The Nut thrust her hips jipp-jangling. Guitar ferris-wheel. Down again she plumbed. FLAME ON! They rotated face to face to arse/arse to tight tits slapping. FLAME ON! Cane pushed the par-open door. Non and Slope were baking in the front bedroom. Beakers and pipettes arranged haphazardly upon a bench made of an old door. Ana Lafei’s forearms spread across the greasy workbench. A raft’s wings sea-born. Held fixed in place. Her heavy cheek had been turned against coarse Laminex. She was wistful at the forest-fall odour of Rowney oils. Empty cartons of coffee milk, crumpled crisp packets, bog, clay and rubble, chocolate wrappers, sand, crumpled cans and discarded hypodermic wraps were corralled into the stark black corner of the lab. Read felt tremors. Holly centered her speed-hit to accelerate her movements. Circular Quay souvenir stalls leaked Japanese tourists under Read’s smashed window casement. Stan Welles stared into a battered garbage bin on Bathurst Street while he waited for traffic to pass. Read drew a great black bird. An Ibis picked at scraps with Giacometti beak. Apollyon’s bosom. A roaring ambulance gained traction surfing carspread. HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY. A single syringe had been speared into the rotten woodwork at a heroic angle like Tatlin’s Monument. Holly bucked. The Nut extended her tongue. Jiles bumped against Fishpump. Matt’s pressure. Manhole entered Glamour Bar in Shanghai. Marked labels on a neat row of brown chemical bottles read: CHLOROFORM, PYRIDINE, HCL. Slope was mixing bronze solution at a vacuum flask. Alligator wine. Shanghai jingjiu. They prepared the glass separator. Supplejack rose on canvas pumps to spear the slughorn home. A bit of stubbed ground. Ana was not really his type, as Swann mused. This made it hard to get the job done. Heat was generated by an ordinary twin burner camping stove. Read let the black ink drag his brush. Non swirled the mixture. Garniture of curly gold. Mad brewage. Slope added the magic solution drip-by-drip. Persian approached. Non greeted him with a warm smile. Slope did not look up. Nor Read. Ana neither. Barry McCann stared at Cuthbert. Jiles at Nut. Farquhar seemed mesmerized by the dashboard. Gravy let his gaze rest on the padded ceiling. Elizabeth Archer contemplated a fresh flute. PH must be 7–8, Slope explained collecting a strip of paper with junk-hardened prints. Ambrose E. Welles passed the summit of Brickfield Hill. Mere ugly heights and heaps. Peace in the cabin. Matt got up the plateau grey plain all round. Gravy gripped his bat handle. Cuthbert his crotch. One stiff blind horse.
“Got a package for you,” stated Persian Jones.
He displayed his wares. Jiles slammed some silver crunch on the bar and poked two lean fingers at the barmaid. Fishpump hung off his shoulder yelling. Weasel Bob cranked the volume.
“Got a taste for a mate?” asked Persian.
“Always one for you,” answered Non.
“Can you take care of Read as well?”
“No problem,” said Slope.
Read was a top customer. Bought big bags of flake. Always paid top dollar. Persian Jones shook his gypsy mop. He needed cash upfront or drawings to sell. Igraine. Foot on a dead man’s cheek. Farquhar wanted to get his paws on McCann’s stash. He’d been short since bribing Harding to get off bashing that bouncer at City RSL. Plus that was his half pound they planted on Kelleher. Also it was his hash they took off Bazley’s slut. Still it kept him tight with Burke and Gilligan. Welles reached the Criterion Hotel. Main bar half-empty forty minutes from race time. He turned onto Park Street facing the big hotels on William Street. A base afternoon opened over Hyde Park. Warm in the damp and rotten seed. Ray waited to cross. There was an interval of ten seconds between Rogerson’s shots. Lanfranchi lay face down dead in the gutter in front of an unmarked police car. Read only had to knock up a few drawings to keep everyone flush with dope. Francine could always hit up her father for cash. It was a great deal for Ong. A denim-clad arm removed a twelve-inch copy of the Stooges’ “Gimme Danger” from a plastic sheath stuck to the window. Rogerson was wearing a bone cardigan for the execution. Some scratches. He carried loose papers in his left hand. The gun was no longer hanging in his right palm. Cover signed by Ron Asheton! INSERT BROWNING. He had replaced it into his holster by the time the journalists arrived. Ray needed to keep the parties to the transaction separated. Those bastards would cut him out in a heartbeat. Farquhar shook. Blotches rankling. They’ll load you up soon as the press crackton. One mistimed shot and you’re gone. A howler or a bat. A slither of glass from smashed spectacles lodged in the Prime Minister’s eye. The apple of which was bruised by drugs. Like a penniless drunk, he staggered from the pitch begging for a draught of earlier happier sights. Blind as enflared Oedipus. Don Cane beheld Richie full-term on the Baywalk leaning against a palm truck in the cooler dusk breeze her bare feet ceremented in turf. A father’s agony. Ray calculated Elizabeth’s equity requirements. He slipped some dried ink sketches into a satchel. Take them to Liz. Get some dosh. Leverage. The stuff of business. Stick a branch down a manhole. Say: hang onto my hand. Acts of a God. Raglan’s twenty-two traits. Historic arraignments. Oedipus 22, Jesus 19. Burke had been sucking out my cash since Seventy-Six. Fixed up that poor cunt Dolly Dunn right royally. They gave him a fucking medal for that. Supplejack withdrew. O le amio faʻapuaʻa. Gift her to Urien Gore, influential art critic. Ray fingered his lapel listlessly. Holly fixed Cuthbert as he advanced to the bar. What turns is on; what turns is done. She disclosed all her assets. The lad stood to attention, as Tom Rochford said. Boylan with impatience, so to speak. What’s in a name? A column of disks rising. BVI structure. Transfer funds into a Hang Seng account under surname NUGES. Welles entered the department store. Plods at the ATO would never be able to trace my gossamer. He spent the next 10 minutes flirting with the sales assistant. See sub-episode six. Correspondences to H. Boylan.
“How does it work?” asked Persian.
“It’s quite an elaborate procedure,” replied Slope. “You extract codeine, convert it into morphine then turn it into heroin hydrochloride.”
“Hot Cherry!” sang Non. Add moly. How come it taste so good? Slope contributed harmonies. Link to Stephen Dedalus: fine voice. Lickwid red, added Non. Jamaicanally. Holly shimmied towards Cuthbert. The wheelman reached Waterloo Towers. Redfern Oval was weed-rutted, bankrupt and blown dry with Botany Bay salt. Mere earth desperate and done with. The Kingswood loitered alongside an abandoned concrete hulk sewn against Souths Leagues Club. Gangrenous limb. Ruined landscape. Leon Daniel removed new runners from a shoe box. Matt dried off his cock. Holly banged the bar. Ample curves of air. Bloom’s into a demon flower, sang Cave. Note double-meaning. Nut settled a boa. The Filth had brokered a truce down Chippo. The Dodger wised up Domican. Took out Lanfranchi. All was sweet until Fluckingferalgohannery got into the loamlight. Now fire fire was all consuming. Nut scoured the bar. Stuck in the stalls. A game filly. Light load. Pass The Baton went 5, 6 and zero in its last three starts. Certainly knows its way to the finish line but. Twelve wins in 62 starts. Under-rated stayer. Ana as Albertine. What you covet is unattainable. Once got, it feels soft. Ophelia. M hearing his mother laughing at the table downstairs. Orpheus turning to check that Eurydice has followed. Lack of trust. A myth of inconstancy and disobedience. He lost his head. In the end the Gods literally detached it like a boombox.
“Good set up,” said Persian admiringly.
“This fit-out cost two thousand bucks,” announced Non. Slope eyeballed him punitively.
“Where did you get that kind of dosh?” asked Persian incredulously.
“Barry McCann,” confessed Slope.
Non started cracking Persian’s tabs into a flat metal bowl. Pling plingk clingkp. Shelling peas. Moist skin. Hard nut. Joyce’s liked making such phoneticisms. Molloy counting sorting stones. Shylock at his purse. Deasy’s coin dispenser. Rain on corrugated tin. Bowl of beer nuts. Ray felt the front of his teeth with a burnt, frangible tongue.
“You’re going to shaft McCann in the end, I presume.”
“Well he’s screwing us,” answered Slope deftly.
“Spoken like a true junky,” laughed Persian back.
Nut slashed the fag air with a fake cowboy whip. Evaporated dust drifted down-nelly mapping the surface of a schooner of Reschs beer. Slope explained how he just walked straight into the chemistry labs at Madsen to steal equipment. Long laminate corridor. Past the POWER collection. Should nick some artworks. Read could fence them. Farquhar prevaricated. To drop or not to drop Young McCann. What a piece of work. Value of a contract. Not worth the paper they’re written on these days. Someday I think I’ll cut him down. Farquhar yawned. Don’t overload the job with process. “Deal-making is a lost art,” mused Stan Welles composing a flow chart in his head. Non paused. The blend was giving off evil heat. Francine lit another smoke.
“They’re not mixing right,” said Non, waving smoke. Flame on! Slope strode to the palsied bench.
“What base did you use?”
“That,” giggled Non.
“You’ve got no fucking idea John,” replied Slope. He turned off the tap. “Forget it. I’ll fix it up later.” He opened his kit. Want a shot, he asked. Sure, replied Persian. They paused at an abrupt sound beneath them. What was that, asked Slope. Non rushed to the window. He drew back a chink of checked blanket. A figure withdrew across Mitchell Street. Holly was disclosed. Bloom at the bookstall observed without. Peroxide Girl watched a young man move restlessly from his car towards Camperdown Park. Turquoise eyes. Unjudging. He inspected parked cars closely. Saliva filled Edgar Welles’s mouth. Earth. Bloodtaste. Broadway Pub. Barry McCann Junior sprawled amidst bejeweled glass. Show over. Lester touched cognisance briefly. Alive. Head uncased. No gaze. Dry blood made pipes of hair. My form. Still intact. Some kind of membrane. This unlit place like birth.
“Who is she,” asked Persian?
“Is she a Freak?”
“Nah,” replied Slope. “Slummer from Perth.”
“And there goes her shadow,” laughed Non.
“Ali can certainly spot a mark,” added Slope. Welles ascended King Street towards USYD law school. Cheap Brutalist slabs. Sandstone lozenges of dead counsel. Associate Professor Leroy Certoma emerged from a hidden portico swinging a brown briefcase. He crossed Phillip Street before the Supreme Court building. Stan passed. They gazed right at Saint James Church together. He was the first apostle to be martyred. I guess they related to him back in 1824. One observes its spire every time a ten-dollar note is perused. First sight of Sydney from sea. Ships set compass by it. Converted courthouse. One of Bigge’s skewers. Greenway’s Georgian lines without transepts or chancel were later slathered with Victorian sprawl. Marsden consecrated the corner. Shine, for thy light has come. Gold streams over tarnished Yellowblock. Bloom and Stephen micturating under starshoot, as Joyce puts it in Ithaca. Helen McFadden on her back behind the shed. Ana looked up. Forward charge. Leon Daniel changed out of white scrubs. Blanched lustre. Isaiah 60. Government nearly knocked it down for railways. High church station box. All stations back to ancient liturgy. Sydney loves a dirty deal. Build a new apse on platform sneakers. Gleaming eagle lectern inflamed by the testament of John Evangelist. In the crypt, they give Eucharist to children. Statues of Victoria and Albert in Queen Square separated forever by traffic. Convict Barracks straight ahead. Golden arms read 2.30 pm. They knocked the spires off St Mary’s Cathedral in 1914 to deter Zeppelins. Get down Macquarie Street. Greg’s bringing his Slavonic mate. Good block of dirt at Randwick. Lobby the Minister. GFR bonus for party donations. Stan Welles scanned the decrepit wooden balcony of the Mint. Originally part of the Rum Hospital. Paid with piss. Monopoly on rum. Bastards still went bankrupt. Could only happen in Sydney. Gravy skulled fast from a Bundy flask. Spirit burnt his lips. Barry McCann Junior sipped at a middy glass refreshed by Weasel Bob from a fresh jug. At the top of Martin Place, Greg Devlin beckoned wildly. Anonymously, Molly Bloom inserted a card in the windowsash of 7 Eccles Street which read: Unfurnished Apartments. This image augurs Lenehan’s recollection of a carriage ride after a function at Glencree reformatory where he was able to rub against her cleavage persistently. This type of external description of Molly recurs throughout Ulysses coding the reader’s impressions before she is finally introduced in her own right in the last chapter. Every jolt the bloody car gave I had her bumping up against me, Lenehan says. LINK TO OTHER VEHICLES. This coarse tale negatively influences our opinion of Lenehan – erstwhile hero of the manhole rescue. Holly arrived at Cuthbert bearing palms. Lashings of stuff on the bar: port wine and slops and curacao. Ample justice done. Brown bags all round. Nut whispered a sum in Jiles’ ear. Hell’s delights! exclaimed Lenehan. He shook negatively. No discount she implied. No bartering. She turned away definitively. He followed.
“How’s the bub,” asked Non.
“Screamer,” replied Persian.
“No. The shaking does my head in.”
He demonstrated his son’s natal tremors.
“My kid was the same,” said Slope working the fix. “It’ll pass.”
Slope extended a bare olive branch. Persian swabbed. Raspberry soda bubbling in a Pyrex beaker. Slope sprayed. They sat on the bare floor. Xenia. Persian wound back his sleeve wearily. You’re truly bugged, Non joked. They all grinned. Some junkies just get harder and tougher with age. Cuthbert extracted Holly’s warm wet milky globes. Molly has a fine pair, God bless her. Farquhar checked his holster. Stan Welles grabbed his cheque book. Ana jammed toilet paper down her briefs. Slope sucked and backtracked pumping the handle. Clean withdrawal. Touch of an artist as. He passed the bloody needle to Non. A fair plump arm light-pelted. He tied-off. Work less expert. Matt Supplejack examined his canvas of a great big flower lurid pink on a magenta frieze. Symbol of Ana. Too wild. Her band. The wrong one for his career as well.
“Pass me the stick,” said Persian Jones.
“Gunnit,” encouraged Non losing face volume until he crumpled graceless and folded into the floor. His head lolled. Persian fitted. Clanmuck. Bruise by gold. Carmine. He mined the needle. Growing weary, he dozed like Alastor; fingers reaching through darkness towards a lost but once accustomed shape. The corridor emptied. Goldstein shifted his penetrating gaze. Billy watched his brother RETREAT. “Willy,” exclaimed Tom Hallem pock-sweaty and blind over the modular music of a small bedside fan. Don Cane sleeping as I lay. His fingertips played the dull strings of his son’s spine through soggy linen. Monster or whirlpool. Man and Ideal. Stephen sailed closer to Scylla, it is said. Towards Aristotle. Persian Jones slid into Non’s lap. And lay. The Nut sneered. McCoy’s face cut him down. Lenehan backtracked. Ana Lafei gazed at the pressed iron ceiling. What star is that, Poldy?
10. Fountaincourt (2 pm)
Bloom at bookstall. Centre of the novel.
The audience was finally liberated into the corridor outside Marion Flynn’s office. They gathered in awkward dags along the cream gyprock walls, blocking transit. Holly entered the milk bar in haste. The Nut followed. Motes of beer glass scorched her filling flesh. The shopkeeper was watching the races on a portable television mounted on top of a refrigerator. His wife asked, “What horse you on?” He ignored her. She poked him with tongs. A plate flipped over the baine marie crashing to the floor. “Fountaincourt,” he yelled. She shook her head. What kind of nag is that, she said? He picked up a tea towel and went to the counter. Vivien took a sodden swimming towel from his school bag. Chlorinated stench. He passed it to Puker who wiped blood off Nut’s arm. His father graced a handkerchief to Holly. She mopped an enamour’d ear. Overdose thanked Vivien.
“They trashed the pub,” exclaimed Holly.
“Who?” asked Spams.
“Some crazies with bats.”
“Did they get McCann?” asked Stuart anxiously. Nobody knew the answer. Sirens wrapt ether. Sweet silence prinkt. Brennan’s clock tower bells. Sound dislimning as it arrived outside the pub. The shopkeeper brought out a garbage bin for their bloodied swabs. The group left. They stood awkwardly on City Road. We better move on, said Fishpump. Vivien had begun sobbing softly. Spams nodded. His father touched his dome. They began trudging towards Beta House. Flight to Fuckithurts. Find a deep cave. Hide. Perfunctory conversation. Noticeboards announced out-of-date units on Victorian Literature. Tennyson abutted Pater. Crooked blotched print. Not to yield. Grey sandshoes shuffled apart. Oscar Wilde’s sequence of flawlessly executed set-pieces. Style bends matter. Kingsley on Shelley. Organic Form. Classical fusion. Eliot stuck on a raft. Coleridge’s Aristotle. The burgeoning plantation. Rousseau’s ruined bed. My fair face. Quasimodoid. Sweet grass. A slashed face. Calico wrenched apart the cambric folds of Missy’s dress. Them are two good ones, the bookseller said. LINK BACK TO LENEHAN. She held his smooth black chest at bay with spread palms. Molly kept them in her drawers. Ease of access. His nostrils arched themselves for prey. Stan Welles shook hands with Bob Raspudic. The buck gently burst her maidenhead. Bloom followed. Awkward disclosures of Maria Monk. Blood made moist the mustee’s thrusts. A steady stream of students was returning to class after lunch. Backpacks hung over their boney shoulders like pelts. Academics held court. Calico left Miss Missy burning and murmuring with pride. An imperceptible smile played on her lips. Judith Bourbon turned to Mildling calmly. Aristotle’s Masterpiece. Pirate edition. 1903. Ana forced its ruined pages apart. PLATE 1 depicts a poisoned quadroon infant. Ana studied its weeping spine. Justine. A flaccid hand matted with tiny perforations. Bloom’s conflict with Freud. His ideal woman hunts a wolf and despoils its fur. Quest for a third party called “the Greek.” His father cancelled the triumph of oral woman. Tripartite system: mother composed of soft molecules; father represents primal nature; daughter an incestuous accomplice. Marion Flynn rose from the invoices piled symmetrically on the left-hand side of her wide desk, traversed an enormous carpeted office and approached the par-open door. Her mantis-face peeped out. Some would say admonishingly. She closed it gently and placed an ear against its light barrier.
“That paper had relentless … speed,” Judith Barbour said probing.
“It was very well-crafted,” nodded Mildling with emphasis. “But it would not stand up to a dispassionate eye.”
“Where are we going now?” asked Tuck.
“The Bard,” replied Blind Basil Kiernan.
Sinbad Sailors exposed prominent eye teeth. Gossamer Beynon caught his reflection in the noticeboard. A Sick Woman’s Looking Glass. Still boyish. Cusped maybe. But fair game nonetheless. I might join you for a pint, exclaimed Mildling. Kiernan patted the pipe in the interior pocket of his stained white jacket. Able Goldstein observed them from his alien camp. Ivan Illydicker returned to his proofs of the Badgery tome. Agent flogging a dead horse. Dostoyevsky’s nag. Meaningless plot entrails. Dame Nellie Krafter refrigerated Goldstein with steeleyed discourse. The University is suffering recession, she whispered choking on her buttoned frill-neck pinafore. We need to cut staff levels. Goldstein shuffled tired flat feet. The weight of his body bore down. It needs a strong hand, he grimaced. Around your throat dear, beamed Mr Pugh’s compliant face. Farquhar ignited the driver. Stan Welles crossed Macquarie Street. Penelope Hallem put down the telephone and left her desk. She had received a last-minute invitation from a major interstate supplier to a function in the city tonight. Helen Capri withdrew down the corridor gamely. Goldstein observed Billy’s parents depart. Most different stock. He wanted to beat Phoebe to the plane. Raise the drawbridge on his office down the arse-end of the department like a belltower. He couldn’t leave the Professor’s audience but. Be Emerson’s adhesive self so to speak. Not much room to manoeuvre. But who wants much? Dog: leash; cat: box; chicken: coop; pig: pen. Enough passing trade crosses my threshold. The Liffey is comfortable for vending most seasons. I have a canvas rain cover for my wares in the event of inclemency. Palsied condom writhing on the floor behind Mildling’s filing cabinet. Goon’s torn-off finger. PLATE 2. Finger in a jar. Bloom retrieved a folded sex trade advertisement now scented with lemon fragrance from his side pocket. Young woman, well-appointed, seeks sensitive gentleman of means. Mail to: Ms. Flowers, c/- The Clinic, Holles Street Hospital. Get them. Use them. Grow bored. Hard to shake them at first. Agenbyte of Indicker. Only a fool would jeopardise his wife’s dowry. Miltonic sham? Hardly. Chosen pathways. Twisting with each twisted answer. Pentagonal gnosis. Abel as Jacob wrestling Elohim. I thus Esau. My brother’s foil. A sequence of meaningless symbols before my stubbornly uninterpreting gaze.
“Willie,” expostulated Tom Hallem.
Goldstein turned to admire the new entrant. Pint-sized stayer. Sixty kilos in bags. Tight saddlecloth. Black boots unshined. Worn down by pacements. Tentative movements. Pulled up lame recently. Hit the glands with his stick. Tender baubs.
“Where’s the bathroom,” asked Willy.
“Over there,” replied Billy Capri pointing at an unmarked door.
“Is there another one,” queried the Pimp.
“Another one,” he repeated tensely.
“He means a more private one,” added Tom Hallem helpfully.
Goldstein was puzzled. Foibles of evacuation? No. “An expedition.” To find a blank vein. Ana discarded used tissue paper into the cistern. She took an ice cream bucket, filled it with water from the basin and used it for flush. Molested remnants floated in the tank. Penelope Hallem wriggled as she hit the damp toilet seat. A storeman slid boxes across the warehouse floor. Packers filled orders.
“Right on top,” said Billy pointing skywards.
“Let’s go,” said Willy to Tom ignoring Billy.
“OK,” replied Tom Hallem. “I’ll see you down the pub,” he said to his brother.
“Don’t you want me to wait?” asked Billy.
“No. I’ll catch you later. Say goodbye to your folks.”
The broad high hunched frame of Tom Hallem and the small straighter form of Willy the Pimp receded down the corridor. O passed them heading back from the front office. She greeted Billy with touch. Emma entering a cage. Ana Lafei adjusted her clothing. A sad unattached orgasm tied her eyes. Penelope Hallem wrapped the boundary of a coarse diaphragm with gel. The third edition of Aristotle’s Masterpiece remained available until the twentieth century because no clinical sex manual was yet available. Havelock Ellis was the first self-proclaimed Sexologist. He started to gather qualitative evidence; largely through correspondence. Freud, by contrast, relied on Classical references and case studies. Billy frowned. Chidley’s corrugation. Muffled footfalls passed above him. Wreck on an ocean floor. Swaying with engine wash. Involuntary. Ana Lafei gave way on the shore of the Lake. A surface lit too high above. Willy and Tom approached the undignified portal. Lacan’s toilet stalls. Tom Hallem turned a loose brass handle and pressed the heavy fire door. They passed into an antechamber. Coastclear. Soft natural light bathed them. Six silver spouts at the urinal burst forth simultaneously. Water fanned the scratched silver tray then bubbled down an encrusted grate. The citrus odour of chemical blocks was released. Willy followed Tom into a cubicle. Twins sharing a womb. Corded. Invective against Asians and Gays had been gouged into the paintwork with a pen knife. Thick ink defaced these defiles. Vonnegut’s graffiti from Deadeye Dick. Do-be do-be do. Socrates and Sartre. Algren subbed. He called De Beauvoir his filter. She used their open relationship as content for the Second Sex. To articulate her OTHER. Cancel out words like ‘unhappiness.’ Think rather if it FELT aligned with theory. Penelope Hallem manipulated the contraceptive over her cervix. Lawrence adjusted his nib. Connie’s SEX-NEED was great but it was just that. Strong fucking in a hut. She longed for a better connection than cramped-up Mellors. Penelope let her core lapse. Michaelis crying. I need Les. I suppose if the love-business went, said Lady Bennerley, then something else would take its place. “Morphia, perhaps,” she concluded.
“Have you got a clean stick,” asked Tom.
“All prepared,” replied his dealer. “I’ll hit you up. I know you’re squeamish. Sit down.”
“Got something for Ana?”
“Like I said, I got nothing to spare at the moment. Try Leer.”
“Okay,” replied Tom Hallem as he removed his coat and placed it on a hook. Willy took a syringe from his leather jacket. Kinch-blade. “Here. Taste,” he said putting a fingerprint against Tom’s tongue. He shuddered so bitter was its taste. Tom wrenched the belt from his midriff. It slapped his stomach as it unravelled. He looked to the wall. Willy examined the tip before even afternoon light. Tom rolled-up his left shirtsleeve. Will tapped twice. He removed the plastic cap. A tiny head almost invisibly shone. He rotated it so that it gleamed … beat … gleamed. A short spurt jerked forth. He placed the hypodermic between his teeth and wound the belt around Tom’s bicep until a vein bulged in the maw of his soft elbow. Willy hit Tom suckt then shot. Bludd wandered through the chamber then gushed back. Opiate surge. Willy released the syringe to pick at his face. It hung from Tom Hallem’s arm like a broken wing. Tom leaned back into the toilet lid. It creaked under his weight. His last sensation was taste still thick on his tongue. His head lolled depressing the flush button. A surge of water rushed beneath. His bowels relaxed. Small urine. No immediate feeling then warmth then null: no epiphany. Judith Barbour passed Mousy Roche in the corridor. No words exchanged. Somebody turned up a radio in an office with an open door. The jockeys have come to attention for 1984’s Melbourne Cup. And they’re racing. STUCK INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE TEXT LIKE A KEY. In a hole. Or contained inside a display case. As if of some museum piece squinting through the squalid pane while a servant cleans the transparent surface from the outside. Televisual then. For now, we see through a glass darkly. Corinthians I, Chapter 13. Insert meta/portrait based on “A Prince of Court Painters.” Update Pater’s imaginary portraits with full disclosure of his – and my – subject matter and form. Break the fourth wall. These descriptions from behind the meniscus are blurred by mucus; which still covers the lens. For they would always spit on it. Though it was hardly personal. Like Bloom, you will always be the butt of inadvertent insults. Not that they could discern you there in a position of impossible contrition. Still, it cut. More spittle. And a short whimper followed each clang as your heart murmured. Watteau’s bloody slag slid down the steel rim. God knows what you were doing in that box how you got there under whose authority it hardly matters. You never dreamed of moving from your station. And your compliance went on without acknowledgement. How could it be otherwise? You will never be the subject of conversation. Romance is never wasted on you. Gasps you do elicit but of shock not rapture. Both observer and observed. Pater’s heroes are always deployed in a Bildungsroman from which they can only be released by death. Note his typical means of textual closure: CAPITULATION TO HALT AT A MOMENT OF VAIN PROSPECT. But James Joyce couldn’t kill off Stephen Dedalus, any more than he could kill himself, otherwise Ulysses was never going to be written in the post-partum real-life after the novel ends when Stephen Dedalus is converted into James Joyce by the author (link to Proteus). Thus, Stephen Dedalus just leaves the text quietly near the end of Ithaca. He is suspended out of time and place like Pater’s anonymous female narrator. Silence consigns her to oblivion. O attended but did not speak. Penelope Hallem stood. The diaphragm gave a thick feeling. Outside noise. She listened at a keyhole. The discourse was male. Billy swayed. Penelope opened the cubicle door. A storeman in a khaki uniform smiled. He handed over a meat tray. Ana stood by her husband with grace. He silenced her with the sheer scale of his ominous essence (Sub. portmanteau word like omninisescience). The periods without words continued to tumble out of her. They were the large part. Of these, there can be no record. Pater infers them by lack. She inspired no visual representation. Voyeurism, our highest honour at Themme, this visual, no not her. Of her, then, only our over-sights, only her non-fragments. And even in these, she can only be reconstructed from her own reflex jerkings at a Self somewhere perhaps maybe there amongst them: YOU’RE A RUMOR! Yet there must have been occasions (surely) on which, having exhausted all possibilities, you became the Subject; though when this may have been … no, it’s impossible to tell. Maybe some time in the middle, not at the end but merely as an aside, not a last resort (no, not even allowed that solace: of being the last port left standing) but just “because” it could be. We can imagine you neutral of significance like that. We gaze but either side of the image only, you exist. Likewise, Wandering Rocks, which is really the ground zero of Ulysses, also acts as a hiatus in the narrative’s course. As noted, it contains nineteen intersecting scenes of quotidian life in Dublin. Chapter 5 corresponds to that number, but only by chance. There happened to be 19 runners in the 1984 Melbourne Cup. Ulysses is a procedure-driven event. It is divided into eighteen episodes, each vested with a particular colour, art, organ and location. THIS EPITOMISES MODERNIST GOOD FORM. Link arbitrary numerology in this work with the deep-set, highly symbolic numerology propagated by the mystic Joyce. C1 & C11 bookend the hermeneutics of TMAC. C6 is the core. C5 is the centre of the plot. C6 was originally conceived as eleven episodes sequencing French theoreticians in the spirit of Joyce, using the composition of a cricket team as the governing cipher. This was an ironic Australian numerological gesture. In the end, it has seventeen episodes (including Joyce). This was just how it turned out. Although it does correspond to the composition of an Australian Football team, this was entirely accidental. W.Rocks was the epicentre of Ulysses. Sub-episode 10 represents the limit of the outward journey of Joyce’s Ordinary Odysseus (sub. ordinysseus). Leopold Bloom is disclosed scouring the shelves of a riverside stall for soft-centred pornography. He is a religious gadfly intrigued by clerical miscreance. The profane and the apparently profound are juxtaposed. This is a trap for the reader. Joyce cites Aristotle’s Masterpiece but it isn’t the same Aristotle as the Poetics. Rather, he is referring to a popular pseudo-medical compendium from the seventeenth century. Bloom also fingers the apocryphal tales of Maria Monk. This is the tale of a woman raped in a Montreal nunnery. Roman Catholic blasphemy was lapped-up by crack-lipped Anglicans in the Victorian era. See also Autobiography of a Flea. Chapter Eight. For the purposes of this section let it only be known that: (1) it is the story of louse secreted in the mons veneris of a voluptuous virgin named Bella; (2) She is surprised by a priest during her first act of sexual intercourse and coerced into a clerical orgy; and (3) It ends in a parody of absolution with the following exchange: “‘Let us F**k,’ ejaculated the Superior. ‘Amen,’ chanted Father Ambrose” in retort. Penelope Hallem collected the company car keys from the front desk. Her rump moved stiffly. She would attend the reception at the Marble Bar at Five pm then meet Dick at the motel on the way home. Religious confession becomes the butt of ironic interplay in Victorian literature. Its main protagonist was the poet Swinburne. He perceived the artistic freedom that could be attained from expanding into the void left by the withdrawal of Faith (post-Darwin). His poetry offered no pretence to philosophical systemising. Rather, it just demolished social mores employing an array of styles and forms that showcased his virtuosity. Buck Mulligan represents the softened shell of this attack with his provincial quasi-Hellenism. Time alone brought Tom Hallem back. Not Will. My world as? He turned towards the melamine partition. Pale grey moccasins peeped out of sunken grey trousers in the next cubicle. Pockets and seams peeled across the tiles like guts. It was not Willy. He was gone. Tom waited. A strangled gasp. Trousers hoisted. Zipper closed. Flush. The adjacent cubicle opened. A hand basin released fast water. Receding doors ground to a halt with pneumatic certainty. Silence. Tom Hallem staunched the weak bloodflow with a flap of moist toilet paper and wound down the sleeves of his shirt. Willy had discarded the syringe on the floor. Tom Hallem unscrewed the top of the cistern, lifted the porcelain lid and dropped it in. He replaced the cover. Go out. Telemachus leaving Ithaca. Billy Capri made his way across the west end of campus. Don Cane in Kings Cross then/now. Ana Lafei left Matt’s studio. Penelope Hallem walked to the car. Tom on a causeway. A student came to loggerheads with him at the egress.
“Can you tell me the time,” asked Tom gently.
“Ten past three.”
“Shit. I missed the Cup. Who won?” he asked.
11. Forward Charge
Leon Daniel moved stiffly through his surgery in new runners negotiating the ergonomic stool, instrument trolley and x-ray partition before crashing through a thick fire door. It creaked. He shunted himself onto the landing and fled downstairs pursued from above and below by his own echo. Sound of shofar from a pit. Rabbi Caro’s Shulhan Arukh. Radius of piety. Chaim. Losing balance on the stark descent, he skied on suspensionless buttocks turning his body sideways as he smashed into the bottom of the sharp stairwell. He rose wearily and swore. Exodus 21:33. If an ass falls therein the beast is forfeited. He wrenched open the fire-door and emerged onto the street, merging with the polished stone and whitewashed scaffolding surrounding Currency House. Wet air pinned his singlet against black hair spouting from his chest. High thigh muscles stretched and constrained. Systolic clasp. Aerobic trigger. Future a death sentence. Past stillborn. He COMPRESSED Hunter Street. A postman bearing a heavy leather sack checked his trace. Greg Devlin and Joe Raspudic ascended the stairs out of the Emperor’s Choice. The floor rumbled from a Kings Cross train. Nebeneinander. Raspudic looked left as they pitched into the traffic on King Street opposite MLC. An embroidery of swollen lightbulbs (bronze by gold) announced the New Theatre Royal. Seidler certainly copped a pasting on that job. Lesson to everyone. Drop the old stuff fast, preferably at night, with no warning, aided by a squad of wallopers, or at least get the fucking fuckade off, that’s a smart tactic, before the bluddy B.L.F. slaps on a green ban and it’s off to the Land and Environment Court for a master class in sanctimony from Diamond Jim McLelland. Wind whirred up from the Heads. More raincludd. Adiaphane. Pause of pedestrian signal. Leon jogged on the spot at the Elizabeth Street crossroads. Forward Charge has drawn barrier three. A bus advertising Mansours’ curtains passed. Curved QANTAS fascia. A queue of passport applicants unravelled out of the Commonwealth Office Block. Remote uriney glaze of oil-encrusted lanterns gave an unwarranted luster to a tray of Big Ben pies and sausage rolls (link back to e.3). Gonnerill and Cornbeef. Sauce-softened scabrous pastry like dry sarcomas. Mystery Disease! Wire news placards outside the Wentworth Hotel scattered hateful clay. AIDS kills three in Sydney! Chaim stretched out sideways on the slab like a skinned rabbit, his torn and bulging cleft exposed. Reverend Nile MLC has petitioned for the closure of gay saunas. He’s got a map! His agents are everywhere. Loitering in Ionic columns with notebooks. Soliciting confessions. Willy waited behind a telegraph pole to cross Parramatta Road. Marilyn Monroe Sex Addict! Best blowjob in Hellas. Icon of my straighter days. A tampered copy of PIX magazine in the bottom drawer of my school desk. Clandestine visit to a brothel in Darlinghurst with Mewling and Lawrigan. Lear’s hundred knights. Elizabeth’s body pressing down on my cock like alloy. Nacheinander. Marriage. Hawke wants AIDS Summit. Defensive ploys. Trace references to HAWKE. Twenty-five in all. They construct a political thesis. There is also a personal side. This nexus indicates the intimate scale of Australian society. Joe Raspudic clutched his long red ledger. A depositary. TRUTH. Secret book busts scam wide open! Ambrose E. Welles straightened his jacket and fluffed his lapel. T.J. Smith MBE is Sydney’s top trainer. A passenger train burst through the underground tunnel at St. James and screeched towards halt. Willy passed between sandstone gates. Fourth to Chagemar in the Dalgety last Saturday. Must get back to the office straight after we meet Doug Truck. Small matter of presenting a carboy of eau de cologne first. Special gift. For a fine boned lady. Daughter I never traduced. Cordelia. Throw Dilly a few coppers. Cheap discharge. The jury returned its verdict this morning. Get a glass of milk & a bun. AIDS Risk in Kinky Sex, says expert. Monkey virus. Stand straight up for the love of Lord Jesus you’ll get curvature of the spine, said Mister Dedalus. He was allegedly a member of a coterie of prominent businessmen in Adelaide known as The Family. Dilly has just left the bookstall after seeing her brother when she confronts her father in the street. Stephen’s internal monologue revealed guilt about his sisters’ circumstances. This differs from his father who is only observed externally issuing self-pitying invective. The race is not yet run for the son, suggests Joyce. There is still hope. Repeat the journey. Transcend paternal weakness. Conduct Navigation Search on ‘transcend.’ Trace its trail through this work. The girls lifted themselves on-stage. Mister Dedalus impersonated an ape for the denizens of Bachelor’s Walk. The star’s sodden body, wrapped in a royal blue flannel robe, trailed the swimming pool edge, past camera dolly by floodlit night, her blonde locks hopelessly mangled, sprung arc of her back exposed, reciting her husband’s flat patois, routed off stage. Exeunt Ophelia. A cut snake. Trailing melody. Hazel pressed PLAY. AIDS spreading like wildfire! UK Sun. Von Einem sentenced to life imprisonment. A postman left the Attorney-General’s building bowing under the weight of his thick leather satchel. Read and unread notes, fake and true, are dispatched and withheld, delivered or aborted, recited aloud and consumed in silence throughout King Lear. It’s all about language like Coriolanus. Wrong word selection > false interpretation > gross flattery > lies > coercion to utterance > marriage vows. A bold convenience. No dowry was thence forthcoming. Her father’s permission: a cursory wave out the fly screen door. Clack. Modus vivendi. A block of passport-sized photographs wafted to the pavement. Leon stooped. We left Circular Quay on the Flavia. Record number of Sydney premierships. But not a Melbourne Cup specialist. He returned the images. Telemachus in a t-shirt. Cast off from port. Long tin whistle blown. “I Still Call Australia Home” trailed after the arse-end of a black BMW. Brake lights emberhot thru muck. It paused behind a taxi turning right into Phillip Street. Rainspat. Far hard drops. Infected bloodflow. Crowds escaping the ticket barrier at St. James Station slowed Stan’s progress. Thrilling jerks. Genius with sprinters. But he has only won two Melbourne Cups. Twenty-six years apart. Age when I manufactured my whoreson. A capable type who has always showed great staying potential. Cannot be forgotten. Gravy barred the Shepherd Street exit. Leon passed unadorned office-backs. Pipes and entrails. Look under her skirt. Saddleback limbs. Holly shook. Nut ground. Ran-gong out of Always Rushing. Miss Crowdy had drawn Forward Charge in the sweep. The orthodontist in Suite 704 got the favourite. A dice rolled in a marble vault. Fool’s puzzle. The auctioneer’s bell … barang! An unplated car sat idling in Grafton Lane. Les shuffled a blob of TAB tickets in his pocket. Willy’s kit was stuffed down the back of tight black Lee jeans. The new extension to the State Library beamed warm diffused light. Leon dashed across Macquarie Street entering the canopy of a dark drooping ficus. Birthday Party kicked into life. Ana spread bare-faced on the bier. Statue of Matthew Flinders on a plinth. Holly rode high up in space. Farquhar prowled the pub windows. Willy entered Woolley Building. Flinders’ cat, Trim, Uncle Toby’s manservant, is commemorated, mid-step, one paw aloof, his head turned towards the viewer’s gaze, on a keep on the dirty window ledge aft of Mitchell Library. Another endless Menippean scat. Greg Devlin checked his watch opposite U-SYD law school. Ten minutes to showtime. Farquhar nodded. Gravy leered. Joe Raspudic checked holding costs in his head. The clock is a money-counter. Toc. Proscriptive debt instrument. A bus advertising Mansour’s curtains passed. Fishpump gaped. It was all colour, all movement, all sound. Billy Capri extracted himself from the audience seeing slow Tom Hallem. The vast uterine subscape of the city suckt up Ambrose E. Welles. Daylight ground slowly into lanes unshading his gaunt lumpy face. Town Hall clock chimed the hour. He stepped off the kerb at Bathurst Street and walked towards his own silhouette in plate glass doors. A fine cut, he thought, admiring his uniform in a long reflective screen. Hong Kong tailors are still good value even with the dollar in free-fall since Keating’s float. Pin stripes flapped his longbow legs. Link back to Holly and Cuthbert. The Nut tucked Jiles’ crumpled note beneath black fishnet. Gonerill’s letter in Edmund’s keep. It’s been a pleasure to put a face to the voice at last, said Ambrose E. Welles. Willy caught Tom’s eye. Stan passed the contract over the desk to Mister Ong. Their gazes met. Miss Dunne responded to the switchboard light. Yes, it’s heritage-listed. But you’ve seen the engineer’s report. It’s unsafe for refurbishment. Farquhar and Gravy entered the public bar. A bat swept the black Formica bench raising beer and blast. Mister Dedalus drew himself upright and tugged at his moustache. Ray reached the intersection of Park and Elizabeth Streets. A government bus passed advertising Mansour’s Curtains. I’ve struck a deal with the Premier, he said. If HKG will refurbish the Queen Victoria Building, the government will let you drop Hordern. Open slather on land use. Universal Provider, I am. Yes, I know that demolition is banned under the current zoning. Holly rushed towards the fire exit. Anna crumpled wet soft objects with her palm-press as she landed face down on the bench. Abducted childboy. We can get the application called-in by the Minister as a State Significant Project. Willy exchanged magazine origami with Tom. He’s a mate. I organised the branch stack that got him preselected for Peats. Ray gazed skywards. That’s a really sensitive piece of façade preservation, he thought. You’d hardly even notice that forty-floor skyscraper jammed out the back of such fine masonry. Girder shoved down yer throat. I particularly like the Colonial wrought iron trim masking bare carpark cavities. A Chinese woman bustled downhill. They all look like lads, Welles determined. Slower in ageing. Like good plimsolls. A soggy runner struggled across the slippery footpath dappled with cracked paving stones. Kent has gone into exile. A ragman sprayed invective at his back. Tomsacold. Leon Daniel slipped behind the edifice overseen by Governor Richard Bourke. A bitter gall, charged by its flight over ice and ocean, struck his fallen cheek. He hurried across Mitchell’s stone face. Massed Corinthian pillars prefaced the thick studded copper doors of the State Library. A statue of Shakespeare had been left marooned on a traffic island like Prospero. Metaphor for the arts in Australia really. Pinchgut exiles. Far Eastern Distributors. Tragic stars gazed from the Bard’s girdle. Legal minefield. Refer the bond to pale Portia. Exploit a technicality in the head lease. Gentle rain. Leon negotiated the junction at Hospital Road and threw himself into direct communion with the common, chronon-hoton-thologos! Click claek. Nut bit the gutter. Go down on raw knees holding seasick onto the steel cistern. He spread his torso on rotten earth. Ana was pressed. All flaxen his pole. A kidnapped lad. Muddy Domain. Clinging. His corpse had been discovered wrapped in grey office carpet at an airstrip, held fast by a military belt with a chainmail dog collar around its neck and a beer bottle shoved up his anus. I did the act of darkness with him. Greg Devlin and Les Raspudic paced Macquarie Street. World Square will be a world class development, Mister Ong. It will position Sydney South for renewal. Property values are forecast to increase by 100 per cent in the next 5 years. Black with Sugarine please. There will be three towers. Total of 150 levels. Each tower will be themed. The retail plate will be spread across the whole site on four levels. It will contain food halls; cinemas; supermarkets; light electrical products; fashion. Quality brands. Established names. Welles counted them firmly on outstretched fingers: Sportsgirl, Country Road, Dick Smith. TAPtap. There is ingress from four major thoroughfares: George Street, Pitt Street, Liverpool Street and Goulburn. Five levels of underground car parking. He held up four fingers and twirled a double-jointed thumb. Nice gimmick. A tidy little earner in its own right, he concluded. Mister Ong grunted almost inaudibly. Face done. Balding pate. Greg Devlin chucked silver confetti in the pig pond. Leon Daniel sprinted along the gutter behind Modernist exhaust stacks in the Domain. Darkness falling permmaturely. He straddled a wooden jogging aid. I’ve secured a government agency as anchor tenant. Spoke to the Premier himself. Very enthusiastic. It will enable him to dispose of a surplus building in Bligh Street. Contra deal. We can get TNT to re-route the new monorail. Direct link with your new casino. High rollers just one stop from a six-star Hong Kong Gardens International Hotel. Construction can start next year. Private sector project. State will provide seed funding … tax incentives … guaranteed base return on investment during the ramp-up phase. They’ll use compulsory acquisition powers to consolidate the land envelope. Fifty-year BOOT. Leon thrust himself back to earth against flattened palms. Sink through the surface. Unused railway tunnels beneath. They say a lake has formed in the tunnels which is inhabited by monsters. Sediment has gathered on the shore. A beach. Leon crawled towards its dim waters. Threshold of a still dark pool. Raise yourself up! Twenty repeat sets. Grit clogged his harshly clipped nails. Scrub hard back at surgery. But what if I’ve infected someone already. Shudd. Forget house calls to cloisters. The security guard at Currency House turned up the volume on his portable TV. Victorian Health officials have contacted 40 hemophiliacs who were given blood products believed to be contaminated with AIDS. He pulled his body vertical like the first ape. Gravy bound along Grafton Lane. Farquhar waddled. Outpace anonymous corpses. Ulcerated mouth. Little can be done. Some Benzocaine gel. Rest. Ong gave assent. Mister Welles smiled. A secured deposit on the site in ESCROW is next. Great lawn unfolding down a snot-gem slope. Glowering skyscrapers. Garden Island crane perched like a brittle beak. Specks of Kings Cross. Other lives let them drift. Leon dragged the dark side of Art Gallery Road. Robbie Burns leaning on a ploughshare. Arse-end of St Mary. Where the Pigeon fuckt. A mess of traceries, spikes and gables. Yellowblock ramparts of Hyde Park Barracks. Macquarie’s berth. Steeple of St James Church dulled into dusty bister by time-shed stains. Leon spat on the flagstones. Fizzy bubbles pressed flat. Hyde Park foreground. Deep uneasy stillness. Sydney’s first race course. He entered its lungs. A labyrinth. Apollo’s veil. Vapors of the Archibald Fountain sprinkled Japanese tourists. Spraying gloam. Burrow like a mole in a clearing. Ana shrank. Jets saturated the bronze sculptures. Matt Supplejack released his wife. The Minotaur’s struggle against Theseus shone like greasy pages of pornography. Stan Welles walked boldly towards the department store entrance. CHECK TIME. Helen Capri left Woolley Building. A storm inundated the ground quickly. Raindrops from a corroded gutter touched her face. The Honorable Douglas Truck MLA, Minister for Housing, gazed from his office over the Domain. The Minotaur was held hard by a horn at arm’s length – beyond the range of its vane – its head bowed and turned so that its hide was utterly exposed to Theseus’ blade. Pasiphae’s brood. The severe sword of its conqueror, hidden from the victim behind his mighty back, glistened from blasts of turtle spittle. Edgar Welles took the barman’s heavy load through a torn aperture. A Nikon camera clicked. The switchboard glowed. Truck turned to admire his office artworks. Call on Mister Welles’ private line. Ms. Dunne looked at the wall clock. Japanese honeymooners strolled towards the transept. Ms. Gallagher passed a note. Tell Master Edmund that his father is running late. He may not make it to drinks. Ms. Dunne rose. She entered the boardroom. Edmund Welles was telling a joke. So what do you call Leprechaun farts? He asked. Don Cane weighed the change in his pocket. Greenarse gas emissions, Edmund exclaimed. His underlings laughed. Leon wheeled the fountain. Apollo pointed back down Macquarie Street. He approached the straight. Diana brandishing a spent bow. Helen Capri passed Mephistopheles fountain. Water was dribbling steady into a deep sandstone trough. Put a lid on it and you’ve got Ophelia’s coffin. Her husband looked in vain for distraction in the tall bank columns. Elizabeth Archer drained her glass. Her palms were damp from condensation. Diana’s hounds cowered. Sleek reptiles. Hephaestus hunched at his forge. Pan’s pipes slung across his slender abdomen. Athena’s gold. Hooves stable in froth. Matt Supplejack’s cock dripping lowly. Leon wiped his sobbing brow. Sweat drained his shorts. Willy picked at a scab. Bloodribbed. Eleni bit into a Maraschino cherry. Lady Peasoup turned her beak at the prospect of copulation. Ana slumped pale like the moon does mid-morning. She observed paint-splattered boots. Pollock’s drips. Her mouth jerked. Leer rolled up tonsured oils, placed them under his armpit and set a fire. A bagwoman spoke to Leon with a dismembered face. The shop assistant’s protruding jaw chewed pasturagely. Oh Io, you image sweet! She grinned. Agat. Leon made mute signs of rejection. Go. Tiny lights strung through the park canopy. He turned into Hyde Park stretch. Wind-tunnels poured between skyscrapers with mechanically cranked clouds o’erpitching. Pedestrians slid between vehicles deftly. Willy made his way into Woolley deftly. Barry Capri held his wife’s hand when she slipped in a muddy puddle going aboard Victoria Park. Taxi drivers pumped accelerators irrhythmically. A courier van twisted behind a stationary bus. Two cars screeched halt. I passed. A helicopter julienned the sky. More traffic lights. Newspaper stands. Giant clock enfolded in neon advertising Chateau Tanunda. Entrance to St James. A pounding Hades. Footsteps flap like heavy wings down long tiled corridors. A busker lisped into a tin whistle. Fair Hibernian metropolis. Sweet Molly is introduced at this stage of Ulysses. A gay sweet chirruping is heard. England Home and Beauty. A generous arm tossing a substantial coin. Leon Daniel passed a busker. Sound now pursued him. Also, deductions of conscience. Blood, AIDS, circulation, body, decay. A handful of coppers sped into a begging bowl too fast, breaching its wide brim. Bronze rolling on shiny rims along a footpath. Paltry commonweal. A public schoolgirl helped retrieve them. Ineluctable. She laid them on the plate. Poor woman casting mites. Christ’s calculating eye. No Rich Men in Heaven, read a placard held by a lunatic outside Parliament. Greg Jones grinned. “I Still Call Australia Home” was forced out of Apollo’s reed with aery spag. Window displays in David Jones promoted the Magic of Christmas. Cures AIDS. It will need a large cheque written in a false name for a fake bank account. King Street lights gone green. TAB leaking white and green bouquets. Cornwall did a fee-split in his brain. Everyone’s getting greedy for a cut in these darkening days in Manila. Saigon all over. Sashed girls in clover bikinis handed out betting cards. Fat lady revving up her vocal cords. Leon Daniel returned to Chifley Square redux. Passport office > QANTAS building. He ground to a halt at the end of Hunter Street and leaned against a large concrete ballast. Whitewash smeared his forearm. He dropped his head. Tobacco roam. A security guard was smoking in the doorway. He held the door of David Jones open for Ambrose E. Welles to pass. Joe Raspudic shoved gum at Greg Jones’ face. Willy the Pimp chewed on a SCARED lip. Elizabeth Archer refreshed bright lipstick in the Ladies Room. She looked out the cast-iron casement on Level Two. A jogger was crossing Prince Albert Road in jerks. She checked her watch. Two-Forty PM. Leon Daniel nodded as he walked towards the elevator. Descending numbers. A guard approached. The doors parted. A young woman left the stall. She negotiated the marble foyer on slender stiletto heels uneasily. An anonymous businessman remained in the open elevator. He looked straight at Leon. The doors closed. Leon started. Perhaps a face from a cruise lounge. Don’t confess. Hide until everything is tidied then escape in death. The elevator descended to the Basement. “I seen that girlie arrive two hours back,” commented the guard drily. Leon grunted. Message without words. Sometimes it needs reinforcement to get out the meaning. Sometimes not. Go to a booth willingly. Touch a cheek first. Bring together two mouths. “She’s been up to see Goanner,” the guard added.
12. Secured Deposit (2.30 pm)
Greg Devlin, Raymond Welles and Joe Raspudic slipped through the half-hooked iron gates of the NSW Parliament. A black BMW passed. Greg nodded at the security guard. He adjusted large rectangular spectacles. Perfume warmed Ray’s wrist. A small gin. Dennis Breen, grown disillusioned from waiting for an interview with Attorney-General Landa, paced Macquarie Street holding a bag of law books and a sagging placard which read: “NUGAN R.I.P. OFF.” Wran’s young chum. Easy to get a meeting if you’re Berhad. Or going to build Neville’s aquarium down Darling freight yards. Got to make something out of that motorway Stonehenge. Looks like the end of Space Odyssey. Irish non-Jew like Bloom. Father born in Belfast. Mother a Pole. Kept those Margies locked-up. Stuff Mary Gaudron’s legalese. Keep the heat off ASIO. Pays off in the long run. Don’t want to end up like Murph. They’ll drop you dead on a tennis court from some poison-umbrella spray. Couldn’t shield Buckets but. Best we can do is cover his legal costs. Put up the Cabinet-in-Confidence shield. They crossed the forecourt and climbed the damp stairs towards the Legislative Assembly.
“It was just a tin shed,” said Devlin, “when the Government bought it at a receiver’s auction.”
“CIA killed Frank Nugan,” yelled Breen.
“How long back?” asked Raspudic.
“After the gold rush,” replied Devlin. “Late 1850s.”
Raspudic nodded sagely. “Abeles is part of the deal,” Breen stammered. “Hawkie’s … mayt,” he crowed. Give a council inspector a clip to turn a blind eye on compliance. Regular cyclops. He squinted at Stan Welles’s suit shimmering in winecludd. I should wear threads like that, he thought. Gives you gravity. A plastic bag floated onto the fence. Greg Devlin paused at the top of the stairs beneath the timber colonnade to catch his breath. He tucked his shirt over a fruitful gut.
“They finished a big build-out last year. You should’ve been in on that one, Joe.”
“And Bernie Houghton,” rasped Breen.
“Oh, fuck off, Pete,” yelled Devlin lovingly. Come on, he continued to his companions. I’ll show you around. They crossed the threshold. Plush carmine carpet softened their blows. A portrait of Slippery Charles Cowper gazed at eye level. Dark foyer high arches. Sustained mechanical bells quired. What’s in the bag, asked Devlin. Perfume, replied Ray. For my wife. Devlin leered and turned towards reception. Raspudic and Welles followed him. It’s her birthday, he added needlessly. Raspudic nodded. Dimmed lamps. Once gas now globes. Gilt finials upon plain square pillars with ornate stenciled patterns. Chiaroscuro portraits of British aristocrats lined the walls. White bust of some Colonial time-server. Probably the illegitimate son of a Baronet. Portrait of Jack Lang in hard profile with limestone fingers tucked under a grey waistcoat. They’ll stick him straight back in storage if Greiner wins, concluded Greg. Martyr to British banks. Oppenheimer’s gourd. As Bigge was to Macquarie. A proud history of Imperial intervention. Kerr’s secret councils with Sour Lizzie. Devlin rested his forearms on the green leather surface of an antique cedar counter. An attendant wearing a maroon jacket leaned back in a swivel chair. The bells ceased. A cavalcade of MPs rushed from the chamber.
“Gooday Dennis,” said Devlin looking down. “How’s it hanging, mate?”
“Fine thanks, Mister Devlin. Nice to see you back in the House.”
“Was that Question Time?” he asked looking at his watch.
“No. Question Time has been suspended for the Cup.”
“Of course. How quickly one forgets procedural matters. When are felicitations?”
“You’ll be looking forward to a long break. Going up Taree?”
“Same pack drill every Christmas.”
“I envy you mate. I really do.”
An aide approached in an ill-fitting suit.
“Billy McCoy,” exclaimed Devlin warmly. “How are you, comrade? Still with Swift Mick? Good slot, mate. Real good.”
He patted him on the shoulder.
“He works for the Minister for Sport,” he told his companions. “You know. Free grand final tickets. Free tennis. Best seat in the Member’s Stand for the New Year’s Test. Gee but Nifty’s doing it tough. It’s all Costigan Costigan Costigan these days.”
“With a great big blob of Bob Trimbole.”
Devlin punched his finger at McClean’s ribs.
“Mate, New South Wales is a traditional Labor state. You’ve still got a thirty-seat majority. Even after that seven percent swing last March. Remember Seventy-Six, Billy? Pundits didn’t give us a chance coming so soon off Whitlam. But we got Kandos Ryan over the line in Rockdale by forty-four votes. That gave us a one seat majority. Never looked back.”
“One point is enough.”
“Blood oath. What is this? The seventh bloody Ministry in two years? Got to stop chopping and changing, mate, or you’re gone. Punters hate that. Know what I reckon? I reckon you’ve all gone soft. If you want to beat Greiner, you got to get down in the muck. I mean, he worked for big tobacco. He must have some form. Anyway, enough of that bullshit. How’s Deb and the pups?”
“Marjorie’s just turned sixteen.”
“I trust you signed her up.”
“Daceyville branch,” replied the aide.
“Good man. I’ll let the local member know. Bit of an earwig but a decent enough bloke.”
He turned back to the attendant.
“Can you call Doug Truck’s office please, Den? We got a meeting.”
“Of course, Mister Devlin. Just sign in.”
“Good stuff, mate. Good stuff.”
Devlin, Welles and Raspudic inscribed their names as Greg Devlin, Raymond John Candy and John Smith respectively. The attendant rang the Minister’s office. Devlin turned to McCoy. ENSURE ALL REFS IN THIS SECTION ARE TO ALIASES.
“Look at this place. It was a dump when we started. Now look at it. Marble floors. Wood ceilings. Even a bloody dribbler.”
He pointed at a Modernist fountain set in a wide shallow pool.
“You can go straight up to the Minister’s office,” said the attendant.
“Still on Nine?”
“No closer to the Gods then. Which end?”
“North. East corridor. First office on your right.”
“Lovely mate. Thanks. See yer, Billy.”
Devlin, Welles and Raspudic strode across the cold dark atrium. They passed a small internal post office tucked around the corner.
“Hey Jan,” yelled Devlin waving.
A middle-aged woman wearing a bright scarf around her forehead turned from a customer and smiled broadly as she laid a soft brown package on the scales. A young security guard was stationed at the entrance to the parliamentary wing.
“Scotty,” said Devlin.
“Hi, Mister Devlin,” replied the guard.
“Bunnies done good this year, mate. Gosh they were brave.”
“Yes, Mister Devlin. But in the end they still come up short.”
“But lots of spirit, mate. Good sign. Great to see ’em bump off those Silvertails! Whole rugby league world was agog. You would have played with some of those blokes down Rovers?”
“Yes, sir. I’m good mates with the Judd brothers. Also Darren McCarthy.”
“His dad was a legend.”
“A gentleman too.”
“True. A good bloke. We’re going upstairs to see Minister Truck.”
“You know the way, Mister Devlin,” said the guard smiling. Straight to the lifts. “Ninth floor.”
They passed frosted double doors. A distant roar assailed them.
“That’s the Members bar,” said Devlin. “That’s where the real deals get cut. There’ll be a big swill on for the Cup.”
The elevator opened. A single occupant in a black robe was standing inside the cubicle holding a can of soft drink. A straw protruded from its silver spout. He let it fall from his mouth.
“Clerk of the House!” exclaimed Devlin.
“Hello Greg. How are you?”
“Fine, Mister Grove. How’s life in the Chair?”
“Good, thank you.”
“Well-deserved honour. Thoroughly deserved,” he added sincerely. Water filled his eyes.
“Thank you. Who are you seeing today?”
“You should know better than to ask that question,” laughed Devlin slapping him on the shoulder blade. “No. Just kidding. Off to see Doug Truck.”
“That should be a fond reunion.”
“It will be, Russell. It will. You see, John,” he said turning to Raspudic, “I was chief of staff when he was Housing Minister back in the first term of the current government.”
Devlin turned back to the Clerk.
“But we actually go all the way back to door-knocking for Gough when Doug was local campaign director at Werriwa.”
The Clerk nodded sagely. The elevator opened on Level Eight. He departed.
“Have a good Christmas.”
“Same to you, Greg.”
The elevator doors closed. They rose to Level Nine. As they emerged, Raymond John Candy observed a group of advisers clustered around a stainless-steel cigarette stand under a low concrete ceiling at the entrance to stairs leading up to the parliamentary lawn. Greg Devlin waved. Some responded. The businessmen entered a sheer glass cathedral. Brilliant light. Devlin sat down on a deep lounge in front of an internal staircase.
“Premier is down on Eight. All the Cabinet near him. These stairs lead straight down a long corridor to the House. Lower House members are located on ten. Council members are up on the top floor.”
“Let’s cut the bullshit, Greg,” interposed Raspudic leaning forward. “I know you are good mates with all the butlers and cleaners in this place. But that’s not why I hired you. Here’s where we’re at. I paid top dollar for that site. It’s a big project. You said there’d be no delays. It’s been a cluster fuck from Day One. Now I’m under a lot of pressure from investors. I need that rezoning fast.”
“You’ll get it, mate. Just follow the script. I’ve never let you down. It’s just a matter of due process.”
“Due process is too fucking slow, Greg. The holding costs are killing me. KILLING me. Just remember that word. It’s a big word.”
“It’s the operative word so to speak,” added Raymond John Candy helpfully.
Raspudic looked at him with bemusement. Ulysses is characterised by complete rejection of violence. This is notable given that it was written during the Great War. The two scenes which touch on violence are the Citizen’s threats to Bloom at the end of the Cyclops episode, which he avoids by escaping Barney Kiernan’s pub, and the attack on Stephen by Private Carr which closes Circe. Carr and Stephen symbolise England and ‘incapable’ Ireland respectively in this encounter. During the general time-period of this novel, the following interrelated executions were completed in Sydney by organised crime: Warren Lanfranchi, Danny Chubb, Barry McCann, Mick Sayers, Chris Flannery, Barry Croft, Harvey Jones and Sally-Anne Huckstep. The last victim was drowned in a pond in Centennial Park. The men were all shot. Greg Devlin spoke.
“I know you’re frustrated, Joe. Me too. But we’re rezoning the site from heavy industrial to high density resi. Plus it’s highly contaminated. Plus there’s fauna impact. I know it’s just a skink but it’s a very rare skink. And we’re also looking to raise the height limit which will cause shading and block harbour views to the west. That’s why you got it so cheap. If it was prime real estate, Lend Lease or Harry would’ve gobbled it up.”
“You got your cut, Greg. And your Pommy mate,” Raspudic said gesturing at Welles.
“Spotter’s fee,” replied Welles.
“Whatever you call it. You been paid. Just get it fixed.”
“Look at my track record, Joe. You made a million bucks on-selling that site at Minto. You only had to hold it for six months. Then there were all those juicy little housing commission jobs. Thirty townhouses in Bonnyrigg. Twenty at Airds. Plus those refurbishments on the Toxteth Estate. That’s all my handiwork.”
“I acknowledge your help in the past, Greg. I sincerely do. I’m not trying to be difficult. But I got a lot of new investors in this deal. It’s not my Serbs who are the problem. They’re patient people. But I got your Leb mates putting pressure on me. There’s a lot of moving parts. It’s a big job. And I’m a simple man.”
Devlin leaned forward and rested his palm on Raspudic’s knee. Hand nailed to the table by a dagger. We can find a way out, he said. Graft my dear. Sydney palm oil. He’s misstructured this deal, thought Welles. Grown lazy. Too much back of the envelope calcs. No contingencies. Dog licking its own vomit. Fifty-five kilos stuffed in the bags. Even a slight error is fatal. Granville train crash. Engine just lifted off the tracks. Clipped a pier. Whole centipede reared out of control. General Slocum. Tasman Bridge. Too close to Scylla. Turn the tables. Some dog act. They could probably find a gun with no history for a thousand bucks to take Joe out. End up like Frank outside Lithgow.
“I get it, Joe. Believe me. I do. Stay calm. It can all be fixed. Let’s just get the job done here and get out.”
The corridors quietened.
“Doug specifically selected this time,” said Devlin. “He’s missing the running of the Melbourne Cup to help you. And he’s sent all his senior staff down to the bar so we can talk frankly.”
They entered an undecorated suite and shuffled into cramped standing-room space before the receptionist’s desk.
“We’re here to see the Minister,” said Greg to an assistant. She looked in her diary.
“And your friends?”
“Don’t worry about them. Just tell Doug we’re here.”
At that moment, the inner office opened. A squat figure filled the doorway. His trousers were hauled over a dropped belly by a cheap brown belt. His fingers hung off gleaming black braces. He wore a white shirt and a black armband. His ebbing hairline was wrenched flat by Brylcreem. He breathed hard revealing a steady tide of soft blushes and stains on his face.
“Gregory Aloysius Devlin,” he said studiously taking his friend’s hand.
“Minister,” replied Greg respectfully adding vigour to their long handshake.
“Come in. Kelly, be a love and make some tea.”
“This is Ken Jones, Minister. He’s the constituent I was talking about.”
“I’ve been briefed on your situation Mister Jones,” the Minister said. “Typical story in New South Wales. That’s why we’ve slipped behind Queensland. But I like to get things done. That’s my motto. Well, actually, it’s LET’S GET CRACKING. But you get the drift. Come in. Sit down.”
“I would also like to introduce Raymond Candy, Minister. He’s our financial adviser.”
“Nice to meet you, Mister Candy.”
Kelly followed them into the office. She triggered the kettle and washed some black coffee mugs. The gold crest of the Parliament glimmered. She took a small milk carton from a refrigerator concealed in a wood-panelled cabinet.
“Kell is Mal Daly’s daughter.”
“She takes care of the Enmore branch. Don’t you love?”
“I have great regard for your father,” said Greg Devlin.
“Dad talks a lot about the old times with you, Mister Devlin.”
“Oh dear, don’t take any notice of his tattle. They were tough times. But not fatal.”
“I’ll take care of that Kell,” said the Minister interjecting. “You go down and watch the Cup.”
He ushered her to the door, turned the lock and resumed his seat.
“Let’s get our ass down on tin tacks, gentlemen.”
“Right. It’s Pyrmont, Minister. The rezoning’s stuck.”
The kettle clicked off. Steam rose. No one moved.
“I asked for a departmental briefing note,” said the Minister holding up a single sheet of paper disdainfully. “It says you’re too aggressive.”
“The government got a good price for that land,” interrupted Raspudic passionately. “And all your mates got a drink. I can show you the numbers,” he said brandishing the red ledger book. “And I can drop them on the press if you like.”
“Wait a minute, Joe. The Minister doesn’t want to know anything about that stuff.”
“That’s fine, Greg. Look there’s no need for threats, Mister Jones. Or whatever the fuck your name is. It makes a man look like he’s got no ball sack. So let’s get things straight. If I decide to fuck with you then I won’t just stop at fucking your development. I’ll call my mates at the Drug Squad and the Supreme Court and next thing you know you’ll be domiciled in one of our correctional institutions. If I deem it fair, you will have a very hard time inside. So, let’s get to the truth of the matter and work out a fix. It’s a simple equation. You’re going to crowd out the housos. And they’re our votes.”
“We need to change the social composition to make the numbers work,” said Ray Candy.
“Precisely. But it’s a marginal seat. You won’t be allowed to upset the political balance. Can you reduce the density?”
“Won’t break even, sir,” said Raspudic.
“Let’s turn the problem on its head then. What about adding extra public stock?”
“You mean vary the mix?” queried Candy.
“Yeh,” replied the Minister. “You could increase the density with more social housing.”
“They can’t afford my product,” said Raspudic.
“You’re missing the point,” said Devlin. “The government could fund the gap.”
“Precisely. I think Cabinet would support a targeted increase in public housing. Especially in a traditional working-class area like Pyrmont.”
“You need to pay market rates,” said Raspudic. “Not public housing prices.”
“Oh, I think we could meet the market for a ground-breaking project that mixes private and public dwellings.”
“It’s a great symbol of your commitment to social equity.”
“Nicely put,” said the Minister to Ray Candy.
“This is going to take time,” said Raspudic.
“Could we cut some corners on remediation?” asked Devlin.
“It’s pretty badly contaminated,” said the Minister. “We don’t want doggie doodles dropping off in the park.”
“I can’t waste no more time on architects,” howled Raspudic.
“I understand,” replied the Minister. “They’re all wankers. I’ve given it some thought. And I’ve got a bold, new plan. Pyrmont was the site of Sydney’s first sandstone quarries. All the great government buildings of the nineteenth century were built with Pyrmont Yellowblock. Our problem these days is that we can’t get our hands on the stuff. There’s bloody houses on top! So, we patch up our heritage architecture with shit from Queensland. That’s why all our old buildings look as scabby as a priest’s backside. But what if we got an opportunity to acquire a new deposit of Pyrmont Yellowblock? What if a developer came across a new seam during geo-technical analysis? And what if the State deemed it to be of such significance that it suspended the project to quarry that sandstone? Think about it. We would have to pay compensation for the delay. We’d have to pay for the hole. And we’d have to pay for the sandstone.”
“What if it’s no good?” asked Joe Raspudic.
“Who cares,” replied the Minister.
“Where will you take it?” asked Candy.
“We’ll just dump it on the waterfront next to Glebe Island Bridge.”
“Genius,” said Greg. “Who’s the responsible Minister?”
“That’s priceless. Also, the local MP.”
“How long would it take?” asked Raspudic.
“It doesn’t matter,” answered Ray Candy. “Once agreement is reached, the State will pay compensation backdated to the landowner’s date of acquisition.”
“Statutory planning fees as well,” added Devlin.
“Architects?” asked Raspudic.
“Sure,” answered the Minister. “You see, you’re holding all the cards, Mister Jones. The government has materially affected the timing of your development. We’ll have to pay.”
Greg gave Raspudic a nod. Contracts. Not worth the paper they’re written on. A throwaway. Elijah is coming. Bloom as prophet. Devlin warning McCoy. Ahab. Last Israelite King. Transfiguration. Revise project metrics. Escape the Citizen. Shot off a shovel. Ascend into Heaven.
“Thank you so much Minister,” said Mister Jones rising.
“My pleasure, Mister Jones. That’s what we’re here for.”
Raspudic grabbed the Minister’s hand slavishly. Devlin nudged him with his elbow, flicking his head towards the wall. The developer pointed past the Minister’s shoulder to an oil painting of cows grazing in a pasture.
“I couldn’t help noticing,” he said awkwardly, “that nice painting.”
“Yes, it is nice. Thank you. In point of fact, my wife is the artist.”
“My family were farmers back in Yugoslavia. We kept Busa. I would very much like a painting like that.”
“Well you can’t have that one,” said the Minister laughing. “That’s my prize bull Clem with his harem down the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.”
“That’s a shame,” answered the developer despondently.
“But I’m sure we can arrange something. My wife has got a studio full of canvases.”
“Be careful, Joe,” said Devlin. “They don’t come cheap.”
“She’s a major Australian artist,” added Ray Candy. “I know her dealer well.”
“I’m no expert,” volunteered Greg Devlin. “But I reckon you’d be struggling for change from twenty for a painting like that.”
“Money is no object,” said Raspudic grandly.
“It would be a sound investment,” said Candy.
“Let me put it this way, it’ll never lose face value,” concluded the Minister.
“I would very much like you to choose one for me.”
“Don’t you want to select it yourself?”
“I trust your judgment, Minister. I can make a deposit right now,” said Raspudic opening his ledger book to reveal a blank cheque pinned to the page with a paper clip.
“No cheques please, Mister Jones.”
“Leave the transaction to me,” said Ray Candy.
“Good idea,” replied Greg Devlin.
“I’ll make sure you get a nice piece,” said the Minister. He unlocked the office door. The reception area was vacant. They went to the threshold.
“I think we missed the big race,” said Greg Devlin.
“Did you have a flutter, Minister?” asked Joe Raspudic.
“Gambling’s for mugs, Mister Jones,” answered the Minister. The businessmen withdrew. Doug Truck returned to his office. Gaming at Daly’s. Odds of twenty to one. CRIME. Askin’s nickname. Because it never pays. He straightened the painting. A silver plaque on the frame read: Landscape with Cattle, Thomas Cooper, England 1887. Property of the Art Gallery of NSW.
13. British (3.10 pm)
Francine Hackett peered through the pawed window of the Olde Wares shop on Glebe Point Road at a pocket watch mounted on a display stand inside a towering walnut cabinet. An irregular cardboard sign read: Real English 18ct Gold Watch / 12” gold chain with amber stone to T- bar -/ $100. The four-thirty-three bus stopped. Hydraulic brakes breathed hard. Mansour’s towels. Crimean pillage. Compare and contrast with Old Russell. Doors opened. “You getting in love?” asked the driver. She shook her head. Greg Devlin led Joe Raspudic and Ambrose E. Welles out the Legislative Council exit and down worn sandstone stairs. The doors closed.
“I’m driving West,” said Raspudic. “Can I give you boys a ride?”
“No thanks,” replied Stan Welles gesturing north. “I’m going back to my office.”
“I’ll cadge a lift if you’re going down Parramatta Road,” said Greg Devlin. “I’m meeting some mates at the Lansdowne.”
They parted outside the gates. Breen’s paper entrails were still wound around fence poles like boat streamers. Raspudic and Devlin cut across Macquarie Street and proceeded down Martin Place. They will not reappear in the novel like many characters in Wandering Rocks. Raymond Welles loitered at the lights. Helen and Barry reached the Clock Tower. Quarter hour tolled. Mighty Sydney lay down before them. Four steel stacks. The hum of dynamos that urged Stephen onwards. They approached Fisher Library. This is the equivalent of Bedford Row in Ulysses. Modernism merging in space. Set against second-hand cart. Stephen examines an old boxing print and pawned reference books. You are right down on the River Liffey overlooking its blotched granite walls studded with greasy drain pipes drooling shamrock moss and algae. There is a magnificent vista from the restrooms on the upper levels of Fisher Stack. Gift of a retired bootmaker. O dropped her tights to her ankles, lifted her skirt and turned, wedging herself into the window recess to present Davies with access. Barry Capri held his wife’s hand firmer in buffets of human traffic. Five million spines. Largest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere. Stephen wonders if his school prizes inscribed with Latin plates are interred amongst the discarded volumes in the cart. Ambrose E. Welles made rough passage between the Reserve Bank and Bank of New South Wales headquarters. S&C. A barker’s tin whistle accosted the rail egress. People so busy. Silver rain falling. McCartney classic on Radio 2GB. Crown of the MLC Centre as seen from the traffic report helicopter. Welles passed the Commercial Traveler’s Club. Be nice to go sink inside a refurbished scarlet Chesterfield in the Sir Lionel Davies Lounge. Pop Mushroom. A-bomb blast. Maralinga. Churchill’s payback for Forty-Two. Bumboy Menzies. Emu Field. New no-go zones. Desert blasted into a crust. Black mist. Human ordinance. Turn your back. I could see the bones of my fingers with wild eyes. Crackt binoculars. Bulldoze black corpses. British scientists continued testing Strontium 90 in the South Australian food chain until 1978. Nation of lab rats. Chaim. The violated remains of twenty thousand babies. Stolen femurs. Rip the drumstick off the hip. Jacob’s thigh. Gourd powder. Nebrakada femininum. Goethe’s blessed female. Hot stuff. This phrase will recur in Circe in the mouth of Marion Bloom. Elizabeth’s sunburnt navel. Twist your finger deeper’n’harder until you feel the foetus. Welles almost tripped on frayed carpet across the entrance. Clubs were invented in London because of tides. Stay in town until the Thames turned after lunch. Take a boat back to Putney. Wave from a cavalcade if you’re going in the opposite direction. Cortege of youth and beauty. Stephen invokes the charm of Saint Ignatius. A formula to win love. He is desperate for affection like James Joyce at the time he met Nora Barnacle. This was unabashedly a morganatic marriage. Joyce preferred a working-class woman used to life’s exigencies who could share his bohemian life without pretensions about money and status. He wanted someone who played their part expertly while he got the job done. Devlin and Raspudic reached the GPO. Ray checked his watch against a clock. Ten past three. A barmaid passed on the street. Neat black uniform. Got to have a private school education even to get a part-time job these days. Keating’s recession. Better off working in a whorehouse. Plenty of undergraduates pay their way through college with sex. First floor: machinery for young women. They get sick of eating cereal without even milk. Looking for a kind gentleman who doesn’t blink at the cost of a seafood crepe. Crisp bottle of Portuguese Rose as accompaniment. Real leg opener. Stuff them full of dessert. Platinum Amex flicked onto the tip tray. Pass me a mint. Look at the jugs on that one. Oops! He reached a café where the path widened to accommodate plastic tables covered with checked plastic table cloths. Cross now the human everflow west-by-east-by-west past Flugelman’s chrome geometry lesson. Bright detergent-floss emanated from its sunken pebblecrete pond. Hardly the Trevi. High school prank. Rabid dogs. Gaze down the bodice of Ophelia’s dress. Soggy and body entwining. Drag her down. A metaphorical form of death. Clever Bard. Moment preserved by Millais in paint. I wonder how long bodies remain composed in river water in comparison with brine. Or set in cement like Nielsen. Woolf wasn’t found for three weeks. Ophelia in concrete. Brian Alexander told me CFMEU officials dumped her corpse down a reinforced steel frame in the MLC foundations. Slab got filled before dawndun. Dead mouth open like Botticelli’s Chloris. Makes an internal cast. Have to peel the body away. Doubly cast then. Outside and in. Are they like that at Pompeii? Look up their anuses like Bloom in the National Library. I remember making love to Elizabeth at the Hotel Del Sole. Must have been Nineteen sixty-nine. Simpler days. She was happy to get some sunshine after the miscarriage. Garden full of cheap plaster sculptures. Past John and Merivale’s pub. Mustard miniskirt. Maybe I’ll buy that Burgundy jacket. Might lighten my creases. Old fool in tights. Dim vestibule of Hunter Arcade. Grubby low ceilings and alleys. I hate retail. Twist and turn on each floor can’t escape. Won’t let you out until bankrupt. Lack of REPUTABLE tenants. Commercial flop. They should have poached Ron Bennett’s menswear from the Strand Arcade. The rest would have followed. If I walk past another coffee shop with one-dollar ham sandwiches I’ll scream. Greeks don’t make good coffee. Looks like a wet garden bed. Splashes around yer guts. Pitt Street unnaturally lifeless this afternoon. Taxi lights shine so bright. Fruit stall on the Hunter Street corner. Maybe I’ll buy some carnations. Too awkward to cradle but. I’d look like a faux beauty queen. Everybody will guess what I’m up to. What would Master Edmund say? Oh father, look at you walking the streets like a fucking placard reading SAD OLD BLOKE. Perfume in contrast can always be secreted. He tapped his side pocket. You can withhold the gift until a final judgment about service quality. Best blowjob in Hellas. Funny thin lips. Red hair on an egg. Cat swallowed mouse. Known the lady in question for years. Her husband is my dentist. That’d be a good line in court. Almost a badge of honour. At his mercy in the chair. You could strap a man down like Vulcan’s throne. Perform all kinds of torturous procedures. Unnecessary extractions. Prise open your mouth. Brace yourself. Lizzie telephoned this morning. She asked to meet me at five o’clock. Straight down to business. Stan Welles rubbed his hands together. Pale and blemished beneath. Hue of passion. The colors red and white dominate the “Venus and Adonis” of Shakespeare. Surprisingly large bust for her body shape. Green eyes piercing my gaze. Traffic lights hit. Walk into the foyer. Good afternoon Mister Welles, proclaimed the porter opening the heavy glass door. Dirty old Tank Stream rolling beneath. Hullo Keith, answered Stan Welles. Ordinary cleaners reach only thus far. He adjusted his tie. Hope that girl calls. Up a marble staircase. Brass bannister. Grip. High marble ceilings lit brilliantly with glass chandeliers. Grand piano in operation near the Elizabeth Street entrance. Find a counter. Thirty minutes to Cup. Scour little stalls. Now, where was I? Ah yes, mimicking Tom Kernan’s brisk walk toward St James Gate. Insert observations of Simon Dedalus, John Mulligan and Dennis Breen. Allusions to patriotic figures. Good links with that horse in the Gold Cup. Reprise key images from episode two. The doors opened. Ray entered the elevator. Scramble events and places even days. Turn from Hyde Park. Look down Park Street at Sydney Town Hall. He could just make out the south entrance to the Queen Victoria Building. Paris in sprungtomb. Sunken promenade. Its location was an old turning circle for carts going to market in the late nineteenth century. Fine twin domes. All that meat and potatoes, he murmured. Snug black skirt. The girl revolved. Miss Hackett, he scoffed snorting loudly. His fingers fumbled for an embossed business card. Her father is rich, he thought. Mining money from Perth. They exchanged platitudes. I’ll give you a call Mister Welles, she said. Female wiles. They’re a mystery. Juno is an accurate representation. Classical women always had massive boobs, I suspect. They parted. He checked the silver hands of his Seiko watch. Two-ten. He still had twenty minutes to get to Macquarie Street. More than enough time to purchase a gift. Francine entered the shop. The stone entranced her. Prehistoric bugs interpolated in sap. Cosmic timepiece. As trapped as Stephen Dedalus in Joyce’s narrative gazing at Old Russell working on a tarnished chain. Also trapped also posed (euphonically) right from the opening gambit. Its chimed poetics work like a dense web itself tolling mutability. Rock against rock in turn overlaid with tumbleweeds of Russell’s oh-so-human waste. Unclean gems spawned in the underworld like devils’ pies polished. Seared with skin-specks and fibres from smoldering robes. Antisthenes! This stone is Milton’s treasure better hid. Not metaphorical spoils like Shelley’s excavations. Trigger erotic truth. What Stephen Dedalus craves. Lilith greasy with patchouli oil writhing on an Isphan rug as my wormwood crashes to earth. Moroccan Salome. This is the crux of sub-episode thirteen. Insert Chris Brennan, Poem 28. Note also Novalis. Rub Old Russell rub. Shiny scrotum stretched straight. A scrap of old text just out of place. Cloying form. Huysmans’ encrusted tortoise moving through olive gloam. My daughter crawling down the bronze-by-gold corridor in a carmine jumpsuit. Francine dawdled up Glebe Point Road behind a scramble of schoolchildren overloaded with square backpacks. She overtook them at the pedestrian crossing and entered the Riteway supermarket to purchase a packet of cigarettes. They queued in her wake ogling greaseproof paper trays of lollies under a glass-top counter. Who’ll be next in line for heartbreak? Their bags buffeted Francine as she departed. A fag hit her mouth. She felt in her suede jacket for a lighter. The fresh nail burned. Her face rose gratefully at exhalation dispersing a sour scowl made puffy with Speed. Two old women waited for a bus outside a medical centre. One held a string bag springing black banana tails. The other trailed a mustard shopping trolley. Sub-episode 13 in W. Rocks reprises incidental characters. The two midwives from the Proteus sub-episode of Chapter I (“ineluctable modality of the visible”) are returning home from the beach. One of their bags now contains eleven cockles. They pass Stephen again. In the interim, Stephen’s thoughts have not developed. He is stuck on a loop. Two hundred pages have passed. SHIFT TO STRINE (see also C10, Citizen).
“Me hose aren’t making life any easier to live!” exclaimed Missus Yairs.
“Don’t leavem onth en,” replied Missus Joyce.
“Not lie kelly tomb aching cough out hear.”
“Vas sir lardster yerp oblems.”
Her friend nodded, sat down on a bus stop seat, took off her shoes, rolled down bone stockings and shunted them into a brown handbag. She replaced her shoes and stood. Silence. Make final insert on Satan Welles’s internal monologue observing women. Note they are old and young, lean and robust, different ethnically et cetera. Note that he wants to engage their gaze directly. Link to the poems of Yeats. Restate the objective to butt conventional fiction against postmodern elements. Shift between hieratic and demotic content. Insert symbolic tracings. Insert Liotes.
“I don’t mind me chops with a good strip of fat. Not that you can get one off of the new butcher.”
“I shan’t be sorry to see his backside.”
“Always shaving the tail.”
“Unable to leave the tail unshaved,” her friend affirmed nodding.
“What do they do for dripping?”
“Oils of birdseed.”
“Doughn criss pennup!” she gasped.
“You’re not wrong!” Missus Yairs nodded flagrantly.
Rosen taste of my father’s house. I sat in the car next to a margarine factory waiting for my mother. Slope’s lab. Smell of burnt gear. Obscure sexual references mainly olfactory. Butterboil a big pot of Bellingen leaf overnight. You can set your watch by Russell’s clocks. Maxims of Polonius, Part B. Buy second hand shoes from opportunity shops before cheap shoes from Kmart. You might be footsore but your feet won’t stink, advised the midwife. Don’t lend records to no one, her sister added. Keep a list of books you’ve lent. Leave it tucked inside your Will. Hang shirts from the bottom so you don’t get peg marks on the shoulders. PHONE CLICK. Pause. BROAD AUSTRALIAN ACCENT. Elizabeth, I need a hand, said Read. Another “she’s left” missive. Evolve I vortex. Insert brief oral history. (1) I’m trying to be a great artist. (2) Don’t unbelieve in me, love. (3) It’s the other women’s fault, babe. (4) Blame my Muse! (5) I never expected such drastic payback, darling. I mean, not with Michel, man. He’s a mate. And only a second-rate poet. Now Dransfield I could have copped. But he’s beastly O’Deed. I can’t come now, Elizabeth replied. I’ve got an appointment. Calm down. Have a blast. I’ll see you at the opening. CLICK. Read looked from his studio’s broken window through torn and melded layers of chicken-coop wire across Circular Quay towards Fort Denison. A train scratched the St James side bend on fresh Cologne eggs. Narrative time junked. Shipwreck carriage. Constance fell down an elevator shaft. Further Rome goes, the more mysterious it gets. Baby, here’s the fare please come get me. Nobody can make art so … curvilinear. Bob Hughes in a cowboy hat and red leather pants down North Sydney gas works. A lick of pink guts hanging over his strides. Between struggle and grace: it’s a wipe-out! AcLaoacak. AcLaoacak. Clicklick. The train screeched to a halt. White putrefaction. Red is ecstasy. Revolution black. Don’t use Drysdale colours. His work is the reality of the little-him always inside. I see human faces through the undergrowth when I’m stoned. Nymphs gone dayglo. Heraldic squirt. Rain cludd. Wine cludd. He yanked the iron frame shut. Fuller is coming, that’s right. Take a can of silly-string along. To elevate what would otherwise be another fatuous opening. Duchamp used sixteen miles of the stuff at the 1942 Surrealist show. He was THE MAN. I met him once, you know. Shortly before his death. I’m not sure of time. Or the order of events. But I am sure of place.
“Dick Stone’s cuts not bad.”
“Got to travel but. Now that old Joe at Elvy’s is gone.”
“Died on the job, they say.”
“Not so lucky for his wife.”
“What was her name?”
“Madame Sly Cosies, I think. Or near enough as makes no matter.”
“Oh Rocks! I wish they’d use plain names!”
“She saw the whole world from that shop counter.”
“Can’t question her loyalty.”
“Not much of a life but.”
“Some people call it Love, Missus Yairs.”
They both guffawed. Across the road, schoolchildren were traipsing down Mitchell Road towards dark double-storey working-class cottages near Wentworth Park.
“Do they let them off early for the Cup nowadays?”
“How would I know,” shrugged her companion indignantly.
“They haven’t been dealt such a bad hand,” she sighed, thinking of herself. She was born in Depression. Came to maturity in the Pacific War. Married an ex-soldier. Raised a family through beatings and the drink. Now he was gone to an early grave. See VAULT for further remembrances.
“But they’re not bad kids really.”
“No. I wouldn’t wish bad luck on anyone. Live and let live, I say.”
“Yairs. We been young oursells, and we are no aye to judge the warst when lads and lasses forgather.”
The return of the midwives announces the reprise of the theme of remorse of conscience (“agenbite of inwit”) from Chapter One. This time Stephen Dedalus applies it to his sister’s desire to teach herself French. This is a complex image. On the one hand, it shows a new capacity in Stephen to project cosmological themes beyond himself onto other people. He is no longer self-obsessed although the example of his sister is drenched in pathos. Equally, a critic could argue that Stephen doesn’t do much for his sister. He just uses the exchange as an opportunity to wring more guilt out of himself. This is the genius of Joyce. To extract polysemous meanings from apparently simple scenes. Catholic schoolgirls scampered across the street in brown tunics jeering an unfortunate friend on the opposite kerb who had been delayed by traffic. The western light illuminated her plain face foregrounded against a sandstone wall and pulped rock posters. A licorice strap unravelled out her mouth like a shiny black tongue. Keep repeating this word (“unrav-etcetera”). LINK TO DILLY DEDALUS. A compassionless man in a short-legged suit and wire spectacles glared at a paperback novel at the bus stop. His bag-handle tag was labelled in thick ink. He signalled the driver. The bus stopped. Its hydraulic door groaned. Be on. He climbed aboard. A schoolboy exploded down the aisle. His bag bounced off a succession of seats, uniform waving, tie swinging, its knot pulled from his throat to one side of his grey shirt collar. He pushed past an old lady. A man stood. What luck! He slumped on the long bench and opened the zipper of his private school crested sports bag. A hand fossicked within. McCreedy observed it dispassionately. He extracted the Bible smoothly and spread its message across his lap somewhere down the arse-end perhaps Acts. The bus was buffeted by coarse corrections down Glebe Point Road. SEE CHAPTER ONE. Stephen’s Gods of In/Out. Slut and slaughterer. Diety sandwich. Smashem both. BIG BANG NINJA BATTLE! Defer for present. Be like Milton’s Satan yet personable. Insert metaphor of God as a Seiko watch (see Russell). Here comes Polonius. Praise be good bowel motions. You can set your clock by Kant’s walk. Each Monday morning, ‘twas so, indeed. Stephen has gone down Bedford Row wielding his metonymy of a weapon in front of boxing posters like Paris but without Helen. This is an ironic reference to his relationship with the Iliadic male. And Joyce’s to war. They are both considering the value of books. Stephen critically. Bloom practically (erotically). They make an X mark. Hysteron proteron. Tom Hallem peeled a soggy book from the bathroom floor of Beta House. William Capri glanced into the window of a second-hand bookshop on King Street. Tracing steps. Pock-marked Macritis and macula-marred Ulan passed along the other side of the road, deep in conversation about their new journal. Capri turned directly towards the books in case they noticed him … snubbed him. We watch their reflection pass across the display. Pages born in a dynamo buried on undiscriminating shelves of Gould’s book warehoarding. Dexion frames loaded with faddish pamphlets. Crematorium slots. Uneven paperbacks crackt into confetti along their cheaply glued spines. Prosenchymatic mosaics. Kanag Crek: a three-hundred-page critique of the Antipodean Juvenilia of Havelock Ellis by Associate Professor Thomas Turdworthy, author of a monograph on Gerard Murnane. First edition of Fists Thrust High with an introductory essay by Dennis Altman on the Sydney Scene. Includes an in-depth survey from the slap-happy crowd on the Rock. Wimmins Words: poetry of the Dundas Neighbourhood Centre produced with the assistance of grants from the Australia Council, Parramatta City Council, the Greater Western Sydney Economic Development Board, the University of Western Sydney, the Whitlam Institute and the NSW Office of Western Sydney. A never-opened hardcover copy of future/uter: theories of post-phallic architecture by the Contour Collective. Fresh contemporary poetry by acolytes and ex-lovers of John Forbes. All neatly pressed and smelling like birth. “Four Pots of Maggots” by Lord Jabber Ladiesman pinned between multiple copies of Gig Ryan’s Mantras of an Astronaut and Outraj! Writings Against Colonial Discourse. Almost untouched copy of Martian Cockshaw’s dazzling debut, Menschlichkeit. Extract. Skim. Replace. Blurred monochrome photograph on the cover by Bill Henson. Five dollars is scribbled weakly in pencil on the facing page above the author’s biography. “Babyboomed in the year of the big fright, this is his first published novel. He lives in Melbourne with his partner, Kay, who is a graphic designer.” Wade into its guts. Checklist devices:
— self-conscious opening reference to literary form
— overseas location
— cryptic intellectual characters with elliptical engagement
— an ambiguous yet strangely relevant letter
— continual recourse to foreign languages (often parenthetically)
— multiple fonts
— snippets of text presented in the form of drama
— rhetorical questions
— cryptic discourses on philosophy
— speculations on metaphor and race
— bogus interview with famous South American writer
— incongruous excerpt from a short story (completely unconnected to text)
— periodic short chapters containing minute description of a kitchen tool
— bulleted lists mimicking technical report writing
— cryptic epigraphs from Foucault and Slubb
— inscrutable alliances between highly intellectualised characters
— tricky incest dressed up as Freudian archetype
— citation of outdated cult figures
— all is not what it seems sense of mystery
— ambiguous epistolary closure with motion picture metaphor.
Capri stuffed it into a crammed shelf marked MILITARY. H sidled on to BIZARRE. Row of uneven volumes like wrecked teeth. Fountaincourt: Tails of Judicial Hygiene by Sir Edmond Squires-Squirte. Angoran Nights by the Late Phracian poet, Rumen. Dirty bits of Petronius set on some barren slope. Brimming Nightjars by Betty von Udder-Sucker, registered nanny. Molly Bloom’s penchant for under-the-glass-coffee-table books. Too anodyne for any contemporary audience. People’s imaginations were more vivid back then. A dozen dog-eared copies of the Female Eunuch in assorted international editions. “Sexy, scary and way tall,” blared the City Limits testimonial on the rear of the 1974 Canadian re-print (not available in the UK). Greer came onto England like Nursey looming over Algernon’s cot with outstretched surgical gloves and a sponge. Cultural enemagiver. Part of that great generation of Australian Expatriates. Clive James, Hughes, Richard Neville, Walsh, L. Roxon, Humphries. He was Greer’s doppelganger. Furious attacks on English mores. Angroin. Couldn’t pin them down to a single format – journalism, stage, text, interviews, theory, pictures, television. Protean faculties. Heirs of Pater and Wilde. Joyce tested various literary forms as a medium of national expression over the course of Ulysses and rejected them all in turn – songs, riddles, drama, the Celtic legends promulgated by Yeats as well as Wilde’s epigrammatic wit. “Court jester to the English,” concluded Joyce; deliberately misreading Wilde. It was a vicious bon mot. To bury influence. Like a dog digging a hole. See Deleuze and Guattari. Cut and fill method. Hardly a burrow. Graveyard shovel plop. Capri stopped. Write an Australian novel with ballads, sketches, bush remedies, gallows humour, existential wastelands (White), indigenous cosmos, laconic outsiders. Furphy has already done that. Use epigraph from Auden. Civilisation was absent. This was an island. And therefore Unreal. INSERT Meillon: The carefree Dionyshun Sowf had inflected me eardrums (doctors plugged ’em wif FELT) and all Summa long I never heard no mewse, just a dull ecco of distant curlew tewnes as if I’d stuck me head emu-style into six o’clock swill and leerings. Oh, we still had great hopes (old tree dead / young tree green) albeit coming from the wrong direction as we was: against the course of Empire (west to east on the big map in the Admiralty) … not to mention gravity holding us down in subaltern postures so long that you hardly even noticed being on your knees as you peered through the window (after scraping the frost away from the pane) with your snot-stiffened cuffs: wide-eyed, dirtcaked and gazing in on safe England. British. Best of. Blakeney out of Saucy Flirt. Sounds like some Benny Hill parody. Royal blue sleeves. Red cap. Sangster stable. English-bred stayer. Summary of Ireland’s plight really. Insert Joyce’s great anti-colonial discourse (Chapter 1). Stephen entertaining Haines and Mulligan with self-loathing bile. Bosie was a jester. Bitter clown. Francine left Olde Wares. Glebe Point Road went unregistered in her haste. She struck down Francis Street glancing back quickly to see if Ali had followed. No sign through the scattered pedestrians emerging from Russell’s Health Food Store. She accelerated. Post-industrial badlands. Her new pocket watch clamoured against her chest. She crossed Bay Street and traversed Grace Bros Department Store stealing a handful of pralines which she ate greedily discarding the wrappers in a trail on the floor. A security guard collected them in her wake. He hastened through gardening supplies to keep pace. She emerged onto Parramatta Road opposite the Broadway Hotel. The security guard called out: “stop please Miss.” She continued apace. Opposite, police cars spilled across the footpath. Chalkboard. Glass. Lingerie Ladies. Francine reached the traffic lights and raced to the median strip stalling approaching vehicles. She waited analysing the geometry for a gap. A security guard blocked the footpath. Billy Capri gained sight of the sky above the Marlborough Hotel. Epiphany. A painting by Turner. Temeraire. Insert on Lend Lease. An American tug yanking Britain to scrap. Australia is a subsidiary vessel. He checked his generic Swiss watch. Gift of his parents. Francine did not look back. She waited for the first car to pass and scurried on light pumps. No loitering. Julie gone to meet Terry. Tonight later. She walked briskly around the corner into Shepherd Street. Paramedics swabbed dazed and bloody victims seated on a council bench. Farquhar and Gravy bent low in the back seat. The car entered the Iron Duke car park. She was free.
14. Beaver Boy
Richie turned over the card. Oval postmark. 30 cents. Sydney GPO. 6 Nov ’84. Donny had long since returned to Manila. She had seen him the other day walking down M.H. Del Pinar Pilar with a whore. Under the porch, shoeblacks called out or polished. “Dear Richie,” he wrote, “coming back to Sydney is strange. I miss Manila. I hope you and little Don Carlos are well. I bought him a soft kangaroo just like Skippy! I will send my driver over. Regards to your husband. DC.” She turned it over to view the scene of Sydney Harbour. Coathanger by shells in plaid light. Utzon’s chassis. Tiled and grouted like an old pub urinal. Luna Park leering on the tideline with wild lysergic eyes. Brando’s Kurtz. He heard the hoofblade thackthack. Stan Welles scuffed his toe cap. Shinedun. In Hong Kong you’d just pop down to polishers’ lane. I need a stamp, thought Don. Where is the local post office? He drifted downstairs like Hamlet’s father’s ghost insubstantial maybe even unreal. Figment of a diseased mind. Not rooted by any connection to place. No human filament. Simon Dedalus wandered into Reddy and Daughter. Telegram to Ogygia from Ithaca: “Dear Calypso, home safely. Great hamper. Thanks for the good times. Od.” Don shuffled another postcard to the top of the pile. “Dear Glendora, I am in Australia. I did send money. Maybe it got stolen. I will be back in December. Eric.” His gaze went to the desk. Pope John Paul in half-profile. An uplifted palm. His visit to Manila shook Marcos. Odysseus inside the palace in a beggar’s guise. “Dear Eric,” she had written, “I got your letter. You have not visited Cebu for a long time. My mother is sick. Please send money. Then I can see you.” A second card. More urgent. Small handwriting shrinking as it flooded space. “Eric, when will you come? Wet season now. No bar work. I see American sailors. My back hurts. Got to go. Remember our first time?” She squashed a postscript beneath his address: “MY FIRST!” He turned it over to examine a tardy beach scene. Place where Magellan planted a Cross. Stake in their heart. Speargun fishing. They ate him. Some of the best spots on the coast. Pretty girls serving drinks on Bantayan. A wet dog clawing the face of a concrete stormwater channel. All the DONE things closing in. Philippines no longer a blank slate. Bloom’s letter from Martha. A loaded gun. Obviously, he could never love such a girl. No Venus in Furs roleplay. What was it he dreamt of? Molly clomping down a church aisle in red slippers on cloven feet. Turkish blobs. Soft bodice. Feint rosewater. Freudian contrivances. Joyce’s letters to Nora. Little fuckbird. She wore my breeches tied around her budding gut. Mailboat from Cebu. Nearing Holyhead. Must nail that ad. Work Hynes and Crawford. Get some petticoats for Glenda. To write or not to write. Arrange some rendez-vous. That is the big decision this Cup day. It would reduce them both to the status of Blazes Boylan. Send five hundred dollars by wire. Later, provide enough capital for her to set up a small shop. He reached the threshold of a demountable post office on William Street. Brown glaze. Mining shack. Elastic marineboard ramp. Two old men lolling in the queue. They were discussing their penury. Competitive squalor. They decried the building manager in Flat One. A prison hawk. Fetid-corridor. Stink of steamed cabbage. Raskolnikov’s exit. Insert Hungarian profanities. They approached the counter. The older man passed a transfer slip under the bars. Payee Mrs. S. Kowolenko. Payment: 2 weeks rent – Flat 6, Hollywood Hotel, 345 Bourke Street. Amount: Sixty dollars. Debit account. TICK. Don Cane purchased a small booklet of stamps bearing Olympic scenes. Hanna-Barbera heroics. He tore the serration detaching a single stamp of a cerise sprinter straining cartoon speed trails. He licked the stamp and affixed it to a postcard. Outside, he inserted it into the post box marked: Rest of NSW / Interstate / Overseas. Minbad the Mailer. Horses pulling up short and fast. Ammonia tongue. The adjacent cubicle sprang open. Edgar spat as the barman bolted from the toilet block. False moustache. Father Cowley. Not even a proper priest. Another side of Simon Dedalus is seen in this scene. Other men in Dublin share his predicament. It is normal in a client state. Saigon collapsed after the American withdrawal. Close Clark Air Base and there’ll be another hit. Get Long John to call off the bailiffs. SEEK LEGAL LOOPHOLES. Simon is a garrulous friend. Stephen is stiff in comparison. Relationships taut. Persian Jones slid up the wall. Non giggled mildly. Persian Jones found the door. I got to check out what happened to Chubby, announced Stuart turning back down City Road. Unmet debts. Money trail. Wire transfers. Pay-offs in kind. False transactions. Rhino went to the parapet of Beta House. A truck was clearing the harbor mouth at Missenden Road. Smokeplume vague on dun skyline. A sail tacking by Muglins. A young man emerged from Maurice’s take away. Stan Welles glanced at the steep cycling GPO car park ramp. Dante’s down. Rising to Pitt Street, a mail van, bearing the corporate crest of the letter “P” cut into a white circle, received loudly flung sacks from pink armbands and caps. A Vietnamese refugee stood before the sorting slots distributing handfuls of sample letters cross-handed in the training room. Ainslie Dickson Downer Hackett. All 2600s. All ACT. Right-centre. Eager-eyed. Fifty-two and a half kilos in his saddle. Eight AM start. He arrived an hour early each day to practice. English is a strange language. Lanky ribbons all jumbled. Gungahlin. Wee Waa. Beaver Boy. Tamarama. Where do they get such names? 2194. A card. Bottom. Far right. Cluttered images. Gold jeepney. At various points along the eight rail lines west, trains with motionless trolleys stood in their tracks, bound for or from Hornsby, Carlingford, Richmond, Penrith, Campbelltown, Bankstown, East Hills, Sutherland, Cronulla, Bondi Junction. All still. Becalmed in short circuit. Cars, cabs, delivery vans, trucks, buses, trains and airplanes gouged and knitted the city. I can make a true black knot. Learned when I served my time. Don Cane walked down William Street until he reached a small square cut into Darlinghurst Hill where transvestite streetwalkers plied their trade. Top of the stairs was Premier Lane. Avis rent-a-car office. Don entered. A young woman in a navy uniform highlighted by a yellow scarf looked up from a low seat behind a laminate counter.
“I’d like a car please,” said Don Cane.
“What model would you like, sir?”
“How long do you want to book it?”
“Donald John Cane.”
She wrote down his name.
“Sorry,” he said pointing at the order book. “It’s Cane without an ‘I’.”
He placed a booklet on the counter.
“International license,” she said scrawling down his personal details. “Got your passport?”
He passed it into her hand directly.
“Australian,” she said. “Why don’t you have an Australian license?”
“I’ll just check your details. Born 1932.”
“Place of residence?”
“Valle Verde 3, No 1 Acacia Street, Pasiq 1221.”
“Could you write it down please?”
He wrote down his address.
“Sign where I marked,” she said. “I’ve been to Thailand. But I never thought of going to the Philippines. What’s it like?”
“Are there beaches?”
“Best in the world.”
“It’s the worst cuisine in Asia,” he said grinning.
“Thanks for the tip. Cash or credit?”
“Credit card please.”
She placed his AMEX card in a manual machine, manipulated a docket over it and swiped brutally.
“Sign here,” she said putting the docket on the counter. She checked his signature closely.
“All good?” he asked.
“Close enough,” she said smiling. “I’ll show you to your vehicle.”
She collected a set of keys from a lockbox on the rear wall and walked around the counter. Don Cane followed her into the garage. Rows of white vehicles muted the damp lime walls.
“Is there a street directory?” he asked.
“I haven’t been in Sydney for 20 years.”
“That’s a long time. Do you still have family here?”
“Yes. That’s who I’m going to see.”
She held out the keys. Don Cane settled into the driver’s seat. He put a map on his lap. Ignition. Take a test drive. He entered St Peters Lane and proceeded to Bourke Street. At a break in the traffic, he started to turn right quickly. A young woman was waiting on the median strip. Low frame. Deeper-set by dark tights. He relaxed the brake, changed gears and the car lurched a few meters then stalled. She gazed at him angrily. A tired face. He mimed an apology. She ignored him. He turned on the car stereo.
“You’re on Talk Radio 2GB. I’m Mickie de Stoop. Just thirty minutes now to race time. Better hurry up if you want to place last bets.”
Don Cane proceeded towards the city.
“A race for stayers of a different sort returns to centre stage tomorrow with the Federal Election entering the home straight. It’s taken a back seat to racing in recent days but things will hot up again tomorrow. Although ‘hot’ mightn’t be the word that springs to mind for most people. It’s been the longest election campaign in living memory. It was called by Prime Minister Hawke way back on October Eight. That means four weeks down and almost four weeks still to go. The biggest story of the campaign so far has probably been revelations surrounding the drug addiction of the PM’s daughter. As a result of Mister Hawke’s highly emotional reaction, there have been questions raised about his capacity to govern. I wonder what our listeners’ think?”
Don cut off the first caller. Don’t need that kind of guff. Why give them a stage. In Vietnam, there was always someone down the other end of a wire. Journalists fluffing up war stories. Politicians pushing boys onto mines. The only radios he liked were the ones calling out dropzones. Hueys hovering through tracers. He passed the flat yellowblock façade of the Australian Museum and turned left onto College Street. Go down Wentworth Avenue. Cross Oxford Street. He squeezed into the slit between a mail van and a cement truck. Hairline crack. Catch the tide twixt Scylla/Charybdis. A snake casting its slough. Grinding if off on rocks. Sydney/Saigon > Manila/Sydney > Helen/Penelope > William/Tom. Memory of a dead son; fact of two living. A belt of empty warehouses bordered the industrial edge of the old city. Exciting new commercial development, said a banner. Don followed traffic underneath the City Circle rail lines. Sandstone arch. Pitt Street looming. Red arrow. Wait. Above him, the causeway for the Interstate Terminal. Bloodline where nature flips from chlorophyll to silicon. Traffic spurt. Suddenly he was plugged into Sydney’s lifeblood. Spat down its miserly conduits apace. Kent Brewery flashed. White horse rampart. Horse and stallion. Kentish hops. Orwell’s gone a-picking. John Tooth was born in Kent. Hengist and Horsa. Saxon chiefs. Edgar and Edmund. Ebbsfleet. Empirebbing. Temeraire sunk off Singapore. Heifer maiden. Io’s retreat. New sites of exclusion. Blind Bellerophon bucked by Pegasus. Wandering alone hated all his days. Vets. Don’s car passed the Australian Hotel. Early opener where the Fairfax printers drink. Eric’s white horse. Gelded emblem. Sound Kiwi stayer. Portent of Tooth’s decline. Carcass sold off to Adsteam. Spalvin’s showpony. Bones and offcuts of 200 banks flung across the slaughter yards. Don took on the amber at Wattle Street. He punched the radio back ON. Bored. “So you’ll be travelling on the Abattoir Express on Friday.” He stopped in pole position. “Oh yes, Mickie.” Broadway Hotel brown and unyielding. An advertisement for Lovely Lingerie Ladies scratched on a scratchy chalkboard. “And I believe you’re encouraging members of the public to come along?” A girl with straw hair tied back by a paisley scarf lurched in front of westbound traffic. Sandals pumping. BRAKE! “Motor Eighteen isn’t the Indian Pacific, Mickie.” Cars behind braked also. “There should be plenty of room for all-comers.” No ding. No dong. University bells. She reached safe footing. “Another piece of Sydney’s vanishing history.” No backwards glance. Don Cane pressed the accelerator. Time by one of the copper clocks on Grace Bros roof measured Two thirty-five. He turned onto City Road. Wait. A middle-aged couple was crossing against the lights. Impatient horn. It wasn’t me fella. They rushed awkwardly. Looked like but no it couldn’t be that would be too much of a coincidence even for television. RISE. Sydney built along ridgelines. John Glover limbs. Jungle so thick you got a mouthful. Hmong trails. Map and memory guide. Split right/left off the track. Plant a Claymore. Blast a hole under the truck. Fire everything you got. Split. Regroup. One hundred and sixty known sex perverts in Newtown. They found poor Joan Ginn dead amongst the gravestones in Camperdown about one hundred yards off King Street. Big story straight after the war. ALPHA HOUSE. Old clothing factory. Close to Bradmill Cotton Mills where Helen Capri worked. Probably some insane soldier. Community Food Store. Strategic hamlets. Press gang the peasants inside like hens. Operation Sunrise. A misnomer. Lemon cardigan used like a straitjacket. A colour slide was shown on every cinema screen in Sydney. Dummy with her face superimposed. Strangled with her own singlet. Mum wouldn’t even let me go down Marrickville Road alone after that. Still the same long dark rows of shops. Dirty stuff happens upstairs. Liver brick blockhouse. Pillbox on top. Good observation post. Some workmen were fixing the loading bay doors. Telephone booth had its glass guts splattered. That was the spot where a witness saw her legs dangling off the ledge. Half-cabinet booth. Blue socks. We all went for a gander. Police are looking for a man in his late twenties of average height with a fair complexion and dark hair. He was wearing a military top coat and grey felt hat. Only one million ex-servicemen like that in Sydney. Probably don’t want to find him. That would unlock a lot of badness. Don Cane checked the fuel gauge instinctively. Full tank. Drive all the way to Vung Tau. Wrong way. Go to Binh Long Post. Hospital sign right. Maybe my sons were born there. Never found out the location. He decided to take the vehicle back to his hotel and wait.
15. Bounty Hawk
“The youngster will be alright,” said Bob Capri sternly.
They passed under Memorial Arch at the summit of Science Road. Helen Capri rubbed her forehead firmly.
“I wish we hadn’t told Billy.”
Her husband guided them past the Clock Tower. Seagulls chased a seagull with a ragged food scrap across Botany Lawn. Shrieking birds. Got on Helen’s nerves. She hushed them angrily. Her husband banged a boot on the wet grass. They ran then bounced. Joyce refers to time pieces consistently in Wandering Rocks yet mostly does not take up the opportunity to disclose the actual time to his readers.
“We didn’t have any choice, love.”
“He might have left Sydney before Don found us.”
“Look, we’ve thrashed this all out. We made our decision. It’s not as if we’ve done anything wrong.”
Easy for Bob to say in fact he like a hero strutted his stuff since the decisive sacrifice she thought oh that was a bad thought I should be grateful YES I DID but since then blameless so now why should I still be expiating this is all Catholic logic Protestant hate and vica-versa. Seventeenth Century Taliban. An imageless, soundless, tasteless bunch they were. They proceeded around the declining perimeter of University Place. The Great Hall squirted soprano songlines into figs as dark as Jerusalem mills. Helen shook at her bonds. Ave, verum corpus. She hated that trap. Natum ex Maria Virgine. Her son was worth it but. A heretic’s beauty. The smell of rubber on country tar. William Byrd sidelined. Reformation chartbusters. Long sermons. Karaoke hymn books. The cassette played poptones. Pop is used ironically by Joyce in polysemous terms to mean both father and the act of childbirth. It was inevitable that England would produce The Beatles once they reconnected with SONG. A petri-green lawn slid towards Stack. Random students strayed and retreated onto its sucking pasture. The couple crossed University Avenue and descended towards the campus boundary. Bob slid on the wet track gripping the iron rods of the fence to remain upright. They clambered awkwardly over a sandstone parapet upon which was mounted an askew iron gate. Victoria Park dropped suddenly. Bog assailed them. The path turned to slope. They struck onwards towards the shore of Lake Northam. Fountain upon miniature isle within artificial pond inside glade. Tarnished bronze statue of a boat mounted on Olympic Rings. Helen Capri checked her watch.
“We’d better hurry, Bob. Meter runs out in five minutes.”
They passed the cyclone wire fence of the municipal pool. A woman sopped drops from a gleaming blue bathing suit. Distant Nausicaa at bath. Bathsheba unconscious. Peroxide Girl went back to her laminated table to read the end of The Malady of Death. The man is called YOU in Duras’ novella. YOU is one version of Willy. Am I SHE? No. SHE always pays, not YOU. It was almost time to go back to work. Duras was writing about how to stage this story. SHE started her shift at 2 pm just before the Cup. It was probably going to be a rough night. Candy stopped reading to check her Gearbag. SHE needed to make sure there were a couple of strong BLASTS. “You say you want to try, try it,” Duras wrote. That is exactly the words that Willy used when SHE said, “I want to try heroin.” Edgar Welles left the grandstand. Athene stood shaking the sparkling drops from her torso. Helen Capri pressed her hands around the arm of Bob’s smooth brown coat. They reached City Road. DON’T WALK flashed as they hit bitumen. “Come on,” said Bob hurrying. They rushed in front of queued traffic. Cars commenced moving. White Toyota first. A horn shot too long to be civil. Bob glared. The driver grimaced. A BMW shot past on Parramatta Road. Joyce has Stephen and Bloom cross paths briefly during the Scylla episode. Helen and Bob found refuge under the awning of the Lansdowne Hotel.
“Too much excitement,” gasped Helen smiling. Barry rubbed her wild hair off her gleaming wet forehead. Still the same girl he fell in love with. That was what he always saw. But he had never been able to find her wildness. It had all been snuffed out. A moment of desire born of agony tightened his gut. He knew that he would expend this feeling with Minh later this afternoon.
“Let’s sneak down the back of the pub,” he said. “It’ll save a few minutes.”
They passed the open doors of the public bar. Sour smelling hops. Deep recess. Broken bottle-glass crunched their soles. Chippendale’s dun vales. Blackfriars discoloured steeples emerged slowly behind rundown terraces and squat warehouses. Knox Street fell swiftly away. Bright steel chimneys of Tooth’s Kent Brewery wound sallow smoke. Martin Cunningham is raising a subscription for the fatherless boy, Arthur Dignam. Touch me not. Got no time for charitable causes. He raises the case with Father Conmee. I’ll have some of that. Catholic mammon. Mister Power suggests asking Boyd. Cunningham discounts that option. John Wyse Nolan notes Bloom’s generous donation. Boylan is loitering. They cannot interest Fanning or Jimmy Henry. Insert no puns on the Prime Minister’s name nor on the word ‘bounty’ in this sub-episode. No reference to Bligh or payola. Tom Hallem is this horse. Precocious four-year-old. Favourite on the day. Bart Cummings trained. Looking for his eighth Melbourne Cup win. Harry White in the saddle. Famous for consecutive victories on Think Big. Cup specialist. Won the VRC Derby as a three-year-old over two-five-hundred. Second in the Caulfield Cup. Black. Green hoops. Brown sleeves. White cap. Gelding. Bounty Hawk faded from the scene after its poor showing in the 1984 Cup. It has the low strike rate of any Group One winner in history. Ended up racing in Japan. Retired as a six-year-old. Still alive as at this date.
16. Hussar’s Command (1 pm)
They say a cat always lands on its feet. So does a man wearing cement shoes. Willy-the-Pimp was one of those soft-boiled kids from Subiaco that crossed the Nullabor Plain in a Toyota Hi-Ace in the early ’80s playing guitar in a New Wave band wired with too much Gram Parsons in his junk-saturated bludd. He worked over weak-hearted types with roadhouse songs that he picked up on a prison farm upstate. His B-Grade, B-Boy looks meant that he could turn tricks at the Wall whenever he needed junk money; long after the shellac had cracked on his dishonest face. This is all years before and after Nova, Juarez, Interzone, Tangiers, William Tell, Charles Manson, Joan, bailing out to Baton Rouge over the Mexican border, Ugly Shit Going Down and met him wif pike hoses. Yea, Willy the Pimp was an anorexic log-loader who got into junk when it was a weight loss fad after watching Midnight Express. I have also known bulemics who got into junk in this manner. He was a natural-born user who could stick any old shit up his veins. I’ve seen him bake bluddy morphine residue burped out of sharps from hospital waste bins and shoot it behind his eyeball with a horse needle. I first encountered him when the GAG was holed up in a bunkhouse over Lawson Square huddled along a lumpy sofa in front of a portable monochrome television set squinting at M*A*S*H reruns in the dead winter of ’84. W-the-P just sauntered into the room and dropped a block of Real Pollen on the milk-crate coffee-table and sank into an armchair with a self-satisfied smirk. He’d just ripped off the Assos Parlour. This was an act of monumental folly. They were hot-wired into the drug cartels coming out of Beirut that ran the show all the way down Liverpool Road. They got fat on the sidelines of the gang war between the Croats and the Viets in Cabramatta. Lots of people got popped during that war including tit-for-tat political assassinations. This is all before bikers took over the scene. Absinthe is as close as Joyce gets to hard drugs but back in those days there were no laws against opiates, cocaine or snuff. Doperman was always good for Black Russian. His cousin brought it back from the Bekaa Valley. They also ran a car rebirthing operation in Punchbowl. But opportunism is ever the hallmark of the junkie. It creates reckless commandos out of even the most atrophied hogs. Yes, Willy-the-Pimp always stood aloof from the crowd but he was no voyeur when it came to MUD. He had an insatiable urge for the New Jack that made him notorious as a liar, thief, stool-pigeon and freak. He was a small-time juggler at all the band pubs – Talking Tables, Frenchs, Central Markets, the Southern Cross – where he was reviled for dealing cheap-cut lemonade. Every day he crushed his silk abdomen into stretch denim making labia out of his cleft scrotum. This drove the Pansies crazy. But he had no sex instinct. It was only deployed for Dirt. His rocket-hard, weepless cock got jacked countless times by subs snorting poppers in jerkoff booths down Dawn’s place on Oxford Street. But there was never hard jam. He had no interest in what passed for the Straight Cosmos. Sharing a dirty fix with a Darlinghurst B-boy working the Wall was his idea of intimacy. His clothes were always spotted with blood and crap from fixing in a TV font with a screwdriver then disappearing into the bathroom to try to pass shit through his bluebottle piles. He had a perceptible limp from a stray syringe that popped a gland in his groin. Such an injury is not uncommon in junklore. He was one of those all-star users who got harder and deeper with age until he was tough as a slice of dry driftwood. He was considered invincible by denizens of the Scene. There are soldiers who carry such an aura into battle. On the other hand, I’ve seen hard men kick-start a summer holiday habit and wind up DEAD next autumn from smack toxicity. AIDS, Hepatitis, trap bashings, rip-offs, paybacks, jail. They all have their quarries. He worked a comfortable patch down King Street. “New Girls!” exclaimed the advertisement in the Daily Telegraph. Wanda – big busty Islander girl size 24 natural French and Greek (extra cost). Martini – 3-day forecast: 34-26-32. Candy – 19 real Aussie girl special kisses. Chelsea – Brazilian centrefold. Chanel – tight Thai body. NEW! Bikini Day Tuesday! Yellow with dark blue hoops. Cosplay uniforms. Purple cap. Afternoon delight! 15 per cent discount before 6 pm. Theme rooms. You will be satisfied! Behind 130 King Street. Enter via Soudan Lane. Seven-year-old bay gelding. Wayne Harris in the saddle. This clientele generated a stable supply of funds for his personal use supplemented by occasional munificence from marks. But there’s no such thing as a day job for a hype. Heroin reduces the capacity of your cells to endure co-valencies like time, space, motion except when junk sickness drives you onto the streets scouring for cupcakes. He was always getting trimmed for cutting. Often, his body was a miasma of low bruises. But he was a versatile galloper. Some fat-hearted Bear would always pick him up off the Wall for an all-night strawberry. It was the kind of job that always gets a true addict licking their luxurious lemans in anticipation. He’d blast some Jack in the bathroom, tweak Daddy, wait for coma then clean out the credit cards and fridge. Willy’s preferred mode of transport was government buses. There was always more safety in public places. They inundated Broadway and City Road. He would doze on the back bench with a curdled cream bun staining his crotch. He was slumped against the bar of Cleopatra’s with a free can of Passiona sweating in his palm when the door buzzer broke. The hostess guided a new client across the turtle rug. Buck Mulligan whispered to a friend behind a panama hat.
“Look. Whitlam’s cur.”
Haines twisted as the man passed their booth.
“Yes,” Mulligan added, “that’s him alright.”
Joyce creates a hackneyed juxtaposition of art and comfort in sub-episode sixteen. This is one of the weakest scenes in Ulysses. It may have satisfied Joyce’s need for revenge against the peers of his young adulthood but it remains petty and awkward, especially in the wake of a great scene like when Stephen is forced to confront Dilly. The bon vivants are seated in a restaurant on Dame Street enjoying a copious afternoon tea. Parnell’s brother is examining a chess board in the corner. The one-legged sailor makes another appearance. His song is the soundtrack of conquered Dublin throughout Wandering Rocks. There is an ironic allusion to Nelson Street, near Bloom’s home. Elijah the Throwaway continues its wash down the Liffey. It passes a boat that Stephen saw that morning (the Rosevean). Haines and Mulligan egg each other on during a cruel exchange about Stephen Dedalus. Haines disparages Stephen for his interest in Shakespeare. Mulligan compares him to Aengus, the Gaelic god of poetic inspiration who has a flock of singing birds circling his head. Mulligan offers some mawkish Hellenism (Attic notes, Swinburne, the sea, a quote from his poem “Genesis” in Songs Before Sunrise inter alia). Stephen is deficient against this definition of a POET. They attempt psychiatric analysis. Stephen is represented as a madman who suffers from idee fixe. Mulligan suggests that his obsession is a Catholic fear of hell. Haines contrasts Stephen’s mindset with Celtic culture, which Pokorny theorised had no evidence of hell. This suggests an absence of moral accountability for actions of earth. This aligned with the British stereotype of the Irish population in this era as treacherous, conniving and indolent. Insert on horse name. The Hussars were a triumph of style over matter like Pater or Foucault. Basically, they were just Dragoons dressed up in continental costumes. They were the only troops in the British Army allowed to grow moustaches. French Hussars wore braids. They could cut open a bottle of champagne with a sabre. They sported fur coats over their left shoulders for protection against a sword and carried handbags called sabretaches. As noted earlier in this chapter, Mulligan recounts Stephen’s statement that he will write something in ten years from 1904 in sub-episode sixteen. 1914 is the year that Joyce commenced Ulysses. Joyce uses individual words in Wandering Rocks to create connections and contrasts between characters. Conmee’s “listless lady” becomes “listlessly lolling” Miss Dunne. Both Mrs. McGuinness and the seductress of Sweets of Sin are said to be ‘queenly.’ The six eyes of three boys mechanically observing Conmee mimic the six wheels of Rochford’s machine. Joyce also renames objects or revives archaic names. Carlisle Bridge becomes O’Connell Bridge. Dan Lowry’s music hall is called by its original name, the Empire. Mud Island is the old name for Fairview Park. Dame Gate is gone. The viceroy represents the apogee of this strategy, being given different titles by characters as he proceeds across Dublin. Lastly, Joyce creates incidental figures who share the names of major characters. There is Bloom the dentist and Dudley the curate. Dignam is a family name and also a courtyard. Today, the restaurant where Joyce’s characters were located is long gone. Malvern House I.E. is situated on the first floor of 33 Dame Street. It is an English language school. The brothel on Soudan Lane has also gone. It is used as staff accommodation for a restaurant called Thai Foid. The hostess escorted a gentleman to the bar and opened a Crown Lager. He perched on a stool awkwardly and ran fat fingers through his silver mane. Haines returned to the menu. The Mamasan approached deftly.
“I’d like to see Candy please,” said Haines plainly.
“Full hour only,” replied the hostess.
“How many shots?” asked Haines.
“You can sort it out in the room.”
“One hour it is then.”
Haines rose and followed the hostess behind a thick velvet curtain. He passed from the set. He is not seen again in Ulysses. Mulligan picked up his drink and approached a corner table.
“My–my, if it isn’t King Willy,” he stated extravagantly.
“Professor Mulligan,” shot back the peddler.
“That was absolute shit you sold me last week,” said Mulligan urbanely. “I’ll have to inform your superiors if you try that stunt again.”
“I didn’t cut it. That’s how they sold it to me.”
“Then I’ll take it up with Persian direct.”
“Don’t bother him. He’s a busy man. I’ll make it up to you. Here. Take a blast of quartz.”
He slipped his hand underneath his cap and produced some shiny paper which he slipped into the chest pocket of Mulligan’s coat. Another sidestep. He knew how to placate. You could see it on his smug-ugly dial.
“You really don’t know SHIT,” said Mulligan raising his companion’s chin with his cane.
Willy squirmed sideways.
“I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. Excuse me. I’ve got to relieve myself. Mind my drink, will you?”
Mulligan sneered affirmation. Willy-the-Pimp hobbled into the anterior cubicles. Mulligan admired his tight ass and ordered another Brandy Alexander. He slipped the junkie’s diary out of his shoulder bag and turned the pages hastily seeking amusement:
A junkie’s diary
Since moving to Sydney, I’ve not had A SINGLE script.
If I can get any dope for free, sure. Otherwise, I just cream off the scores.
AGREED – this is his basic strategy
A rare find last week. In a bin outside a suburban pharmacy I struck gold – Morphine, Peth, Benzos.
Here, I don’t know any joy bangs or doctors – well, just one … and no-one’s going to give me free shots.
I was on probation for a couple of years for MANUFACTURING MORPHINE.
NEWS TO ME
I knew I was sunk so I skipped bail with a bowser-slut of my acquaintance. I fixed him with a canula in a motel room in Albany. He DIED in the bath tub even after I’d packed a whole tray of ice cubes up his anus and given him a strong hand job.
Last Friday night, I caught the late bus home with Eva and Bob. I’d taken a good shot before I left Hazel’s as well as purchased one for the morning as I had to rise early to help Candy pack the van to get to Balmain markets. She was selling our records and clothes to pay the phone bill. Anyway, I had tomorrow morning’s shot an hour later, which is often my way. I feel disheartened when I fail to give myself planned treats as if I had let down my own child.
FACT – I bought 2 albums: The Cure’s Seventeen Seconds and The Reels Quasimodo’s Dream.
I found four packs of Rivotril amps in the magic bin yesterday.
It is an absolute delight when one composes the ideal stone. Mine would be: 2 x Pethidine, 1 x Valium, 2 x Morphine, Cocaine or Amphetamine.
MENU / FANTASY
I now recall a shot five years ago. It dropped me to my knees in a wave of divine bliss. It was six Palfium. That forged script cost me three months jail.
A good haul from the chemist today. A month’s supply of powdered Opium in one-ounce jars. It looks like gravy powder. It is best stirred as a large heaped teaspoon in black coffee.
The general ignorance of addicts about their DRUG – this drug that rules their life – disgusts me. They’ve not read a single book about the social history of its use, its pharmacology or the literary works that are concerned with its particular routines: De Quincey, Burroughs, Alex Trocchi, Monkey Grip by Helen Garner, Jabber’s new novella (although it reads like a shot at stardom), Cocteau’s Opium. Baudelaire’s Artificial Paradise was just a translation of De Quincey.
I plan to write something in a few years. It will be part autobiography like Jabber but with a much stronger theoretical base. I will weave all my favourite books and recipes into the text. The ending is tricky. I don’t want to be cured or fried or rich or dead or even infamous. All these things have been done already. I need to find an original angle. Maybe I could get into a position to secure really high-quality synthetic opiates by smuggling – like Palfium, Pethidine, Omnoporn, Proladone, Fentenyl or Dilaudid – and sit on a tropical island writing travel books.
WE SHALL SEE, thought Mulligan
Mulligan laid the pocketbook in the bag. He has an idee fixe, he concluded. But I don’t want to put him down like Joyce did. He writes beautifully at times. He has a sound grasp of his material. Maybe he will write that work someday. It is certainly no throwaway line. Men leave just like that in China. They trade in a perfectly good wife for a shiny new model. It is six years since we came. My son is seven. My daughter is twelve. If I fail at this enterprise, they are still my great love poems. I hope people can see beauty in the language. Not just technical objectives. I got to get home. I got to write it all down before it’s too late.
17. Martian’s Son
I am 10 kilometres aloft in an Air China 767 one hour out of Shanghai PuDong Airport. It’s minus 50 outside. I’ll be back in Sydney in 10 hours. I am a 48-year-old BUSINESSMAN half in love with a Dongbei working girl half my age. I was hustling infrastructure assets out of China on behalf of MNCs until the GFC broke. Then the capital markets splattered. Everything went alien. Dubai crashed. London got patchy. The Australian banks withdrew. Abu Dhabi was still OK. Singapore actually got stronger. But that was just good luck after the IRS enforced disclosure on UBS in Switzerland. Everyone moved their money out of Basel during the stand-off before the Swiss finally cracked. This bucket of cash is stuck in Asia looking to get placed. But you got to know the Lee family to get into Temasek or GIC deals. All the Chinese SOCs got cashed-up with government debt. They hoovered up all the domestic assets and even started doing offshore M&As. They want to transfer capital out of China. I’m helping Chairman Gu get cash into Australia. It’s like an insurance policy. He controls a large public power plant portfolio in Shanxi, a private power plant construction business (as you do), a local supermarket chain and a new five-star hotel in Tai Yuan. His brother is MD of a coking coal trading company. They’re well connected with the Chinese steel industry. He lives in a big estate on the edge of an eighteen-hole golf course with a priceless collection of Xinjiang jade. His brother collects Qing art. He claims that a horse painting in his tea room was done by Lang Shining. I try to tell him that Lang was an Italian missionary but he just laughs and tells me that the Chinese even invented noodles. Also, Marco Polo was a thief. Also, the Brits smuggled black tea out of China disguised as nuns. I can’t pass judgment. I’ve got to run with the money. They can say what they like. I’m just an outsider undergoing ritual humiliation for what they would consider pin money. I have established a Cayman SPV to distribute fees into a Hong Kong bank account in the name of Zhang Nan. I’ve never met the guy. He might as well be an astronaut. They all got sent down to the same village in Gansu after the Cultural Revolution ended. They lived together on the floor of a barn. This must have been like an extra-terrestrial experience for these princelings. That makes for tight Guanxi. I feel like I am moving into uncontested space between artificial nations like Rimbaud running guns in 1891. I flick the pages of a duty-free catalogue looking for a belated gift for my kids. I didn’t have time to visit Jiu Guang department store. Agenbite of inwit. I was too busy with Xiao Fang. They’ve got a toy shop on level six. I used to take my kids up there all the time to pay them off for relocating to China. It was also a good pick-up point. Locum tenens. I’m going home to get divorced. My wife has agreed to the settlement formula. She doesn’t know about Judy, Xiao Fang, Doctor Gu. They symbolise Calypso, Nausicaa, Circe respectively. I’ve got the Stooges first album starting on my Discman. Its dinosaur technology to the Hongcouver kids playing computer games all night on their champagne iPhones. Their profiles glow against the whorling cabin gloom. Bronze carvings in spectacles. Only their fingertip buds move almost imperceptibly. 1969 kicks into action. It’s was a song that surprised the MC-5 as if it came from another planet. I’m sipping Taiwanese High Mountain Tea making out with an underpaid air hostess. We both know the score. I can come to her hotel room in Sydney in return for a good meal and a gift. The stewardesses always want opals. Nightclub girls in Shanghai ask for laptops. My feet are stuck in the maw of cheap pale blue slippers. I shuffle up the aisle to the toilet to release the plant inside my stomach. A hot stream of soft green leaves passes from my penis unravelling like a vine into the gun-barrel grey plastic cistern. Every word selection matters in W. Rocks. See cistern, unravelled et al. The power of the flushing mechanism is always strong enough to induce concerns over suction even in hardened passengers. I could be floating through space like Talos in a few moments. A Chinese woman knocks me into a sleeping passenger on the way back to my seat. Zhong guo ren mei you li mao, I mutter unfairly. Peasants have got no concept of space. By contrast, Shanghainese people move through it almost spiritually. Judy could negotiate a minefield on Nikes like she was bobbing weightless. They’re like different species. I need to get to my Oxen episode. I got to keep my heroes moving through Sydney as night settles plus set up the fatherlode. Odysseus was like a Martian to his son. Telemachus is thus the Martian’s Son. Ithaca = Dublin = Sydney. Odysseus/Telemachus. London/Sydney. Shanghai/Berlin. Border cities. Prospero was cast out of office into exile with the following instructions: go to a remote island; make a water town; give it the appearance of home; emancipate thieves; assign land bountifully; kill the natives by raw violence and stealth; use your daughter as currency; wait for rescue. This trope parallels the British experience in Australia. It was an alien landing. The hostess is distributing steaming towels with plastic tongs. The flannel burns my cheeks momentarily. A shower of hail. Meteors. The seat belt sign flashes. This plane is relatively light. It’s shoulder season. Fifty and a half in the bags. We must be leaving mainland airspace. Somewhere south of Taiwan and east of Hong Kong entering the South China Sea. It was No Man’s Land before 2012. I can see the full moon leering across a moustache of dark clouds. The case of the Man in the Macintosh (MIM) has enlivened the margins of literary scholarship regarding Ulysses since its publication. He can be considered either one of Joyce’s comic boobytraps (riddles and puzzles) or a deeply significant symbol running through the novel … as well as any gradation within these extremes. His form was moderate until a devastating last start win in the Werribee Cup. Joyce himself enjoyed taunting admirers by asking theatrically … “but who was the man in the macintosh?” He’s coming good at the right time. An enigma really. MIM or the “Man in the Brown Macintosh” (MIBM) appears continuously in Ulysses beginning in Chapter II. He is cited in seven of its twelve episodes. He also appears in the Ithaca episode in Chapter III. He is first encountered in Hades, where Bloom is one of twelve mourners at Dignam’s funeral. Just as the gravediggers are about to lower the coffin into the grave, Bloom, by internal monologue, asks: “Now who is that lankylooking galoot over there in the macintosh?” (105). Bloom’s unusually loose, colloquial language is notable in this passage. He sounds more like an acerbic Dubliner than at any other point in the novel. He follows up his initial query with a series of secondary comments. He notes that LLG increases the quantum of mourners to thirteen, which is “Death’s number.” Later in Hades, Joyce exploits MIBM for comic effect around his perennial theme of false naming, errors of nomenclature, variations, mishearings and misspellings. Hynes is compiling a list of mourners for the funeral notice. He asks Bloom if he saw “that fellow in the, fellow was over there in the …” Bloom finished his elliptical query with the word “Macintosh.” Hynes inscribes the name “M’Intosh” on his list, assuming that Bloom was furnishing the man’s name. Hynes is also responsible for mis-transcribing Bloom’s name so that it appears as “Boom” in the notice (see Eumaeus). MIM/MIBM then appears in six consecutive episodes. In the climactic sub-episode 19 of Wandering Rocks, the narrator notes that, “in Lower Mount Street, a pedestrian in a brown macintosh, eating dry bread, passed swiftly and unscathed across the viceroy’s path.” This locates the MIBM in one of the central thoroughfares in Ulysses near the National Library (Scylla), National Maternity Hospital (Oxen), National Museum (Lestrygonians), the National Gallery, Merrion Square and Oscar Wilde’s childhood home. He must have passed University College where Joyce studied and Gerard Manley Hopkins died. The image of dry bread associates MIM with religion, dullness, poverty and birds. In Sirens, Bloom briefly recalls MIBM’s appearance at the funeral and asks, “wonder who was that chap at the grave in the brown mackin,” before becoming distracted by the sudden appearance of a local prostitute of past acquaintance. In Cyclops, new information is added: “the man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead.” Critics have suggested that MIM is therefore Mr. Duffy from the Dubliners story, “A Painful Case.” Duffy is a recluse who falls in love with his landlady, Mrs. Sinico, but perversely rejects her subsequent entreaties. She is struck by a train at Sydney Parade Ground and killed (probably committing suicide). Supporting this theory, Bloom remembers attending her funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery where Hades is set. Duffy was a quasi-characterisation of Joyce’s brother, Stanislaus, projected into middle age. He brings to the surface Joyce’s playful but cruel sense of resentment of his brother. In Nausicaa, Bloom once again remembers “that fellow today at the graveside in the brown macintosh” and claims he has “corns on his kismet.” The critic, Eamon Finn, solved the riddle of this obscure comment. In an 1895 edition of the Weekly Standard, an anecdote competition includes an entry from M. S. Dean titled “Korns on Her Kismet.” It turns on a racist joke regarding mishearing ‘fate’ as ‘feet.’ Dean recounts how a housemaid asks a lady for the meaning of the word ‘kismet’ on the underside of a statue. She is told that it means FATE. Later, she is walking with her boyfriend and complains about corns saying, “‘I have the most tirrible korns on my kismet!’” In Oxen in the Sun, MIM is cited near the end of the episode as language devolves into complex word association littered with sexual and paternal allusions and puns as the revellers leave the pub at closing time. There are eleven drinkers and MIM makes twelve, reprising the Biblical numeracy of Hades. This updates the graveside scene where he made the total thirteen. Initially, the drinker’s express incredulity (‘tunket’) at his appearance amongst them; it now being very late. He is compared to a cartoon tramp (Dusty Rhodes). His possessions are identified as being Jubilee mutton (i.e. ‘not very much’). This expression refers to handouts of cheap meat given to the poor in Dublin at the time of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Later, crowds mocked her by shouting the phrase when she visited Ireland. He has purchased a jar of Bovril. He probably ducked out to get it because he is shoeless (“d’ye ken bare socks”). There are multiple song references (D’ye ken John Peel, The House that Jack Built etc.). The focus shifts to Bloom’s family. An unascribed question is posed: “seedy cuss in the Richmond?” It relates to sperm, a curse and hereditary insanity. Richmond lunatic asylum is a place where Mangan spent time. Bloom suggests that his father, Rudolf Virag, committed suicide due to madness bringing a malediction down on the family. This interpretation is supported by the next sentence, ‘Trumpery insanity,’ which Joyce listed in his notebooks as a pun on TEMPORARY INSANITY. Cunningham stated in Hades that this was the cause listed on the death certificate of Rudolf Bloom. The MIM has also been seen near Richmond in Wandering Rocks, suggesting that he may be the ghost of Bloom’s father (like Hamlet Senior). In this vein, MIM is represented as an abandoned cowboy figure from a Western dime-novel: “Walking M of lonely canyon.” This passage ends with allusions to pyromania: “Blaze on” and “Brigade!” They link to the next reference to MIM in Circe where he is associated with the popular round, “London’s Burning.” He springs through a trap door pointing an accusatory finger at Bloom. Finally, MIBM speaks: “Don’t you believe a word he says,” he says of Bloom (and Joyce). “That man is Leopold M’Intosh, the notorious fireraiser.” This dream image associates Bloom in his own mind with MIM. Pyromaniac as renegade. MIM goes on to say that, “his real name is Higgins.” This is Bloom’s maternal family name. His mother was Ellen Higgins, second daughter of Julius and Fanny Higgins, born Karoly. Significantly, Judaism is matrilineal. Thus, it is Bloom’s REAL name in hereditary terms. The name Higgins is used elsewhere in Ulysses. Francy Higgins is listed amongst Irish heroes in Cyclops. It is also the name of a prostitute, Zoe Higgins. The final reference to MIM occurs in a catechism in the Ithaca episode: “What selfinvolved enigma did Bloom risen, going, gathering multicoloured multiform multitudinous garments, voluntarily apprehending, not comprehend?” This question confirms that Bloom has not comprehended the significance of MIM’s appearances. He is like a primitive man gazing at Haley’s comet. No answer is given to the question. The answer is yet another question: “Who was M’Intosh?” The identity of MIM/MIBM has thus remained a source of conjecture. He is elusive yet potent like sightings of alien space craft. He orbits the outside of Ulysses like Pluto. Is he a star or a dwarf? That is the question. Nabokov exclaimed that MIBM was Joyce himself: “Bloom glimpses his maker!” This suggests a postmodern mindset. Nabokov based his conclusion on the Scylla and Charybdis episode, where Stephen postulated that Shakespeare himself was present in his own works and that his name, William, was continuously used for incidental characters. This is the same co(s)mic impulse as Alfred Hitchcock making cameo appearances in his films. The Franco-German critic, U.U. Bardun, suggests that it is also self-referential given Nabokov’s anagrammatic appearances in his own works (e.g. Vivian Darkbloom, Blavdak Vonomori). This joke was updated by later writers who created characters such as Humbert Ecokov and Humberto Humneckov to indicate the influence of both Nabokov and Umberto Eco. Other critics have suggested that MIM is God (a humanised version of the ‘shout in the street’), Jesus (the thirteenth person at the Last Supper), Joseph, Lazarus, the Wandering Jew, the Jewish messiah, the Devil, Death, Hamlet’s father (Hades being the grave digger episode), an acquaintance of Joyce, the character Wetherup (his name is an imperfect rendition of ‘weather up’ meaning a change in the weather which requires use of a raincoat), the sandwich board “Y” of the HELYS Five, the full HELYS advertisement, the arsonist in “Oxen of the Sun”, James Clarence Mangan (who loved a student that died and wandered from pub to pub after her death with a further piece of evidence being the Joycean pun on “man/gan”), Charles Parnell, a figment of Bloom’s imagination (Hades being an interior monologue), Rudolf Virag (ghost of Bloom’s father who was a regular barometer due to sciatica), Hades, Hermes (messenger god of liminal states) and Theoclymenos (who predicted the suitors’ demise in the Odyssey). In the last instance, MIBM is distinguished from all other characters on this fine day by being prepared for inclemency. Thus, he is the only person who is dressed for – and figuratively predicting – the FUTURE. In summary, MIM/MIBM can be any or all of the above but is probably no single representation. He remains an enigma. The MIBM might be able to answer one of the great extra-textual questions of literary history: WHO SENT A COPY OF TLR TO THE BROWER GIRL? That unsolicited package contained the infamous Nausicaa episode. It kickstarted the whole chain of censorship that cruelled Ulysses for a decade. An eminent critic concluded: “the man in the macintosh is a synecdoche of Ulysses and our frustration in attempting an interpretation of the character is a microcosmic display of the messiness of all textual exegesis.” This conclusion rings true when thinking of Joyce, who was a genuine prankster (for further information on tricksters see sub-episode on Levi-Strauss in C6). Frank Kermode investigated the literary ethics of Joyce’s use of MIM, particularly in the context of Robert Adams’ theory that MIM was just a joke and had with NO REAL MEANING. Kermode notes that readers and critics are instinctively drawn to find meaning in MIM because “within a text no part is less privileged than the other parts” (53); in other words, the reader cannot – or finds it very hard to – differentiate between AUTHENTICITY OF INTENT by an author. He goes on to say that the reader has a “prior expectation of consonance.” Of course, these notions must be tempered by the fact that authors often signpost devices like unreliable narration. Kermode notes that indicators such as ‘typographical variation’ are sometimes used in such instances. Some might argue, for example and however, that the employment by Joyce of the dramatic form in Circe – in what is ostensibly a novel form – is intended to draw the reader’s attention to some license with ‘authenticity of intent’ and textual consonance. Kermode postulates that Joyce intended to “mime the fortuities of real life” through MIM. While generally agreeing with this concept, I would argue that a fracturing has ALREADY been achieved in Ulysses in the incidental references to individuals and use of random events that play no further part in the novel. In fact, the use of MIM/MIB might be considered TOO SUSTAINED to fit into this category. In the end, Kermode steers close to Lyotard’s notion of “presenting the unpresentable” when he quotes Adams’ conclusion that these are “devices by means of which … the work of art may ‘fracture its own surface’” (54). This has been the challenge for all subsequent literature since Joyce. It is a contest from which fiction has withdrawn abjectly in the 100 years since the publication of Ulysses. The alien and planetary imagery in this sub-episode represents the type of stylistic indulgence that Joyce himself would have used, albeit with tight connection to plot.
The name of the racehorse Alibhai is a wilful misspelling. Joyce used this technique throughout Ulysses, especially in Wandering Rocks. It ran second last in the 1984 Melbourne Cup. An alibi is, of course, an excuse or explanation usually pertaining to the time that a crime took place. It means ‘elsewhere’ in Latin. Ulysses is littered with alibis. All the major adult characters dissemble. It all starts with Bloom’s epistolary ruse. Only Stephen Dedalus seems to act with candour (to his detriment). Boylan and Molly both cover their tracks to some extent. But the absence of subterfuge is also startling. Molly makes no attempt to hide Boylan’s visit, leaving the bedroom as it was used. The Alibhai which raced in the Melbourne Cup shared its name with a famous sire. However, it was no blood relation. Thus, it matched the relationship of Billy Capri to his step-father. However, Bob Capri could hardly be termed a generous procreator like the great American stallion. He suffered a very low sperm count, which meant that Billy never had half-siblings until he discovered the identity of his half-brother, Tom Hallem, in Chapter Four. Alibhai was bred by the Aga Khan but broke down in training after it equalled the one-mile record at Santa Anita and never raced. It became famous at stud being ranked in the Top 10 American general sires eleven times before its death in 1960. It had a thirteen-pound heart, more than 60% greater in size than average thoroughbreds. This was slightly smaller than Phar Lap whose cardiac muscle tipped the scale at fourteen pounds. This was the kind of prodigious organ that Tom Hallem could have profited from. Although you could argue that he was poisoned like Phar Lap. Heroin being his arsenic. Alibhai is an uncommon family name, mainly found in Ivory Coast countries and Kenya. Alibhai was only a four-year-old in 1984. It was sired by Noble Bijou (USA) out of Gem Flight. Noble Bijou was one of New Zealand’s great sires and broodmare sires. He is the only horse to lead both categories in the same year (1992–93). An interest in bloodlines is apt for any study of Telemachus. Alibhai was considered an outstanding prospect. It stood on the second line of betting amongst the favourites in 1984. But it never lived up to its potential. This is another correspondence with Tom Hallem. It wore the colours of Ireland. The horses entered the barrier. Alibhai was frisky. Len Dittman didn’t consider this a good sign. Time moved. Space moved marginally. The history of European settlement in Australia is a story of alibis. The question for indigenous groups in 1788 was whether this was an incident or invasion. For them, history was not a concept. People are not fixed in time. Events do not happen NOW. Time is not a horizontal line as in the western cosmos not on a plane not even vertical. It is circular. A sphere. There is only continuum. Shelley would have been an apt poetical adjunct for explaining this concept to a Western audience. Everything goes IN. It stays. All is sacred. Always eternal. Time is really a place full of spirits and stuff. They made everything. Our beings live there. You can still see what they left behind if you examine the remnant landscape. We have always been here. We talk about it all the time. It’s the only subject worthy of discussion. Always with the Dreaming. You can try to calculate it if you like:
Identity x Spiritual Connection
____________________________ = The Dreaming
Our obligations take precedence over ephemera. And what we consider important is different. Like being with your mob. Sometimes we walk off. Sometimes we hang about. It’s not a big deal to us. You’re the drifters. Otherwise why would you have left home. And we are not interested in your junk. We like your trinkets precisely because they’re not consequential. It’s like the Chinese Emperor said to your envoy in 1793. We saw his visit on the regional news channel. We possess all things in prolific abundance, he told you. There is therefore no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our products. This is exactly what we think. You came here out of desperation, I guess. Thirty-three governors followed. A dream of fair-to-middling administration. Passing the sceptre down the line like an Empire Games relay race. Start my version of a vice-regal cavalcade. Substitute a historic sequence for the progress of one. On Bennelong Point, Sir James Rowland AC, KBE, DFC, AFC (1 November 1922 – 27 May 1999) swept crisp thinning ripples off his parched forehead and paced from the Yellowblock colonnade past the fountain to graze on Middle Harbour. A thousand ships of the line might manoeuvre here with ease. He had served with the 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit operating bombers out of Britain. Few have the brand of courage to match this honest son of Noble Bijou. Lancasters’ looping and blending for take-off. Upparise from Sydney Cove stood the first Governor’s residence. Georgian plain. Two levels. Six rooms. Advance on a flat-pack tent. Sandstone base. Governor Phillip strode towards his garden. Weevils in the seed stock. Sandy soils. Blunted spades and picks. Failed crops. Wheat, barley and maize. Too many sensitive plants now wrecks. Lost livestock. Send out a ship to Calcutta. More salt meat months. It was cured four years ago in England. Pea stock expended. Rations reduced to 1,500 calories per day. Enervated labour. Can’t even manage to catch fish like the natives. Mouthful of mussels’ spit berley. Cunning bream gone sideways. Arabanoo. Our first hostage. Never seen a staircase. Cable versus Sinclair. First civil case. Inscribed their location on the writ as ‘new settlers of this place.’ Crafty tactics. Chalk message to Adolf on an 8,000 pound bomb. “CONVICTS BEAT SEA CAPTAIN.” A legal precedent. Laws of England not applied in Collins’ judgement. Pay them for finery stolen from their crate. £15 pounds damages. Celebrity felons. Subscription raised by gentlemen and ladies. Soon I will depart for home. My gubernatorial dividend? Four years drift. Scales still in balance. Plumb bob motion. What shall I render unto the Lord for all his beens? A brick kiln but no carpenters. Norfolk Island timber but no port. Reverend Johnson’s wheat harvest on the Cooks River flats and disappearing cattle. Abolition of slavery. One quarter of the Second Fleet dead. How do the British cope with misery? Make statistics. Attrition rate: 35 per cent. Total lost: 9,000 aircraft. Bomb load: 1 million Imperial tons. Sick landed: 486. Chained together up to their guts in brine for months. POWs put in motion by the Germans at the start of 1945. The living were left attached to the slumped and sunken dead. I saw living skeletons, recalled Governor Rowland, on the road to Hitler’s lair. Survivors of Dachau. Sick sweet smell of death. We were going to become hostages. Bring them up on deck, said Johnson. The open air kills them faster. Curdling cold July. Cleanest southern light slicing their frames. Crawling through the scrub to shudder-to-death in four-man canvas tents. Man of Ten Thousand Lice. Come and see this strange exhibit! Corpses tossed overboard bobbing in coves for months. What must the natives make of us? Intransigence of Ross. I pissed him off to Norfolk Island. But for all the setbacks, the Union Jack still flutters down Tarra. Sydney is no longer just a gaol. Final Report to the Home Secretary. (1) A town plan has been laid. (2) Consolidation of Order. (3) Lines mark out streets three chains wide. My residence lies on the east flank. The hospital is situated to the west a safe distance from transmission. We have re-pitched the Marines’ irregular tent placement. (4) Grants of land on regulation blocks. I provided Lieutenant Macarthur with one hundred acres of farmland at Rose Hill with free convict labour. His wife is a civilising influence on the colony. Her practice of astonomy with Dawes enlivens our scientific forums. Tinkling on Worgan’s piano that new Nelson song. A boy dawdled with a pound of sausages observing his own image in a milliner’s pane. Man in a cracked top hat. Grose’s paymaster. I don’t want to go home where everything is pent and cryptic, thought Master Dignam in mourning. Eye-catching fourth to Affinity in the Caulfield Cup. Throwaway for a boxing match. Blazes Boylan grips a red rose in his teeth while Bob Doran sings. Wileemarin’s spear hurled with a whoop. It pierced the Governor’s shoulder. Protruding ten feet out my back. Flyweight title. Dash to the boats. Spear kept jamming in the ground repeatedly as I retreated. Apply lime made of oyster shells. Dead face of my father in a pine coffin. Dai Bread bawling for his boots so he could go out and get drunker. BE A GOOD SON. The New South Wales Police motorcycle escort gathered in the driveway. Radio played. Police have halted random breath testing until they are issued with plastic gloves due to the fear that HIV could be transmitted via saliva. Fear of the plague. Spit in the Liffey. Tank Stream veiled. Vein under asphalt. Shitgerms. Concrete needles. In Ulysses, the vice-regal cavalcade crosses town at the end of Wandering Rocks rebooting all the characters introduced over the course of the novel to date. Penelope’s weft. It crosses history and lives at escape velocity. Hunter assumed command after a period of near-anarchy when the NSW Marine Corps ill-used the colony for profit from the trade and sale of rum. He sponsored farms on the rich alluvial flats of the Hawkesbury River. Built a road to Bathurst. Grew melon, citrus and grapes. Discovered that Tasmania was an island. Established Newcastle. It was dubbed HELLHOLE. INSERT WIKIPEDIA ENTRY. It was a place where the most dangerous convicts were sent to dig in the coal mines. The locals are a straight, thin but well-made people, he wrote. Ninety-yard lance stroke gored Patagarang. Kangaroo meat is not as good as the mutton from Leadenhall Market. Engage the natives by stealth. This is no Chesapeake raid. Go quietly. My hat is a removable body part, they think. Green bough of friendship. Spaniards serving chocolate to our ladies. Malaspina’s report noted that the colony’s harshness reflected the national pride of the British. Minyi taperun kamarigal? Ganin. Bennelong caught between two temples. Petitioning for new stockings. His wife, Goroobarrooboollo, has gone off with Caruey, also known as Black Caesar. Try to lure Molly back with a gypsy bonnet. They have been plundering remote farms. Organise reprisals. White court always delivers white acquittals. Black face beneath a white wheel. Buried country. We stopped the native burn-offs which so threatened our farms. Trains of gunpowder could scarcely have been more rapid. King published the first newspaper. The emancipist, Ann Ilett, became his common law wife. They had two sons named Norfolk and Sydney. A practical man with a family back in England. A pedagogue. He sponsored Ticket of Leave settlers. A settlement was made at Coal River. It was renamed after the famous coal port, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Today, it is the world’s largest coal export port. Its suburb names such as Jesmond, Hexham, Wickham, Wallsend and Gateshead betray that flawed connection to the Motherland (see C4 paper). Note complementary distance from the main town of Morpeth, NSW and Morpeth, Northumberland. Through my glass from the short window upstairs at the Governor’s residence, I can see Morgan hanging off the gibbet in chains on Pinchgut Island. Castle Hill Rebellion. A second Vinegar Hill. Irish Defenders seeking to start a New Republic. Two thousand strong they came amarching. Evacuate Parramatta. Parley. Johnson cut Cunningham down without warning and the whole thing floundered. Normal rules don’t apply with bandits. Nine hangings were deemed sufficient. The first hundred lashes exposed the lad’s spine so they moved onto his buttocks. When that was jelly, they went down his legs. I started Van Diemen’s Land for these miscreants as well as a new prison camp on Coal River. Bligh went to New South Wales with a commission to break the rum trade. Johnson’s coup. Four hundred soldiers marched on this House. Cartoon slander. Go down the staircase at knife point. I am perfectly safe with Mister Minchin. Imprisoned on the Porpoise in Hobart. Lancaster down. Trapped like Odysseus on Aeaea. He found the world without as actual; what was in his world within as possible. Beginning of the end for the Sydney Marines. Macquarie was a foot soldier from India who knew all about civil administration. Not a sailor lubbed on land. His wife had the ballroom adorned with variegated lamps and bound the columns with greenery. A Temple to Hymen decorated the gardens. It was illumined at night. Homage to Graham the Hygienist. Shrine in the Adelphi, Pall Mall. The celestial suite was used by Lady Hamilton to woo Admiral Nelson. Fifty quid per night. Bed twelve-foot-long by nine-foot girth secured to the floor like Odysseus’ olive post. Apply some Nervous Aetherial Balsam to the Admiral’s afflictions. Shot of Electrical aether. Enlivens the stump. Lisurgic chambers. Proust’s forehead pressed against the pinhole aperture. Glass columns, angled mirrors, peepholes, erotic art, flashing electric lights, organ music, a whipping post, nail-barbed Cats and drafts of eastern incense all added to the dissolute atmosphere designed to arouse its inmates. Earth-bathing. Buried up to your neck like Beckett’s Win. Almonds, apricots, pear and apple trees in blossom. Armadale dairies furnished milk. Lady Macquarie’s Chair a scrape in stone. We danced to Pandean pipes and flutes on the thirtieth anniversary of English settlement. Dionysus under Aldebaran. No moon that night. Captain Piper’s domed ballroom in the shape of St Andrew’s cross. Dance quadrilles. Fly patterns. Native shrubs give grateful perfume. Smell of Elsan. White parachute flares lit the target. A fourteen-mile road straight to Parramatta was built. Into our bomb run. Wentworth’s walks and journals. Our O’Bede. Insert data analysis. The precipitous range surrounding the colony at the western perimeter was crossed at last. I appointed emancipists like Greenway, Redfern and Thompson to government positions. Invited transported men to tea. Start a new Assembly. First bank. Punctured fuselage. Holey dollar. Rich lands were discovered by Oxley up the coast near Moreton Bay. Ground plan of Sydney prepared. All traffic shall pass to the left. First use of the term AUSTRALIA. Indigenous school. First stolen children. Punitive expeditions as required. Give back land scrapings. Macquarie was finally brought down by the Bent brothers and Bigge. He was replaced by Wellington’s protégé. A keen astronomer. Stars above flak tracers. Sights over Hanau. Una’s prophecy. Shift to meridian 129. Black shape sudden touch gyrating down. Tail gone. Control arm numb. Altimeter unravelling. Get them out the hatch. Civil lacks. No time for my own body. Dinghy hatch snaps. Wind wrenched me out. Treetops closing fast. Branches tear my chute. An enlisted man’s tone of discipline. Miscalculation of Thompson and Sudds. Banned dramas. Composition of Quintus Servinton. Darling sought to ensure the education of under-age prisoners. A new Governor’s House was approved. A cold northern spring assailed Rowland. Forty-five centimetres of snow. Nazi dogs howling. Show Bush nous. Go down to a stream to kill my scent. It was designed by Edward Blore, Royal Architect in the Gothic Revival style. A full set of 97 drawings, plans and specifications was completed by late 1834. In the end I ran out of puff. Walked through Frankfurt trying to get arrested. Military juries replaced. Cell 31. Black bread and soup. Limits on punishment. Religious equality. Stalag 13D. Jerkings of self-governance. Local hate. Bomber crews strung up on wires. Mcleay and Riddell. Terra Nullius. Indigenous Australians cannot sell or assign land. The siting of the new Governor’s House on Bennelong Point was determined by the Colonial Engineer, Captain George Barney, and the Colonial Architect, Mortimer Lewis. Construction began in September 1836. Pugin infused luminosity of Sydney sandstone. The first public statue in Australia was erected in honour of Governor Richard Bourke. It still stands outside the Mitchell Library. Look left as you gaze out the limousine window. Tramp to Bavaria under SS guard. Bormann’s redoubt. Gipps sent Hobson to New Zealand. End of transportation. The ground floor was completed in 1843 for a ball celebrating Queen Victoria’s twenty-fourth birthday. But it was 1845 before Gipps could take up residence. Rowland turned from sea-gaze guilt-lines to the Armadale greens that framed our vivid caprock three miles deep and blanched by one hundred and forty years of sunglaze. More land reform was attempted. Three-year drought. The final cost was £46,000. There was no fanfare when we got back to Woolloomooloo. Sydney was full of Yank worship. Down the Double Bay Rissole they weren’t interested in the likes of us in 1946. Appeaser by nature. Brother of the Beagle’s captain. First Governor-General. Still living out Fromelles. First overseas branch of the Royal Mint was established in Sydney. FitzRoy invited Wentworth’s wife, an ex-convict, to the Governor’s Ball. It created a local furore. She declined the card gracefully. Pacific boys got all the promotions back home. I became a test pilot like Icarus. Wife killed in a coach accident. Hosing tail gunner parts out the back of a Lancaster hull. Crimean War. Considered one of the cruellest and most brutal wars of modern times. Turn Pinchgut into a fort. Last Martello Tower. Walls ten feet thick. Joyce’s Sandymount. Go up get up you fearful Jesuit. Crawl down the back into your glass coffin. Up top you get a sight line right down the harbour. Four turrets. Twenty cannons strong. Ten Browning’s. Four in the rear for Tail End Charlie and two each in the rest. They gave us a sense of false comfort rather than any illusion of prowess. Glad to get out of that rat trap. The new Government House in Hobart will not be completed until 1857. Bi-cameral parliament formed. Grey’s flip-flops. Still sending convicts as late as 1852. Join Pathfinders. Rowland turned from Fort Denison and walked back towards his seat. Regal sun slid west through the fine verticals of Sydney’s gunmetal grey coathanger. The eastern terrace and fountain were installed in 1861 along with new servant’s quarters. It was almost time to go down to the Hyde Park War Memorial. One hundred and twenty thousand stars. Swamp the Council with Tuppenny Lords. Fifteen thousand signatures to commute John Bow’s death sentence. Bronze frieze. Bushrangers in teal. Different rail gauges. Paternalism and dissent always run parallel in our history. Convict and land thief. What diff? Almost figureheads by Lord Belmore’s time. Mad Bridget O’Farrell shooting Prince Alfred in the back. Hit him in the cross-braces. Indian rubber. Strides at his ankles. Hoff’s Sacrifice. Airman broken over a cart. Ruined the royal picnic. Assassination of Cavendish and Burke in the Eumaeus episode. Phoenix Park murders. Clontarf Beach regicide. Vial’s gold watch. Hang the bog-jumper quick smart. Keep those pot-lickers in place. Gestapo held me in solitary confinement. They said they were going to put me in front of a firing squad. Transferred me to the care of the Luftwaffe. Stalag Seven. Robinson ticking off boxes on his calling card of colonial appointments. Head carved in the GPO along with all those other figments of our magi/nations. March of Empire east. Float rather. Annex Fiji. The redundancy of the position in New South Wales politics was counterbalanced by a new interest in home renovation. In 1872, the Lieutenant-Governor directed the Colonial Architect to construct a porte cochère at the entrance to the Governor’s House. Goldrush boom in civic architecture. 1879 World’s Fair. Beat Melbourne to the punch. Two hundred-thousand-pound glass folly. Metonymy of the Crystal Palace. Symbol of Australia’s simulacrum of a true machine. First elevator in the colony. Our equivalent of stairs. Come one and all to see the largest pumpkin in the Southern Hemisphere. English call it pig food. The Governor had the State rooms redecorated in the fashionable style of the Aesthetic Movement. Gingko leaves and feathers lining a Cadbury chocolate box. Jessica holding a peacock kitten. Asian motifs ironic in Whitening Australia. Slave daubings. Big red buck mounted in the Ballroom. Bulletin heyday. Elephant’s head with coronet and three Fleur-de-lys on the regimental badge. Lady Carrington’s silver horse. District Grand Master. United the lodges. The Carrington family had humble origins in trade. Jubilee banquet for a thousand poor boys. He encouraged Parkes. The vice-regal couple was renowned for their polite and unaffected charm. At Home in Government House displayed a temper democratic. Old ball and cartridge blunders. Medals struck for the occasion. Controversial speeches promoting Australian nationalism back in London. Contrast with Lord Jersey. He brought bathtubs and a large supply of drinking water. Truncated term. Same as Brand and Beauchamp. Harmless little job. Your duties are mostly of a social character. Chalet constructed at the western terrace. Yellowblock extension to the Billiard Room. Duff was the first Governor to die in office. Liver full of pus. Added a new kitchen and scullery. Summoned to Brackley Towers. Belloc’s Lord Lundy. High Church St James. Our convict birth mask. Too freely moved to tears. “I thought men like that shot themselves,” the King said. They installed an electric lighting system during his governorship. Government House was occupied by the Governor-General of Australia for the first 14 years after Federation. There was Hopetoun, Tennyson, Northcote, Dudley and Denman in order. Flamboyant young aristocrats. Political sumps. Disappointed son of the Poet Laureate named HALLAM. He bore a dead man’s label. Twisting the Telemachus rope. Chamberlain’s Spy. Squandered our Dreadnought money on a steam-boat folly like Ci Xi and her marble barge. Genial Davidson handled the political intrigues of Dooley and Fuller with aplomb. Rawson’s nephew. Forty years a sailor. Deflected Jack Lang’s effort to abolish the Council without referendum. Witnessed the first great Labor social programs. Scullin’s poisoned cup. Desperate manoeuvres. A ball was held for Rear-Admiral Kayser and the visiting Dutch Squadron. One of the most brilliant events seen in recent years. It lit up the gardens with bright green and soft pink lights. Bond default. People sleeping in sandstone crevices in the Domain. Lady Game’s gown of oyster white satin with a tightly moulded bodice. Lang trying to swamp the swamp. Harbour Bridge opening. New Guard outrage. To cut a ribbon. Game’s laconic slant. I was sad really at Lang’s dismissal, he wrote. We always got on man to man. Nice portrait wearing all my decorations. Ironic smile on my face. Followed by short timers. Anderson died of a brain haemorrhage in this House. Shipped his corpse home. Then the long periods in office of Wakehurst, Northcott, Woodward and Cutler. Soldiers all. First Australian born governor. Only took 158 years. Knocked in the chest at ANZAC Cove. Lay on a pile of dead bodies all day. Head of the BCOF in Japan. First man to be televised in Australia. Rowland checked his wrist watch. Lost his leg at Damour. He strode through the drawing room towards the entrance. Wall of soft lancet windows. Jigsaw Gothic. Imperial stage. White strangers. Ossian Fingal. High church idyll. Baron’s turrets. Governor Rowland adjusted his garb. White with orange sash, green hooped sleeves and orange cap. Davitt and Parnell. Australians have never liked leaders. All Jubilee-mutton robes and chattels. Elsan contents sloshing down the fuselage. Take a beer bottle each flight. Wran likes military men. They know how to take orders, he says. Kerr was an apostate. Evatt’s fag. Go down Macquarie Street towards the Hyde Park canopy. We have become the rulers of all cleared land up to the head of the Spring and from Brickfield Hill to the mill and all the entirety of waterfront from the battery of Point Maskelyne down to Hogan’s farm. Filthy memorial pool full of leaves, face down crushed soft drink cans and bloody food wrappers. Need my breathing apparatus. Discarded syringe casing. French poplars. Fertilising their soil with our larrikin imprint. Pink granite flesh. Concrete form. Bushranger sigil. Get to the top of Somme ridge. Walk up the stairs on the north side holding my own umbrella. The First Division wore wide brim hats. Forget the useless tin ones. Zigzag trenches. Over we go. Art deco setbacks and buttresses. Ziggurat roof. Step pyramids. A star for each volunteer from New South Wales. A few have fallen off, says the building manager smiling. I keep them in my desk drawer. One day we’ll re-attach them. But you’ve got to build scaffolds to climb aloft. First flight over Dusseldorf. Celestial spread above. Flak butter. Dead boy crucified on a sword. Slimy bronze. Suspended on a caryatid. Unburied. Review an embossed invitation to the Re-dedication of the ANZAC Memorial. Memorise the text of two commemorative plaques which I will unveil on November 30. View Hoff’s friezes. Bas relief upon west wall. A death procession. It starts with a bicycle then an old bi-plane. I was trained in one myself. Then soldiers digging bayoneting loading shells shelling stretchers tanks wounded dying. The governor’s detail wound back along Elizabeth Street. The TAB was purring with one day punters. Leer elbowed his way to the bench. Faded flyer for the Fenech bout at Marrickville RSL. That Maltese kid can really fight. Seventh round knockdown. He filled in a betting slip where he stood. Four awkward blue biro crosses down the page. Fifty buck Trifecta. Track: Melb. Race: Five. Number: seventeen. Track: Melb. Race: Five. Number: six. Track: Melb. Race: Five. Number: fifteen. Track: Melb. Race: Five. Number: seven. Four-year-old chestnut. Carting fifty-four. Insert analysis of BROWN as the colour of MIBM’s significant garment. Note it may just be the common colour of raincoats in the United Kingdom during that epoch. In “The Dead,” Joyce deals extensively with what he terms the “hated brown Irish paralysis.” Brown and yellow are the colours symbolic of paralysis (footnote discussion on gold/yellow in Pater/Wilde). A text search reveals that Joyce’s use of brown is largely conventional in Ulysses. Corpses are put into brown grave clothes. Eyes and hair are brown. Objects like sugar, tea, gravy, bread, bricks, turf, hats, boots, socks and paper are all brown with no adjectives. Workers’ tanned skin and that of some native peoples is brown. A seal’s head is sleek and brown. Rotting rosebuds also. Brown[e] is a common name. Popular derivations of the word ‘brown’ used for poetic affect are generally absent in Joyce’s work. Words such as hazel, russet, fawn, sepia, umber, caramel and chocolate are hardly employed. In general, Joyce is not the type of author to pander to niceties of description. It should be noted, however, that brown is created by combining green and orange. These were the colours of conflict in terms of Irish nationalism. Leer shook his head. Counter queue longer than the Congo into Hell. Clerk behind the grill shifted his weight on bowed kneecaps. INSERT RACE CALL. It should correspond to the vice-regal cavalcade. The final sub-episode follows Billy Capri as he walks along King Street during the race. This is an emblem of his basic alienation/disaffection from local culture. It also locates him beyond Joyce’s narrative structure. Thus, it represents the first step on the road to Gibraltar. Johnny Tapp in a holding pattern of language while the horses struggle at the barrier. All ten runners were fronted one and a half pounds of heroin every Saturday at the Star Hotel. Gravy’s crawl proceeded to the White Horse Surry Hills, Covent Garden Haymarket and finally the Lord Wolseley Ultimo, where he drove a knife into Mal Spence’s neck. Farquhar, by contrast, went to the Lord Wolseley first then continued onto the Covent Garden, where he was reunited with Gravy briefly, before a Chinese dinner at the Old Tai Yuan with RR and some ALP mates then a short taxi ride to the Australian Youth hotel in Glebe for a cleansing ale. Suddenly, the gates opened. Finally, the race caller was able to announce: “They’re racing in the 1984 Melbourne Cup.”
19. Legana (2.15–2.50 pm)
Billy Capri left John Woolley Building, struck eastwards and checked his watch. He had plenty of time to reach the Shakespeare Hotel before the race. He turned south for a brief sharp descent to Manning Road then tacked west, keeping the Old Teacher’s College to port. Ahead lay No.2 Oval. He negotiated the arc of Western Avenue curling around University Oval and Bosch Lecture Theatre. Debris from Monday’s tempest littered the pavement. Thin branches flexed under his footfalls. Large fig leaves spotted with bat droppings collected in piles over stormwater grates, creating wide deep pools. A film of motor oil made brilliant yellow and blue rings which transformed themselves constantly to his gaze. His heavy boots splashed through a succession of puddles that had gathered in rifts in square cement slabs. A strong gust suddenly released sprays of water from reeling trees. Capri shivered. He pulled his brown coat collar around his neck and lowered his head. Press on regardless of placing. The geography of the Telemachy to Pylos and Sparta is clear. There is no need for a map to explain it to the reader. Ithaca is usually identified with the island called Thiaki although some scholars argue that it is Leucas and others identify it as Cephalonia, especially the area near Paliki Peninsula. Regardless of exact location, these places are all relatively close to each other in the Ionian Sea. Telemachus travels down the west coast of the Peloponnese to Pylos. This is a journey of about 300 km. After visiting Nestor, he travels overland to Sparta. This is a further 100 km or about two days on foot. He returns along the same path only deviating to avoid the ambush set by the suitors. It is a self-contained journey, which is symbolic of Telemachus’ own trajectory in life. It is the final journey in Classical literature and thus Telemachus could be seen in symbolic terms as running in last place like Legana. The horse Legana could also be seen as a part-pun on the character ANA LAFEI although it is sheer coincidence. I could insert various references to her legs and indeed this has been done over the course of the first five chapters. She drives with pedals, walks, washes her body, and gets pressed over a bench and raped. But this is either chance or subconscious coding. In contrast to Telemachus, scholars are divided on whether the places visited by Odysseus over the eighteen years between his departure from Ismaros and his return to Ithaca are real. Many maps have been produced charting his voyage during the Odyssey. The passage is recounted retrospectively by Odysseus himself in the Apologoi. This is the term given to the tale he tells Alcinous and the Phaeacians from Books IX to XII. Ioannis Kakridis argues that it is illogical to try to locate any of these places on a map. His reasoning is simple: that to believe in a factual basis for the geography of the Odyssey would also mean countenancing the existence of gods, giants and monsters et cetera. See Chapter Four for further analysis of this argument. However, Odysseus’ route is not relevant to this work, which examines the POV of Telemachus using those chapters in Ulysses which involve Stephen Dedalus. Billy’s corkscrew hairstyle bobbed and waved. His foot split a deep hole. A spray of grit was released into still water. Insert symbolism. To shake the stagnant pond and bring sediment gathered on its floor into play, clouding the way but forcing change nonetheless, surely that was better than certitudes, the entropy of uninquiring minds, and the objective of this fictional expose of what Tolstoy would call an unhappy family. He was exhausted. Only the seismic momentum of his farewell address and the jist of genetic aftershock sustained him. He climbed an alley. Joyce makes everyone intersect in Wandering Rocks. He suffers from a kind of Titanic afflatus. By contrast, you should make them all splatter like they got blown beyond Gibraltar. Billy reached the summit of Little Queen Street and turned into City Road. A channel of peak hour traffic hemmed him against its Victorian shopfronts. Tormina. A hobo, pushing ahead hastily on aluminium crutches, collided with him. Sweet smell of Toohey’s Old gusht forth. Christ-like countenance. Brown trousers. Safety-pinned to the groin level. He swore loudly. Gimme two bucks, he demanded. William Capri hastened ahead his wallet intact. Joyce would run a whole lot of internal associations from this exchange. But I am in too much of a hurry. Billy turned into Maurice’s Lebanese take-away. The proprietor stood at his counter erect and inscrutable. He smiled blandly slowly withdrawing his eyes into brown sockets even as his moustache spread broad and rich across stubbled Persian cheeks. Jars of Pablo instant coffee lined the shelves. Fresh falafels bubbling in a tub. Wet lettuce crisp and clean behind invisible glass. Maurice crushed three hot falafels into a sheet of unleavened bread. They broke open steaming. He washed fluid hummus upon. Tong handles sprinkled rough tabouli. He gripped the sandwich firmly and rolled it inside a paper tourniquet then slid it into a shiny bag. The cash register rang. Billy took his meal from the top of the tall counter and left. He tore the wrapper in soggy flags as we walked. Desperate to be filled not isolated. He bit hard and opened his mouth to suck cool air. His tongue burned. Swallow ASAP. He ripped away more ribbons. The release of pressure made the wrapping splay and drool. He licked at watery beige sauce. Horse at water trough. Can’t make it drink. You don’t miss water until the well runs dry. In the beginning I really loved you. A cover version is a mask for real emotions. A translator is always an author’s slut. Feint at a new style. Another dead end. Go back to epic rock anthems. Dodge at hiphop. Rapping without the DOUBLE-U. Willy and Tom make one entity. Jars of lollies congealed in tall jars in the dirty striptease window of Alex Cordobes pizza parlour. An emaciated seamstress proppt in the doorway of her sparse workshop chewing on the nub of a wet cigarette butt. Capri wiped sauce from the corner of his mouth. Square album covers hung in plastic bags at Recycled Records: a Japanese import of Music from Big Pink; new Minutemen double album; Fall LP. Book of Ray Pettibon drawings. Husker Du single of Eight Miles High. Leaflets for the next Feedtime gig at Frenchs held down by half a brick. All Proceeds to Prisoners Action Group. Teeth sunk through underboiled pulses. Capri chewed cud. Question posed by Mildling. Trojan Horse but containing what cargo? And how then the marginalised of Minor? Chidley. A body beyond. I wrote an essay on him which was rejected by Southerly. “HEAD, THOREAU & ABDOMEN” it was called. Pun on anatomy of the bee. Thoreau’s favoured metaphor for man. The HEAD of the title signifies Chidley’s obsession with physiognomy: the convergence of brows, injured eyes, corrugated foreheads, bulbous Bardolphian noses, flushed cheeks, sly, knowing smiles and clumsy hands all caused by the shocks of coition and self abuse (47). Capri stopped at the traffic lights opposite the Marlborough Hotel and observed his reflection in the mirrors of Mapp’s Glass. Anomalous emanations of hair on a hatcheted cranium. Deep, careless gougings in the scalp moating a funnel of stiff locks as if a pipe had been mounted in the brim of his skull. THOREAU represents an epistemology comprised solely of literary sources. The first prosenchymatic thinker. Language which shifts in small units, compartmentalised by punctuation, constantly qualified or extrapolated, centripetal with scientific detail, powered by alliteration. Tis the orderly progression of theory. Ba(r/w)d Capri’s stomach tightened. Too fast he ett. Unchewed stuff. Yet consumed he still. Peccant sweat. Spinal flaccidity. He felt perspiration gathering in the back of his shirt. These are clear metaphors for his disgust with human functions and diet. Capri discarded saturated paper to get at the fag-end of his meal. ABDOMEN. Sunk in his mouth. Bitten bitter biter bit. All these variations were relevant to his mind. Little Hans and Dora. Seventeenth century term for trickster. Capri held at arm’s length his load. Sauce dripped on the footpath. AUTO FELLATIO. The Mouth is the insertion orifice. Capri unravelled sodden paper disclosing the soggy butt of his repast. He cradled it by the stamen. A Dandy with a tulip. Sunset felt its way into the tranche of light between trenchant clouds and shop awnings. Bronze by gold. Colour of a Turner painting. Joyce’s style in Wandering Rocks is largely conventional reflecting the descriptive needs of his diverse subject matter. He returns to Modernist high style at the start of Sirens. Billy presst content out of the sodden carapace and popped it inna. Sunk. These images of consumption represent a direct symbolic adjustment against Joyce. Chidley was an obscure apostle of suffragette feminism before a template formed. Joyce constructed Ulysses against strict categories as detailed in the Linati schema. This approach either needs to be exploded or intensified in postmodern texts until it achieves farcical intricacy. Like D’Workin, Chidley believed that sexual penetration was an attack by patriarchy on women. Instead, he promoted male passivity in coitus using what he termed ‘vulvic suction’ based on observation of ducks. Meat was associated by Chidley with lapses into masturbation and drunkenness. Contra was fruit. It echoed Thoreau’s Elysian Life which spurned cooked food for fresh fruit ripened by sunlight. He also rejected clothing and shelter. A “balanced, normal and cool” brain became the foil to facial convergence. Thence you would be able to FLOAT. These days he would write a lifestyle manual. Capri compacted the pulp and slammed it into a brimming municipal garbage bin. It bounced into the gutter. He cleaned his palms on the arse of his trousers leaving oily discharge. A severed cord. Mothers, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, wives. Penelope and Circe act in all these roles in Classical literature. The Circe episode re-examines much of the material in Wandering Rocks as the hallucinations and nightmares of Stephen and Bloom. It also adds material that was not brought into sharp focus during Wandering Rocks. In the next chapter, this text engages with Joyce’s famous Oxen of the Sun episode, which charts the stylistic evolution of English Literature in the context of content about childbirth. Plot progress is minimal:
— Billy walks past the Marlborough Hotel during race call (symbolism noted above).
— He enters the Shakespeare Hotel after the running of the Cup.
— He wanders amongst the crowd finding no traction (displaced amongst supposed peers).
— Hallem enters pub by a different door (symbol).
— We meet Leer (false father figure).
— Exit Billy (decisive break between brothers).
— Bloom and Stephen are united at Holles Street Hospital for the final drive to closure (Tom Hallem and Leer mimic then break this bond).