Find Again, And Awake

The text called Work In Progress by its creator, James Joyce, is a closed reading, a flat circle, a two-page jot which contains between its two pages the entire oral history of the Irish Nancy-boy, the Irish eugenics colony, the Irish vermin squeaking at each other from their speak-easies between the lines, the Irish church as raped and murdered by the Roman Church, the boy sent to Clongowes and poked and prodded and examined, and whose fate was determined even before he properly learned how to read, let alone become the greatest writer of the twentieth century, James Joyce, who will only become the greatest writer of all time when the crimes he reveals in the final section are finally put to account and the sins of the Society of Jesus, called the Jesuit Order, are squared with the holiness of the Jesuit order, for teaching James Joyce how to analyze a text, for teaching James Joyce how to dismember a text, and then put it back together, for teaching James Joyce how to think like Thomas Aquinas, and write like Nora Barnacle’s scribe, to endow Dublin, the port of the Danes, the Second City of the British Isles, a town colonized and then turned into just another port for the portly British Empire, he endowed his town of Dublin with all the newfound glory of the lost city of Troy. But first, he had to put space between himself and his hometown, because unlike Homer, he could not look back in time to a golden age. Like many Catholics, ┬áJames Joyce’s golden age was yet to come, until the day he died, and it is still yet to come, but his codex remains.

Take out Finnegans Wake. Turn to page 556 and just start reading it out loud. Don’t think it is a dense text, it is an open format SPOKEN WORD, and it is a testimony of the nancy-boy’s progress, the nancy-boy’s examination and fitness regimen, the function of the nancy-boy in the British program of eugenics for the Irish island, namely to breed out the Irish completely, except for the good bits, like genius. A place like Clongowes, where Joyce went to school, and many other places in Ireland claiming to be institutions for learning, were also sources of BOYS. And GIRLS. And SEMEN. And WOMBS. And DEATH, and NEW LIFE snatched away and cast out immediately into a hostile wilderness, and a genius named James Joyce who only felt at home among strangers in Trieste, none of whom knew the REAL Irish language, the SPOKEN language, the way that Nora Barnacle knew that language.

Finnegans Wake is written in every other language that Joyce heard in Trieste, that Joyce taught at the Berlioz school. Sure, get pissed at him for being obscure, but he created a closed text that contains his entire life, and the entire life of Galway peasants, the history even HE had to LEARN from Nora Barnacle, himself being a Dubliner of (cough-cough) possibly Protestant background on his father’s side, as embodied in the character Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, or “here comes everybody,” or just HCE.

HCE is the patriarch. Anna Livia Plurabelle (ALP) is the matriarch. Shem the Penman and Shaun the Postman are the two brothers who stand in for all two-brother pairs, from Cain and Abel on. The only obscure characters in the text of Finnegans Wake are the young women. I claim that James Joyce identifies as much with the “desired body,” as embodied by the matriarch ALP in all her stages of life, simply because James Joyce was a Catholic boy who grew up at Clongowes College, and was immediately assessed according to many measures, including intelligence, including physical fitness, and also including whatever inspections were performed by the older boys and pederasts among the brothers who ran the place. All the evidence is in the final section of Finnegans Wake, the one that deals almost exclusively with ALP. Joyce’s mother informs ALP, and Joyce refused to pray for his mother when she died, a sin that Ulysses tries to account for and reckon with. But ALP is also all of Joyces peers, of either sex, who for their entire developmental years were targets of pederasts and perverts. None of these assertions seem very controversial at all to me, it’s only acknowledging that that has ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE been the case. Ireland is just a particularly egregious instance (like Ancient Athens) in which the pederasts had all the power, and the little boys had none.

Samuel Beckett? Could only speak and write comfortably in French until forced into writing plays, obscure plays, works of genius.

Oscar Wilde? Upstart noble, considered himself a genius, which he was, as well as being a descendent of the occupying forces of Ireland, as well as being a man who helped define socialism, queerness, dandy-ness, unapologetically unfiltered speech, and the greatest text ever written in a gaol, namely De Profundis, not to mention the Ballad of Reading Gaol, or the trial for sodomy that ended his career as an upstart nobleman and ensured his legacy as a dramatist and prose stylist of great and abiding genius.

The Ballad of the Irish Nancy-boy continues, but all of it is written down, and hardly obscure to those not squinting through opera glasses, lenses blackened. These are the willfully opaque viewpoints scrutinizing the stage, scrutinizing the balconies, the mezzanine, and guarding the exits, and finding everything they behold wanting. And then retiring to their palaces to plot against the very entertainment that keeps them distracted from their real objectives, which is the transfer of wealth from the lower classes to the upper crust, a battle as old as civilization, a battle that has been termed “class war” in socialist discourse.

A war, a clash, a pyramid scheme, with the working side on the business end of both the carrot and the stick, the stick prodding them from behind, and the carrot forever beyond their reach, and forever in front of their faces.

The carrot/stick dialectic is too facile. A better metaphor is the dog track. The working class is a giant dog, the ruling class is the monorail-rabbit, circling and circling, driven by remote-control by the hands hidden in the box seats.

The working class is a giant dog who just has to stop running around the track, and just walk away from the dang dog-track. A giant dog doesn’t need an owner, a giant dog can take care of itself, and any puppies it bears and sustains with milk.

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Introduction to “The Host of The Air”

Yeats has a famous poem about the Easter Rising of 1916. It’s a political poem, and Yeats was not a political person. He was a mystic visionary and a practitioner of ritual magic – in other words his temperament was not amenable to incremental struggles, but to grand and evocative tale-spinning. (A gyre that can tilt toward extreme right more easily than extreme left, incidentally.)

This is not the famous Easter poem, but it gets to the heart of how Yeats, in his official role as national myth-maker, must have seen the effects of the church landing in Ireland and turning Ireland’s goddess into St. Bridget, thereby denying the divine feminine in the interest of God the Father and the Son and the (male) Holy Ghost. Still, Brigid steals in through the side door of “Our Lady.”

Virgins of the second temple, as Mary might have been, were young, and were only virgins because their roles as wards of the temple had yet to reward them with the role they desired, namely that of The Bride.

To deny Mary’s desire is to accede to the impossible. Why would the church want to instil this nub of paradox at the center if its dogma? We can now see how this seed has been breeding into a now unwieldy and blinding edifice of sophist scaffolding attached to someone elses’ temple, time-out-of-mind Hebrew laws based on men trying to codify literature
and failing, even now being used by men wishing to codify ideology and winning.

Christianity’s brute appeal is that the first step is to accept three premises, three elevators to the heights of metaphysics: that Sex and Birth can be separated; that Murder and Love can be combined; and finally (devastatingly), that the one true god has three separate egos.

There is no god but god, so pick one – and go with it.
Pick a god, any god, and the law that goes with it. Pick a congregation, your town must have hundreds, know them and learn how your god moves through your people, to put a thousand faces on what must not and cannot be known, that which makes this “this” where we must make our living and pay our taxes.

THE HOST OF THE AIR (by W.B. Yeats)

O’Driscoll drove with a song,
The wild duck and the drake,
From the tall and the tufted reeds
Of the drear Hart Lake.
And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night tide,
And dreamed of the long dim hair
Of Bridget his bride.

He heard while he sang and dreamed
A piper piping away,
And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.

And he saw young men and young girls
Who danced on a level place
And Bridget his bride among them,
With a sad and a gay face.
The dancers crowded about him,
And many a sweet thing said,
And a young man brought him red wine
And a young girl white bread.

But Bridget drew him by the sleeve,
Away from the merry bands,
To old men playing at cards
With a twinkling of ancient hands.
The bread and the wine had a doom,
For these were the host of the air;
He sat and played in a dream
Of her long dim hair.

He played with the merry old men
And thought not of evil chance,
Until one bore Bridget his bride
Away from the merry dance.
He bore her away in his arms,
The handsomest young man there,
And his neck and his breast and his arms
Were drowned in her long dim hair.

O’Driscoll scattered the cards
And out of his dream awoke:
Old men and young men and young girls
Were gone like a drifting smoke;

But he heard high up in the air
A piper piping away,
And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.