Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Big Day

Email from Declan on the Tuesday

Sorry for the latness of this message. On (Thursday) Bloomsday We are meeting at Collected Works for a reading there from 2.30 PM and afterwards a few readings through of the scripts at a room in the Writer’s Centre next door to Collected Works.

Declan works at the Postal exchange in Dandy. Night shift. So does Peter who plays the bodhran. The Post, subject to human agency and oddness of address, to a large degree eludes electronic scanning and remains in human hands, 1200 pairs. As his day job Declan has digested parts of Ulysses for the readings and typed them out in a variety of font and case. He hails from Sligo and has a wicked pack of Joyce anecdotes betraying a particular fondness for Frank Budgen & John Quinn, NY attorney and phynancial horse of the Modernists. The hail is hard to catch whenI first meet him at Khyats Hotel, Brighton, digesting a hamburger. Two pints of porter and all became plain. In 1989 it was himself that commenced the Melbourne Observance of Bloomsday abetted by John Flaus and a bunch of other joycephyliacs a year before they had it in Sydney, the copycats, though this global post modernist phenomenon sheets home to Dublin and the beginnings of the revival of the Irish economy in the exploitation of the things the Irish, producers of the lion’s share of English literature, are good at, things like cultural services, intellectual property & capital, processing information, managing knowledge, technoblarney, blablabla. Phillip Adams had requested no interview, publicising the Sydney comelatelies instead, thus setting a pattern of neglect and detraction. Rival players emerged in faction-loving Melbourne, academics, blue stockings particularly sticking in Declan’s craw, the butt of his mock and gave the enterprise the edge of grudge.
The day before The Big Day Declan sends a further email, in brogue:

A nap is indeed in the time frame. Thnak God ’tis the old age pension and not the blind pension yerself and John are getting or we’d be in all kinds of trouble that night!!!!

I like the blog ’tis good, only one little error, should be 7.30. Anyway not to worry we have good inquiries already, and yes to yes to a sound system too. Bejayus and begorrah the modern life is great….when one thinks of John Wayne in a Force 10 gale shouting from one end of a shop to t’other and guns firing all round at the same time and fires blazing, ’tis a wonder we won the war at all at all!!!

Judas took 30 pieces of silver and hanged himself in remorse: Pell took several hundred million and got a gong in addition. And Jaysus wept!!


Cast a cold eye
On life, on death
Horseman, pass by!

W B Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Beyond Ben Bulben
An Australian Yeats Society
Visit our website at

Yeats’ rep. in the antipodes with an accent I thought had left the stage some time before 1904. Over the top, up and at ‘em for the Finnaginbeginagin Memorial. My snobsheart murmurs ambivalently. My humble kidney (left) responds there are many chapels in the Cathedral of St Jim. So I light a green candle at the Altar of Absurdity & into my my manyzippered, neverflown frequentflyer valise I pack:
1 Ulysses
1 Finnegans Wake
1 Exagmination round our Factification for Incamination of his Work in Progress
1 Soodlums Irish penny whistle
and dressed in three shades of green catch the 1.09 from Mentone to the city.

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