Q: Who’s there?
A: Knock knock
Here comes everybody.(1)
riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. … The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner- ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-nuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy.(2)
Sylvia Plath once read this, and there you go.(3)
I tied my best to all the pretty things on glistering soulstrings, at the toy fair of my plastic prurience. Now, it is scattered like so many lost pieces of silver in a house of too many rooms and too much spoil, each corner a filthy cave concealing decay for four days, a stench by now, and loss, disarray. The house is fetid, a grimy shrine of tawdry chotsky, faded macramé, phosphor images of airbrushed nipped and tucked erotigods, and concrete lawn ornaments left cobwebbed in the oil stained garage.(4)
I lost my mind after Eden. This is what I hear:
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag –
It’s so elegant
‘What shall I do now? What shall I do?’
‘With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
‘What shall we ever do?’(5)
The City is everywhere and the world. Once, families were rooted in earth and village, church and grave. But old ladies buy their gravy at WalMart, men watch the View and get persuaded by executive candidates pandering legislative eschatology, children have no room for Heaven, only outer space.
At the flaming sword, the lights went out. At the Tower, thought fragmented into opinions. Language lost its grip on Adam’s names in Konigsberg. And Sigmund dissected me into “ought me,” “what me,” and “naught me,” and there’s no responsible me anymore. And Jacques sucked the letters out of words.(6)
Poets are, necessarily, symbolists, for manly do they gather sense into the remnants of sentence, the splintered light of what once was, and what will be:
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion.(7)
Man is moldering in my dirty garage, and art is my concrete statuary of kitsch. My thoughts are dusty on my knickknack shelf, and I pray for boredom to save me from the storm tonight.
I only visit everywhere, since I live in the City of the world. I do not belong, since I want and want. I do not believe, because I can not know. Anything. Anyone.
I work, not for salvation, but for pleasantness in Sun City, where I will be cremated without even knowing it, after a long rehearsal for the consciousness of shadow. That is my heaven, where I can watch Love Boat all day, keeping tomorrow at bay.
I do not know, because I cannot think.
Someone needs to come and do what needs to be done, for once. All we Adams have gone astray, each to our own way. There must needs be Adam again, to speak and do, as one, again. To will and act, again, as one.(8)
I see them rising! Save me from those therrble prongs! Two more. Onetwo moremens more. So. Avelaval. My leaves have drifted from me. All. But one clings still. I'll bear it on me. To remind me of. Lff! So soft this morning, ours. Yes. Carry me along, taddy, like you done through the toy fair! If I seen him bearing down on me now under whitespread wings like he'd come from Arkangels, I sink I'd die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup. Yes, tid. There's where. First. We pass through grass behush the bush to. Whish! A gull. Gulls. Far calls. Coming, far! End here. Us then. Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee! Till thous- endsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the (9)
I don’t know Who’s there. I should know, but I don’t know, because I don’t know who I am that I am. I am tangled, shattered, broken sentences. The way is shut, the
It's that Saturday.(10) You died, but as happens so often, you couldn't tell the difference. It's the way of decadence, a constant rehearsal of cultural perdition, that unnaturally (but normally) habituates a person to the atmosphere of Hades, that renders difference into "differance." How embarrassing it must be, to die, and not even know it.
But He, at the Door, is the difference.(11)
1) one of the meanings of "HCE," which is also signifies Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, the second central character of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.
2) the opening lines of Finnegan's Wake.
3) in her semi-autobiographical work The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath associates the mental breakdown of her protagonist with the reading of Finnegan's Wake. The book, which ends with the words "I stepped into the room," was published a month before Plath was found lying on her gas oven door, wet towels and dishrags stuffed in the threshold cracks to protect her children from her own morbidity.
4) the attachment of the heart (i.e., the nous) to the created instead of the Creator produces the fragmentation of consciousness, and the corrosion of the mind (which, in turn, is reflected in cultural decadence). Secondly, no one really knows much about "tombs" anymore, especially those of the newly-hewn stone variety. But we all know about dank garages.
5) lines 128-134 of The Wasteland, by (of course) T. S. Eliot.
6) i.e., Eden, Babel, Kant, Freud, Derrida.
7) lines 3-11 of the fifth section of "East Coker," in T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets, which is a curious drink of water in the badlands, and an odd setting of the Cross.
8) Romans 5.18-21.
9) the final words of Finnegan's Wake. Please note that the last sentence is completed by the fragment at the beginning. It is meant to suggest a circularity (i.e., "closed self-referential loop") of reality, which is the usual, and ultimate, accomplishment of consciousness in the darkness.
(10) Holy Saturday: the descent of Christ into Hades, when He broke the gates of brass.
(11) i.e., Christ is the "difference," most assuredly not "differance."