Friday, June 16, 2006

The Bloom is On the Wry/Wear That Jimmy Hat!

"Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish, ketchup, and Jamaican Pickapeppa Sauce the inner organs of beasts and fowls..."

and so do I partaketh also as I write (namely, chopped chicken liver from Citarella, spread thick on Pepperidge Farm Party Rye--au naturel actually, minus the aforementioned condiments) ("wouldn't be surprised if it was that kind of food you see produces the like waves of the brain the poetical") here on this lovely, sunny June 16th, a/k/a Bloomsday-- a day where I traditionally masticate (haha) in honour of my favourite novel; namely, James Joyce's 'Around the World in a Day' Quality Lit headtrip known as "Ulysses".

Never ever 'nuff said about this masterpiece...I remember flying to Italy with my folks in the 80's, with the UK Penguin paperback edition on my knee (the Bodley Head version--the Godly Head as far as I'm concerned, fie on that suspect German academic Hans Walter Garbler's so-called revised definitive edition which came out to much faux hoopla some years back-- and which Johnny Kidd and the Pirates (of pen rants) eviscerated thoroughly upon publication, see much shakin' all over in the litcrit camp afterwards), yep, flying by the seat of my chance with said novel on my knee, banjo-like, the airborne reading of which producing multitudinous licks of love (haveta say John Updike was restored recently in my good Graces--somewhat-- for tearing Houellebecq for his bad verses--and rude animadversion to Joyce--in Updike's NY Review of Books review of Well Bech's "The Possibility Of An Island" last month, a review which I anticipated/concur with, check my blog of 1/4/06)-- okay, there I was on my way to Florence wirh Giacomo Joyce's richest, most musical knee's up on one knee entwined in harmony with Richard Ellmann's biography on another knee and also a Skeleton (at the Feast) (House of) Key (s) explication/concordance to the novel on any empty seat beside me written by, ur, um, uhh, can't recall the name of that author at this precise moment, as mmmmmmmmmmrkngao I hear a rumble (above) (and) below (o aye, those inner organs of smale fowles maken melodye in mellifluous concord with my own)...

speaking of Giacomo Joyce, played the Teatro Miela in Trieste once with "The Golem"--lovely Trieste a home to Joyce from 1904 through the First War, where he wrote much of Ulysses..and there was a statue of the Great Man permanently seated in the center of the orchestra stalls, I could swear it was a real live person when I walked onstage for the first time in the semi-darkness, unnerving me the performer setting up my own gear for a soundcheck in the (seemingly) empty theatre, yes, there he was a Stone Guest so lifelike and creepy, and me being there with my Golem and all (me own portable statue..."Comin' at you like a Living Statue"--lyric from my song "Hurly Burly", from my forthcoming Gods and Monsters album "Coming Clean", out Sept. 4th on Side Salad/Universal) (and divers other labels which shall be revealed once the ink is dry on the page).

There was a time when I could cite "Ulysses" Chapter and Verse, knew it inside out almost as well as me own brother knew his Olde Testamental screeds when studying to become a rabbi in Jerusalem (sure and bog horror, my face flushes the colour of the cistern Chappelle to recall this..."Two clots from the same egg" we were, pace Joyce's reference to his friend Wyndham Lewis in the Shem and Shaun section of "Finnegan's Wake"). (Memo to meself: must pick up much ballyhoo-hah'ed new 'Gospel of Judas' tome...or was it "Seth Speaks"? A descent into "the Realm of Chaos and the Underworld" is promised...a not so unfamiliar milieu, come to think of it, in my line of work). (Just kidding--I do not know that Other World).

Anyway methinks I will take a breather from my current reading of Pierre Louys's "The Woman and the Puppet" (the Arthur Symons translation-- the literary basis for Von Sternberg/Dietrich's "The Devil Is a Woman", also Bunuel's "That Obscure Object of Desire"), James Hillman's "A Terrible Love of War", and Andrew Loog Oldham's "2Stoned" (second read-through of this one) (Joe Boyd's "White Bicycles" musicbiz memoir, just out in the UK, is a good 'un too)-- Yes, I will yes take a breather as Summer is a cummin' in, birthday's almost upon me again (oy!), time to succumb once more to the seductive blandishments of Jimjoyce (not to be confused with Lou Reed's "jimjams"--as in, "all the jimjams in this town")...yes I said yes once more again into the breach of dearest Molly Bloom (yr head it simply swirls), one mo' time to devour those Sweets of Sin (for Raoul!), another chance to explore the bigoted mind of The Citizen, to run with Garryowen (to Laugh-in the Dark), to fly by Their nets and dance with Steven D on the Hamlet-head of a Jesuitical pin-- to join once more in a rousing chorus of "Love's Old Sweet Song"...

Indeed, it's time to revisit/re-read/rediscover "Ulysses" (for an apostate Irish gentile, Joyce really gets deeeeep into the mind of a gentle and sensitive Jewish person. Certainly as deep as Bellow and Roth--also Mailer, in his non-fictive/ "history as a novel" narrative voice). (Perhaps more accurately, "histrionics as a novel").

Nearly as deep as Singer...

Yes, I said yes... Ulysses!

I do not know that other Word...



ps Attended a superb New York party last night at my old Yale pal Bob "Rocket" Rubin's pad 28 (floors) UP in the art deco arcadium known as the El Dorado (number 9, number 9, number 9...) on 91st and Central Park West (Bono lives does my old pal/radio magnate/man about town Josh Feigenbaum, in Faye Dunaway's old crib). Spectacular views abound all around the Park, and the lazy old sun setting 'oer the Hudson, its refracted light streaming through the wrought iron windows of Bob's humble abode (!) nearly outshone Bob's jaw-dropping art collection which fest-tuned the substantial pre-war walls of his rambling multi-chambered lair (an art moderne groaning table, in other words--from Basquiat to Joseph Cornell to Andre Breton).

Bob, epicurean owner of The Bridge Golf Club in Southampton, writ large here in these blog pages a year ago (as well as in the Times, aRude Magazine, & Manhattan Inc.), recently unloaded Jean Cocteau's old Parisian pad (also singer Mireille's apt. upstairs) situated near the Comedie Francaise, trading up and purchasing La Maison de Verre, architect Pierre Chareau's 1920's feverdream of a modernist townhouse right off Boulevard St. Germain. Bob and his lovely wife Stephane's wangdangdoodle of a cocktail party was in honor of Bob's latest acquisition, a scarily detailed Tussaud-like statue (that living statue thing again) I could have sworn upon walking in was an actual tableau vivant--but no, it was an extremely life-like mannequin designed by the artist Charles McGill, an imposing life-size replica of a black "ex-militant" pro golfer cast in McGill's fierce spitting image (Tiger Woods this was not), a very impressive sculpture to be sure whose eyes followed you all around the room, and whose apocryphal motto (uttered in a performance art ceremony upon the official unveiling by one of McGill's buddies who was in on the wheeze) read "Why be on the Front Line, when you can be on the Front Nine?" (Only in New York, kids, only in New York...) (To find out more about Charles McGill's satiric provocations, check out this review from Art in America at mi_m1248/is_5_89/ai_74439437 - 22k -).

Here Comes Everybody: Legendary film director/actor Melvin Van Peebles (a big McGill fan) was at Bob's do and looked to be having a ball, and I am delighted to report that the genius auteur behind the classic 70's early blaxploitation film "Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song" is hard at work on a new one entitled "Ex-Dufus Mother Blues" (exactly). Hip young homeboys Inderbir Riar and Cesare Birignani (fellow members of Bob's Columbia Grad School History of Architecture program--Bob's about to get his Ph.D there) were also on the scene and looking good, and near the party's finis the dashing, sartorially splendid aRude editor-in-chief Ike Ude made a spectacular entrance swinging a golf club in the company of his glammed-up entourage (special mention of Ude's elegante Russian model girlfriend Larissa and Ude's Swedish portraitist friend whose name escapes me, sorry!)

and then Caroline, Inderbir, Cesare and Caroline's beautiful assistant Bettina and I hightailed our way back Downtown for a late supper at Les Deux Gamins on West 10th Street, then home to bed...

have to bone up now and prepare for a special acoustic instore performance tomorrow afternoon at the grand opening of my pal Fred Perry's new Reservoir Music joint in Shokan, up near Woodstock on Route 28... much as I love New York, I rejoyce in the coming and going from it, too :-)

"Riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to... "


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