16 June 2013

Hello, everybody, and welcome to a very special edition post by yours truly, Euphrates Arnaut Moss. Today, as it is most likely you well know, is Father’s Day. It’s also, as you less likely know, Bloomsday, the incredible celebration day of the year in which not only has Ulysses been read in its entirety by a cast of Irish actors in 1982, but the day on which many people around the world recognize and promote by feasting on cheese sandwiches, burgundy, liver and onions, and kidney. Some even conduct their own Ulysses by visiting shops and attempting to re-create everything Leopold Bloom did on this most auspicious of days in 1904 (some posit that it is the day of the first date of James Joyce and his beloved Nora Barnacle while others strongly deny it and say that it has a different significant meaning- possibly of the copulative kind). It is also, as probably nobody but a select few reading this knows, the day of my mother’s and her older sister’s birth in the years of 1959 and 1955 respectively. A most happy of birthdays goes out to Janet Hobbs and Colleen Strand! I love you both as dearly as a son and nephew can possibly love their proper counterpart. Today I’ve given dad a copy of the new Iggy & The Stooges album and my Mom a copy of Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album and a 10-dollar gift card to Starbucks.

In celebration of this day I include here the poem of Oliver St. John Gogarty, whose text is partially and not entirely accurately re-created in Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses in the very opening “chapter” (I prefer to call them divisions but what you will, I’m sure). Joyce names this poem in the book “The Ballad of Joking Jesus” but St. John Gogarty named it “The Song of the Cheerful (but Slightly Sarcastic) Jesus.” It is reputed to be quite blasphemous, but I would never know having not given a slight shred of credence at any point in my life to the myth of “The Christ.” Nevertheless, here are the lines in their entirety:

I’m the queerest young fellow that ever was heard.
My mother’s a Jew; my father’s a Bird
With Joseph the Joiner I cannot agree
So ‘Here’s to Disciples and Calvary.’
If anyone thinks that I amn’t divine,
He gets no free drinks when I’m making the wine
But have to drink water and wish it were plain
That I make when the wine becomes water again.
My methods are new and are causing surprise:
To make the blind see I throw dust in their eyes
To signify merely there must be a cod
If the Commons will enter the Kingdom of God
Now you know I don’t swim and you know I don’t skate
I came down to the ferry one day and was late.
So I walked on the water and all cried, in faith!
For a Jewman it’s better than having to bathe.
Whenever I enter in triumph and pass
You will find that my triumph is due to an ass
(And public support is a grand sinecure
When you once get the public to pity the poor.)
Then give up your cabin and ask them for bread
And they’ll give you a stone habitation instead
With fine grounds to walk in and raincoat to wear
And the Sheep will be naked before you’ll go bare.
The more men are wretched the more you will rule
But thunder out ‘Sinner’ to each bloody fool;
For the Kingdom of God (that’s within you) begins
When you once make a fellow acknowledge he sins.
Rebellion anticipates timely by ‘Hope,’
And stories of Judas and Peter the Pope
And you’ll find that you’ll never be left in the lurch
By children of Sorrows and Mother the Church
Goodbye, now, goodbye, you are sure to be fed
You will come on My Grave when I rise from the Dead
What’s bred in the bone cannot fail me to fly
And Olivet’s breezy—Goodbye now Goodbye.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s