detail : green face
p a d d e d l
e p r e c h a u n
a b l o o m s d
a y t
a l e : philadelphia,
: m o n i c a p
a c e
It was the first Bloomsday that
it rained. Even though the curator himself took the stage & assured
us it never rains on Bloomsday. In the rumbling, close air.
The tree-lined idyll that is Delancey Street was cordoned off from
traffic. Throngs sat on stoops of brick turn-of-the-century buildings,
or on wooden chairs in the street, waving fans emblazoned with the
likeness of Joyce. Actors, curators, rabbis, Joycean scholars, and
even a sandal-wearing ex- police commissioner John Timmoney did dramatic
readings from Ulysses. The audience giggled at all the bawdy bits.
Mirrors and micturation. Actor Michael Toner was especially hilarious,
screeching in his best little-girl voice for the character of Cissy
Caffrey. After his performance he kissed the book as he walked back
to his seat.
Remember seeing a priest kiss the bible at Mass?
Appropriately, during a following section, a reading about urination, the skies
A half-hour hiatus was announced. I damply befriended another Joyce aficionado
who's been going to the event for ten years and gladly agreed to do an interview
for my story. We followed a portion of the crowd to — where else — an
Irish pub up the street.
On Walnut Street there are two Irish pubs side-by-side. One, I’ve heard,
should never be patronized by real Irish people. On this day, inexplicably, a
human being, male, stood in the doorway in full leprechaun regalia.
— I wonder if that's his real fat — I mused aloud of the green-clad
very purposefully sidestepped him to the more authentic place next door.
— Even better than that — I said to the Bloomsday folk once we settled
inside, — Benjamin Franklin once sat next to me on the bus in old city.
again during my lunch break at a shitty coffee place. He was itching at his lace
and talking on his cell phone.
We raised our glasses to James Joyce and to the Irish weather as thunder split
the air in two.
— Slainte, we agreed.