The Promiscuous Garden

For James Joyce

Always beside myself, I am never myself – I am parallax, paralysis’s mobile adversary. Neither the fixed authority of the one nor the fickle orthodoxy of the many, I am a fugitive transition between singular ways of seeing. Neither a subjective I nor an objective eye, I reject the fictive contradictions of inside and outside. (I’m not even a wandering I or a roving eye – I’m just a wandering, a roving.) Amazed mazemaker, I am constructing labyrinths you’ll want to get lost in. Lose yourself – just say the magic word: Metempsychosis! Cross the threshold. Leave Ariadne’s thread behind.

What is in the doorway?

I am a haunter of thresholds.

What were these words, these sonorous pools teasingly lapping his ears, these liquid tongues writing fluent seductions on his quivering skin, rousing his limbs to an amorous nomadism?

Here are we come together, wayfarers; here are we housed, amid intricate streets, by night and silence closely covered. In amity we rest together, well content, no more remembering the deviousness of the ways that we have come.

Our deviance is our innocence; our silence, our community.

Centrifugal living, centripetal writing: His centrifugal ambition was to turn his whirling thoughts into a sensational torsion that disturbed the flesh of anybody it touched.

He mastered the art of departing early, but arriving was still beyond him.

Manila – Dublin’s double – is also a city of invisibles.

Though afraid of heights, he was fascinated by the feeling of falling. Falling out of himself, he was transported by the sight of the world shooting starward.

The falling sickness: the eyes vanish under their lids: the cry.

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