Another Bloomsday

Karl Parkinson

Karl Parkinson is a poet and writer from the north inner city. His works include The Blocks (New Binary Press, 2016) and Litany of the City and Other Poems (Wurmpress, 2013). His work has also appeared in several anthologies and journals.

I’m up blooming late today, she’s in bed still, no work today, Sabbath, good idea that was from them what wrote the bible, that even the old bloke himself had a day off after the six days of working on making the world an all that, one day of rest in the week is a holy idea.

Wash the dishes from last night, she dries them and puts them away, nice the warm water on your hands, tried to make us pay for it they did, nope, we won’t be having that says the lot of us, the rabble, the dregs as one of them called us, the dregs there gone down the drain, schhloooopp it says, warm water we all started off in, nine months, or less for some, then it begins, or begins again some believe.

She has that Al Green performance of a Change Is Gonna Come, playing on YouTube again, great song, and the best performance of it you’d ever see, aul Al would make Sam Harris himself start believing in God, with that voice and that passion.

I’ll go the shop, into the butchers, need chicken for the dinner, a fella asked me once how many chickens do you think get eaten everyday, think about it he says, like you’ve chicken in so many things, chicken balls, fried chicken, snack boxes, chicken burgers, curries, chicken pop corn, chicken sandwiches, he went on listing  things with chicken in them, got me thinking though, that’s a lot chicken.

Sunshine today, in Dublin, Helios the Greeks called the sun, sun gods a plenty we’ve had over the years, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Superman, the same fella keeps popping up in a different suit, as long as he keeps himself up there we’ll be grand I suppose, and he wouldn’t be that bothered what we call him anyway.

Bit of a scrap here in the middle of the street as I walk by, fella and a woman:

– De state of ya, coked up outta the head.

– Fuck you ya fat bastard, and see her tell er she’s dead when I get er.

Menelaus and Helen. Face that launched a thousand ships. Face that sniffed a thousand lines.

Ah the inner-city of Dublin, the million fights and arguments, never a dull one. Man in the butchers knows me well and knows exactly what I’m looking for, we have a laugh about that, running joke, repeats itself over and over, same stories always get told, so they say, stranger comes to town, or a person goes on a journey.

Back in the flat, check my emails, quick look through the headlines, UK elections, big mess, May and the creationists, monster-raving loonies finally got in eh?

Cook a bit a breakfast, I eat with brown sauce, beef sausages, Buckley’s white pudding, mushrooms, white bread and butter, still like a bit that kinda meat, once in a while, she just has the pudding on bread, sorry vegans, little Mahatma, bald, moustache, peace, got the empire to go home. Are ya making the tea or what? She says to me, nice strong cup like you do. Zen and the art of tea making, could be a book?

She’s gone off to her ma’s for a visit. I stay here, watch some YouTube vids, go on Twitter, Corbyn memes a plenty, him as Jedi, him as rockstar, imagine if he won, internet might blow up, keep an eye on the Ireland World Cup qualifier in the football, don’t watch much of it these days, not since Graham died, nephew, football was our thing, some things are like that, you share them with a certain person or persons, it’s not really the thing, at the heart of it, it’s the doing it together that’s the thing, ya know?

Read a bit of a Dostoevsky novel. Check through my own novel I am working on, don’t compare, different era, different place, Russian soul, Irish soul, still though, same profession, same duty, same enquiry, things come back around like that, Vico, Howth environs an all that.

Cook dinner for the two of us, Sunday dinner, chicken, stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots, gravy, her and me, eighteen years, wandering through time with each other, through wine-dark nights, and bright blooming days, through war and peace, through feasts and famines, through Homeric trials and tribulations, and Odysseus-like homecomings, Paris and Helen, Poldy and Molly, James and Nora, her and me.

Back in the aul bed again. Yes, back to the dream-time, the underworld visits to old dead friends, River of Styx, yes, I think of Homer and Dante, I think of Dublin and its ancient land, all the phantoms that walked here and still do, yes, think of Joyce with cane and hat and spectacles and his all-consuming mind, yes, how to write on after him, how to put the world and language back together, how to write down and capture this Dublin we live in now, different but the same, yes, sure Joyce wrote on after Homer and Dante, yes, sure the musses still sing, yes, if I listen, yes, will I go on writing, yes, will I keep singing, yes, yes I will, I will yes, close my eyes, and put head on pillow, she’s out already, sleep I will, yes, wake again in the morning and begin again, write on, yes, I will, yes.

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