Waiting for Lucia

Waiting for Lucia

“But the biographers
are a side issue.”
—Joan Acocella,
“A Fire in the Brain,”
The New Yorker


Her name was Lucia—she was Joyce’s daughter
She was talkative—illiterate in four languages:
German, French, English & Triestine Italian
She was cross-eyed like our mother Nora
Was that why—she’d stare off into space?

She was a writer’s daughter—crazy & difficult
Her Daddy was like Plath’s Daddy—Big Daddy
He’d write all day—she’d always dance for him
Finnegan’s Wake—was actually performance art
Both danced with language—their wordy funerals

Please remember—she’s writing sybolisme
She’s chatting a biography—a Laingian artform
Georgio—her pimp brother who married rich
His wealthy beautiful wife—his car & chauffeur
His swank apartment—Lucia’s lassiez-faire idol

Please forget Plath—along with the others
Vivienne Eliot—her long suppressed agonies
Poor Zelda Fitzgerald—and Nora her mother
Forget Georgie—medium-wife of Yeats and
Véra—Vladimir Nabokov’s lovely wife

Lucia was a true blue literary goddess
Inspiring, melding, sharing her personality
With her great writer father—James Joyce
Until she ended up with “A Room of One’s Own”
Only then was he able—to finish the Wake

“Devoutly to be wish'd.
To die, to sleep; To sleep:
perchance to dream: ay,
there's the rub; For in that
sleep of death what dreams
may come when we have
shuffled off this mortal coil”
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet

She gets the heebie-jeebies—a lot lately
Like when she’s thinking—about death
Death like Sleep—Sleeping & Dreaming
What if it’s like Shakespeare opined—
Hamlet’s strange solitary soliloquy?

How many nightmares—one goes thru
Happy to wake up again—and be alive?
No matter how surrealistic & horrible
Don’t we in dreams think it’s all real
Waiting for Godot—but there’s No Exit?

So that when we die—Sleeping nicely…
Dreaming might be always lurking there
Dreams of losing one’s billfold or pants?
Losing one’s identity—in dream cities?
Not being able to wake up—once again?

Even if you’re lucid enough to know—
It’s only dreaming that torments me
What if there was No Escape No Exit—
Once we die except to live in Dreamland
Drifting thru oneiric dystopias forever?

My father must have thought that way—
The way his stream of consciousness worked
Especially Finnegan’s Wake—his circular
Meditation on how images morphed thru puns
And wordplay—ludic Eidetic foreplay?

Is that the reason why—Joyce took Lucia
To see Carl Jung the great mystical Herr Doktor?
Was Lucia mad—already dreamy Other?
Deep inside her ebb & flow—continuously dreaming
A flowing Irish river—stream of consciousness?

"usylessly unreadable
Blue Book of Eccles”
—James Joyce
Wake of Ulysses

A useless muck—of obscure language
Abandoned plot—character development
Lost in the Sea of Jabberwocky schmooze
Where everybody dreams in their sleep
And nobody comes up—to breathe air?

Joyce’s eyesight failing—no longer able to
Collage the cards—Beckett created for him
But still able to play the Wordplay game
Beginning Finnegan’s Wake—and ending it
With the same ideal literary insomnia …

Riverrun—running past Eve and Adam
Swerving from shore—to bending bay
Punning Vico—a commodius vicus
Replaying the story over & over again
Back to Howth Castle—and Enviorns

How his mind worked—thru punning
Even now “quark”—worming its way
Thru “Thee Quarks for Muster Mark”
And “sithome”—Lacan’s intertextuality
Playing language—into literature

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