Shakespeare Is Everywhere: Batshit-Crazy–and Look, There’s Even a Bat in this Passage!–Joycean Edition

Don’t ask me what Joyce was thinking when he wrote this. I have no idea.

A side eye at my Hamlet hat. If I were suddenly naked here as I sit? I am not. Across the sands of all the world, followed by the sun’s flaming sword, to the west, trekking to evening lands. She trudges, schlepps, trains, drags, trascines her load. A tide westering, moondrawn, in her wake. Tides, myriadislanded, within her, blood not mine, oinopa ponton, a winedark sea. Behold the handmaid of the moon. In sleep the wet sign calls her hour, bids her rise. Bridebed, childbed, bed of death, ghostcandled. Omnis caro ad te veniet. He comes, pale vampire, through storm his eyes, his bat sails bloodying the sea, mouth to her mouth’s kiss.

–James Joyce, Ulysses

10-Minute Meditations: The Chatter That Goes On In My Head

Yesterday, I lied about writing up the chatter that goes on in my head. No, yesterday’s post–the first of the ten-minute meditations I’m making myself do each day–is more like what comes out of my head when I focus on one thought and channel that train of thought onto the page. (It’s not particularly coherent, I know, but that’s what appears when I sit down and launch into written language.)

What goes on in my head is much more tiresome and repetitive. I think about all the things I need to do, or remember to do. Like cleaning the house. I ruminate on cleaning the house quite a bit–to the point where I feel like I’ve done something already, and then the next thing I know I look in that corner and the mess is still there and I’m convinced I’m a worthless schlub that’s incapable of taking care of a house.

You see the problem with this kind of process.

Just the other day, I had a five-minute stare-down with a silverfish I found on the bathroom door. (I myself was seated on the toilet.) Over and over, I thought to myself: I’m going to kill that thing. I’m so going to kill that thing. After I’m done sitting here, I’m going to get up and walk over and squish that little slip of hairy legs and antennae with a wad of toilet paper. I wanted to inscribe this on my memory like Hamlet scratching “avenge my father’s most foul murder” on the tablets of his mind. (Hah! See what I did there? Shakespeare Is Everywhere! SIE!!!)

But we all remember how well Hamlet’s tablet-scratching went. He says those lines at the end of Act 1, right after meeting the ghost of his father. “Remember me,” the ghost says before he disappears. And then Hamlet says, in essence, “By gum, I’ll remember!” Then he spends the rest of the play remembering, or goading himself to remember, or testing himself to see if his father’s injunction is worth remembering, or chastising himself for not remembering the right way.

This is how my mind works. Any task–cleaning the house, squishing a bug, even working on my writing–goes through this painstaking process. I am not spontaneous. I guess this is also why I loathe Hamlet so much: he reminds me too much of myself. Friggin’ Prince of Denmark.

And I think I’ve overrun my ten minutes by now. I’m not much of a clock-watcher, either, unless there’s something I must must must do, like pick up my kid from camp.

And that sentence at the top of the last paragraph? I rolled that over and over in my mind, trying to keep it there before I forgot it. That happens a lot with things I’m unwilling to forget.

Must write that down, must write that down.

Shakespeare Is Everywhere: The Bard vs The Beach

This comes from a book Little Fickle has been reading: Mr. Sunny Is Funny!, by Dan Gutman. Note how Shakespeare is defined as the antithesis of everything fun about summer vacation:

That Shakespeare guy made no sense at all. The question isn’t to be or not to be. I’ll tell you what the question is. Do you want ice cream or cake? That is the question. Trick biking or skateboarding? That is the question. TV or video games? That is the question. Would it be better if a piano or an elephant fell on Andrea’s head? That is the question.

Andrea lined up her dumb books on a shelf in ABC order.

“Hey, maybe we can read together on the beach, Arlo!” Andrea said. “What did you bring for summer reading?”

Summer reading?! What is her problem? “Summer” and “reading” are two words that should never be put together in the same sentence. The only reading I brought was a comic book that I finished in the car. It was about a superhero named Mold Man who can turn his body into any shape. He’s cool. I bet Mold Man would kick Shakespeare’s butt.

Shakespeare Is Everywhere: Editorial Haiku Edition

Figures that Big Bill would infiltrate a poetry contest for editors:

Let us not

to the marriage of two clauses

admit a comma splice.

–Adriana Cloud, Winner of the American Copy Editors

Society Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest

“Fie on you all! You editor folk alter wherever you alteration find!”

Shakespeare Is Everywhere: Guinea Pig Edition

All the children, plus Craig, plus the dogs, were quietly staring at me. Even the guinea pig suddenly looked confused. [OH SHUT UP, GUINEA PIG – YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! ALSO, WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING ALIVE? YOU ARE ONE MILLION IN GUINEA PIG YEARS!!!! LET GO! GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT! GO WITH GOD, ROMEO!!! FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF YOUR NAMESAKE AND ROMANTICALLY EMBRACE THE GREAT BEYOND!!!]

–Momastery.com, “Sex Is Tricky

A million thanks to Glennon Doyle Melton for remembering that Romeo isn’t necessarily the best example of a romantic icon, in that he makes a total, Three’s Company-style crapfest of his own love story and croaks at the end of it. Would that the majority of Hollywood executives, in their perpetual state of starry-eyed adolescence, were able to comprehend such realities.

Shakespeare Is Everywhere: Twitter Fun Edition (with Associate Editor of Abyss & Apex Tonya Liburd!)

Because asses and Shakespeare go together like destruction and ruin!

Mine own arse chafes with eons of insolent scribblers!