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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tales of Brave Ulysses

This post was not supposed to have anything to do with Ulysses, or even James Joyce. I just have Ulysses on the brain at the moment, and so I thought of that title from Cream's album Wheels of Fire, and thought I would use it in a kind of Dadaesque way today to lead into a different topic entirely.....but then, I realized, that the title "Tales of Brave Ulysses" did NOT "just" pop into my head randomly---it bubbled up from the seething mush of cultural detritus in the deepest recesses of my overstocked brain for a reason, stirred up by the same provocation as stirred up my post last week about Donovan's Mellow Yellow.

So I believe we must attribute to James Joyce a secondary "inspirational" writing credit for the authorship of the following lyrics by one Martin Sharp, Sixties poet from Oz, friend of Eric Clapton, and adept at trippy lyrics:

You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever but you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun and the colors of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids and you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave Ulysses
How his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing for the sparkling waves are calling you to kiss their white laced lips and you see a girl s brown body dancing through the turquoise and her footprints make you follow where the sky loves the sea and when your fingers find her she drowns you in her body carving deep blue ripples in the tissues of your mind the tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers and you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter her name is Aphrodite and she rides a crimson shell and you know you cannot leave her for you touched the distant sands with tales of brave Ulysses; how his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing

I suspect that while Mr. Sharp was writing those lyrics, he was under the influence not only of a large dose of psychedelics, but also, perhaps, of the following words spoken with one very long breath by one Molly Bloom:

that was a relief wherever you be let your wind go free who knows if that pork chop I took with my cup of tea after was quite good with the heat I couldnt smell anything off it Im sure that queerlooking man in the porkbutchers is a great rogue I hope that lamp is not smoking fill my nose up with smuts better than having him leaving the gas on all night I couldnt rest easy in my bed in Gibraltar even getting up to see why am I so damned nervous about that though I like it in the winter its more company O Lord it was rotten cold too that winter when I was only about ten was I yes I had the big doll with all the funny clothes dressing her up and undressing that icy wind skeeting across from those mountains the something Nevada sierra nevada standing at the fire with the little bit of a short shift I had up to heat myself I loved dancing about in it then make a race back into bed Im sure that fellow opposite used to be there the whole time watching with the lights out in the summer and I in my skin hopping around I used to love myself then stripped at the washstand dabbing and creaming only when it came to the chamber performance

Watch out for those rocks!



Jennythenipper said...

I've always like that song. And of course Cream is pretty good too.

Arnie Perlstein said...

I bet Joyce would have been pleased to know that his writing was a small but distinct tributary feeding into the Sixties, inspiring the likes of Donovan, Cream and the Firesign Theatre.