Saturday, June 20, 2009

"A sugarsticky girl" (Joyce, King, A Better Guitar Player Than Me)

I have now made personal history by finally cresting the halfway mark of James Joyce's Ulysses, a novel that has tormented and haunted me (like the fatherly ghost to Hamlet) for half of my life.
Since my artistic hobby is setting poetry to music, I am baiting myself to finish this thing by marking passages that would be fun to score as rock songs. Here is another:

Pineapple rock,
lemon platt,
butter scotch.
A sugarsticky girl

shovelling scoopfuls of cream
for a christian brother.

Some school treat.
Bad for their tummies.
Lozenge and comfit
manufacturer to His Majesty

the King.

Sitting on his throne,
sucking red jujubes

I have no choice but to dedicate this bit (paginated as a paragraph, not a poem, in the novel) to Richard Byrne, who years ago suggested to his then girlfriend Mary Alice Wood the ineluctable band name "Sugarsticky girl".

Just passing the midway mark, I note here lyrical fragment seven. This means I am on pace for fourteen or fifteen songs plucked from Ulysses, which happens to be a perfect number of songs for a rock record. I'll continue to imagine that future record the next time this thing starts to drive me nuts. Which should be in a hot minute here, as I am taking my nemesis to the dentist chair.

Now I just need to get with Matt Fuller or Lij or Tim McAvin or Another Umbrella - with somebody who plays guitar better than I do - to start turning these lyrics into songs!

More in this series

"Everybody eating everyone else" (Joyce, King, You)
"Blood not mine" (Joyce, King, Your Name Here
"Sell your soul for that" (Joyce, King, Your Name Here)
"Over the motley slush" (Joyce, King, Whoever Helps Me)
"My childhood bends" (Joyce, King)"
"Don't you play the giddy ox with me!" (Joyce, King)


Picture from JoyceImages.

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