The Boy at the Window I was the watcher; I saw the man - He smiled as he turned with his tripod in hand. I saw the boys who stood over the street, As they looked at the man with white shoes on his feet; And the woman we saw every day in the store, With the treasure of books, from ceiling to floor. But the man with the specs and the walking cane, I saw him then, but never again. And then in ‘Le Temps’, the picture appeared And mother said, “Look, you’re famous, my dear!” We took ‘Le Temps’, the paper of choice, And we learned of the Irishman, Monsieur James Joyce - And his name on the books, in the window, brand new - The text, it was white on a cover of blue. We saw Madam Beach, as we passed each day, On occasions she smiled, but had nothing to say. - © Frank Callery.
How appropriate that it says on the left of the shopfront “Lending” Library.
I am grateful to David Holbrook for sight of this great picture. We will, perhaps, never know the identity of the little wee lad at the window. But he is a balcony player in the play of the sacrificial moment. Nor shall we ever know the identity of the other two watchers. There seems to be contention about the address of this shop. O the Rue de l’Odéon at Number 12, there is a plaque stating that this was the location of the shop, and Sylvia’s apartment. Yet in this picture the Shop fascia sign says N0. 8? Any takers?
Joyce in the Beach Would! Who at the window Saw the flash Made a dash To see the show? Heard the tall lad Down below Nonchalant and svelte, Begad! Speak of Dante and his Dad! Converse in purest Dublinese, That brought her gusset to her knees. — © Frank Callery
Office Work There’s letters in and letters out, The odd invoice and bills no doubt; And the two of them silent, a gulf between Publisher, author, a well shot scene. There he’s sat with the one good eye, Counting the stamps, how time will fly, Thinking alternatives for Bree and rennet, And over his shoulder, Arnold Bennett: Quite prolific with words himself — Thirty-four novels on his shelf! To Joyce, he was in the h’penny place! But could write of women an’ stuff an’ lace. But the master there and the Mott that made him? Known to the world, herself and Jim. © Frank Callery.
Of all the sculptures of Joyce, the one at the Caffè Uliks in Pula is the most modernist looking.
As if an Aria cut his thirst A thatch of moustache, a sung outburst; Here in Pula, Argonaut The taste of towns he had forgot, Dublin, Cork and Mullingar From the synapse never far. — Frank Callery
Riverlore 53 degrees of Lassitude He dreamt her swellville By the hintershores Walled by Ormonde, Ussher, Ellis A tale of riverlore he’d tell us. And underelmshade the genes That walked the circuits of his dreams The curtilage of each backyard That marked his coatsleeve and his card; The cabinet of all detritus, Kidneypurge, each other itis That ran to Liffeyscour and Kish To feed the fish that filled the dish Of all his Frydays and his fast Circumlocutions of bombast Hushed now, beached beside the Poddle, The entrails of the stews, the coddle. - © Frank Callery.
“The Dead” House on Ussher’s quay We will not bring those loved ones back, From Tib and Tom and Mullinahack, Who to the quay had come to dine, And left a tableau quite divine; Freddy Malins and the Ma, Molly Ivors — ‘Érin go Bragh’ — Or Lily, maid-of-all-work there, Who ruffled Gabriel by her air. And Paddy Morkan, late lamented, An absent one whom Joyce invented. Like Michael Furey, gone too soon, Whose wet stone lies out in Rahoon. And Mary Jane whose fingers touch The soul of song, at which they blush, “Arrayed for the bridal”, soon to come A death-song borrowed from the young By two old sisters, Kate and Julia, Whose ghost songs, far from “ruaille buaille", * Recall that operatic bliss That Mister Browne and others miss. Those old loved voices of the past, Whose echoes linger, linger, last! Like Bartell d’Arcy’s rain-soaked Lass Who Gretta sees, before her pass, But now transformed, transfigured so — Beyond the falling of the snow That ghosts the city of their lives Where memory flickers and survives On the tableau of her own sad bed Where play the living and the dead. — © Frank Callery. January 6th. 2021.
When Lucía Joyce was told that her father was dead, she said, “What is he doing under the ground, the idiot!” Lucia’s Song in Jig-time O what is he doing under the ground? Making a Pome, a blather of sound? Just wake him and plonk him up on the bed With whiskey and porter at feet and at head. His office made holy onto himself, Well stocked with the books he kept on his shelf, Fatquires, tripe and onions engrossed by fat arses And proofed be the scrivener,Jemmy Katharsis. And what is he saying,can you make out Lend him an ear, Ah! Liszt for his shout His eye it is dark, his lights have gone south — Get gas for his burner before it goes out. Get him a ladder, give him a hod To carry his books,to ferry his god: Thunderin' Jaysus give him a puck — For his puff is all wasted, his trotters all shook. Ah! go and revive him, get him to rise, Get him to sing, out from his shut eyes, One last great come-all-ye to win the Feis prize Then take him to Monto before the hoor dies. O Jemmy mo chrio, arrah! why did you die? The light of me life, the dark of me eye. He’s nothing to say, and the needle is stuck He can’t hear a hing, O! he’s out for a duck. Frank Callery © Saturday, December 8th. 2012. https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/xNtnZj99iPQRVdN18
I did this little bit to Camera as part of the NCBI / James Joyce collaboration for Bloomsday.
The Leaning Joyce “Der’s a flagpole up der and no Union Jack; The lads in Sinn Fein musta got the place back; Limpin’ Art Griffith’s come into his own, And got dem the nation be the methods he’d shown. And here on North Earl Street, it’s almost the same, Every purse, every pocket, well der all fair game, In keeping, I’d say, with the thievin’ Lord Henry, Who got it be wheedlin’, graftin’ an’ roguery. An’ plastered his name on the map if his gains His mot, his mot’s family, named in his lanes. In Princes’ Street, der, where with Cranly I met, An’ we saw ould Nannetti, nip in for his wet; Where the ad men were singing the song if commission And downing’ the porter in a war if attrition. De haunt if de Freeman’s, near William’s Lane, Where I passed a young biddy, an’ hur out on the game, ‘Howarye, hansome, an’ what’s on yer mind?’ “Ye’d smell dem a mile off, de know der own kind. But I make no admission, on dat one occasion, Or ye’d be looking for smut, and yer plucked eyebrows raisin’; It’s just I remember these things in detail - The bane if me life, if me life’s work should fail. An’ here I am pedestalled, like ould Tommy Moore, De voyeur of grannies, purse dipper and hoor, An’ needin’ a piss, with no public urinal, The pains that I suffer - neuralgic an’ spinal! Who made me like this? On some Arts Council grant - An’ should I be grateful, while making this rant? Ders really no comfort in holding dis pose, An’ if that cane should snap, I’ll end up on me nose! ‘Cause I’m stuck here so awkward, me legs full of cramps - I think I’ll nip over and buy a few stamps! - © Frank Callery.
The Crimsong of Dedalus The potent crimsong dedalus wept: The feathered eiderup of flight Consumed his passion while he slept And tossed the horned moon of night. Within the forests of his dreams His breath engorged mythology And waters of eternal streams Enwombed his lost androgyny. Howthennow a world conceived And birthed by his riverside, Bell heard tinkle adamandeved Poddlesong his dreamed-of Lied. And her night wonderlust of ‘Yes’ Plumed a Phoenix of desire - His quills were flighted to impress The after-ash, the potent fire. - © Frank Callery
From Bowling Green to Rahoon Was it to this window or another? Young Michael came, and tossed the lightest pebble. Hidden in the rain — he feared her mother — His whisper like a bird’s, high in the treble Calling out, calling out her name — Remembered long, the ghost-boy and the rain. Michael of the wasting, come to woo, A ghost voice, who perhaps has tasted first The flower, the fruit of that small Galway house, For which the god of words would say, ‘I thirst!’ His woo call, long an echo ‘neath each moon, The dripping rain, a wet stone near Rahoon. - © Frank Callery.
My Irish Molly O! O she has a fine pear, a Doyenné to share And her likes on the northside were boasted; In a fictional house she lived with her spouse And her negligee words they were toasted! But when she lay abed and her thoughts, that you’ve read, Ran from purile to pure fantasy, And without taking breath — I remember them yet! Laid bare her mind for the whole world to see. It’s the best ‘show and tell’ betwixt here and hell A parentheses bursting it’s corset; And out on the street you can hear her wet sheet Whether standing in Eccles or Dorset! — © Frank Callery April 9th 2021.
Joyce and Beckett on the way back from the Ulysses celebrations at Les Vaux de Cernay “My friend’s in the pissoir, Monsieur, He’ll be back in a minute, I’m sure! What’s THAT? Well, fuck you! And your ole Sacrebleu! I was never as long with a whore! “Now its shanks mare for Sammy the boy, Well tanked on sweet wine and dry, He’ll sleep in till six With the feet in a fix, And a pain in the blue of his eye”. - © Frank Callery.
(I have used this picture as the backdrop to the Lyrics book to my song ‘Dear Dirty Dublin’, which you can download from my CD and Shop page on this site.)
Players by the Waters (of Anliffey) Avoca, Nore and Anna Liffey Flowed to whet each appetite; Two were sweet, the other sniffy, Where they sat to play and write. Sir Martin Shee laid on the paint And Tommy Moore appeared, a clown, The mother had a right good faint, She wanted Tom in wig and gown. And as for Wicklow waters? Choice! — The gushing tap was spinal — Often met by our James Joyce By a Dublin urinal; Where Rabaiotti had the pitch — The emperor of pure ice cream, In Amiens Street he got the itch To push his cart to College Green. And like the ghosts who sauntered here Who heard below the push and grunt; Like Hamlet or a grumpy Lear They’ve left the play — the long exeunt. — © Frank Callery April, 2018.
“The Olive-skinned Eye-talian man that invented wan-and-wan’ as Vinnie Caprani called him. My dear late friend and fellow Dubliner Vinnie Caprani, related to Nanetti, and a fellow scribbler has written of the Dublin Italians.
For the Joyceans.
The Rabaiotti’s of Dublin.
In 1901, Lodovieo (also recorded as Ludwick) Rabaiotti, 27 years of age, and his 23 year old Wife Rosina (born in America) together with their baby daughter Blandina, lived at 15 Amiens Street. He was an Ice Cream Dealer with the following employees who were Ice Cream Dealer/Labourers: Gaetane Santi 21; Antonio Marenghi 16; Lingi Sidoli 18; Pietro Franzoni 32; Pietro Borlenghi 25 and Giacomo Garvie 19; Stefane Garvie 17, Angelo Santi 25.
In 1911, at No. 4 Wexford Street, lived Antonio Rabaiotti 33, Fish Merchant his wife Rosina 31 who is recorded as being born in Italy. Their eight year old daughter Vittorina, born in Dublin and their 2-year-old daughter Valentina, born in Italy. Also living with them were Albino Basini, 32, born Italy; Cesare Montelli, 20, born Italy; Dante Dadomo, 20, born Italy; Giovanni Moruni, 23, born Italy, and Carlo Marenghi, 19, born Italy. They were all described as Shopman Fish Merchant. Antonio was recorded as a rate payer there in 1909.
In the Lists of Ratepayers on the Dublin City Electoral lists 1908 to 1915 there are 21 entries for Rabaiotti — For the following addresses. Name: ANTONIE RABAIOTTIAddress: 10 Capel StreetQualification: Inhabitant occupier or ratepayerVoter number: Year: 1913
Name: Ludivico RabaiottiAddress: 10 Capel StreetQualification: Inhabitant occupier or ratepayerVoter number: Year: 1913
Name: Anthony RabaiottiAddress: 65 TALBOT PLACE (possibly Street)Qualification: Rated Occupier £21Description: shop and yardVoter number: 3201Year: 1908
Name: Anthony RabaiottiAddress: 63a Talbot StreetQualification: Inhabitant occupier or ratepayerVoter number: Year: 1913
Name: Anthony RabaiottiAddress: 65 Talbot StreetQualification: Inhabitant occupier or ratepayerVoter number: Year: 1914
Name: Antonio RabaottiAddress: 4 WEXFORD STREETQualification: Rated Occupier £26Description: house, shop and yardVoter number: 889Year: 1908
Name: Anthony RabaiottiAddress: 15a Digges StreetQualification: Inhabitant occupier or ratepayerVoter number: Year: 1913
By 1918 The Rabaiotti Brothers had an Ice Cream Saloon at 10 Capel Street and a fish and chips saloons at 22 High Street, at 156 Parnell Street, and at 19 South Richmond Street, at the corner of Gordon’s Place. Antonio had a restaurant at 56 Talbot Street just under the overhead Railway crossing, next door to Bardini’s Ice cream parlour at no 66. Around at 49 Amiens street was another of their businesses. Lodovico (Ludwick) Rabaiotti had his business and lived at No. 4 Wexford Street, next door to William Hogan’s pub at Nos 2 and 3, Hogan was also the owner of The Bailey Restaurant at Nos. 2 and 3 Duke Street.
Antonio’s ice cream cart appears in the Wandering Rocks section of Ulysses, where in U 10.229 it is called Rabaiotti’s icecream car. In the Circe section we get the full name of the ice cream vendor, Antonio Rabaiotti (U 15.150).
“A onelegged sailor crutched himself round MacConnell’s corner, skirting Rabaiotti’s icecream car, and jerked himself up Eccles street….”
Rabaiotti’s ‘wan and wan’s’ also appear in Peadar Kearney’s song “Fish and Chips” also known as The Liffeyside:
“So down to Rabaiotti’sTogether we did go,And the rapture then that filled our heartsNo poet e’er could know.We started atin’ double wans,And Mary softly sighed,‘I’d live for ever atin’ chipsDown by the Liffey side.”
They are also recorded in the births deaths and marriages records.
Births: Lodovico and RosinaOn October 20th 1900. at10 Chancery Lane (a very poor area), Blandina daughter, to Lodovico (dealer) and Rosina (nee Ferrari).
On October 29th 1904 at 4 Wexford Street, Alfredo, to Lodovico (shopkeeper) and Rosina (nee Ferrari).
On April 4th 1909 at 4 Wexford Street, Carmela Maria Guisephina, to Lodovico (Fish Merchant) and Rosa (nee Ferrari),
On June 8th 1913 at 4 Wexford Street, Maria Guisephina, to Lodovico (Fish Merchant) and Rosa (nee Ferrari).
Antonio and RosaOn October 29th, 1902; at 15 Amiens Street, Guisippi to Antonio Rabaiotti, Ice cream merchant, and Rosa Loffi.
On May 26th, 1903; at 15 Amiens Street, Vittorina to Antonio Rabaiotti, Ice cream merchant, and Rosa Loffi.
Deaths,On the 18th of July 1909. Carmela Rabaiotti 3 months, child of fishmonger, Lodovico Rabaiotti, father, 4 Wexford Street.
There are no further entries.
Molly Within the wide parenthesis of yes She pours a flowing measure that reveals The spoken moments of her sleeplessness The wealth of words she issues to confess To fantasies soliloquy unveils Within the wide parenthesis of yes Her Poldy sleeps his whereabouts a guess As from Saint George’s spire a late bell peals The spoken moments of her sleeplessness To Andalusian days her thoughts progress And flush with scent the ecstasy she feels Within the wide parenthesis of yes (O calyxed heart enflowered with each caress From what pure strain unfurls the thought that reels The spoken moments of your sleeplessness) The mountain flower has come to bloom her kiss Is long and sibilant her answer yields Within the wide parenthesis of yes The spoken moments of her sleeplessness. © Frank Callery, 2/2/1982
Rejoyce — Dublin (1982) Rejoycemen acity is noun-named A suffix of fastened slums His once woocall reached. Lore-learned came he with loselfriends Loping through laden latitudes* All northern, naughtywit. Softbeck blowkiss of maid Furgate-vard-farthingale Sweep of furbelow. Mollmott-juste-wombwarm* Eager where under eiderdown all Upheaval fell to flow, floor, softhush. Daybright brought eye dimrim Glare of focusblur All shopfront knowledge Tang and taste of Peapod, picklepot, rindhair Plumbruse, port, pigscheek Porterpaddypiss. Past. Nowday, all Fall to brickcrush Gone, grandeur all fallow Fetch of turnstone Irislife rainbowcrock. ii. Ahh! What comes to Bloom May, once flower; weary now. Endall, no grace nor late call recant. Reborn, tide swept, in the gyp of gender. UpfromDown — face down in wallow Found-near-shore new father, Nightwalker-cabman-horsepiss — stale ullage of the wine-dark sea. Dropdown, nickersniff The scent of soliloquy Bellpeal in the Bb — George’s Joined-at-the-hip, Yes! È © Frank Callery.
Dance of the Fish-scaled Girl Dance for me little fish-scaled girl, Give it a whoosh, give it a whirl, Dance from the purple of your aubergine, The kind of dance we have never seen. For the nightshade is sneaky, it tricks the mind It delves and it delves, but it cannot find The zip of your dress, the zest of your heart You kept from the daddy — you kept apart. Down deep in the silence, deep in the earth You are the dancer, sinuous, pert, The river-run woman, the auld Liffey maid; Dance in the shadows, in the dark nightshade. — © Frank Callery.
Lucia in Space Specs on the lap And a course white wrap The day at eleven, The dancing kitten. And in the face The Galway grace; And the auld fella’s squint And the way she’s sittin’. A deck chair on a balcony — The ship has lurched by ten degrees — The dancers legs Confined like pegs And the shadow Just below the knees. And to the door Three steps or four? Would take her from Our voyeurs’ gaze, Her distant stare From an old deck chair — The dancer who can still amaze. — © Frank Callery.