James Joyce, Jesuit-educated, first visited a prostitute
at 14, and wrote some famous books.
He was afraid of thunder and lightning.
Hid under bedcovers. He also feared dogs –
walked with rocks pocketed, just in case.
For inspiration, over his desk a photograph –
a statue of Penelope, wife of Odysseus/Ulysses.
And one of a man from Trieste –
unnamed but the model for Leopold Bloom.
My desk – his photo – keeps words flowing.
Breakfast in bed wife in bed hungers
scented summer river morning errands about town,
funeral procession passes café wine cigarettes
writer conversation notebook letters chardonnay thoughts schoolgirls
laughing stars appear walking home silk night.
James Joyce chose June 16 as the date setting for his novel Ulysses because it was on that day that he went on his first date with the love of his life, Nora Barnacle.