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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Self-Portrait in the Concave Mirror of the Life, Trial and Martyrdom of Ernest Lalor Malley





















‘I have split the infinitive. Beyond is anything.’

Order, order!
Opening the case
for the prosecution,
the Zoological Society
of London announced the return
of Mr Ern Malley’s paper
on his discovery of an oviparous
monotreme, ornithorhynchus
paradoxus
, on the grounds
of non-existence: ‘If there are
mammary glands, where is the butter?
The “platypus” is the merest
imposture and you, sir,
are a damnable fraud.’

Representing himself
Ern Malley, Irish rebel
and author of a memoir, On
Another Man’s Wind
, hailed
by avant-garde periodical
Fractious Echidnas as ‘pungent’
wished to denounce
in the strongest possible terms
the Scouse poet-mechanic
and disturber of the peace
Ernie O’Malley.

‘The use of the copula
I considered an indecency’,
testified Officer Vogelsang,
only the twitchings of whose
ever-vigilant groin stand
between Australia
and moral collapse.
‘In the strictly conscientious
prosecution of my
duties’, he added, ‘I have
sometimes found it
necessary to do away
with language altogether.’

Ethel Malley, housewife
and sister of the accused,
stated weeping that
the life and works of authors
James McAuley and Harold Stewart
had all been an immature
prank for which her brother
now wished to apologise.
The whole affair had been
a terrible strain on their father,
and she too had been against
this writing game from the start!

The defendant, Ern Malley,
in his closing remarks
ruled Dermot Trellis,
novelist-within-a-novel
in Flann O’Brien’s recently
published At Swim-Two-Birds
an inadmissible witness
before finding himself guilty.
‘I am denounced as a hoax,’
he protested as he did so,
‘but patently exist. I call
on myself to drop this trumped-
up case now before
I waste any more of my time.’


2 comments:

Dantem said...

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Background Artist said...

Cheers Dan, i am looking for some new web-space to sell myself and facilitate the commercial arm of one's business. Cheeres, I am after some all singing and dancing technology that makes me cut out the failing theocratic bureaucracy crippling the state of play at some islands' po-biz Central space where 'nothing happens'.

I think Auden got it fairly straight Dan: that if someone came to him saying: 'I want to be a poet because there are urgent and important things I need to relive myself of as the possible replacement of an MD, say: or an RK, or a KJ and HG holding hands ay Silliman's, say Dantem pal, hey, hey?'

..Wynstan would think she or he was probably not a poet. But if a person said: ''I am a person interested in putting words together in novel and unexpected ways. I like playing with words, with language.'

..this is someone who might very well turn out to be a poet.? Hugh would think top himself Dantem.

I like playing with words, and your business proposal sounds the sort of thing I need now to move forward commercially as a public figure, res publica, with important things to say - of course, of course - but in such a way as to make where a person is from, what they talk like, the sound and accent of their Voice - wholly irrelevant Dantem.

Thanks for being here for us. I love you very much, you know that, don't you?