On the Sleepy Banks of the Liffey

Voices on the wind…

One voice comes out of the hubbub, singing mellifluously, So round so firm so fully packed! And another chatters at it, No adverse effects to the ears, nose, and throat!. Seven women whistle a happy little workday song.

Prince Panjandrum kneels in the cupola of his palace with a naked sword lying across the threshold of the doorway and a pen in his hand. A pad of paper rests on his knees with the headings for his great narrative poem written lightly in the margins. House of Biology. House of Music. House of Mathematics. Panjandrum is a dilettante, a poetaster, which only bothers him when he’s far into his cups. His poetry is mannered, his witticisms tasteful but unoriginal. It suits him, this educated mediocrity, fits his youthful, unlined face and soft and soiled fingers. The cuffs of his suit are dirty, too, and frayed…

Voices on the wind, talking, talking. “How old are you?” “39, always 39.” “Not that closet, McGee!” “…the violence that moved West, and a man that moved with it…” “Hurry, Kato!” “The finest name in glass!”

Panjandrum drums his fingers on the pad of paper. In his head is neither poetry nor magic nor voices, but only the small details of his job, trailing like the threads from his cuffs…

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