Bloomsday attempt no. 1

Daniel J. Rowe 

June 16, 1904, Dublin.

Perhaps the most famous day in literary history. It was the day many have followed who actually sat down, buckled in and read James Joyce’s Ulysses, cover-to-cover.

It is a monumental task, and one well worth trying.

We tried.

The brawlers, and a squirrel, attempted the feat this year. We started at 7 p.m. on the 16th, and really had no hope of getting all the way to Penelope. We made it to the end of Proteus.

We continued with Calypso the 17th in the AM, though we’re sure all the purists out there would be scowling through mouthfuls of kidney and other flesh of fowls and what not at us not following the Bloomsday rules.

The Jameson did help a little.

In the end, we did our best, and made it past Aeolus, and had a bunch of fun in the process. Eric was voted “Most likely to read about farts or dumps” and no reading should every be done without the musical accompaniment of Mr. Nick MacMahon.

Next year, we’ll go for the whole tome.

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‘Zounds! contributor and poet Ryan Buynak, Coyote Blood, also gave it a whirl, and gave us this reflection. Enjoy:


I read the first few pages and graves

of Ulysses today,

because it is June 16th, Bloomsday,

and because my friends

in Montreal and Berlin

and other places

are posting about it on Instagram,

so I feel the need to get it.

the action has me savvy,

especially after work

when I dig for the big copy

that I have had forever,

started and stopped,

given in to the prose

and given up on the poetry

of the piece of perfection.

this copy has been with me,

soaked in a tidal wave

on Fire Island that summer,

ripped by chicks that I have loaned it to,

and has seen bookshelves

in Florida, NYC, Montreal, Florida

and NYC, as well as

the backs of cars and the tops of bars.

this book by James

has given me whiskey,

nights, sexual candidates lost,

and tonight that is more recognizable

than the best commercials for soap

or broken noses and broken dreams.

Titus & Tamora (simply put: wrath)

The third instalment of ‘Zounds! is coming. The Mad King is destined to be amazing with some great submissions already in. If you would like to be a part of the epic journey along with the Bard Brawlers, click here and check out the submission guidelines. Better yet, buy a previous edition and get the idea of what ‘Zounds! is all about.

Here is an poem from ‘Zounds! Act I, scene ii: T by poet, singer/songwriter, playwrite and overall good guy Andre Simoneau. Enjoy.

Titus & Tamora

(simply put: wrath)

Andre Simoneau

Listen to or download a dramatic reading by Andre.



here is the shape of a tragedy

a violence forged twixt two pillars

two parents

warmother and warfather

queen, general

opposite progenitors of a wrathful legacy

a bloodline most cold

here is a lesson in shape of a massacre:

vengeance begets vengeance

sin sin

and wrath paid is repaid hundredfold

until all this your world is burned flat

in all white raging fire

all burning

all: wrath



enter Andronicus in shape of hero

Tamora shape of slave

bound and kneeling

made to pray for her life’s life

her eldest Alabrus

now see your hero’s slaying pride

his devotion to the form of victory

see the cost of it:

how quickly his stony countenance crumbles to marble dust

leaving naught but a silent taut thread of grief

drawing on to a snap

a sudden hot shock of recognition:

Titus you fool, you lost tragic tool, it was you

and all the wailing in the world

can only be now but a pale shadow of the true torment

in this Roman father’s warring chest



enter Aaron

with a flourish of pure malice

a villain beyond understanding

see the gleeful depravity

with which he schemes

see a murder of shade stretching out long beneath a copse of trees at day’s end

in a darkened wood

on the king’s hunting grounds

and ask:

what is a corpse in a hole?



what are hands?


what is rape?

witness vile Chiron, hateful Demetrius

these feral prowling sons

these cackling Gothic brothers

and ask:

how does this happen?

what evil is this?

what terrible hunger is it that leads beasts to sever youth

from herself?

and where is that burning brink of mind beyond which reason is annihilated

finally, irrevocably?

and just how much of a person may be excised in basest surgery

before they become more lack than presence?


what is it to touch?

to speak?

to taste?

what is the weight of evil?

what is the worth of life?



see these shapes of violence played out in grotesque dumbshow

by this maimed daughter, haunted Lavinia

and ask:

what is a mouth full of shade?

see her father’s fury in all its pathetic contortions

all its Roman spectacle

see him drunk on wrath’s hateful liquor

and hungry to feed his heart’s despised enemies

on all the roiling gore that stews inside his own gut

his hangman’s knot of twisted entrails

now see the ugliness of the wrathsnake feasting on itself

this is a warning in shape of the blade that

kills Tamora

kills Titus



the shape of revenge is recursion

the shape of revenge is recursion

the shape of revenge is recursion

Poet, singer/songwriter, playwrite and overall good guy Andre Simoneau at the mic.
Poet, singer/songwriter, playwrite and overall good guy Andre Simoneau at the mic.
'Zounds!, Act I, ii
‘Zounds!, Act I, ii

Check out the rest of the amazing writers and artists in ‘Zounds! 

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