I tore up your world, remaking
it in a style that was my own.
I wiped the crown from your King’s head,
and painted myself on the throne.
Your cast kept me good company
when I felt like being alone.
Your story became the sum of
my knowledge, both known and unknown.
For these sins and so many more,
I refuse to ever atone.
I’ve built cities in my brain,
cities that no one would recognize.
I’ve danced around Dublin with Dedalus and Bloom,
but no Dubliner would recognize his fair city
from my mental projection.
It doesn’t matter how masterful Joyce is in his description.
I’ve only visited the version that I tossed up in my mind
as I tore through his poetry,
and which was torn down in the wake of my reading.
And yet I treasure that false metropolis.
It’ll do — for now.