One summer evening during my student days in London, I wondered while sitting in a pub how famous literary artists like Joyce, Durrell, Sartre, Miller, Lawrence and Nabokov might have composed nursery rhymes. I selected two, Lawrence and Miller. After a couple of bottles of Guinness I started to scribble the sketches.
D H Lawrence
It was a lovely sunny day with great tufts of primroses and dandelions making suns. Yellow celandines were now in crowds, flat open, pressed back in urgency.
Jack adjusted his breech and re-entered the hut, He moved very quietly so as not to awaken Jill who was sleeping under a spare army blanket on the floor. As he put the kettle on to boil, he was suddenly aware of the old flame shooting and leaping within him which he thought was quiescent forever.
And then began that unspeakable motion that was not really motion and was actually spoken — the pure deepening whirlpools of sensation, that were not really deepening whirlpools of sensation at all, but one perfect concentric fluid of feeling, that had a ponderous, primordial tenderness such as made the world in the beginning.
Suddenly he heard a muffled sob and Jill was crying blindly in all the anguish of her generation’s forlornness. “Aye lass,” he said, “dunna fret thysen ab’ut lovin’ me. Tha’l niver force thysen to’t. There’s sure to be a bad nut in every basketful. Tha mun ta’e th’ rough wi’th’smooth.
“Oh Jack, not the dialect again, Why don’t you speak like an ordinary man”? She hated the thee and the tha and the thysen. Just then there was a sound of a shot, which came from the direction of the wood. “Who … who is it?” cried Jill frantically, dropping the forget-me nots and blue-bells that had been entwined in her hair.
“It be Lord Tom of Thumb,” came a laughing baritone from the chicken coop. “Who do tha think it be ‘?
Sex was everywhere. It was lapping up the boulevards and oozing out of the bladder of Montmarte, while the rest of the world was rotting like a pile of dirty nylon underwear.
Jack was lying in his hotel room writing the introduction to his fourth novel. Quiet Days in In the Argentine. In a burst of creative frenzy he scribbled three and a half words. He couldn’t get through the fourth, because the girl who was scratching his back had pulled a muscle.
Katania the young Ukrainian who could have taken over had run off with a former boyfriend and the young Javanese was shaving her armpits in the bathroom. There was Janine the French model, Lola a hairdresser from Rimavska Sabota, and a couple of whores from Korea.
While Jack was thinking about the blonde who used his toothbrush in the twenty-something’s of September 1927 , the German walked in. “Hey Jack,” there’s a dame downstairs. Calls herself Jill. Says she’s been in Sydney in these last nine months.” Jill! Jill was back! Jill who he had met back in thirty six in that ladies cloakroom in Copenhagen. Between the time she took off and the time she returned he had lived the life of a full blooded schizerino. It was not an eternity which had elapsed , it was something man made in which he experienced a entr’acte in which every millimeter of his skin itched and burned until his whole body became a running sore … Jill was back. Jill who’d given poor old Rueben the clap after she’d been screwed by half the guys in the Virgin Isles Suddenly the phone rang. The Czech blonde picked up the instrument. “It’s for you Jack. Some Englishman called Tom says he has just returned from Buenos Aires and Dorita wants to know if she called her baby Jack?
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2017.