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Robert

Roman

Empire

RED BRICK ALLEY STORIES

The Killards Are Coming

Every damn day in Religion Class, Sister Anna Banana yapped about the Soviets revving up to start a nuclear war with the new president, Ronald Reagan. She said after the cities burned to Holy Hell, there’d be something called “nuclear winter” that would kill all... 

Double-Strength Demon Dogs

Fantastic Freddie was the only altar boy from the Red Brick Alley. He was always consecrating Ritz Crackers and trying to make us eat them like communion wafers. He light-fingered incense from the sacristy, and he blessed water from Old Lady Tully’s spigot...

Laser Loop

I couldn’t see over the tall green school bus seat except when we hit a pothole and I bounced up in the air like a Pop-Tart jumping out of a toaster. Nobody at Saint Augie’s could believe I was allowed to go. My first school picnic ever. I was good from the day I handed in my pink...

The Boy Wonder

How the Hell did Jaggerbush get himself up there? He was clawing his way up into the open window above the Science class door like a real-life gargoyle. The blockhead of a wooden mallet stuck out of the back of his Toughskins where his butt crack was. He wore three...

About The Author

Rob.jpg

Robert Roman grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where he sold newspapers to cars from a concrete island. Read more→

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  • Robert Roman

My Own Private Ulysses: Live from Exile Row



Rumors of my excommunication are NOT exaggerated.

Instead of reciting your nightly prayers, you tune into your favorite James Joyce Zuckerbook Group, and lo and behold, your access has been denied.

Huh?

That’s right, you’ve been blocked, barred, bogarted. From a James Joyce Club? Is there even an analogy for this? Being censored by so-called Joyceans is the apex of irony. But that’s a whole other podcast.

To add Kafkaesque insult to Orwellian injury, no explanation was provided, no warning, not a pip, not a squeak, just existential, echoing, silence. The Bloom-like masochist in me craves a bit of censuring with my censoring. And I itch for my day in a kangaroo court. It’s been a minute.

Years ago, my jalopy was mysteriously towed from the block on which I lived. (Newsflash: leaving a motor vehicle unattended longer than 72 hours in LA is a crime.) My inner J.J. O'Molloy awoke. I repeated that Angel City “stole” my car so many times the traffic court judge pleaded with me to stop saying that word. I can’t figure out how I lost that kangaroo case.

Though I walk in the valley of shadowy suppression, I will fear no Circe-esque Court. Recovering barrister and political operative, Doctor Reality, is on the case! He’s already masterminding a masterstroke Hail Mary defense against any Philip Beaufoy-like charges of being a “low cad,” “not fit to be mentioned in mixed society,” “archconspirator of the age.” Again, like Bloom, “I love the danger.”

On a truly, deeply spiritual note, my spotted soul wonders which Deadly Sin caused me to be cast out from this Joycean Eden: The Skipper, The Millionaire, His Wife, The Movie Star, The Professor, Mary Ann, Gilligan?

Stay tuned. Forced confession pending.

Same banned time, same banished channel.

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