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A man makes a coat out of an old piece of cloth.
When the coat is in tatters, he makes a vest from the coat.
When the vest is in tatters, he makes a scarf from the vest.
When the scarf is in tatters, he makes a cap from the scarf.
When the cap is in tatters, he makes a button from the cap.
From the button the man makes nothing at all.
And then from the nothing at all he makes this song.

– Jenny Erpenbeck, The End of Days

Language & Technology ~ Three Rogations

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HAIL MAYBE

Hail Maybe,
full of safe,
the Lore is with thee.
Undressed are thou among adverbs
and fleshly is the antecedent
of thy doom.
Holy Maybe, Mother of Sod,
delay for us slackers
now and at the dower
of our breath.
amen.


UNTITLED

Repost-Like-Follow
connect me with
you to them so
I can friend your
avatar, retweet your
hashtag upside your
network of digital
handles dying for a
quick meme
death archived in
IP heaven, live-
streamed through
an unfanned server hell
rebooted with each
post, modern update,
like 404 error riddles
overclocked, open-source
databased perversions
whose corruptions
penetrate identities
on the line
offset by network
exorcisms plug-and-played
straight up your
tightest port, as
secure socket layers
rot silicon pus
oozing out
interfaced dreams
infinite-looped
ad infinitum digitopolis
without end amen.


THE WWW PRAYER

Our Online, Who art in Cyberspace,
Hallow by Thy URL;
Thy System run, Thy data be done,
In analog as in digitalia.
Link us this cycle, our daily feeds,
And format us our drives,
As we format zero/ones among us;
And route us not into page migration
But upload us eternal,
Amen.

Like Taking Candy from a Baby

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“Ya been keepin’ out of trouble?” my Uncle Joe asked.

“You know it! I’m the early bird gettin’ the worm and all that.”

“Don’t forget that you’re working hard to play hard, right? You look a little rundown–gettin’ enough rest?” he said.

“Oh, I figure I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Heheh.”

He hugged me, said something about the apple landing near the tree, and told me to keep up the good work. We wished each other a good-day-god-speed-happy-trails-goodbye-for-now. He mumbled something about my having greener grass as he turned and walked off into the sunset. I thought he might be vaporized.

I was counting my blessings on the way home when I passed a babe in the woods beating a dead horse. I didn’t know him from Adam, so I just tried to mind my own business. The winds of change made it feel like a dark and stormy night was approaching quick as a bunny. The town floozy was on the corner like clockwork shouting that “a hard man is good to find!” I thought she’d have thrown in the towel by now, but apparently there were still a few men of honor who would touch her with a ten foot pole.

As I turned the corner at Memory Lane, I tripped. Talk about taking a load off! Before I came to my senses, I was staring eye to eye with a green pill bug. Worried that he’d heard through the grapevine that I was not playing with a full deck of cards, I tried to beat him to the punchline. “Knock, knock.” I said. “Who’s there?” he replied. “Your mama!” I laughed like a hyena. He told me it was better to burn out than to fade away, at which point, he let down his hair, curled into a ball and started his rolling anti-moss-gathering maneuvers. I took this as a sign from God and began to watch like no one was dancing.

It felt as if a moment of truth was upon me. At the end of my tunnel vision, a light, brighter than a thousand sons. Either I had my wires crossed, it was darkest before the dawn (aside from that weird light in the distance), or I had indeed had my fifteen minutes of fame.

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I had this idea in the middle of the night that maybe I could stop working for the almost astronaut and get a job writing fortune cookies instead. I could try to write really American ones. Already, I’ve jotted down a few of them. Objects create happiness. The animals are pleased to be of use. Your cities will shine forever. Death will not touch you.

– Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation

Ledger’s Domain

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DATE                    DESCRIPTION/PAYEE                                                                                COST


October 5th     |     Kit Kat Gentleman’s Club                                                                      $57.89


October 6th     |     Jezabelle’s Floral Emporium–anniversary arrangement               $45.00


October 7th    |     Kit Kat Gentleman’s Club                                                                       $104.37


October 8th     |     Joe’s Swedish Massage Warehouse                                                    $300.00


November 4th |     Institute for Couple’s Counseling                                                          $50.00


November 11th |  Institute for Couple’s Counseling                                                          $50.00


November 18th |  Institute for Couple’s Counseling                                                          $50.00


November 25th |  Kit Kat Gentleman’s Club                                                                      $450.00


December 2nd |  S. OWE DOTES Divorce Attorneys                                                        $350.00


December 25th |  Hilltop Motel–week’s deposit                                                               $500.00


January 1st       |     Morning Heights Apartments, Inc.                                                 $2,400.00


January 15th    |  Child Support Payment #1                                                                     $675.00


January 16th    |  Kit Kat Gentleman’s Club                                                                       $150.00


January 19th   |  Morning Heights Clinic–STD screening                                                 $50.00


January 21st   |  Gurn’s Pharmacy–prescription ointment                                             $68.19


February 10th |  Gurn’s Pharmacy–prescription refill                                Insufficient funds


 

Note: I wondered whether one could tell a story using someone’s checkbook or credit card statements. It would be akin to turning the reader into a kind of investigator piecing together the clues… filling in the blanks. Could you create a sense of character? If so, to what degree? This was my initial draft above and while it was an interesting experiment to attempt, I don’t think I’ll be doing so again.

Writing Habits

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I’ve been an erratic, undisciplined writer most of my life all the while holding the belief that I need some sort of schedule, or that some sort of magical regularity to when and how I write would just magically fall into place… But the thing is, I don’t support myself through writing and so, like any recreational pursuit, no matter how passionate, it easily gets pushed to the side. I also tend to jump in the deep end instead of easing into changes in behavior or starting new activities. About a week ago or so, I decided to try an incredibly practical approach: write for 10 minutes every day. That’s it. Doesn’t matter when. Doesn’t matter what (except e-mails and writing for my day job don’t count). Have I met the goal every day? Nope. I’ve probably skipped 3 or 4 days, but almost every day I have written has been well over 10 minutes. It’s simply the getting started that matters.

One day, I was tired, but decided not to let myself off the hook. Which means sometimes you get crap like this, but it’s sort of like cleaning the cob webs out of your head:

The rigamortis rigamarole—
A dance she asked if I knew.
My lips sneered, my heart cowered,
Something pressed hard
against the inside of my zipper.

A waltzing pshaw why
Gring gring grong
Uhhhhhh I should sleep
Now it’s just obligatory
Letters typed on the screen
Soon to b deleted
Repleted anastomosis
Better retreated.

Yuh? I mean. Yeah?
Maybe not. Whatever.
I need to wash the tub
And shower. And read.
Or sleep or something.

Fuck this.