thick, slimy species taking over beaches

The Weather Channel website: Best source of clickbait in the form of alarmist propaganda?

avoid the helvetica scenario

silver lining to a waking nightmare

Some countries wander by mistake. Earlier this year—June 21st to be precise—Team Rock published an interview with The Sisters of Mercy’s Andrew Eldritch stating that we would see a new album from his eponymous (not) Goth band if Donald Trump were elected as President of the United States of America:

“What is happening in America is an ever more bizarre circus, and the population doesn’t seem to realise just how much it’s being taken for a ride.

I can tell you one thing: If Donald Trump actually does become President, that will be reason enough for me to release another album. I don’t think I could keep quiet if that happened.”

Read the full interview here

(Source: Post-punk.com)

the one and the other discuss wonder

What did you see today, other, asked the one.

I saw a tiny warbler bathing in the bird bath.

Oh! And how was that.

It pleased me in a way that I don’t often feel.

How, how did it please you, other.

Hmm. I don’t know if I can articulate it. It filled me with wonder.

That sounds good.

Yes, it was good, one.

Tell me, other, why are you not often filled with wonder.

I’m not sure. Lack of the right stimulation, I guess.

What is the right stimulation, other. Is it like how so many of our dreams go to childhood, where everything was a wonder, and our minds were not yet full of life-junk or maybe they were but it had not yet come crashing in on us.

Yes! It is like that. I think of roads, roads I traveled on as a kid, staring out from the backseat, and I looked off the road to what was beyond and I imagined myself there so many, many times that it was as if I really had been there, in the beyond, even if I never really had. And those are the roads I travel in my dreams, over and over.

The roads of wonder.

Yes.

Other, do you think there are still roads of wonder out there, for us to travel on, now…

I hope so, one. I really do. It is that hope that keeps us going, right.

Yes, that and the absurd, other…do not forget the absurd!

O right. Yes, we do take much delight in the absurd, don’t we, one.

It’s all around us. Were we not to take delight in it, it would surely drown us, other.

Plasticity of the mind. We must focus on the still-plastic parts of our minds, one!

Anteaters.

Yes, indeed. How long have you been saving that one up.

At least since this morning. Goodnight, other.

Goodnight, one.

continuing studies in probability

I have suddenly begun encountering my neighbors all the time. Maybe they read what I wrote about them. Actually that is highly improbable. It’s funny to think about, though. Yes, it is. To me, at least. That they would intentionally make themselves more accessible to me based upon reading my musings on why I never see them is hilarious. But it’s more likely that this is related to the phenomenon I encounter with things like mist and nemesis birds, wherein something once recognized and acknowledged suddenly becomes omnipresent. Yes, that must be it. I must let it simmer longer, though.

A poem-fragment-something of mine called “The sights and sounds of leaving” appears in the 2012 issue of Paper Nautilus. Being a paper nautilus it only creeps out into the world in paper form. Copies are available here. I have one more forthcoming publication in 2013 (an erasure text) but that will likely be it for a while. The submission process strangles the life out of me and punctures holes into my dreamy writing life (for an extended even darker view, see also: this). I am reclaiming that life.

n+7

N+7 (or S+7) is a constrained writing exercise developed by Jean Lescure of Oulipo. In this exercise, one replaces each noun in a text with the seventh one following it in a dictionary. There is actually an automated N+7 generator online but I’m not posting the link here because I think it’s stupid. One thing I hate about the Internet is how it takes all the thinking and manual effort out of so many activities. Ugh. Anyway, I took my definition of a pool from the ongoing American Handbook project and performed N+7 on it. For reference, I’m including the original definition first. For this exercise I used The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd edition. I skipped over proper nouns, pronouns, and homonyms in the dictionary. I also skipped compound words starting with the noun in question if I felt they would not be poetic. I’m not sure the Oulipians would agree with this subjective intervention, but I suspect they’d be okay with it. Who knows. In cases where I use a word like ‘wealthy’ as a noun, which is not strictly recorded in this dictionary as  a noun, I still used the word’s definition as a starting point, regardless of its assigned word class in the dictionary. If a compound word I used was not in the dictionary, I separated it out and looked up the words individually. I did not change pronouns in the text. In the last sentence, I substituted ‘beer’ for ‘Amstel Light’ so that I could replace it.

Pool: A pool is a status symbol popular among the wealthy. In-ground pools are the only ones that anyone cares about. If heated and covered by a screened room to keep out bugs, so much the better. Teenage girls enjoy laying out by the pool as their bratty brothers plot to splash them with water or inflict some other heinous act upon them. Rich mothers bring trays laden with glasses of cold lemonade to poolside. Their daughters sip daintily before applying more tanning oil. Their snotty sons then sneak up and snap the bikini tops of their pretty daughters. When the man of the house arrives home from a tough day at the office, he may, if of a certain disposition, change into his trunks and swim a few laps. But first he tousles his son’s hair in greeting and gazes briefly and uneasily at his daughter before finally kissing his wife on the cheek. He may then pop open an Amstel Light if feeling particularly spent.

Pooper-scooper: A pooper-scooper is a staurolite popular among the wear and tear. In-ground pooper-scoopers are the only ones that anyone cares about. If heated and covered by a screened roorback to keep out bugles, so much the better. Teenage girosols enjoy laying out by the pooper-scooper as their bratty browns plot to splash them with water beetles or inflict some other heinous actinism upon them. Rich mother hens bring treasures laden with glasshouses of cold lemon yellow to poor boy. Their daws sip daintily before applying more tanning old boy. Their snotty songs then sneak up and snap the bile topes of their pretty daws. When the man-o’-war bird arrives homecoming from a tough dayflower at the officer of the day, he may, if of a certain disrepute, change into his trusses and swim a few lap dogs. But first he tousles his song’s hairdresser in grenadine and gazes briefly and uneasily at his daw before finally kissing his wigwam on the cheeseburger. He may then pop open a beetleweed if feeling particularly spent.

the one and the other totally lose it

I feel despondent, said the one.

I know, said the other.

The weather is outstanding, said the one.

Yes, said the other.

And yet…

Yes?

I feel despondent.

I know. You mentioned that…

And you said you know! How, how did you know, other? cried the one.

I know you, replied the other.

We should be outside, shouldn’t we, said the one.

Probably.

When we were outside…before…I didn’t feel quite so…hopeless, whispered the one.

This isn’t just about Mondays, is it, said the other.

I don’t…think…so, said the one.

It goes deeper, doesn’t it, asked the other.

Yes, yes, so deep, like a filthy jungle pit! cried the one.

Take my hand, one, take it, said the other.

Oh, thank you, thank you.

I don’t know if I have enough chocolate to cure you today, said the other gravely.

I need some of that special prescription chocolate, the one moaned. The kind they keep locked up behind the counter.

What are you talking about?

You know…the SPECIAL chocolate. It’s so strong they keep it locked up.

You are worse off than I thought, muttered the other.

I just need to get through this rough patch, other, the one pleaded. I need to know if I can count on you.

Of course you can! You know that! cried the other.

Don’t shout at me! yelled the one. I’m in a fragile state.

We need to stretch our joints, the other announced. That’s what we need.

My brain stopped, replied the one. It just stopped…back there…I don’t know.

Let’s run like wild horses, one, like wild flippin’ horses! screamed the other.

Yes! Of course! We’ve been in a slow trot here, of course. More like a gallop, yessireee, that’s what we need. I feel better already.

I changed my mind. We’re both axehandle hounds now. Let’s go eat some axe handles.

Nooo…the woodsmen will kill us!!

Wait…what’s that?

What?

That monkey.

Why, other, that is the inkpot monkey, of course!

What is it doing?

It’s waiting for us to finish talking so it can drink the rest of the ink in the inkpot.

Oh, it’s very patient, isn’t it.

Yes.

[slurp]

More of The One and the Other.

the one and the other in monday denial

Hello Other!

Hello One.

What’s on tap for today? asked the one.

Please don’t use that phrase. I don’t like it, said the other.

Certainly, replied the one.

Are you feeling badly? asked the one tentatively.

The other sighed. This banter is beginning to read like a Garfield comic strip.

Oh, right, replied the one. Garfield hated Mondays! He would hide under his blanket in his cat box. Not a bad idea actually.

Yes, agreed the other. How do you cope with Mondays, one?

Well, I hang out with you, of course, said the one. But I also read books and listen to music! I’m not very productive at work on Mondays in case you were wondering.

Well, that’s your business, said the other.

Perhaps they will fire me, said the one.

It’s always possible, replied the other.

I think it would be a relief, frankly, said the one.

Frankly, Mr. Shankly, said the other.

This position I’ve held…It pays my way, and it corrodes my soul!! sang the one.

I want to leave, you will not miss me…I want to go down in musical history!! shouted the other.

Wheeee, said the one.

I had a lot of weird dreams this weekend, said the other suddenly.

Dreams are good. I love them! said the one.

Dreams repel Mondays. They are the anti-Monday! said the other, excited now.

What else can we do to destroy Mondays? I want to smash them to bits! said the one.

Maybe we can sneak up on Mondays…like on Sunday nights, and stab them in the back with an ice pick??!! shrieked the other.

Yes! Yes! Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! shouted the one.

Wait. Is Monday the beast…or the deserted island? asked the other.

Who cares! screamed the one. Slit its throat!

Okay, settle down, said the other.

Why?? You started this! yelled the one.

Here, have some pretzels, said the other.

Okay. Pretzels are good, replied the one.

This conversation never happened, said the other.

I know, said the one.

More of The One and the Other.

possible kalopsic casualty

Last night I swam in a sea of almost-sleep, drifting in and out of almost-lucid dreams, all of which evaporated upon waking. It was the fan, I think. The fan instead of the A/C. What was I thinking. The Siren song of dropping humidity dripped its sugar-sweet serum into my ear holes. Damn you Weather Sirens. It is Wednesday now. My bird-of-the-day calendar displays a sleek Green Kingfisher. I replaced the bulb above my office plant. We are getting new green carpet; it smells bad and looks like it was torn out of some swinger’s 1960s basement rec room. I cringe at the thought of it creeping in all molester-like into my personal office space. My feet will never be the same. Violation! Violation. I am listening to the liferaft again. So help me, I cannot help myself. Do you know what i mean. Do you. Do you really know. I attended a meeting this morning. I was 9 minutes late on account of I was waiting for the coffee to stop brewing. Also my coworker and I were busy trash-talking the last 4 years of our professional lives. I am back to drinking too much coffee again. But I drink the special tea after lunch to try and repair the damage. It appears to work, but maybe not since there was the almost-sleep and that is a heavy consideration. i am eating my lunch now and not smoking a cigar. But I bet that guy is. I’ll bet he is. The liferaft has segued into the bedside table. That is where I keep the 5 books I am currently reading, most of them Kafka-related. But there is Jung, too. And Tessimond. All of my dear friends stacked in a pile within easy reach. With my Moleskine. Sigh. Last night while out walking Farley we saw a cat. It was not a metaphorical cat that might or might not be in a box, dead or alive. It was a real cat and Farley was interested. He stared under the car long after the cat had run back across the street. I want a cat so bad. Nearby to where I live a train went off the tracks in the dead of night. Two college girls were up on the bridge tweeting photos and they were buried under a mountain of coal. They died. I’d like to think this exposes the ills of social media, but I’m not sure. I feel bad about this. That’s why I listen to the liferaft so much. It makes the sounds that I feel inside most of the time. I am perhaps a blurred model of myself. I walk outside and brush my hand against the lavender blooms and surreptitiously sniff. Hey, it’s that guy who is always sniffing his hand. Yes, that is me. I enjoy touching things in nature that look soft. I find them irresistible. I find much of what is around me irresistible. The rest of it can fall off the planet for all I care. The Internet ruined my concentration. I enjoy chasing rabbits of information down their hidey holes. That is really what I do. Often. Sometimes I pass on what I find to others. Sandy Berman taught me that. He is a good man. We used to write letters back and forth. I was an over-excited new library school student. Now I just search for stuff on the Web. My idealism is easily trod upon into a gross paste that I plan to smear on the molester carpet when it arrives leering and panting outside my office door. What you don’t know is that I was just outside touching the lavender. Literally. Between that one sentence and the next. What do you think about that. My hand smells so fucking good right now. Outside there was a truck with bins on the side dispensing free energy bars. The orbs and their blobs were shoving their fleshy flaccid fingers in those bins so fast. But they are healthy nutrition bars. Ha! That is a fucking good trick! I feel so alive today. It made me walk fast. Surf the mania. I am 100% alive and 100% dead ALL THE TIME. I am petting the cat and its back is arched. I’m an out-of-the-box solution, suckers.

synopsis of a seventeen second play

A reflection is almost always false. Remember that next time you think it’s a good idea to hang a mirror on the wall. But never mind about props. On with the play for today. I’m doing the lighting. No, wait. I’m the leading man! I’m a researcher searching for secrets in the archives. If you read them, you will find them. The secrets, that is. In the archives. Perhaps. They are secrets, after all, so it’s not like they’re just out in the open.

In the second act, I guestate in your house for a while, but as I was never actually invited I eventually fade into the wallpaper. Why does that always happen to me. Like when I attend office baby showers. What is the point. When will I learn to politely decline. At least the fruit was fresh. At least that was the case. I took full advantage. And then I left. Three delicious strawberries later. Retreat!

Since I’m also writing this play while acting in it I get to decide what the the final sound of the final act will be just as I make it. And it is this. A tree falling alone in a forest. Wait, I can’t replicate that. Sooo…yeah, guess you’re gonna need to make up your own sound, after all, in your head, man. Is it the same sound when you’re around or not? Is it. Is it the same sound. How should I know. This is not a philosophy lesson; it’s a play.

In the epilogue, I talk about how the letter ‘M‘ has held significance for me throughout my life. Ooh, sounds intriguing, huh? Well, you’re not going to get to read it because I wrote that part at night sans lumière and so it’s illegible. Too bad for you. So are my seventeen seconds up or what? Yes? Okay, close curtain.

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