Friday, January 06, 2006

Junk poem

There's a certain ethereal quality to the subject lines of spam. Sometimes I just browse the Thunderbird Junk folder to enjoy the random juxtapositions of words. Perhaps there is a secret hidden there, a kabbalistic meaning that exists on a deeper level. Be that as it may, here is the latest crop in chronological order. Is it just me or does it seem as if the universe is quivering at the door whimpering to be let in? you should read this josh sniff That reply in hautbois Contact the Agent Urgently!!! You have won Or talk so groat Important Account Notice! Be cancel he sly To sign no refer wan My make as dawdle robin

Thursday, January 05, 2006


The sky is the color of a page of an unpublished novel, typed on corrasable bond, that slipped out of the stack and lay on the ground in the rain all night, until it is discovered, smudged and illegible, frozen in the mud.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

An antidote

Here's one of my favorite passages from Tom Holt
In the beginning was the Word. Nobody knows what it actually was, although it would be nice to think it was 'Sorry.' After a while the Word began to feel bored. It checked its spelling, but that was all right. It tried rhyming with itself, but it had an idea that that made you go blind. It put itself into italics, but they hurt. There was nothing for it but to create some other words and see what happened. To begin with, the Words just bounced about, like a lot of random particles; and when they bumped into each other, small bits and corners were chipped off, fell through space, acquired momentum and became Matter. Then most of the original Words decided to form a gang, dress up in white sheets and beat the pulp out of the adjectives, who they felt were getting above themselves, and so engrossed did they become in this that they failed to notice that a rival group of sentient beings had materialised out of nowhere. By the time they realised they were not alone, the Words had been scooped up, parsed senseless and imprisoned in the first ever word processor.

The Eve of the Blizzard

Yes, I know that I promised to keep writing, but the black humours overcame me and I sank into the depths again. Having given up drinking, oblivion was denied me. Having given up smoking, the solace of slow suicide was also unreachable. Which leaves me no recourse except to accept the slow progress of life. I have struggled to the surface in time for the snow. It occurs to me that snow is much like an antidepressant medication. It covers the the world in a blanket of fresh crispness like a bed made with freshly ironed sheets (a metaphor I will promptly discard). Winter's appearance of brilliant purity may be nature's way of making up for the dark cold depths of the longer nights. Would that it could. For the chronic melancholic it is merely a facade. Beneath the pristeen surface, the detritus lies in frozen suspension. Only temporarily hidden are the results of emptied dog dishes, the rubble of the wrappers of fast food and fast sex resisting decomposition and waiting to rise from their fastness in Spring. Should I write a book to be called "A la recherche du temps rapide"? The chemicals keep winter always. I feel like Oscar Wilde's selfish giant without even the mirage of faith. My winter is psychopharmaco with out the logic. The balance is maintained. No thaw can be permitted to allow growth for it would also let the garbage bubble muddily to the surface. I am wrapped in winter as a mummy is wrapped in bandages, as a monk is rapt in meditation immobile in opposition to the lust of the enraptured raptor dipping its hooked beak in the steam of its prey. I am snowbound. Where's that goat-footed balloon man?

A Cup of Coffee

Gratuitous Haiku Thoughts grind to powder in my skull Like seeds in a cracked suribachi.
There is a square glass jar in the cupboard to the right of the stove. It used to contain a store-bought black olive tapenade. Its new label is worn and stained with oil. It reads "Green Cardamom. I open it and tip two of the pods into my old, cracked and chipped suribachi and lay the surikogi next to it. I twist open the vesuviana espresso pot. and dump the grounds from the metal filter into the trash. I rinse the filter and dump the dribble of water left in the bottom of the pot. Fresh spring water goes in. Then the filter. I grind the cardamom seeds to powder with the tip of the surikogi, leaving the husks in. Then pour the contents into the filter. Three heaping tablespoons of Italian roast, ground to the powder that makes the best espresso, is placed lovingly on top of the spice. Then I screw the top of the pot on. (Why do I always miss lining up the threads the first time?) Onto the burner it goes. As I rinse my mug and wonder, not for the first time today, Why I have so much trouble writing. The thoughts grind around inside my head like ... like cardamom in my cracked suribachi. It used to ring when tapped with the surikogi, Ring like a bell, but now it's just a dull thud. Unlike the cardamom, my thoughts and dreams pour from the cracked suribachi of my skull devoid of scent, devoid of flavor, meaningless.

Ah ... The steam is spitting from the pot. The coffee's ready. I pour a mugfull of the brew, bitter and black as my mood, and go back to my work to try again.