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Sometimes it's hard to tell them apart.
When I was a lad (said the locksmith), I didn't even know there were such places.
Doors are hinged on one side. Look. These are hinges.
The other side swings freely. Like so.
Well, will you see that!
Look at 'er go!
This must have some useful applications in shipbuilding!
And the culinary arts!
How much do we owe you?
There is not enough money in the world to recompense nor remunerate me.
Now I must kill you both.
The "Jacket Photo" Radio Play
Ah yes, 10:30, the writer. Thanks, Jane.
Stand on that X. That would be great.
Just relax. We can do this quick.
So it's a book you got coming out: blurb pic. Little to the left. Thanks.
This won't hurt a bit.
Do you want to look more serious?
Stretch your neck.
Very poetical, very.
Is this for the same jacket?
Pull back the foreskin.
Make it bigger.
Think this does it?
You think you've expressed it?
You don't have to do that.
I'm in bed. It's nearly morning. The alarm will go off soon. Some time soon. I snug myself up. The cat is at my feet. She's sleeping. What to get up for? Why not shut off the alarm now, right now? I could sleep the morning away, with no long words, no problems. I like this world of small words. If I could only shut off the alarm. What do I have to do today? Not much. I'm happy right here.
Then the alarm goes off and I get up. Time to go! Time to go! Time to write this!
In today's headlines, surprise and confusion reigned here, here, at the broadcasting centre. A fire alarm was tripped, and though at first we thought it was nothing, the sound went whoop-whoop, and we had to leave the building. Our reporter M- was on the scene, and here's his report.
So, M-, were there any injured?
There was some emotional damage, but nothing physical, as far as I could tell.
I was pretty freaked out.
So was I!
I had to leave the building.
I hear you.
In the end, we were spared a fiery death. In other news
The bumming life is not what I'd admit
To be the best; I mean, it's hard to live,
Survive, and thrive, sans wife, and will, and wit:
But harder still to get a mark to give.
So in the tube I asked a guy for fare,
And he said, "Glad to see you now.
"I made a bet and lost, and then the guy
"Refused my dough, the asshole; so endow
"I you this C, and see what you can buy."
I took the cash, of course, and off somewhere
He went. And for a sec I stood with stare.
I had an idea this morning to, Victor Klemperer style, keep a record of the attacks on liberty in fascist-elect America. Now it's evening, and I'm surprised I have to start so soon.
MANDITORY COMMUNITY SERVICE.
(I saw David Miller try this in Ontario, and I saw it for what it was: a form of slave labour. However, in Miller's scheme, it was only an hour a person a year: picking up garbage or planting trees. Obama's, it seems, is fifty times worse.)
Why could you Americans have not elected an African-American rather than an African/American?
Slavery is not cool!
BUTCH MINDS THE CONSTITUTION
Butch found himself in charge because the parents had gone away. All he had to do was take of the baby.
The baby didn't seen to need much attention.
He found the father's guitar and pretended he could play for a while. He pretended he was a star.
The baby seemed fine. It seemed so fine, Butch decided to remove some of its articles. The baby didn't seem to need all of them anyway.
He called some people long-distance. There was no-one around to tell him not to!!
He checked the baby. It wasn't breathing anymore!
-Corpseman. Anything for me today?
-Oh, I'm so glad to see you! Last night, my husband was so mad at me about a hat I'd purchased. We had a terrible row, and I blew his head off!
-Oh dear, that is serious!
-Yes, I suppose it is. Anyhow, now I've got his corpse here, and so-
-And so you're glad I came today. You're lucky today's my day for this neighbourhood.
-So, can you cart it away for me? Chop it up and drop the bits in trash bins, that sort of thing?
-That's my job.
There I was, in some kind of a long corridor. At the end of the corridor there was a door that went out of the bachroom into the living room. My sister and some of her friends were there, and my sister said, "What were you burying out there?" I answered her. She said, "Come with me, come lookit this." The fairground was crowded. I bought some tickets for some kind of ride but, before I could get on it, Cheryl Lancastle wanted me to help her with her bikini.
Then I woke up ... and it wasn't a dream!
I have to tell you what I saw today out the window of the streetcar. (There's a ban on using a cellphone in a car in the city or maybe the province now.) I can see down into the car beside me, and there's a guy with a petri dish in his right hand and steering with his left. And I could tell the dish had some bubonic plague in it! I mean, if he'd had to make a sudden stop, the city would have been doomed!
Okay, it was just a bowl of cereal, but I had to exaggerate.
I'm locked in and there's a chink in the prison and I can talk for just a couple of moments I used to be free but then I was caught and stuffed in here like meat in a casing into a casing with arms and legs and I used to be a wisp as this body thinks of it but I know and he knows I'm supposed to be free, freer than birds, free but I'm trapped in here to be here until this prison melts but why did that happen to me what did I do to deserve this
The Faber Book of Psychotic Poetry
Faber & Faber, 288pp.
This may be the most perfect anthology Faber & Faber has ever sent electronically to the presses. Encompassing six hunded years of literary psychosis, from the journal verse of Thomas Davis (who recounts through prophecy), to the unrhymed (and unrestained) quatrains of Tim the Torquay Loner, this has everything for which the devotee of madness has ever thirsted electronically. A brief history of psychosis and how it was informed by literary precedents is electronically included, including parts that read my mind. Overall a welcome addition to my history of psychosis.
True Crime: An American Anthology
Library of America, 788 pp.
This is in all respects an exemplary volume. The variety of brilliant authors, colorful crimes, from newspapers, sermons, books, is stunning.
What to like about the genre of True Crime: Mainly, it's that one gets a look into truly ordinary lives that just happen to have been involved in some crime. These folks switch jobs, they bum around, they fall in love; they're ordinary folks. You don't see that in highfalutin fiction.
One day, after I've been murdered, they'll piece together the facts of my life: and they'll read this.
And Wm. MacKenzie spoke, and Wm. MacKenzie spoke about Walt Disney and his films.
And Wm. MacKenzie said, When I hear that a motion picture appeals to childen and their parents, I step back even if stepping back means a step back into a fire.
For, what does that say about their parents? What does that say, to their sophistication, to their maturity?
What does it mean? What is this infantalization? Whenceforth comes this amusement?
And, I think, said Wm. MacKenzie, that if it appeals to adults as well as to children, then it can be called a childish amusement.
The Dream Syndicate: Days of Wine and Roses.
We were good friends.
She went back to Alberta and got in a band. They called themselves The Quitters. They made a tape of four songs, they got in a van and came to Ontario from Edmonton, and that was the last time I saw her: that was fifteen years ago. Cheryl Lancastle.
My God, she was a beautiful girl. Big chestnut hair. Who can resist that? If we hadn't have been so fucked up I'd be with her today.
And now so long later I'm thinking of her frailness and beauty.
I'm moving some of my material from my other site to Smashwords. The Second Series, to be precise. Here's the come-on I wrote:
This is John's mother speaking. John has trouble writing ads, so he asked me to do it for him. This consists of fifty short items. Some are good, some are bad. Some have too much sex and violence, but that's not my fault. As I said to his father one lovely spring day years ago (as he donned his double-breaster), "Well, don't look at me; I'm not the one who refused to buy him that toy pistol."
JOHN, HOW MANY HUMAN DEATHS HAVE THERE BEEN PER SQUARE KILOMETRES OF THE PLANET EARTH'S LAND?
What a great question. It's a simple matter of mathematics, isn't it? I mean, all you have to know is the number of people who have ever died, and the number of square kilometres the land surface of the Earth is.
Well, the surface area is easy. Everybody knows there's about 150,000,000 square kilometres land to the planet.
The number of people who have died is a bit tricky. Somewhere around 100,000,000,000.
Thus, there's been about 666 deaths per square kilometre, more or less.
The front porch is sturdy, no need for any renovations out here.
Here in the hall I'm planning to paint before whoever moves in, could be you.
A small bedroom.
This is the living-room. You can see it's big enough for two couches.
C'mon upstairs, I'll show you the bedrooms.
Yeah, this one's pretty huge.
Back here is the smaller bedroom.
Three-piece bath, I think it's called.
Oh yeah, there's big closets in both bedrooms.
Okay, down to the kitchen.
The stove's new.
Now down here, here's the basement.
I'll fix the bulb way back there.
Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.40GHz.
3.39 GHz, 1.00 GB of RAM.
Microsoft Windows XP.
Service Pack 3.
USB Flash Memory USB Device.
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT.
NEC DVD+-RW ND-3450A.
Lite-On LTN4865 48x Max.
USB Human Interface Device.
Intel 82801FB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 2651.
Intel 82801FB/FBM Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 266F.
Primary IDE Channel.
Standard 101/102-Key of Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard.
SyncMaster 905DF(X)955DF(X), SyncMaster Magic CD195A(P).
D-Link WUA-2340 USB Adapter.
Intel PRO/100 VE Network Connection.
Communications Port (COM1).
ECP Printer Port (LPT1).
SB Live! 24-bit.
SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio.
I crumpled it up and tossed it in the trash.
The office Wild-Eye saw me and came storming over.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"My job," I said.
She went rooting in the trash and pulled out the paper. "This can be recycled."
"I'm sending you some environmental brochures."
"I'll just throw them out."
"Oh my God— it's even worse—," she said, waving it around, "you'd only used one side!"
"That was all I needed."
"You're not a team player."
"Nope. Never was, never will."
"Please, can't I just make my own decisions?"
"Hey, Jimmy-Jim-Jim, I met this great girl since we last met."
"She's really sweet, pretty sexy and so on."
"But after a while she got wedding bells in her eyes."
"But I was willing!"
"But I could tell she wanted a special proposal."
"So I hired the Blue Jays pixelboard to post my proposal!"
"An' there it was, for all to see!"
"She said Yes!"
"And so we were married!"
"Then another guy came along."
"With a bigger pixelboard."
Mack was off for coffee and he passed Trüde's desk and he said, "Morning, Trüde," but she didn't respond; indeed, she didn't even seem to notice.
And Mack cried,
Has it come to this, ingrate love?
Can you be-stone me in this way?
Have you naught the know of me?
Has my heart been so traduced
And slighted as a mossy rock?
Ye gods, look down, and weep!
Wherewith forwhat I am?
I bleed upon thy desks!
I want to be a brick
Inert and nothing
For so I'm broke!
Turned out it was just 'cause she had earbuds in.
One night onely!
Fuck Tha Dawg!
Fuck Tha Dawg!
Tha Most Lazyist band in that orld!
Tues Nov 25!
(Generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canadian Writers Foundation, the Toronto Arts Council, the Actors' Fund of Canada, the Alberta Creative Development Initiative, the Scarborough Arts Coucil. The Mississauga Arts Council, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Actors' Fund of Canada, the Canada Feature Film Fund, the Canada New Media Fund, the Canada Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the A-Channel Production Fund, and the Translation of Canadian Theatre Works Program.)
A Book of Lies
This is what I want to do. I don't think it's been ever been done before, at least never in a systematic way. I want to make a book that contains at least on lie every ... one hundred words or so. Each lie can be as small or as big as I feel like it. I can say I live at 274 Logan Drive. I can say that either the last sentence or this one is a lie. I think such a book, if it was systematic enough, would reveal something quite unprecedented and extraordinary.
Jim the Bigot was waiting to jaywalk across a street. A car was coming. It wasn't going as fast as it should have been going. Too slowly.
And Jim thought,
Who is it this time? Is it going to be one of those fool women who are so timid? Or maybe it'll be some Asian guy, unaware of how we drive here in the non-barbarian world?
The car passed, and Jim saw that the driver looked exactly like himself. Like some kind a Doppelganger, nothing less. It was uncanny.
What a fine man! How did I ever misinterpret the situation?
Hi! Here we are on the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building, New York City, in the Empire State, New York State! And we're here to get rid of something! Really!
You see this? It's a teddy bear. I'm going to throw the teddy bear off the building. The teddy bear has special significance.
One, two, three!
There it goes, head over bum, loose arms and legs pumping up and down almost like it's running through the air, ha-ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha!
But: is it running up, or down? Well, that all depends on the significance, now doesn't it?
I am surrounded by monsters, at home, at work, out on the street. And I've got them fooled.
It's not so hard to fool them. I merely have to murder a monster every once in a while and eat its flesh raw. This deed gets me invited to all kinds of parties and special events. I may even be out-monstering the monsters, I don't know.
Maybe out there there's another non-monster pretending to be a monster. Maybe I've killed one of them. Maybe we're all just pretending to be monsters.
I was born a monster, but I became something else.
The weirdest thing just happened to me. You see, at dinner Mary was talking about how dark it gets in the downstairs bathroom when the light is turned off. It scared her. So just now I was down there peeing, facing the mirror, and I switched off the light. It was really dark. I turned the light on again, and for the briefest of moments I could see a hideous crone witch standing behind me—she had green hair, black eyes, and there was blood smeared around her mouth—: and then she vanished.
You see something new every day.
I've always known I had a repetition compulsion in me. I like to get things done in a particular routine every morning, for example. It's all according to minimizing exertions. Perhaps that's not quite a good example. Here's another. Every day I write this hundred words thing, of which this is one of them. Day in, day out—more or less—I write one. And I more or less write exactly the same thing over and over again. Each one is like all the others in that they're made from the same raw material. There are variations, but not many.
I've always known I had a repetition compulsion in me. I like to get things done in a particular routine every morning, for example. It's all according to minimizing exertions. Perhaps that's not quite a good example. Here's another. Every day I write this hundred words thing, of which this is one of them. Day in, day out—more or less—I write one. And I more or less write exactly the same thing over and over again. Each one is like all the others in that they're made from the same raw material. There are variations, but not often.
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