REPORT A PROBLEM
I thought I'd been shot.
Though there was not a mark on me, much less a bullethole, and though I was alone in my kitchen on a Sunday morning, I had the distinct impression that I had been shot.
I thought I could feel blood slowly draining out of me. I was surprised to see merely scuffed ochre linoleum below my feet, and no red pool.
I figured I had ten or fifteen minutes before blood loss caused my brain to stop functioning.
This made me sad. I was dying alone in my kitchen; I wouldn't be found for days....
A quick look up and a quick look down and
-You got the job,
he said to Jane.
-You haven't told me what the job involves. Or your name.
-Those things don't matter much around here.
He gave he a piece of paper with a name and address on it.
-This is your first job. Find this person. Bring him here.
Jane went to the address. The man was resigned.
Back at the office her boss said,
The man sighed and took up a knife and slit his throat.
At least it'll pay the bills, thought Jane.
For their first date, Jen and Jim went to the Carnival of Firsts and Lasts.
"Hold on there," cried the evil-looking carny, "one at a time: only one person can experience their first or last! It's all personal, see?"
Jim said, "I'll go first."
He went into the tent. A coin was flipped. "Last!" A wheel was spun. "Breath!"
He was told when.
He left the tent, pale.
"Go ahead, Jen."
Jen swallowed, and went in. "First!" "Intercourse!"
She was told when.
She left the tent, and led Jim behind it. "Here we go!"
"We've got thirty minutes," he said.
She was standing in front of me, her and her copper hair.
The streetcar came; I got on after her, following that copper.
I saw her face for a moment; pale, green glasses.
She got off the streetcar. I rode on.
Two weeks later I saw her again, on the same streetcar.
I sat in front of her this time; maybe she noticed me?
Getting off the car, she passed me by. I saw her profile.
I rode on.
Time went on and on. I thought about her today.
I haven't seen her for over half a year.
Joy was at her desk, catching up on the paperwork, the stupid paperwork, the shit no-one would even come close to wanting to see for at least a thousand years.
Mood General, her boss, suddenly appeared. "Uh, Joy?"
"Um, can you pitch in? Anger's been working full-time eight days now, and I think he needs a break."
Joy cried, "Can't Euphoria take over?"
Joy submitted. "Okay, okay, Anger needs a break."
Mood General smacked her hand atop the cubicle wall. "Great, that's great."
Joy closed her eyes. She'd take controls of the automat. Fine, fine. Some day....
THOSE TO BLAME
Beethoven and Schubert
Robert Harbin and Robert J. Lang
Bosch and Rubens
The Marx Brothers
W. H. Auden
Samuel R. Delany
Robert de LaSalle
The Amazing Randi
Lisa De Leeuw
and the usual gang of idiots
Ah, the bullshit, the bullshit gets so deep round here, I'm out there shovlin shit over the faces of these sinners, dig, dump, dig, dump, but our fuckin union don't give a shit about us grunts doin the dirty work, an th managers don give a fuck so long as we meet the fuckin quotas, no one gives a fuck, "You! Get fuckin workin!" an we shovel it up and the damned scream and fuck 'em them sinners an, an I'm workin on a novel, an expose, an soon everybody will know what a Hell's Hell. Fuck 'em! Fuck 'em!
O G&M, tell me, please tell me. You say judgements must be withheld "until more facts come in." O G&M, tell me, please tell me, how many facts must we have before we judge? Seventeen? 'haps eighteen? Please tell me: When may I judge? I dare not assert Hamlet was Prince of Denmark: what if he was an imposter? The facts (tell-me-please-tell-me) are not in. O G&M, share your wisdom. Let us say nothing about anything! 'til you give the thumbs-up. All is dark, G&M; all is unknowable. Descend, descend! and let us know when judgement can be pronounced. Please.
Words of praise and a big shout-out due here from the White House to major Nidal Malik Hasan, of Fort Hood, Texas. Today, he managed, single-handedly, to exterminate some dozen of our enemies. Word is he could have popped off a couple dozen more if'n only some uh-uh-uh sawed-off cunt hadn't stopped him from fulfilling our Mission. Trust me: she's now on the Enemies List, huh. Big noise for AP here - you guys are staying on points.
Hold on, guys. Seems my TelePrompTer's been feedin' me my rough notes. Don't publish what I said,
or no stimulus for you!
I moved into the house on Strat Ave at the beginning of June 1996. It was a cheap room, and since the owner--Dave--lived there too, I thought it was more secure that having an off-site landlord. Aside from Dave there was his girlfriend Deb and a cook named Perry and a girl who was going to school: Jane. There were five rooms altogether, so one was spare. Dave decided to rent that one out starting September. That was when Carol moved in. I wasn't
smitten with her.
Then things went crazy and a lot of people died.
"What you have to do is - here's what you have to do, all you have to do is, every day you just take in a little more, just a little bit more than you did the day before; not a lot, understand, don't go too far, and you know overexert yourself, because, because then, because then you might kind of lose your, um, desire for it in the first place, and if you lose that desire, you may never learn right. Just take in a little more day by day, takin' it slow." - "Not for a million bucks."
THE MONKEY'S PAW
"June, I'm warning you,
don't open that door.
I know how much you want Geoffrey back, but this is going too far! Look at the facts in the case: each wish made upon this devillish Monkey's Paw has turned out to be something incredibly horrible! Get away from the door!
Do not open it!
There's no surprise twists to narratives such as those we are currently inhabiting! The terror can't but continue! June, for God's sake, for the sake of Geoffrey himself,
do not open that door!
For Geoffrey was merely a cat, you see!
The doctor checked my pulse and left the room. My wife came in and looked at me and turned away and cried. Some time later a mortician arrived and took me off to a funeral home where I was cleaned. Then came my funeral. Tasteful. They closed me up and carried me to the graveyard. I was lowered into a hole. My wife tossed the first clump of dirt down. Later, I was all covered up. I heard the shovels slam down as the diggers set their marks. I said, "Well, what do you know. I
stronger than death."
"The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear reactor accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). It is considered to be the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history and the only level 7 event on the International [...]"
"We were newlyweds. We still walked around holding hands, even if we were just going to the store. I would say to him, 'I love you.' But I didn't know then how much. I had no idea..."
"Objectivity is the fruit of authentic subjectivity."
It occurred to me in my sleep last night that a way to make our short and miserable lives better would be to have more juggling. There are plenty of awful things that could be improved, through juggling.
Norwegian Death metal would not longer be a niche market if they'd only incorporate some juggling in their performances.
And bad sex--who hasn't had it? But could it possibly be bad sex if you juggled during it?
The graveyard scene in Hamlet--if only Hamlet had taken up the skulls and juggled them: why, then it might be a good play.
Go peering past the limits of the fog
You can't; or whistle for your little dog
You won't; because whenever you turn around
There's nothing there--no sea, no sky, no ground
(Eugenio Montale said it's so);
Your earth beneath is porous as you know,
The stars you see--have died so long ago,
You try to stop your heart but simply can't
You try to stop your breathing (but you won't!)
And all that is to pass will pass without
Volition on your part--so fuck about;
Your death will find you out, no doubt about
The Amazon Kindle was released in Canada. Bob and I got talking about it. I said, "It looks too big!" (Turns out it's the size of a paperback--but much heavier.) I said, "Drop it in the bathtub, you're out $280." Then I checked to see if any of the books I have to read were on the Kindle. No Arden Shakespeare, no American Fantastic Tales, etc. "No," I said, "it's just not my kind of thing. Good ol' books for me."
(BTW, you can still get some of my writing at smashwords.com. Works great on a Kindle, I suppose.)
THE TIME MACHINE WAR
The time machine was invented on October 18th 2058, and the Time Machine War started two months later, on December 17th, when the goblins captured the technology.
Up til that time it had been known merely as the Goblin War.
I was there at the final battle, on December 19th. The goblin army seemed more immense that our intops had informed us--tenfold more at the very least.
Through fieldglasses I saw the goblins and announced to my General, "They're recruiting goblins from the past!"
"Using the Time Machine!
side shall do that too!"
We sent recruiters back in time and picked up Achaeans, Franks, WWII soldiers, etc. Soon our army was twentyfold, and we'd pretty much exhausted all of history.
I looked out at the gremlins. Their forces had grown immensely. I saw a platoon dressed in fabrics that were obviously from the future.
"They're recruiting from the future!"
Our recruiters were sent off to the future--but they came back empty-handed!
"There're no people!"
"Well, we can't just lay down and die, can we?"
I said, "Well, why not?"
A pause. "You're right."
So we all lay down and died.
I know a guy who thinks it's his job to tell me what to do. "Wake up!" "Out of bed now, alarm, alarm!" "Gotta shave today!" "Left, right, left, right!" "Grab the handrail!" "Quick, get to work, get out the door, down the street!" "Get on that streetcar!" "Work, get to your desk!" "Go eat!" "Now work some more!" "Doze off!" "Stop staring!" "Time for you to get home!" "Dawdle and daydream!" "Think about anything!" "Eat--faster, more, faster!" "Put on that DVD!" "Time to listen to music!" "Time to solve a puzzle!" "Time to write a description of me!"
I was about to say, "Get a load of that Toronto Transit Commission, can you believe them? they just can't get their act together, I mean, they ran out of goddamn tokens last week, I ask you, what transit commission can be so screwed they can't even make proper sales? and meantime routes are cut back, their lowest level driver makes, like, $60,000 a year at minimum, now they're raising the price of a token, can you believe it? makes you wonder what sort of an operation they're running up there in midtown," but then I remembered where
The full executive of the Canadian Bar Association gathered for their quarterly meeting on August seventeenth. Present were: Kevin Carroll, Q.C., Rod Snow, Trinda Ernst, Q.C., Wayne Onchulenko, J. Guy Joubert, and John Hoyles, CAE.
Onchulenko (the treasurer) opened the meeting.
"Folks, we're goin' broke. How can we drum up some action?"
Snow: "Fucked if I know."
Carroll: "Let's invent some fart-blower to make a fuckin' allegation against the guv, 'n' get a Royal Inquiry going."
Ernst" "Fuckin' genius!"
Joubert: "Got my eye on a cottage!"
Ochulenko: "I could get botoxed!"
Carroll: "An' my whore wants a pony!"
As I awaited my three colleagues, I visualized Relativity. "Let's see. The conductor is holding a lamp halfway down the rail car...."
Julie came in 'nd set down she binder. She mensioned those Beatles. I said, "Yeah, I like that White Album mostest." She say, "Me too!"
Then Mike come inn. "How about that there United States prezident? Ain't he sometin' else?" "Whox yea," I cryed. "I tink he vantastic!" cryed Joolie.
Where Dan cane in wee got too topik uv tevee commershals. "Seem dat one wif da fat brad?" "Ogh, hrough, hrough!" "Maglifikent!" "mILk ou' my nozzzz!"
I once met a woman who was carrying two boulders. Each was the size of a dinner plate, almost spherical, and white.
I watched her. She held them like the gourds of a Manet painting, each propped on hip-bone.
A month later I saw her again--still with her boulders.
I dared. "Why are you carrying those boulders?"
She said, "Someone has to carry them."
A month after that I saw her again.
I dared. "I love you. Please let me be with you."
"Forever-and-ever?... Will you help me with these boulders?"
"Maybe. Or maybe I'll give you another one."
My mother phoned last night to wish Mary a happy birthday. They talked. Mary told me later my mother'd talked about being surprised by how lonely she was. "I went to sing Christmas carols, but I couldn't."
My mother has spent her life, her entire life (up until the end of January), living with other people, and doing things for them. (Nurse by profession.) Now she has no-one to care for.
Mary disputes this interpretation. "She loved your father, and now he's gone. She said, 'I can't believe I miss him this much.'"
Real life's too complicated for this genre.
Jibby was finally fed up with people and how they walked behind him.
What are they thinking? Are they looking at me? What are they thinking of my walk?
And so, on the 27th of November, 2009, he, being followed, STOPPED. Yes, he simply STOPPED. And let the person following him pass.
The person was a woman with very black hair. Rather petite. (Not the hair--the
And so he followed her.
Now he's addicted to following people. What are they doing, to whom are they saying things to?
Jibby is now a human being.
SOMETHING FOR THE LADIES
I have taken so much from women. I've learned so many things from them, more that I've learned from men, that's almost certain. So I think it's time for me to give something back to the community of women. Therefore, I pledge to satisfy any woman who wants satisfation. I think this is fair, don't you? When a woman does something for me, I'll repay using my special abilities. They need these acts, you know; otherwise they go hysterical or something. I'll make many parties happy, and I may just enjoy it too. I'll start tomorrow.
While Jonathan Swift was at work on Book Three of Gulliver's Travels he noticed a curious accout in a cheap Liffeyside newspaper. A South American tribe of savages had been discovered who had the strangest idea of the connection between divinity and language. Simply put, every word they used was a dodge: 'I stubbed my finger' meant 'I stubbed my toe,' 'This is my brother' meant 'This is my sister' and so on. Even their emotional descriptions were topsyturvy. Swift incorporated such a culture in his book but, after some eight pages, realized it was not different from Europe civilization.
There was once a one who met another one, and they became two.
But then each one thought they could find some one better, so they divided.
One of them met another one, and they became two, for a long time.
Soon they multiplied.
Sadly, one died.
They stayed six for this long:
One by one, there were departures.
Sometimes one would return, to a maximum of one additional one.
Then the two were together for a long time.
Now there's one.
The Tip Jar