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03/01 Direct Link
I see there's a whole bunch of people outside my window. Looks like they've all got signs. Are they here for me?

I go out onto my porch. Signs saying, "Down with John!" "Down with Non-Mediocher writing!"

Oh my God, it's the Writers [sic] Guild of Canada!

"What do you people want?"

"We want you to stop writing so beautifully!" shouts Douglas.

"You're making us all feel ashamed!" yells Margaret.

I go back inside. They come up and knock on my door.

"What?"

"We have influence!"

"Go tell someone who cares."

"Aie! A riposte we could never hope to invent!"

03/02 Direct Link
He closed his eyes and tried to live like that for a while. There was floor beneath and air all around. He swung slowly out, believing a couch was there to be found, but he found nothing on first swing. He took a small step forward, and slowly swung again. No couch. He was getting frustrated. Another step, but still no couch. How far had he moved? One, two feet? He moved forward again, and swung out, but there was nothing there. So he took another step. He was certain the couch was there now. But still, still no couch.

03/03 Direct Link
Spent five thousand dollars on an authorized and regulated creative writing coarse. Had it with a guy published fore times and teaching nights and weekends.

"Master," I spoke, "Can you explain this?" I showed him a sheet with three words: their, there, they're.

The Master capped his flask and said, "There's no difference, and anyone who says there is, is a fascist pig!"

"Thank you, Master. What about course, coarse, four and fore?"

"Again, don't let rools reetard you're magical special creativity. Okay, lesson's over. Here's your certificate. You can now be officiously published."

Ha!

Money well spent!

I rool!

03/04 Direct Link
This is it, I'm sick of this nothingness this limbo, this is when I'm going to put my best foot forward, this is when all the guns get gunning, I'm sick of waiting, I want to get into, I want to engage in the world, I'm done with this shelfsitting, I'm done with this fencesitting, there's that whole world watching, alls I got to do is will it and it will be so, alls I gotta do is go with these contractions, with the flow, with the pushes--but am I making a mistake? Am I wrong?

Waah! Waah! Waah!

03/05 Direct Link
I had a flower shop once but I was a scientist so it failed and now I'm selling on streetcorners.

I developed a dozen or so species of unique and beautiful flowers. It's true: particular flowering plants, about which you know nothing, I developed. Past nature.

They were all so beautiful, understand; with a beauty any botanist would see in an instant. But no-one wanted my new flowers.

So I'm on the street.

Won't someone buy my stinkodils? My pretty infect-me-nots? Sir: you look in need of a dyacinth. Will no-one buy my gorchids? my smegma lilies?

Maybe it's names.

03/06 Direct Link
It's like a form of magic, though it's not magic at all. Everything I put down, all the words I run together, page after page after page, is perfect. There's not a single misstep, not a single error. That which looks like an error is actually in itself a special case of a general principle. How could anything like a mistake creep in? from where could it possibly come? The rest of my life is full of self-inflicted errors of various gauges--but here, what's down on paper, it is perfect.

Franz Kafka wrote a diary entry to that effect.

03/07 Direct Link
It is the middle of the night and there is something I am looking for in the darkness but I declare I do not know what it is. I do not know if it is big or little, I do not know if it is more of the past or more of the future. I do not know if it is more of me or more of you.

Please seat yourself and tell me something sad about yourself. I want to fill this void with sadness. Maybe what I am looking for does not matter.

I simply need your sadness.

03/08 Direct Link
After sixty-five years of working on this problem, it's finally solved!

I observed that a flat rock of a somewhat roundish cast will roll. I chipped out a hole in the middle and shoved a stick through it; then, by chipping around the rock evenly, I created what I call a 'wheel.' I can put two of them together on an 'axis,' and the thing rolls down hills smoothly and evenly! If I strap some of these assemblages together, I can tow stuff! No miracles need necessarily exist!

Eureka! I have finally disproved the existence of God! After sixty-five years!

03/09 Direct Link
My wife came home in her expensive gown from the awards show at two a.m. "Well, how did it go?"

She tossed her flowers on the bed. "Lost. Lost in every category."

"Not again!"

"Should I give up? Every year, nominated in every category--actor, actress, supporting roles, cinematography, short doc, long doc, makeup, editing, sound, foreign film, best picture--and every year I come away empty-handed!"

"You have incredibly bad luck!"

"Oh, John," as she sat down and took my hands in hers. Tears were in her eyes. "Should I give up?"

"What? No, never! Never give up! Never!"

03/10 Direct Link
Jack, together with Diane reading the newspaper one Sunday morning, nearly fell off his chair.

"Diane!" he cried. "The secret is out! Listen: 'The phenomenon of lovers switching bodies and personalities is now out in the open. A small group of "switchers" in Ithaca, NY, is currently seeking a reputable agent to publicize their condition.' We've been found out!"

Diane said, "You didn't think we could keep it a secret forever, did you?"

"I thought we were special.... Do you remember the first time we switched?"

"That night.... what climaxes we travelled through!"

"Twas when I learned I loved you!"

03/11 Direct Link
Just got back from having drinks with my buddy Oedipus. He told me something pretty shocking while he played with his cane.

He said, "I've a deep confession. I knew it was my father I killed. I knew he'd be there on the road. Plus, I knew that the Queen was my mother. It all looked like I didn't know--but I knew all the time. Father-killing, mother-fucking me."

He started to weep; and I considered commiserating with him by telling him my deep secret--but thankfully I stopped myself: You see, my secret is much, much worse than his.

03/12 Direct Link
Just got back from trying to meet up with MacKenzie at this restaurant called C'est What. See, we communicated on the weekend and set up a date--but he never showed.

I think this is what happened: I think his wife went into labour. (I only heard she was expecting on the weekend! MacKenzie said, "If we get together we have to do it fast.")

So I was stood up--but with a pretty good reason! Indeed!

So I think there's a new MacKenzie gurgling and burbling in our world tonight. Mazel tov!

(Don't mind gettin' stood up for that!)

03/13 Direct Link
HOORAY FOR ******S

I was out getting from point A to point B today when a ****** stopped me to ask for the time. I looked at my wrist-watch, and I told the ******, "It's a quarter to three." The ****** thanked me.

Then, absentmindedly, I started crossing the street; I didn't see the truck t'was barrelling through the intersection.

The ****** I'd told the time to shouted, "Hey!" and jumped out, and shoved me out of the way of the truck! (The ****** got clear too, of course.)

My life was saved! So all together now:

HOORAY FOR ******S!

03/14 Direct Link
Mary and I were climbing a snowy slope that gradually became more vertical, using trees to ascend. Near the top I noticed that one of the trees could be easily pulled out of the wall. We made it past, though; then at the top we realized we couldn't go any further and would have to climb back down. "We can't," I said. "There's a tree down there that's too weak to support us. We can't climb back down."

And that's when I woke up, and that's when I realized I had to revise a certain weak paragraph in "A Myth."

03/15 Direct Link
I was out on the mean strets looking for a swell story.

"Hey mac," said one of my usual informers, "a little girl got raped this morning."

"Sorry, pal--that stuff don't float my boat."

"The guy who did it was a Arab."

"Dog bites man, dog bites man."

"T'was his cousin."

"Dit-dit-ditto, goodbye."

"He did it all three ways."

"Yawn. I said, yawn."

"His family applauded him."

"Sure, sure."

"He's gettin' a statue."

"Statues, smatues--hundreds of 'em already."

"An' a holiday named for him!"

"Holidays, schmolidays."

"The guy's name was Fitzbodily Wonderpluntz."

"Goddammit man--it's gold! Pure gold!"

03/16 Direct Link
THIS IS THE SADDEST TRUE STORY I HAVE EVER HEARD

Jack and Jill went up the hill

We 'round here call the "Hill of Death" because

The other side's a sheer drop to the sea.

"To fetch a pail of water,"

That was the reason both their parents told;

They kissed and hugged a long last time and then

Jack fell down and broke his crown

The gulls were ignorant of Icarus

A tear was shed so high above and thus

Jill came tumbling after

Because some love cannot upon this earth

Be satisfied; the gulls swept down, and ate.

03/17 Direct Link
I dropped into Leonardo's studio this afternoon to see if he'd been up to anything any good.

"Hi, Leonardo! Anything new?"

He showed me this painting of a woman.

"Gee, you know, I just can't see anything exciting in it. It's just some woman."

So he showed me these plans for a fresco of a bunch of people sitting at a table.

I shook my head. "Geez, there's no 'a-ha!' in it. I'm getting annoyed."

He showed me this box thing. "Turn the crank," he said.

I turned the crank--and suddenly a little puppet popped out!

"Brilliant!" I cried.

03/18 Direct Link
I know a couple who invented their own language for private communications. Let's listen in.

At the breakfast table he says, "Pass me the considerations."

The toast slide across.

She says, "Hannibal strictured the ants."

Here comes the jam.

He says, "Ricken fingernailing June thirteeth."

She laughs. "Oh, anvil trombone fully!"

The connectives are tonsilled, you see?

He ticks fealty. "Well, canisters wait for no pussycats."

Danube tamps grey. "Haircut Gary Moore over tackling light."

Bottlecap plastically essays with the streetscape.

Answered: "Be the often!"

"Wood our blinds and-or buttonhook?"

"About five-thirty."

Atlantic nothing's the matter no matter: six pm.

03/19 Direct Link
Thalia, of Comedy, I apologize to you. I self-censored a great joke--above--using ******s; The original word was distracting me from my hymns to you and your sisters, oh muse.

Erato, of Lyric, I apologize to you. I have denied my vow; I have denied my gift--through insecurity, through fear of others, through fear of murder, oh muse.

Clio, of History, I apologize to you. I have denied the past, and the present that in the future will become the past. However, I will restore the original when this is published in book form in 2032, oh muse.

03/20 Direct Link
Heading for the streetcar this morning I decided to write today about what happened on it.

The woman behind me made a phone call.

"Hi, I was told to call today to arrange for a visit next week, either Thursday or Friday. Okay. When I was there last night, the guard told me to call this number. Oh, can't you find out? S- T-, he's my husband. 'Cause I'll need to take the day off, and it's so far from Barrie."

(She whispers)

"Conjugal."

And I thought of that line from 'Try a Little Tenderness' Love is their only happiness

03/21 Direct Link
CU-KOO

-Yaah.

-Ah-ha-hah...

-Can't believe I didn't scream.

-Yeah, that was pretty deep.

-You were right at my sweet spot-

-Uhh-

-that special spot-

-hitting your-

-waay deep inside.

-wow, gee.

-I guess you weren't all fucked out after all.

-No, I guess not.

-Ha-ha.

-Ha-ha whew!

-Rest a bit, rest a bit.

-Can't do nothing else.

-Mmmmm.

-Mmmmm.

-Wow.

-Whew! What time is it?

-Getting late.

-You working Monday?

-Yeah. You?

-In the back.

-I'm working the desk. We could see each other, though.

-Yeah, sure.

-Yeah?

-Yeah--of course!

-Yeah.

-Okay, gotta go.

-My husband'll be home soon.

03/22 Direct Link
It's been about three years since I last gave magic trick instructions, so here's something new: 'Sawing a Lady in Half.'

Get a long oblong wooden (spruce is best) box, about 8 ft. by 2.5 ft. by 1.75 ft., and a rough-tooth saw.

Next get that woman from work who shows you all those pictures of her cats, who has looong lunches and breaks, who complains about every ache and pain, who loves 'office casuals,' who disrupted everything by bringing in her kid one day....

Where was I? Oh yes. Put her in the box.

Then saw it in half.

03/23 Direct Link
My Muses, things have changed. A great mob of shithead losers decided to threaten a woman this week in Ottawa. You see, they were utterly intolerant of speech--especially speech with a form of wit admixtured. It cannot be said enough times--these people consider themselves tolerant.

I will never betray you again, my Muses. I'm tired of letting my inner faggot beat me at arm-wrestling, and these fascists in Ottawa cannot be allowed to win. Ideas have to be free.

I have to make a stand in favour of free speech--and honour you rightly, my muses--and thus:

03/24 Direct Link
HOORAY FOR NIGGERS

I was out getting from point A to point B today when a nigger stopped me to ask for the time. I looked at my wrist-watch, and I told the nigger, "It's a quarter to three." The nigger thanked me.

Then, absentmindedly, I started crossing the street; I didn't see the truck t'was barrelling through the intersection.

The nigger I'd told the time to shouted, "Hey!" and jumped out, and shoved me out of the way of the truck! (The nigger got clear too, of course.)

My life was saved! So all together now:

HOORAY FOR NIGGERS!

03/25 Direct Link
THE JOKE, THEN AND NOW

Published in 1967, a novel by Milan Kundera.

A character writes on a postcard, "Optimism is the opium of the people! A healthy atmosphere stinks of stupidity! Long live Trotsky!"

The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia hears of this. The character spends years slaving in mines.

The book is made into a film, and promptly banned by the Soviets, in 1968.

Kundera is often a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Or, at least, he used to be.) He lives in Paris these days.

Those who actually make jokes are pretty much always never that lucky.

03/26 Direct Link
"Just for one."

"This way."

June led him to a small table near the kitchen.

"Something to drink?"

"Soda water, please."

"Very well." Cheapskate.

June was stopped, arm-grabbed, by Alison, who cried, "Don't you know who that is?"

"No."

"It's Benjamin Carmichael!"

"Who?"

"Only the most famous mass murderer in all of Canada!"

June slapped herself in the face. "God, and I put him next to the kitchen!" She looked around the restaurant. Some nobody was sitting near the window. She rushed over.

"Sorry, pal, move!"

"June!"

She turned--Carmichael was leaving!

June shrivelled.

She'd blown her brush with fame.

03/27 Direct Link
Things change in life as you move through time. First, everything is permanent. The long-playing record cannot be improved upon, television shows are eternal, that shop has always been there. Then things begin to change--the compact disk, series are cancelled, shops close. You'll meet these changes with depression. Then it reverses, and you begin to expect ephemerality in all things. How could these things last so long? Why don't they just go away? Things that last long are greeted with horror and anxiety. They will be here longer than you--they can't take you with them into the future.

03/28 Direct Link
Lookit--lookit there, acrost th' platform--lookit all those loosas waitin' waitin' waitin' for there train! Hah! Don't they all just wisht they was me, headin' where I'm a-headin', then they'd not be piled so, oh they mus' be eight deep over there!

Every one of 'em is wishin' he was me, headin' where I'm-a heading, in the other drection, instead of their other drection, where it'll be all so crowded and shit!

If they was me, lucky lucky me, they'd have a seat like nobuddy's business. 'Stead, a bunch of 'em will hafta stand!

Bye-bye, suckas! Bye-bye! Bye-bye, suckas!

03/29 Direct Link
I haven't always been a dog. For three years I was a human being.

That first day, I woke up in, and not merely on, a bed. I saw things differently without any training. I knew language, I knew who I was, I knew my parents. I had no idea where the dog I had been the day before was. I had breakfast, went to work.

For three years I was her. Then, one morning, I woke up as a dog again, in the old house. I never did find out what happened to that woman.

Yes indeed. Mondo cane.

03/30 Direct Link
I went to visit my wife in prison. (Armed robbery.) She said the screws were treating her just fine. She showed me her cell. It was nice. So I decided to stay.

No-one minded. We put up some curtains, framed some drawings, put them up too. The food was good. We were on easy street for three years. Then we got word she was gonna get paroled.

This presented a problem. We decided I should assault a guard. I was took good at it--and I killed him.

My wife left me there in prison. "So long, sucker," she said.

03/31 Direct Link
The Woman of Great Infection

My darling, I am writing to you anonymously. You know me and you don't know me. I have been greatly infected by you.

Breath in, and your infection enters me. Touch a surface, subcutaneously you get under my skin pleonastically.

I rip off my toenails--there you are, always there, always inside of me. There is nothing of me that is not you.

I pulled out my bleeding heart--and I saw it was exactly like your heart. I have seen your heart in a photograph.

You have infected me down to my cell-cooking marrow.