Saturday, December 19, 2015


I started a new work schedule on December 1.
I have had a very bad cold. This week.
I am not as comfortable sharing as I used to be.
I couldn't come up with a theme this year.
Thinking about it was easy, doing it was hard.
The interface is difficult to work with.
Spotty wifi.
Haven't I said it all before, and better?
My obsessions are probably boring to others; obsessions usually are.
I can keep my writing exercises to myself.
Not much is happening.
I don't feel any need to chime in on public events;  that leaves only private ones which seems narcissistic.
Fictions may be mistaken for fact.
It's not as easy to maintain an enthusiasm any more.
The internet isn't what it used to be.
Sometimes I'd rather go for a walk.
Once you've skipped a day, it's easier to skip the next. Repeat to end of month.
Silence is an underutilized option.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

See No

Some we see: some we are permitted to see: some we permit ourselves to see. Some we do not see: some we are not permitted to see: some we do not permit ourselves to see. Habitually I do not see that which I should see; occasionally I see what I should not. Or seeing I do not believe,  but not seeing I do believe; or believing I therefore see, and not believing manage therefore not to see.

Is there a country where it is against the law to see the color red? Is there a group of like-minded people who see only shadows? Is there a network that broadcasts only black?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Street Where I Live

The other morning I took the trash out to the curb before I left for work. In the eastern sky the moon and Venus were shaking hands, standing on a ground of orange, under a veil of blue. The houses across the street were dark;  no one was up but me.

It is not a very interesting street. No historic homes, just cheap-but-expensive suburban houses. All variations on two or three plans, old enough to a bit worn out, mostly made over a time or two, but neither quaint nor fashionable.

I don't see inside the houses; I imagine that inside they are much like they are outside,  that nothing wild or strange or brilliant or fantastic is to be seen in them. But they are all perfectly fine, respectable houses, different enough from one another but not too different. At night they are illuminated from within, like the sky that morning, blue and orange. The blue emitted by the television,  the orange by the electric lights.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Outstanding in her Field

My friend just closed her produce stand yesterday, kind of late for New Jersey. There wasn't a whole lot of produce left for sale, to be honest: some Swiss chard, broccoli, gourds, potatoes and onions. And garlic, the best garlic in the world. But it was a beautiful warm day for December and a good day to say goodbye.

The week before I was walking by and saw her car but not her. I turned to go but heard my name being called. I looked out across the field and saw her in the distance by the few green rows that remained. I walked across the furrows.

Wet and muddy, and it has been a dry year overall. As it cooled the rains came. Of course it's always too wet or too dry, too hot or too cold, too cloudy or too sunny, and for all I know, too beautiful or too ugly. For a farmer, good weather in too much abundance is as bad as bad. A cliche,  it is true, but an accurate observation too much observed.

The dog came over. A new dog, not much like the one that died. But just as well adapted to a life at a roadside, where strangers come and are friendly,  cars come and go, and the smells of the earth and its children abound.

After we talked for a while she went back to picking her Swiss chard and I went back on my way. There were a few clouds and it was cool.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and my feet are itchy.  I get up and go for a walk; outside the night is full of dark and stars and silence. Sometimes I do exercises in the kitchen while waiting for the coffee to brew. Sometimes I wonder what my friends are doing at that hour.  Sometimes I go to work in a bad mood.  Sometimes I think that the birds are smarter than us. Sometimes I look out the window and don't see anything that is out there.  Sometimes I remember things that never happened.  Sometimes I sing songs I haven't heard in years.  I remember the melodies better than the words.  Sometimes I feel sad about the things that never happened.  Sometimes I make conversation with the people in line with me at the grocery store. Never at the liquor store. Sometimes I get home late and can't find my key in the dark. Sometimes I wonder what makes people so horrible. Sometimes I just have a sandwich for dinner.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Conventions Used in this Manual

For the purpose of clarity, allow me to take a moment to specify the conventions which will be observed in the following pages. What may appear to be tedious now, and I must reluctantly admit that in this case the appearance may be indistinguishable from the reality (in fact this is certain to be the case), will in fact reap unimaginable benefits to the reader in the future: the numbing prose set down here will allow a more streamlined experience in the pages to come. However, the hopeful tone of the foregoing carries with it an implicit warning: if the pages immediately following are bypassed, the entirety of the manual may seem incoherent and nonsensical. Reader, be warned.

But first, a few preliminary words on the manner in which these conventions were chosen and the substrata, so to speak, that underlie their relations to the particularities under discussion. For there is a grammar of grammars and a meta-syntax; and in order to tie together the systems, objects, and their relationships in order that (shortly!) the pace may be brisk and the meaning unambiguous,  it is imperative that every term in use be aligned as on a grid with every other term, so fixedly, so immutably, so fatally, that no false or misleading meanings can escape, every word a metaphorical space ship spiraling around a black hole, falling forever into an oblivion of unmistakable, tautological meaning. So, with all of this clarified, let us carry on to the heart of the matter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Reader, you know me. I mean that literally. Just this morning, you saw me, on the street, on the subway, or perhaps it was in a crowded cafe.  Just a glimpse of a disturbed and disturbing face, an overheard raucous laugh or simpering plea, the words indistinguishable but the tone unmistakable; or perhaps you work with me and avoid the rest room when you know I'm in there. And look shiftily around when I forcibly engage you in conversation. Yes,  you know me, you need not deny it.

But I want you to like me, that's the truth. Let me touch you gently on the elbow or shoulder and look you in the eye. You are very good-looking and I don't say that to just anyone. Let's be friends, you and I, and share all of our secrets. By "our", I mean "my", and by "secrets" I mean "commonplace notions". Wait, I saw you look away; am I boring you?

Are you uncomfortable?  Not yet?

Just wait.