Saturday, January 14, 2017

Let me be perfectly clear about the sub-par work which defines these posts: they have been permitted for limited times on very few occassions, but have failed to garner new readers. Old readers lack value; still, some writers, whether awful enough to drive the readership away, or, less perceptibly bad, weaken the taste and curiosity of readers in a manner that prevents their enjoyment of new voices, come and go. Neither of these latter problems are evidenced in a study of the current selection; mere mediocrity is what it is. It served a purpose, filled up space that could lure savvy marketing groups as an available, if costly, opportunity.

Some bluffs have tells. A logical approach demands players adjust. Still, if the opponent spots your adjustment, you have no game. Sometimes, therefore, losing moves must be played. These posts exemplify such cleverness, the bluffer must bluff himself. This takes great refinement: the choice of hand must be specified and narrowed, the wager must have a loose but low limit, and the number of opponents must be increased so as to confuse with competing strategies.

There are many people who assist an editor. All must be tasked with keeping a guard on the work, and fixing it: by title, placement, grammatical choices, fact-checking, types of clarification and specification, and byline attribution.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


How many months, ugly man, you wasted on the dreams of a hollow earth, how many hours on the electric universe and how deep the story dug into your soul, a thrilling alternate reality to the popularized findings of archaeologists, geologists, astronomers, botanists, geneticists, philologists, and videographers, which ties them all together in a single, unlikely, web -- no, no, you will never tell, how many worthless podcasts, how many radio shows, how much Netflix binging, how much article trolling, how many pics that sent you cackling, which sites you dare not mention, which you would but never visit, you need only to keep this private.

How many dusty books, how many unlearned languages, how much knowledge forgotten, or forsaken, from how many hours of quietness distracted, how many neighbors unnoticed, how many friends unmet, how much love avoided, how much work unfinished, how much uncleanliness around you, about you, within you, by how many injuries conquered, by how many troubles unsettled, how many difficulties not embraced, how many prayers unspoken, or absently muttered, how much grumbling and groaning, never complain about.

For all of the posts unpublished, and all of the thoughts unwritten, the sentences composed and decomposed, for all of the wisdom and folly not followed, not necessarily knowing the difference, for all of the elaborate, nonsensical theories that passed without an exposition, by your wanton disposition, your cowardice and fear, that brings you crawling wretchedly to the foot of the freak, make your accounting. Let others excuse.

This series of slipshod efforts, thoughts of a moment, tied together with various thematic strands, not diagnosed or carefully drawn in overarching purpose, delighting in tangents, asides, boasting incessantly of a grand design - not showing it - and setting the most modest of tasks as the court from which it seeks to judge the world, not according to intrinsic worth or material wealth so much as clarity of vision, a review of weights and measurements, from a view at least as balanced as the things in themselves, one of a fitting, although not typically one of surpassing excellence in thought and speech, have been my obsession for an embarrassingly told number of years, the telling a necessity, the time mere happenstance and blamed on a rhetorical flourish, a creature born of my own sick brain, unyielding, self-important, unliked, easily outmaneuvered while crude (and sometimes cruel) in retaliation, a thing beneath praise or censure, not worthy of the airs imputed to it, which inhere in it because of the imputation, a villain accused, most essentially, of existence, the experience of which inspires men to master it and overcome it, setting themselves and one another on a course of self-improvement,  knowing that this common enemy can never be grasped, without it conquering the foolhardy fellow that ventures to equal it.

Follow my good example and learn from my bad; don't hesitate to correct me; don't be angry if I accuse you: you stood your ground, but the ground stood you up.
Nothing pains an author more than missed deadlines, and, that others suffer thereby as well, compounds the injury within the mind of the sensitive cleric, for, from the day he had dedicated himself to the service of others through the use of words, not as a mere performer, but a smith who bends the language into useful forms for good or ill, as the case may be, and not, truly, as a thinker, whose thoughts so surpass the ordinary as to find faults in words, whose soul winces at puns, but a shepherd who gathers sheep of different quality and temperament back into a single fold by dint of his voice, though they had gathered and mixed with sheep of another, and who zealously guards against these sheep following a wayward or dangerous course, and all this he does, not with airs of superiority, but with an attitude of detachment that permits him to maintain his focus when words fail, as well as to let the language flourish when he feels anguished and exhausted,  so that his neighbors may have the tools and the know-how for their own flourishing in their personal lives, whether individually or among friends and family, at work, where jargon threatens to abscond with their minds and trap them in its narrow confines, and in the wider community, understood civically, culturally and historically.

For these reasons, I have requested permission of the editor, that whatever-it-is, to send this apology for my laxity, following the weekend's respite.

12 17 16

No poetry, no song, no letters, no confessions, no critiques, no histories, no politics: quoth the Nancy. Seriously? For one that used to display a visceral, and, at times, violent, hatred of lists, this seven-storied editorial construction of all the thoughts not fit for print exudes an aura of privilege that threatens to suffocate anybody within spitting distance, and you could hardly complain if your peers are calling it in, literally calling it in, as computers and tablets trigger their likely post-editorial meeting stress disorder, and I would be remiss to not bring to the attention of the public the toxic attitudes which poison work environments in one of America's most decrepit and failing institutions. Consider yourselves warned, and, if I may drop a touch of sage advice into this stew, as warnings and advice (the north and south poles of every Nancy's world) have not been condemned, yet, I would recommend lighting up a cigarette -- where there's smoke, there's fire, and a little fire is exactly what is missing in the present company -- although the local bureaucrats would refuse a drag to a dying man because it causes complications in pregnancies -- because even if the science were settled that nicotine does not cause pulitzer prizes (the editors of the peer-reviewed publications wold probably lie about it anyhow - just to assert their authority (do not discount the possibility that scientists hate the physical world as much as teachers hate students)) the two have been historically correlated
12 16 16

The mood of a moment can best be captured in images: scattered leaves drifting across the road, blown back and forth, the barrenness of the trees revealing the blue sky of winter, patches of snow remaining from the autumn's first snowfall. Nature teases us by making death so beautiful. Not the death of animals, or the corruption of flowers, but just the presentiments of the parks and woods, as that of sunsets, can echo the mourning and comfort which accompany mortality, as if to join the dead and living. Like the waters of baptism, our tears of bereavement wash away the guilt of life, and, vicariously, of death.

What noise disturbs this mood? The shrill caw of the crows interrupts the thrill of their flight, as the duties of life assert themselves against our ecstasies of grief, and the most mundane details of life become more pressing than that horror, the richness of ordinary things robbing death of its significance, as though working to put dinner on the table was akin to the rage of Achilles defying the gods. This richness of being, however, being much too much, we learn to use music and art as storehouses of deep, unsettled emotion, and as the master craftsmen of the earth abscond with our hard won wealth, they leave behind a stillness and a quiet beyond expressing.

The fecundity of these experiences forming intricate and complex connections within us, like the labor of bees ends with honey, words are flowing out like....

12 15 16

Start again. He texted me. Out of the blue, like a blue screen suddenly fixed, like sadness pierced with peace, happy like Ulysses, I make my cautious approach. What has changed? Has it grown? Has it betrayed? What trees were felled, poisoned or broken by force, whether of nature or men? What bags beneath her eyes? Her? Is it she now? And he? Both. Oh, both....

Freakshow editor, permit this miserable contributor some space, once more, to sort through his confusion before he is transfixed by your stern rule, once more. The words, so seemingly uncouth and impolite, and hateful and angry (let those accusations fly, while I am swift and nimble), reveal my thoughts and sentiments, right or wrong and sometimes contradictory. Let logicians grapple with patterns and mazes, while lovers run like squirrels throughout -- branch to branch and tree to tree, traceless pilgrims in the wilderness.

How many wishes come true? Have any been granted? I thought to make another request -- not to exasperate your patience, and that, if that, long before causing offense. As with his words, a beggar makes his condition worse and his abject state commands the pity of more fortunate persons, so would I trust to ask of you a simple and a strict accounting. Within so small a space, being granted absolute control: to till, plant, weed, prune and pick, to let some animals in and to chase and keep others out, to trap and kill: let me cultivate this garden.