Saturday, December 15, 2007

Scrabble blast

Tonight I got beat at scrabble by two Germans. For those of you who know me, this is shocking news. We were playing in English. I can't believe it.

Also, I want to recommend everyone the film Magnificent Butcher. I can't seem to get many people to watch it, but I rank it with They Live as best film of all time.

One of the Germans, Markus, got a score of 185, which is pretty damn high. I formed the word "no" twice. It was cock shit.

The Germans (it's Markus and his girlfriend Carol) also refused to watch Magnificent Butcher, even though I did a very captivating dramatic reading of the synopsis (luckily, I had the movie on hand). Another friend of mine, Gail, was captivated by my dramatic reading. Maybe they just don't like kung fu movies.

Even though I lost, I had a lot of fun. We were at Southern Sun. We drank beer, and the Germans bought about three pounds of food. I took the lead early on with "badly", but was soon confronted with such gems as "revoker" and "scientologist". It was really incredible.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know about this. I must sleep for now, because I have much to do tomorrow. The Germans are nice people. I'll probably never play scrabble again.

Monday, December 10, 2007

God! I wish somebody would make a website where German women in bikinis destroy electronic devices!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I really like this one, so fuck it.

It took me awhile to learn, but now I’ve got it down:

That God is dead means only that metaphysics is dead.

Nobody reads my blog!

I would hope that it’s not too heavy. Really I have only a very poor (impoverished) understanding of things. I know very little; I am no authority; I would only please; and it is you I would please. I shout into the void: so is it romantically put; I am reminded of that painting in that high school textbook of mine—I suppose it was a history textbook. We all have our little recollections, and these also play a part: listen (I love to tell people that), I have something to say.

(Emphasis.) God! I just wish … I could put commas after exclamation points. They always seem so good there.

Impoverishment: a romantic English word.

Listen well. I’ve felt this way before. It is force; I force myself to do things. What force it requires! Just the bare minimum. But to muster such is almost already asking too much! It is better to muster no force. It is better to muster nothing. We are but nothing, we are but a dynamic experiment. Let us just see how we can be.

Let’s speak of love. Love. I have mentioned it often, as you may have noticed. But was I really just playing for the crowd? Or do I love? Well, the answer is yes—and it is my own fault for bringing up the subject—but my love is actually only a dawning. The people have finally learned how to love. It is after all very pretentious of us, you know; and we ought naturally to have been punished for just mentioning it, but it is nevertheless true.

What wickedness, however? What tainted love? One is wont to salivate and lick one’s lips. We have our debauch; and we have our love. The two must be kept separate. When kink and love play two individual parts, both may do better for themselves. Love should be allowed for all, and love means (entails) certain things.

It is no use stressin’. What you want others will want; and want is endemic. We, especially now, love to want. We want. And want follows want, and so are we subjugated. They give it to us; we already wanted it.

But with love it is different. Love is an opportunity to resist. Because love is reserved, and holds itself back. But nobody is incapable of being loved, hence the possibility, always again newly renewed, of loving and being loved.

We are weak in the face of our own excuses, and because they are so beautiful, let us have them! Never was there a better excuse than love.

The nihilist loves at will. So … let us loosen our own restraints, and be willing to love.

That’s the last I should speak of it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I was one of them, I was and I stand by that.

I was one of them, I was and I stand by that. But they left me here, and so here I have remained. Now you are here; what should I name you? Seeker? Lost One? Fool? Ask of me what you will, and I will endeavor to answer.

I’m sorry sir; I don’t know what to say. You see, I’m from the lumber company, and we happen to have purchased this little strip of jungle and, well we had no idea you were here! Now, it’s come to my attention that you stubbornly refuse to move. But the trees must be cut! And so we must beg you to move! Please, sir, don’t make this any harder than it has to be.

Don’t you see! My legs have become part of this humble stone, my hands have not felt the rush of blood since before you father’s father was born, I feed off only those insects who wander down my throat, and you suppose I can just get up and go! Why not just harvest me along with the wood? My body will burn just as well.

Sir! That would be murder! The firm I represent doesn’t tolerate such accusations! We humbly request that you, well, up root yourself I guess.

And if I refuse?

Well, perhaps we’ll cut down every tree around you. Watch out when they fall though! Is that what you’d like: if a whole city grew up around you and everybody just left you alone? You’d probably love it, so many “seekers” with whom to speak.

And you think I fear obscurity, after the life I have lived?

No, I think you fear society, human company!

No, I fear only night, and hence my simple purchase.

Is that some kind of allegory or something? I don’t understand.

Let me tell you a story: once upon a time there was a man, who, tired of having the sun in his face all day, held up his hand so as to block the light; and he was so absorbed in this that he fell down a well.

So the shadow from the hand is night, or the darkness in the well? And you sit here in order to avoid potholes?

No! The story is not yet finished: The man was lying at the bottom of the well on his back when his hand, empowered by the sun, began to leap about, like this! Like a fish flopping out of water! And do you know what his hand did then?


He got a job, got married, invested in the stock market, had kids, the usual story.

Are you crazy?

Oh-no! Not me, it was the other hand that was crazy! Crazy from jealously. You see, this other hand: the fall down the well left it permanently disabled, ironically because it was kept out of the sun and left in the pocket!

OK, old man, so you’re gonna move or what?

And so the jealous hand murdered the successful, enlightened hand. But he didn’t stop there; he murdered his children and his wife as well! Finally, ashamed of his crime, he chopped himself off. And you know what?


Just think how the penis felt!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Art Post (pierogi gallery, pictures linked)

It is true that hernia

It is true that the world appears exactly as it is. There is no denying this because there is no other way for it to appear. However, it appears to each of us differently, and radically so. For while in fact everything might appear very similar to each of us, there is no way of qualifying the difference. Therefore, the world might as well be something vastly unique seen through the eyes of vastly unique things and at great distances from one another.
But this is not so profound a thought. One cannot even disagree. My world simply is very different from a dog’s, regardless of my “special capacity for perceiving”. What I perceive nevertheless appears true to me: If I perceive that I am unhappy, then I am unhappy. If I perceive that I am doomed, then I am doomed. If I perceive that truth exists or does not exist then it will or it will not. Likewise, if I perceive that I am Napoleon then I am him. And further, a dog afraid of being beat acts like a coward. The way I perceive the world shapes the person I am.
Let us look again: Perception is paradoxically both of the self and of the other. It is of the self because the self is projected onto others, and it is of the other because they have great influence on one’s self-perception. The relationships between these two aspects of perception are indiscernible; they are in fact the same; their influence is simultaneous, and neither ever has more of one thing than the other. In short, they are unified—a single, fluid stream of consciousness: As soon as we make an impression on someone, they are immediately impressed upon us. We might see them only in passing and project but the tiniest fragment of some concern upon them, but this tiny impression helps to articulate, in some unfathomable way, said concern and we all become more alike.
The more intimate the relationship becomes the more mutual influence is shared. Projections take the shape of barley understood, but deeply moving ideas, and one’s world is then changed. One also wants to please them and so changes one’s world. Or one wants to struggle with the other, or make them angry. This relationship is dynamic and persistent; we are ourselves only because we ourselves are each a little of the other.

In drowsy moods

In drowsy moods such as these one hardly finds the motivation necessary to lift a pen, let alone to move the world or maintain one’s obstinacy. It is this, more than anything else, that I have come to miss. Not in the way the one misses a dearly departed pet, but rather in the way one misses sunshine at night when the leaves seem, paradoxically, more green. Or perhaps not at all. I miss it as I miss my childhood; justifiably so, because what is obstinacy but a child’s illusion?
Anyway, staying on topic is so easily and pleasantly ignored that I suffer under the weight of it; drowsy moods eek the only color from my flesh and pin it up against a billboard for all to see. And even then I am filled with the presentiment that it is naught but duplicity, an excuse in other words. These never make sense, whether they are about moods or obstinacies or what; and I am each time surprised anew that nobody sees beneath the fumbling words I use to frame my reasons for being the way I am. But still, most of the time, I myself am not aware of them either.
Illness would not suffice. Although I wish that I were ill, because that would imply a convalescence, and there is nothing I need more than the reassurance that I will someday, tomorrow perhaps, get up and see things they way that they really are. Or at least become as great as a comet that passes once every seven hundred years—so great that half the people wouldn’t even know of my existence, while the other half would maintain that they had intended to watch me except that so-and-so had then prevented the meeting on account of some well-to-do grand uncle. The same grand uncle, I’m sure, that had also wanted to go and see the comet, but then waited too long for his grandniece and her friend. And even this, even this would inspire me to do it all over again; I might even take a backseat and enjoy the ride from a distance.
But to return to the topic: these moods are no illness. They are something else entirely, something from which there is no convalescence, but only the promise of more of the like. And even speaking of them becomes dry and boring and I find myself wishing to be someplace else. Yet I cherish my most embarrassing memories because without them I would not be the person that I am. So is it then love for myself and despair for my fate? This must be the answer; or at least it will suffice as an answer
Pierre had notions of fate that even he realized were romances. But that is as far as he got. It is better to assume that everything is just the way it must necessarily be, because then one can maintain the impression of being a man. His hope was that his fate would hold something for him besides death, and so it may said that he had little hope. There was, of course, the woman with whom he was in love. And there was the position in the firm, which he had been almost promised; the bowing servants, etc…. But still, one cannot hope alone on these things, because—however pleasant they might be—, being separate from oneself, they cannot help. And it is help that we all require. “I’d ride on the mystic’s back all the way to nirvana if I believed that his legs could actually carry me there,” said Pierre, “and likewise I would eat the brains of Germans or Jews if I thought I’d live a little longer.”

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I was recently asked what post-...

I was recently asked what post-modernism means to me, and I've decided that the concept is best clarified in a lyric found in an early collaboration from Boa Bei Da (hope I spelled that right, bitch) and Chris Komar:

I'm fillin' my gas tank, psych!
I drink your blood into my gall tank,
Fly kites!

The meaning of this rather enigmatic lyric is of course obscured under layers metaphor, allegory, Derridian differance (I don't know how to put that French apostrophe thing over the a), what have you, and can be interpretated according to Marxist-Hegelian dialectics or Historical Materialism (gall tank as antithesis to gas tank, ending in bloody class struggle and of course the promise of redemption), Freudian analysis ("filling" the gas tank as drive for sexuall fulfillment but hindered by illusion produced probably by a carnivorous unconscious and promise of freedom from / unification of the self (did Freud say that?)), structuralism (the unnatural as prototype of the natural, each tied to the other by this process of sinking or going-in-to, offest by height attained by kites; the going-up as contrapunkt to the sinking-in -- I'm just making this shit up), deconstruction (there is no difference between gas tanks, gall tanks, and kites), and what have you. Anyway, this post sucks.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Must not slack off and keep wasting all my time

The power is everywhere. It is here and there, within and without. It is in the body and the mind, as well as in the world outside. It is everywhere. But the truth? The truth is worse; the truth is you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Nosogood, I put the lock in the key, I turned the key, for a second, after the door was opened, I became a skeleton; my teeth, my brains. Nosogood, see, listen good, nosogood, he is my man, he comes, after a fight, and approaches the, the -- listen good,.

Let’s start from the beginning. Nosogood said do good in life and you will be rewarded, do evil and be punished. But no! said nosogood, I say no!. Still, he was abolished, and rightfully so: to really control, we must not believe we’re in control.

Listen good: so broke are we, so emptied. This is our degeneration. And so we must rejoice for it.

Broke. I love you. But I feel that we’re broke.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bloß und Maennlich

It began with the tiniest sound. Carlne heard it, thought it was nothing, turned around and resumed her work. It finished with a bang, and she lay there dead. You probably wouldn't've though she was a she, just by looking at her, but she was, to which a number of unfortunate persons could testify. She looked then like just an old, dead guy—beard and all—as she lay there on the floor of the cave.

“Well, I’ll be,” said Wilfred; thick tears, themselves reflecting the harsh electric light dazzlingly as they rolled, seemed as though in play, frolicsome, and were absorbed into his stained beard—it only grew in dark patches, however very thick, about his cheeks, chin and neck. He must have loved her, of that there is no doubt; although, in general, it might be said that he was rather too simple to love a woman, and thought of Carlne as more of a mother. Nevertheless, he cried for that poor, ugly woman. Indeed, he was the only witness to her death.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Sketch of Progress

One hears so often these days, and this is nothing new: There is no truth. In our world, we have vanquished or somehow lost the Truth; we have no more God, no more tradition, no more family; our values rest solely in the profane. Science alone do we triumph. Science, before all things, is something true; it has, after all, directed the course and emergence of progress so far. This, however, is nonsense. Science is the negative to our ideal Truth: Science will never reveal a system of morals, nor penetrate into a reality not already somewhat determined by the limited perceptions of a human. Indeed, science is only reproduction, ever and again of the same stuff as the soil from which it was grown.
Let me give you a simple, if clarifying, example: We suppose we have progressed out from dark times in part on account of plumbing. We suppose that the possibility of bringing, at our every beck and call, an almost limitless quantity of water into the house is evidence enough of science’s success at Truth. But what do we truly know apart from what we have learned to control? Listen carefully: what more do we know about the water but better how to manipulate it? Have we seen into its being in-itself? Are we now aware of its moral significance? Have we even considered those who do not have clean water, or no pipes at all? And these great scientific achievements, from where do they come? They come but from those who would control; from those who have built entire empires of control. Science affords no clearer an image of the world, but only more precise ways to be human, and so far humans have sought mostly to control one another and the world. No wonder then, plumbing.
We have cause for alarum. If we continue to let science only reproduce our baser human behaviors, not only will we leave much wholly unexplored, we will be acting positively against the Truth; if all we know of water is how to control it, then we really know very little, and if all we learn is how to do it better, then we’re teaching ourselves lies.
One may counter: But indeed we know more of water than merely how to control it! We know after all its chemical formula, how it bonds together and all that! Yes, but it would be naïve to believe that this knowledge is based upon or has any purpose other than control. And so with the rest of science. Why, then, do we love it so much? Because it is true? It is not true. To believe so would be to confuse the truth of something with our ever greater faculty for its control. Water will ever remain obscure to us if we continue to treat it as a means and not as an end itself. And not only water! I'm talking cell phones and running shoes and band-pins too! We've got to see beyond the merely >>for me<<, and start looking at the >>for themselves<<. Moreover, we gotta act fast! As it stands now, we're losing control of science. And therefore we must immediately stop all science, or eventually it will become us, take us over, and rule us unrelentingly.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Virus and New Bio pic.

I've got a goddamn virus that interrupts my typing and causes me no end of frustration; I still type that old one fingure method (although, not to show off or anything, I really use three fingures now, one on my left hand and two on my right), and so I don't look at the screen, and when I do occassionally glance up, I find that that goddamn virus inturrpted me again and my last three sentences were never written. And worse, my bio pic no longer exists on the Intra-net, and so I have to settle for this goddamn polariod camera: lots of problems. On the bright side, Evil Genius from What I Like about the Universe awarded me (it feels like an award) BOTH Pluto and Charon in his interview with Grant Miller. These are everybody's favorite non-planets (I believe they're officially Kuiper belt objects, but maybe not Charon), and so it's quite an honor. Everyone should therefore read Evil Genius's site. Thanks again. I'll post something else soon.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Restless Nap-Dreams

I dreamed that a much respected and very attractive female professor of mine was limping and terribly sick at my sister's birthday party, where the latter was also being awarded for a French rap song she had written, and which was taking place in a giant The Simpsons-themed restaurant; I woke up then with a terrible headache, and immediately ate three slices of cold mushroom pizza from blackjack.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hungry Mouths

She rose early to check on her children. She remembers those days in the laboratory, conducting experiments, collecting data, staying up until the sun was up, red-eyed, finishing after a long nights work. But she had grown old since then, and now her life was changed. Here she had her hallway and the now dark room full of little sleepers; her bathroom with the ugly ceiling light. Lately she had been thinking, perhaps I should return to academia. Perhaps, now that the children are born, I should take up my old position again, or even a higher one, and probe again into reality’s tiny, but fundamental truths. She switches off the light in her bathroom and returns to bed. There she covers herself up to the neck with her still warm, down comforter. Lying in bed, she is unable to sleep, and finally decides to begin breakfast. Walking carefully down the stairs she is confronted with a memory of descending into that much feared basement lab in Macky. She can hear again that silence that seemed only to be concealing the noise of ghosts and lurking things; she can almost see the painted yellow strip on the floor beneath the last step. And what smells there were there! Thickly perfumed walls soaking in the chemicals of thousands of experiments, decaying carpet, the smell of mold and dust. Why had she come here again? She was looking for a meeting, to make a scheduled appointment, she was going to re-enlist—what joy it would be! But it was so dark here? I can’t seem to find the room. It’s just my lonely old kitchen. Stopping, she lets her eyes adjust to the details. The kitchen is vast, reaching far and low across the long floor, narrow in comparison to its length, with a counter more suited perhaps for a bar. She makes a slow trek to the refrigerator. Nothing but leftovers and milk. She takes out the milk and clumsily searches for the cupboard handle in the dark. Dry goods. She takes down nine bowls, each decorated with the same twisting-vines-and-flowers design, one, the top one, chipped ever so slightly in the shape of an upside down triangle on the pink-bordered rim—this one’s for Mike—; a transparent, metric only measuring cup, and a tan pitcher. Lifting the extremely heavy milk jug, she fills the pitcher all the way, and then carefully measures out a third of a liter for each of the bowls—the pitcher empties quickly and she must refill it several times. Then taking down the giant cereal box, she covers each bow of milk, above the brim, with a thick layer of corn flakes. Finished, she replaces the milk and the cereal box. All is ready for the hungry mouths. She removes nine forks from a drawer, and heads up the stairs towards the children’s room. But in the hall she notices that the sun isn’t even up yet. With a start she looks at her watch. Quarter to five! The kids don’t have to be up for another two and a half hours! She puts her hand to her forehead; what should she do? If I don’t wake them, she thinks, the cereal will surely get soggy. And the stuff’s so goddamn expensive these days! In a panic she flies down the stairs. Taking the cereal box down again, she reaches into the first bowl, which just happens to be the one with the chip, but she stops herself just in time to prevent the dripping handful’s entry into the box. What am I doing? She places the cereal box on the counter, almost throws the handful back into the bowl, runs back to the staircase, returns with a spoon, and in no time she has finished the first bowl. Setting it down she takes up the second, but she cannot finish it. It’s too big. These bowls are at least twice her size, and she is no small woman. Defeated, she puts the bowl down, returns to the refrigerator, takes out the big jug of milk, fills the measuring cup a tenth a liter, pours it into the second bowl, then refills the first to its optimal, and covers both with another layer of flakes. Then, having put everything away again, she heads up the stairs. She’ll just wake those little bastards up! She’s almost in a fury. Throwing open the door, she screams: “Wake up and eat you fucks!” Nine tiny bodies, none taller than a foot, and apparently smudged in some sort of shiny black gloss, fly from their beds, their grinning mouths and sharp teeth swarming and bright in the darkness, they rush out of the room, down the stairs, and in seconds are yelping for more cereal. I can’t go back to the lab, I have to feed all those hungry mouths after all, and what appetites!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Response to the Guy who once commented that I am “a Waste of a College Tuition”

At first I was distraught. Why such a mean spirited an unexpected comment? Who could have done such a thing? A part of me even perhaps wished for all the romantic embellishments that would be mine if this comment were true. Nevertheless I was at a loss for words, and sought escape immediately in the Bourne Ultimatum; after all, what else could I do?

Later, now, I am able to rationalize away this comment. This person is simply nobody from whom I could take seriously any criticism, and this just so: It is all in the language, I am a waste of a college tuition, implying that my relationship to my education is as one reified, the latter nothing but a commodity to which one attaches a specific price-value. Moreover, I too become so; that I am a waste of the value automatically attached to my education cannot mean other than that I too am a commodity to which one also attaches a specific price (one in this case somewhat less than the price of my education). I would, through my paid for education become for example a doctor, or a lawyer, and in this way charge others for even the pleasure of an hour of my time; the cost of my education therefore nothing more but the price paid to be such a ‘thing’ and then only for the consumption of others. Besides, were I simply to assert that I went to college for free, the argument would be wholly invalidate. And still more, if indeed I had learned nothing in college, preferring to drink and fuck and death metal, then at least all I wasted was money (no problem; good Marxist that I am) and not something of value, say, for example, a person’s life.

And so I cannot but conclude that it was indeed my liberal politics that angered my anonymous commentator; perhaps that the character kills the cop just for asking to see his passport, in other words, for no good reason, or that he thinks that this is behavior worthy of emulation. Those liberals always go to college, and, frankly, the things they say, well they offend the sensibilities.

On the other hand, I might beg to be such a waste, on my knees, in the basement somewhere, where pestilence is still able to seep through the ground and drop out from molded ceiling patches in fat drops to narrowly miss my tongue; good thing too, or else I’d be immediately expelled, no longer a candidate for the brave, covered now that I am in metaphysics. There, on my knees, hands even clasped in prayer, beseeching my commentator, deadly earnest, soft dry eyes, before the philosophy begins.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Who am I? The questions stay the same. Just a little turtle in a world of ninjas. Lost words like moonbeams: lost.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Art Post, the pictures will (hopefully) be linked

European Reflections

I have returned. Must call Ed, send emails to Europeans. I almost feel as though I had not gone at all, except that I am furnished with new memories (which I guess is the best you can ask for), traced across that unconscious stuff—impossible to define—of which I am made, like a trail of slug-slime. But what perhaps, under all this slime, have I already forgotten? Also impossible to say. Perhaps nothing, but once lost must be revived by some stimulus, spontaneous or intentional, and then comes bubbling up from some deep sunken repository. The free taxi ride in Regensberg, the cabbie was quiet, even shy, but was happy to know that I study German. Perhaps he had misunderstood the directions. He sat there—when we had arrived—and I couldn’t understand that he didn’t want money (I’d even been prepared to tip a good deal). But finally I did not pay. Later, I met a girl who helped me find the Regensberger Uni, that was probably one of my earliest conversations in German, even though I could probably count all the others on two hands and a foot (or just two hands, if I’m more discerning). These memories, however, lie but merely on the surface; the true depths might never see a ray of stimulus.

The brute acquisition of facts is the brute force mobilizing the civil graces; a man in the know, knows how to make conversation. But to speak not is to retain much, and therefore it is better to know but very few facts. Alas, with an eye toward tail, the quiet man has no luck; and appropriately so: he has nothing to say. He shrugs his shoulders, casts an eye toward the floor, and awaits another opportunity to inject. I’ve, however, retained nothing; it’s all so easily forgot, and so rely only on those flashes of insight, unaccounted for, afforded by the unexplored mass of my mind. With beer, I’ve found, they are more forthcoming (if, however, ultimately less coherent).

Maybe I should’ve dropped a bill or two for sex?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Appropriator

He is an artist whose medium is refuse; he searches through the trash trying to find the lost word of God--the word that would, once found, redeem all art except his; his art needs no redemption while the word remains lost.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

French Keyboqrds

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Wrong Direction

One day Carl stepped into a hole that he didn't see coming. Instinctively, he braced himself for the inevitable impact, but, when no impact came, he gradually relaxed and began to take account of his situation. Looking up he could see the tiny, slowly receding oval of light that must be the hole he'd fallen through. "I'm falling," he thought. It was dark so he stretched out his hands and discovered that he was surrounded by stone, just beyond his fingertips, in all directions, except of course down. "A well?" he thought. Once his eyes had adjusted somewhat to the ever dimmer darkness, he noticed that there was a window, about a foot wide and running parallel to him, just to his left. "Must be a very tall window," he said. A face appeared in the window.

"Hello," said the face.

"Hello," replied Carl.

"How do you do?" asked the face.

"About as well as can be expected, thank you very much," answered Carl. A long, awkward silence followed this exchange, during which Carl tried to peek over at the face without drawing too much attention to himself--he wasn't sure if he liked this new development. The face was by all appearances disembodied and Carl could see it only very indistinctly through the obscuring window panes. Its cheeks especially seemed rather purple or perhaps teal, and it glowed ever so slightly.

"I wonder what I look like to him?" thought Carl.

"So," asked Carl, "are you falling too?"

"Me?" replied the face, "oh, no; I'm on my way to Dallas."

"Dallas?" asked Carl, "That's where I'm from."

"Really!?" screeched the face, "How do you like it there? Is it wonderful?"

"Oh, yeah, it's OK, I mean, I like it there and all, but--"

"Gosh! I can't wait to see it, we should probably be there soon!" interrupted the face, now very excited.

"That's what I'm trying to tell you," said Carl, "I'm afraid that we're going the wrong direction."

"The wrong direction?" asked the face.

"Yeah, you see I was just in Dallas when I accidentally stepped into this hole and I've been falling ever since. So we must be going away from Dallas."

"I see," said the face, "then I guess I'll just change directions, no big problem."

Carl took a moment to examine the face more closely; he was less nervous now, since he seemed a pretty nice fellow. He could make out hair, a neck, and even the outline of shoulders. A stiff collar gave away that he was wearing some sort of suit, perhaps even one similar to Carl’s. Everything was still strangely colored the same purple and teal, and the face’s eye sockets looked empty.

"Well?" asked Carl eventually.

"Well what?" asked the face.

"Are you going to switch directions?"

"Oh, I already did."

"But we're still falling," said Carl.

"Still falling?"

"Yeah, so that means we're still going away from Dallas." said Carl, growing a little annoyed.

"But I've just switched directions," asserted the face.

"I don't know what to tell you," said Carl.

It had become totally dark; looking up Carl could not see even a trace of the hole. He peered down at his feet, they were absolutely obscured in darkness. But he noticed that he could make out the feet of the face very clearly. He let his gaze fix upon them, marveled by something unexpectedly familiar. Perhaps these were the shoes of his father? Or even a pair he’d seen recently and been interested in buying. What ever it was, it seemed that he just couldn’t pin it down.

The face finally said, "It must be your fault then."

"My fault!?" asked Carl, now becoming angry.

"Yes, your fault," replied the face.

"How could that possibly be?" demanded Carl.

"Well, until I met you I was going toward Dallas, now I cannot go toward Dallas, no matter which direction I go. All that's changed since then is you, so it must be your fault."

Carl made a fist. "I can't believe you're blaming me for this!" he said, "anyway, you never switched directions. In fact, you didn't do anything."

"Maybe that's what you say," returned the face. Carl could now make out tiny pinpriks of light within the hollow sockets. "Those must be his eyes," he thought.

"No, it's the damn truth! We're falling and it's not my fault!" yelled Carl.

"You're impossible, I don't even know why I tried," said the face.

"Me? You're impossible! Maybe we could have been friends, but you've been nothing but obstinate and--"

"Still, it stands to reason that it's your fault, you must at least see that," interrupted the face.

"Listen, I've had enough," said Carl with a sigh, by now totally exhausted, "how long do you suppose this tunnel goes on for any--". With a dull thud and the snapping of breaking bones Carl died instantly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

As of now, I can't seem to title this post, but as I'm still traveling, it's still travel dialogues (2). Just some thoughts, really about nothing in particular. I wish I could write an allegory allegorizing the act of writing the allegory. Maybe eventually. A clever reader could probably read every text as such a process, but to what end? Anyway, I'm in Berlin, and it is quite a city. An element of schizophrenia (damn German spell checker), walking through the holocaust memorial and playing hide and seek between those huge concrete blocks, all towering right angles in contrast with a heaving ground; like the social mind of national socialism, or any collective tryanny, perhaps capitalism too. We ought erect a monument to capitalism's forgotten victims, except we don't really ackowledge their existence outside of an abberation. Oh sure, we're all well aware, but helpless, being also the victims ourselves; some sort of well fed and happy sacrifice, trained in right angles, to contrast with the twisted and suffering sacrifice upon which we are built. But I'm going to far, the sickness demands I remain indifferent, unsure, and again cliche, who I am anyway.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Travel Dialogues 1

We know it's not linear. I, however, wish that it was always some painted line, from here to there, something simple, to get our berings. I can't spell check because in Germany alles auf Deutsch ist. Just an aside, for those who would make some sort of big deal out of it, maybe it is all spelled correctly anyway. So, hello, my media, my eternal life; never forgotten on the intra-net, just one document among others. We should ourselves feel lucky, because we can never truly die, we are promised a forever life, because we write, and the intra-net loves our writing. But I'm too drunk to continue this, really I'm just hoping for some pot...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Das Brief

I awoke early in the morning, this morning, and met my guide next to a tall statue of a naked man in a park nearby my hotel. Now, reflecting back, I am not at all pleased with his, it is true, entirely shoddy performance. We spent the greater part of our time together in perpetual argument; he trying to convince me of the most incredible, yes, absurd things, while I, defending myself against his every attack, waiting patiently to escape his company at the first opportunity.

It is nevertheless a very difficult battle, and when I finally must sit down and rest a bit, he joins me. We drink our beers largely in silence, like rivals with great respect for each other and, who, after a heated debate, eventually feel comfortable with all that might remain. The more I sit with this beer, taste its flavor, smell its aroma, enjoy its dark color, the more I begin to appreciate the view-point of my guide. I only hope then that he thinks the same. I face him, his eyes are closed, his head tilted back as though to absorb the warmth of the light into his cheeks; behind him are many tourists, also enjoying this square. Across the way two young people sit next to each other on a stone bench shaded by two full, magnificently green, but still young trees.

I felt suddenly as though I had been dreaming, I knew right away that I had let my guide take advantage of me, this was all just a rouse, an attempt to absorb me! I was still walking, still debating with my guide! He was clever, but I knew that when I hired him, still, this was a new trick. I understood the power of his words now, but it very well might be too late.

Wait! I am not in the square, but neither am I having a debate. I cannot recall one single detail of the debate, but that it must have already happened, in the square, but I cannot remember having arrived here, nevertheless, I guess, here I am. Knowing that is at least important, even if it only a lie, an effect of the debate I've had! Ah! To be independent! Even the force that drives me, as it were irresistibly, wishes that I were more independent, that, in other words, I was the driver instead. Where, however, I would go, would be then entirely up to chance; whether it be over mountain roads or icy peaks, or sub-Atlantic ice shelves; probably, however it would be nowhere, because all I’ve got anyway is the damn square, and my guide who's most certainly tricking me even now -- leading me down false paths. The only ice shelves I’ve ever been over are the ones I just spoke about, and the miracle that I even have any idea about them at all is probably owed entirely to my guide. He has in any case traveled far more, and to a greater range of places than I.

Examining him now, it is really hard not to conclude that he is altogether unimportant. He represents nothing; still his advice was never bad, never, that is to say, mendacious, just a little sneaky that’s all. I could easily live in this town (did I mention it is basically his home town?), I could become quite comfortable here it's true. But if that were the case then I wouldn't need my guide anymore. And the thought of something like life but without him is absolutely unthinkable. I need my guide, and so I must never, never, never move to this town.

Looking at myself now, my particular features, I am not really all that pleased, and I am wholly unchangeable, at least I feel that way now; when I’m finished, I’ll be forgotten. Still, I believe that I have at least some beauty, around the edges, at little bit of that light women prize so highly. And my guide, well he obviously won the debate, we made friends afterwards and agreed to meet each other tomorrow and do it all over again, against the possibility that someone, someday, might tell us what we’re doing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Post #18

Walter Benjamin wrote this:

The past carries with it a temporal index by which it is referred to redemption. There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Our coming was expected on earth. Like every generation that preceded us, we have been endowed with a weak Messianic power, a power to which the past has a claim. That claim cannot be settled cheaply.

If you’ll allow me some fancy, to which I think everybody is entitled by the way, I would like to discuss some of the possible implications of such a world-view. Especially, I would like to consider the consequences that an actual weak Messianic power would have, given some of the prevalent themes one finds throughout the history of institutionalized religion. I am speaking, of course, of that common, deplorable subjugation the Church often demands of its congregation. If it were true that each of us has just a little bit of (potential) history-moving power—which I think is a fairly adequate way, for our purposes, to describe Benjamin’s weak Messianic power—and if it were further true that this power is cumulative—that is, dependant upon the mass of (potential) history-moving powers, on the individual level, which have built up over the long course time—then the Church, that would be eschatological guide to paradise, by more often than not abusing its power and using the blind devotion of its children ever for its own malevolent ends, is worthy of nothing but the most cruel castigation. The claim is that we may all exercise our Messianic power towards that distant day when history ends and utopia flourishes. On that day the sacrifice of countless men and women throughout history, the sacrifice that was also their active Messianic power, is redeemed and progress realized. We then participate fully in what has so far only been dreamed. But the Church, who preaches that dream loudest of all, also bends its worshippers to the designs of short lived, power-hungry, butchers. And thus it thwarts what little potential each has, and prolongs the end of history absolutely. This is, of course, no less true of governments and massive corporations. They forget the dreams and the lives that have been given up for some greater good, they forget the actions of the smallest, who died and dies full of nothing but dreams of food, and those who are courageous enough to fight seriously for something better. These people, each one of them, you and me, willing to do anything to secure that brightest, if most unlikely, of futures. Ready to pay the cost. And so one important thing to remember is: to think on that gigantic sacrifice once in a while. If men of power thought on history, and were prepared to do the same…

Monday, May 28, 2007

Post #17

Dear USA,

I'm not usually very political, at least not overtly about our President and our System, but I just thought you should know that we have recently passed into legislation a bill which grants dictator powers to our President during "Catastrophic Emergencies" defined as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions". As I recall, Caesar was given similiar powers in order to save the republic. Hopefully Bush (or whoever) will be able to save our republic in times of catastrophic emergency, just like Caesar saved his.

No joke, read the link.

Post #16

Dear only reader,

Thus ends my activity. Read Post #15 before all the rest of the stuff I've put in here, or not.

Best of luck,

I wholly understand and agree that the views expressed herein are amateurish, disconnected, disjointed, poorly composed, and hopelessly abandoned; but nevertheless they are WRITTEN, and so I have ejaculated them, given what little I can give, dumped them, abandoned into the intra-net.

23 April 2007, From Major Social Theories

Something must be said for journal writing, so consider this my first entry. As every beginning should have a mission statement, let this be mine: to record every detail of significance, as often as it may occasion, and to obey them. If I cannot obey the insight provided by such a detailed account, I have no leg on which to stand.

It is only with despair that I describe the conditions of that gruesome future: to teeter-taater around on your ass, or walking on your hands--hands that have become feet and thus must be taught to write all over again, and therefore also must be severed--crossing a busy street, your small frame barely enough to warn the onrushing motorcycles, a monster in the night begging for money. Such a mode of self-transportation (-representation) results usually in the elongation of the fingers and the widening of the palms.

(Could I perhaps be a writer? It is an interesting question, but sadly not my own. If thirty years from now I am a writer, does that mean that I am now a writer? Is it possible that I am a writer now, but not in the future? I feel much more like nothing. For example: Hi, I'm a doctor!, or, yes, I'm a gynecologist. In German the idea is stronger still. I'll remain a mystery to myself, but I'm sure I'll never 'be' anything, although I might talk like I am: "Hi, I'm a writer," I might say. But instead I'll just be as I ever was, maybe never even read!)

It would be a mistake to believe IT to be a great sadness--such romances are no longer ours. The only romance is estrangement, and, its shadow, the child, the home. Wipe your eyes then. Many before you have disobeyed their parents. It's no great loss--don't cry.

An abundance of blank pages--purchased at what price?--means an overabundance of truly mediocre writing. This is however the truth of our age: we write desperately (if we write), and mostly unsuccessfully, in order to be estranged--that is, in order to compose ourselves on the page, to be composed there, and so to escape ourselves, and to save ourselves from ourselves, which cannot be controlled or tolerated. 'I' speak from the page--"I" spoke the page. "Listen, I am more real than you, even though I have no name. Indeed such only confirms all the more my identity. It is of loss that I speak: I am nameless. Come home to me, fill yourself up with me, and I'll have many names!" But the page fills only slowly and, now more than ever, it is quantity more than quality that matters, although even that is quickly losing its value. One begins more or less confident, but is eventually crushed by the combined forces of theory and speculation. At first one is intrigued, until their vapors solidify and become the truth! And, as a light goes off in one great city, so goes on one in another, but this other is deep underground, as of yet undiscovered, even perhaps the future habitation of all man kind, and also the sedimentary stone upon which the first city is built. A novel, it is readily admitted, must be of a certain length. This, therefore, is no novel. It might, at best, be a symptom of the novel's death, and for this I claim no responsibility (I am but humbly a bad instance). A new novel is nevertheless born-- a new, shorter novel. "I am only the desire of one who was once a living, breathing one. A desire to write. Kiss me! Smell my pages. Weep on me; (for) I am your desire too!"

From Thesis Work

An indescribable blast, of something from which life must first have emerged; resembling cheese. Here stood the door, that inescapable passage into authority: manhood. And yet the other side is the same; all his life experiences coalesce and he finally loses his fear of his own sexuality, and the door heads back, always back, and so he will speak of his defeat. "it was at the very beginning that mankind was slain," he heard these words. "If that's the way it is, then it is inescapable," he thinks," and the only possible difference is: I know it." Yes, but what have you forgotten?

The Great Herminias

The sun waits off to one side, barely noticed in the unpleasant and already dismissed sky. A bird flies overhead, the sun throws its shadow into the eyes of an onlooker. He salutes the sun automatically, as a veteran would the flag, and shades his eyes. The man watches the bird as it dips and flaps loudly into the recesses of a low concrete arcade. He is on his way to work, but the office holds little attraction for him on a day like this, so he decides to show up late. He calculates everything perfectly, and now finds himself in this beautiful old square, among very few other passersby, most of whom are tourists, admiring the architecture. "What a beautiful bird", he thinks, "and [looking closely at the engraving on the concrete] it appears that she has flown under an equally marvelous little bird, albeit a bit faded from age". He kneels close to the small stone and begins to rub its course surface expertly with his thumb, moss and other debris fall away and scatter. "There", he speaks aloud, "Now we can see you!" "Quite marvelous, really," comes a voice from behind. Startled, he stands up and turns around all at once, almost falling over himself as he does. A smiling, middle-aged gentleman stands before him, apparently admiring the carving. "What do you think?" the latter asks. "Oh, yes", stammers the first, already out of breath, "you took the words right out of my mouth." The old man finally looked at Carl for the first time. "Oh", he said, his bright eyes widening, "My dear! Are you by chance that man Herminias?" After a short pause, Carl lowered his eyes and raised his hands as though to avoid a blow, but the movement was too fast and the other, perhaps a little afraid, jumped back as if fearing attack. "Oh, I'm sorry", said Carl, head raised and facing the old man, "I wasn't going to hit you." "never mind", said the old man quickly, "I understand, I didn't mean to bother you." It was his turn then to lower his eyes. "So you know who I am now?" asked Carl. "Yeah, sure I do, I know you, at least your face is familiar to me." "Well then", began Carl.

At that moment, somewhere far off, a bell was about to be rung.

Women and Society

To speak of the largeness of a room, I have recently learned, is also to speak of the feminism that inhabits its walls. Such discourse is seduced into silence by soft carpets, pleasant fires, and warm, spicy, after-dinner coffee. The habit of smoking cigars in such settings may be further attributed to the absence of women, who may occasionally smoke cigarettes, and blow the smoke out the kitchen window, and thus reek of the manly. The living room is brightly illuminated and, although highly exclusive, classless; here utopia and and distopia are discussed and discarded with confidence and an eye toward competition. The men feel safe in this niche because the invisible weight of society is felt most strongly here, and is thereby safeguarded for tomorrow, and progress absolutely guaranteed. Eventually they may even fall asleep, their bristled or shaved chins having sunk deep in their chests. Woman stares through the walls.

The amazon fights behind the cupboards to keep the unreality out. She is sacrifice; women are mostly useless because of the burden they somehow bear, the negative to society's positive, and the levee against the first flood. And were they to ignore this duty, come then would the nightmare of men: ourselves, or Muslims. When woman lays her hand against the wall and sees how wrinkled it has become, she is then the most unknowable to me--were I her I would desire to kill my babies and run headlong into the concrete so that I die too. But the woman is the wall, and sits against fear.

Murder and Society 2

Reproduce that savage moan in frustration (a source of hope, they say, already faded) to catapult the movement against the derangement of the society that weeps only deep in the soul. And fail!

Why not speak no more?

Perpetuate petty evils justified in the shadow of that death so thoroughly obscuring the source of light; an object in shadow cats no shadow. It is more philosophical to be a murderer than a consumer; to throw the child in the lake and thereby repudiate any cause to save it. It is better to be 'a part of the problem' when the solution is the problem. There is no truth beyond murder. The only alternative is Fascism, absolute murder, holocaust and utopia. But perhaps I am ignoring something. I am but young, and so see not very deeply. The truth, still murder, is probably much slower.

"Quiet my dear, be calm, mommy is here. We may now breath together." Spoke the angel of death.

Murder and Society 1

From the very beginning Carl was just an ordinary man, he was preoccupied with ordinary preoccupations, and entertained himself mostly after the usual fashion. It was the unhappy world which demanded of Carl something spectacular, or at least so he believed as he set out one evening to take his place among those obdurate figures of classic and modern tragedy. He brought with him only a few objects that seemed symbolically important: a flashlight, a gun with ammunition, a backpack with some changes of clothes, and a copy of Mendelssohn's Jerusalem by which to remember the follies of man. He stood motionless at his doorway for a very long time, one hand on the knob, the other in his pocket. He held the flashlight under one arm and shone it into the darkness of the familiar, its light reflected off a mirror opposite and blinded him, but he didn't mind because there was really nothing worth seeing anyway. Carl searched himself for the appropriate emotion, but found only confusion and various distracted fragments of irrelevant thought, like: "For six months already of constant struggle..." or "For weeks and weeks...", so he gave it up and took his departure as all men do.

Carl did not bother to bring his passport, which he had lost a long time ago, and so he had to keep to himself and not arouse suspicion; if he was caught without a passport he would be promptly incarcerated. With a smile he reminded himself that even if he had his passport it would do him no good, and that he would really be arrested all the more quickly, since the authorities were, without a doubt, searching for him. Not three weeks ago he had shot dead a lone, drunk soldier who had accosted him on his way home from work and demanded of him proof of identity. At the time he was, God be thanked, clear sighted enough to realize the mistake he would have made had he submitted to the man's authority, and so he acted decisively. It bothered him, of course, that he had to become a murderer there, but, he told himself, he always was a murderer, and now he could recognize himself and move on. "In fact", he thought aloud, "it is just this sort of character that will inspire others to follow me".

Post #15

Dear only reader,

I'm going to post now a buch of shit taken from various notebooks and written over various years. There is much that I have lost by way of such short pieces, and I think it worth mentioning that my very favorite, of which I can recall nothing, is, it seems, forever lost. It would of course be silly to ask you not to judge me by what I've written, but rather by what I cannot give you, so judge away. But remember, the best is not present, and was probably lost already as a thought: slipping away.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ein Liebeslied

I’ve sponken to you, tonja, i’ve told you. I know that you must love another, and, in fact, i coulsel you to do so. It is better after all, ein leben von besseres. Remember i’d love you and still do, you who have guided me and accepted what I’ve done. Such is fate afterall, so much for love and so much for all the love, we have ourselves to look after, be mine, oh, be mine, such sweetness would you bring, with bring, with you, I love, and love.

But forget me not the evil, that which lives within, such calamintiy, such godlyness, there gibt keine dinge wie es, ein ding von Unleben. Please forget me not! Please, I beg of thee, of thee, please forget me not. To be screamed, but not yet, to be laughed about. Oh please forget me not. Ein Pause.

To be welcomed and to remember a certain dawn, oh dawn, and again that which is responsible for our release, ein wunderbares release, that which is responsible. Tonight, I smoke a cigarteete soaked in wine, wine from those cherries that die as quickly as they grow. Those cherries, much like strawberries, which give way to a rot so much sweeter if however cut short. How could you not love those over ripe ones, and the perfection which they adore?

Forget me not, nevertheless, and think not sadness for me, of me, think not!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

An Ode-damnit

It would be better to simply admit my various self-inflicted difficulties and then, with a wave of the hand and even maybe a bobbing of the neck, run straight into whoever I happen to be addressing right now. I bet you thought I'd never post again. We'll, you were probably write. This, after all, is hardly a post, just of few thoughts, with a not-so-clever title, jotted down, run-on sentences especially, and, of course, but also rather uncharateristically, no spell check (too lazy). I'd probably be a better writer in German. As it stands now, it would be better simply to admit my various self-inflictions, and do so, without the ordinary hesitation, as a way out of the quiet all-pervasiveness of an ordinary, ordinary future career. It is fast impossible to write, what could one write anyway; what, and still BE right? They were, we all, I suppose, would agree, but not any more; about what now could they be right? Or wrong? About town? Or the world about Harmon Industrial Park? A shanty, that last one, and full of truck-keys, but don't call them so to their face. Anyway, hard drugs, I've always said, would be the perfect excuse, but I forgot to take them, and so cannot make sense of the present, another sad mistake of the past, which, if you follow me, might suppose a messiah, who would come, in the future I suppose, and redeem even my choice, sad choice, not to take hard drugs, in the past. OR just take 'em later.

Anyway, I, like you, am endowed with the capacity to understand deeply this specific world of mine. Today, I prefer to pretend, but it is all on the way to an in-fact deeper understanding. One must simply overcome those all too common deceits, the one by which we fool ourselves, and become either happy or sad. But a new difficulty has arisen: language. You see when I say to-do I mean Grand ol' USA, and when I say about I mean bad-habits, futher a serpent represents a unicorn in all cases no better than say a commodity-exchange or harp would, and again vice versa. So that if he had so much to-do, and what he did was a unicorn, I'd be saying just about nothing. It's a bad example, but I'm really not putting too much thought into any of this. Notice, however, that there are still spaces between the words, making them all half un-words, and each one individually is really not worth much more than the next, so we have quite a system, but also a broken one, having but with few exceptions no room for art in science, etc, etc, etc.

I'll leave you with some really great poetry:

Give that whore a buck, and she'll suck you Chuck,
It's not worth more, 'cause that dirty 'ol whore
she's got fuckin' herpes.

See her standing there, just like a model airplane in a hobby shop with no more customers, ever.
And that's because I have a toothache, no matter what, it's mine.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Post! A Post!

September 11 inaugurated both the age of terrorism in US foreign policy and the demand that we identify ourselves ideologically as anti-terrorist. This double action defines and demarcates the political space in which we now live; it begins the movement of our democracy into its other, into that in opposition to which we have until now defined ourselves, namely totalitarianism. History has long prepared this road, but history can no longer be appealed to as either the genitor or as the possibility of escape or redemption. The force of the contradiction born on September 11 is that of a rupture with history: we now live, both as a culture and as individuals, somewhere between absolute forgetting and déjà vu. History will only resume after the fact, when the rupture is complete and the new system has already erected its edifice. At that time we will wander around as shock victims, with dust in our hair and on our clothes, and remembering finally what has taken place, we will have no recourse but to vomit.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Fisherman's Story

A certain type of fog can be experienced on all those tropical islands which hover near the equator. It is a fog that comes only seldom; and this infrequency is the cause for much speculation among indigenous peoples. It is not, as one might romantically suppose, a midnight-in-a-graveyard type of fog; that is to say that it is not a thing to frighten children, and in fact most children are less afraid of this strange fog than adults. Children, it has also been maintained by certain western anthropologists who study the fog, are more likely even to see the fog. Roughly, this has something to do with their still intimate and relatively naïve relationship to nature; they are more likely to see the fog because they are more likely to be outside, or at least to be looking out the schoolhouse window. This is, moreover, not hard to believe, owing to the nature of the education they mostly receive, and of course to the certain cultural differences existing between the missionary-teacher and the authentic-islandman-student.

The fog, as one might well suppose, becomes thicker when one is out to sea. But there are many types of sea fog, some of which, far from being innocuous, can portent certain doom to small boats and are therefore avoided by fishermen. This, however, is not the case with the fog that we are here concerned with. Many primitive island-societies existing near the equator have (mostly oral) folktales which describe poetically the great schools of fish that can be found ‘neath our particular fog. Only the oldest and most expert fishermen can ever hope to tell the difference between our fog and the harmful fogs that one may encounter at sea. Accordingly, many a novice has died hoping rather to be rich and to feed his family well. Indeed it is customary on some islands to lament the cause of death of some young fisherman as having been “swallowed by the fog”, or “lost in foggy temptation.”

While on the islands I met an old fisherman and I inquired of him whether or not he had ever been so lucky as to fish ‘neath such a miraculous fog. He was missing many teeth, but his smile was genuine. He detailed to me his extraordinary autobiography which I will paraphrase here. This man, whose name is simply unpronounceable in English, so we’ll just call him Carl, had been raised even as a young boy to be a fisherman. His father was something of a local hero, famous both for his brave deeds in war and his huge catches. When Carl was just barely able to walk, although apparently already able to swim like a fish (which, it is worth mentioning, is something rather uncommon among island people), his father would take him out on his little outrigger and fish with him from sunrise to after dark. On these fishing excursions, Carl recalls, his father was always able to find that tiny floating patch of fog ‘neath which the fish so gladly swim. These were the happiest times of Carl’s life; everyday they would bring home such a bounty of fish that they could easily feed the whole neighborhood or small village.

On day Carl’s father died and he was expected to take over his fishing duties. He recalls that he was excited; confident in his knowledge of how to find and distinguish the special fog. But Carl never was able to fish ‘neath the fog, for every time he entered a fog it always turned out to be one of the harmful types. Carl recounted to me many dangerous adventures that he had had trying to escape from these sea fogs. Some, he said, could simply pull the whole boat under, and he had to rely on his great strength (and occasionally on his exceptional swimming ability) to dodge certain death. With tears in his eyes he spoke of the poverty into which his unsuccessful fishing trips plunged his whole village. Children would die of hunger, and the adults were too weary to do their work. Eventually the village had no recourse but to expel Carl and the evil spirits that he carried with him. They came to his home in the night and carried him to a boat which had been ritualistically prepared with blood and the ashes of burnt corpses; they filled his fishing net with stones and threw it into the sea. The villagers told Carl to leave and never return. Carl was heartbroken, for he loved his village and had recently become engaged to a woman who, by his own description, could rival even Helen of Troy.

He set off onto the great ocean and it was not long before he spied a familiar fog. Here it was, once again, that deadly fog that he could only ever seem to find. Tired of life and unhappy he sailed directly into its mists. The ocean heaved and pulled him and his boat under. He was dead, he says, for many hours or days, and then he awoke here on this island. He has never since sailed, but he yearns everyday for the people he has lost. He does not understand why God brought him to this island, where he is nothing better than a beggar. This last bit, however, did not seem true to me. I had, after all, met his lovely wife and children, and, judging by the size of his house and the great number of guests he seemed always to be entertaining, he appeared to be a respected member of the community. On the whole I can do nothing but attribute his last outburst to the powerful emotions which must have overtaken him at the retelling of his sad story. I asked him if he had not tried to contact his lost village, and he told me that he had not. I promised him that, if I happened upon the place during my research, I’d tell the people there that he was alright, and he seemed greatly pleased at this. But I have never, despite repeated inquiries, found his little island. This is especially disheartening for me because, by Carl’s account, there must be much fog there to study.