• 105.

    This glob is a source of guilt for me, along with just about everything else (sometimes). Sometimes is not always, and always is not true, while sometimes always is, for all things happen at some times.

  • 104.

    There are no signposts in a glob. There is nothing to tie a horse to.

  • 103.

    Can you please not read the following post? I say "following," but what if you're walking the opposite way—in which case I mean "preceding." Since I have no way of knowing which direction you're walking in, I think I will specify, in this case I will specify, although I do not like to specify. Can you please not read 102? The entire clot of words has put me off this whole endeavor. If I could delete it, I would, but I have made that rule for myself, that I am not permitted to delete any of these globs, so I cannot delete it. It is poorly written, it is unfocused and overwritten, it is meandering and dull and gratuitous and generally pointless. I stole from myself and I stole clumsily, I was a clumsy and lazy thief—I just wanted the goods and away. But now I am beyond it, and now I have extracted from you your sincerest promise that you will overlook it, I can move on, and continue with my glob, which in days of yore I loved.

  • 102.

    I don't know where we are anymore—at least I don't know firmly where we are, which is probably fitting since I never quite know firmly where I am— But I mean in terms of theater, not-theater, play, not-play, Alfred Returner, not-Alfred Returner, etc. Here's what I think is true: I think we're in a theater, but I don't think there has been any preparation for showing you a play (I don't even know if we have actors), I think I decided I was not going to show you a play, although we are in a theater (to the best of my recollection), so in fact, I could show you a play if I wanted to. This theater we're in, it has torches throwing great wild flames outside— Oh, yes, we're in a theater! Even if we weren't, let's be! Personally, I'd like to live in a theater, but that's probably not going to happen. I think I remember mentioning that I wanted to eliminate cars in this world where our theater is and that we have driven to it in a horse-drawn sleigh and you had some problem with fur. Yes, now I am remembering (I was always remembering, don't let me fool you), for I bumped up against a little problem—at least I would have bumped up against it if I were going to show you the play. You see, cars are mentioned in the play, so how in good conscience could I eliminate them in the streets and ask you to freeze to death on your way to the theater? (This I don't remember: Have I written that before?) I had one of two choices. I could either put the cars back in the street, or I could excise the line that mentions cars in the play (actually, I have another choice, I could not show you the play—we could find something else to do in the theater, we could romp or sit in the springy seats and talk, we could talk about anything, we could talk about everything, time is different in the theater, we could go through the costume department and see if there is anything we would like to wear that is different from the things we usually wear and we could then see if that takes our conversation in unusual directions, and we could also talk at full volume or even louder if we wanted to). Here is a portion of the line I would have to cut:  “...to lace the sky with rails that cleared the earth of cars.” Personally, I am someone who is comfortable with paradox and contradiction—I believe it is the ground we stand on, so we had better make peace with it. So I could live with not having cars in the streets while having them mentioned in the play. On the other hand, I am not someone who is comfortable with inconsistency. If you are inconsistent with me, I will lose my mind! So a decision must be made—or at least it would have to be made if I were going to show you the play, which I'm fairly sure I'm not doing. Let's talk about it. We can feel the springs in the seats we are sitting in (rather more like on) because they are old and the velvet cushions have worn away. Springs our sitting bones are perched upon....

  • Numberless

    This is a glob within a glob. As such, it is numberless:

    I am scattered, so dispersed, I am a thousand seeds thrown down and left to thirst. I call myself a poet, though I write no poetry. I have, in fact, nothing to call myself. Not a single name adheres to me—again with the nameless, I know, but in some odd way, it remains the salient fact of my life, or myself (is there a difference?)—nameless, label-less, utterly obscure and unattached, dispersed, words thrown to the wind dandelion-like, neither this nor that, alighting here, alighting there, somewhat formless, directionless, always directionless, and thoroughly without root. This is the life I have made for myself. It is not your life, I am confident of that. It is a life sui generis, but that does not give it inherent value. Its inherent value is simply in its being a life, not the kind of life it is. Does one life have more value than another? From where I stand, it seems it must, but perhaps from the gods' point of view, it does not. That is my guess—only a guess. What do I know about the gods and how they view us? Do I even care? That is all I am capable of writing for now, it is my little seed now ensoiled. We will see if I can cultivate it.

  • 101.

    But I have not said that it is also very difficult, I think maybe it is the most difficult thing in the world to listen to yourself when you are telling yourself unhappy truths. When you are both truth-teller and reluctant truth-listener. I think we make terrible truth-listeners to our truth-teller selves, I think that is where we fail most spectacularly and on a scale so grand it makes us sort of giants of failure, titans of unrealized potential, colossi of mediocrity. It is a failure so regrettable and disappointing, even the mean gods weep for us.

  • 100.

    There are several things that are hard about being a truth-teller. One is catching the truth, because truth is very very swift and it flies like a swallow. So that's hard. Truth can change to falsehood faster than your slow five senses can perceive it. It is also extremely difficult to know when something is true and when it is false, so truth-tellers have to have eyes to see when true things are false and false things are true, and they must also perceive when true things that are false shift to true again and when false things that are true become false, and since it goes on like that ad infinitum, truth-tellers have to be tireless on top of everything else, it is like being a monkey on a bicycle, and sometimes being tireless feels impossible, sometimes collapse is a force as great as gravity. So I have enumerated a few things that make being a truth-teller difficult, but I have not told you that finding truth-listeners is next to impossible because in fact I think people hate the truth and they place filters in their ears and wrap their brains in gauze in order not to have to hear it, they will put the words of truth through grinders in order to mix it up and make it not the truth and therefore easier I guess to breathe, and that is what makes being a truth-teller not only difficult but thankless and lonely as well. 

  • 99.

    I do not always want to show you or talk about the eddying of time, the way it swirls around and comes back upon itself, the way it swims down its own throat, and yet, that is always what I am trying to figure out how to represent, because time is not linear and we do not have comprehensible words for this and although our stories rarely address it directly, it is basically what they embody, if we did not have stories, we would not have the past standing on the path ahead of us and also the future couldn't whip its crushing tail around our necks. I am fairly certain the future's stories are always false. Maybe all stories are false, even those we tell that we say are true. If so, if they are all false, then they are also all true. And perhaps it is in this space, I call it zero space, where time swirls and eddies, there is nothing that goes before and there is nothing that follows, and this is just one reason why I had difficulty writing novels, but never poetry, for poetry is born and thrives in zero space and although it is true that words love linearity, it is also true that— Well, there is so much that is also true, I do not think I should begin that catalog, for I do not know that there would be an end to it, just as there is not a beginning.

  • 98.

    I don’t think there should be any cars in the streets outside the theater, do you? I mean, no engines at all. Because wouldn’t you love to live in a world without engines? No planes roaring overhead (we wouldn’t have to sit on planes anymore!), no helicopters with their violent blades destroying the sky. No cars cramming up the road, no SUVs—we have never laid eyes on an SUV!  But horse-drawn cabs, I think. I know it’s cold, and these will not have heaters, but they’ll have heavy blankets for your legs, and of course you’ll be properly outfitted, and not only that, you’ll be used to it, heartier because you never grew soft in the age of easy comforts. You might even be wearing fur. It’s cold! You are basically sleighing through the open night. If you are against wearing fur, take it off. But you’ll be cold.

  • 97.

    The language in Alfred Returner is kind of antiquated. It’s a little bit of a verse play, without strictly being a verse play. You are fortunate you don’t have to read it—only because people hate to read plays, or many people do, and if I am shooting fish in a barrel, the chances are, I have shot a fish who prefers not to have to read a play, especially one with antiquated language and odd diction! You see how you get luckier by the minute! But here is a bit of ill luck to balance your good luck: If you are in a pub in London, and you order a whiskey, they are going to measure it precisely—drop by drop!—and then they are going to charge you a lot for it. There. Now you are well-balanced, you have had your dollop of bad luck to equal the good, so you are not, in this moment, a lightning rod. (Which is more good luck, so watch out.)

  • 96.

    There are pubs near the theater—I am sure we are in London. Either London or New York, but I prefer London. Of course there are pubs near the theater! Everybody knows this is the greatest pleasure, to have a drink after the theater and talk about the play, its merits hopefully. Although, to be sure, there is also pleasure in dragging things through the mud, and if we have been made to sit through a bad play and spend our dwindling resources for the too-expensive-as-it-is privilege of it, we will take enormous pleasure in going over its horribleness—merrily over and over how horrible it was, delousing it with exquisite little pinching teeth. Just not Alfred Returner

  • 95.

    Another thing that is frightening is when you give away your own secrets, not in dreams. Partially what is frightening is the feeling of standing revealed in all your pale blue softness, but another thing that is frightening about that is the recognition of your own compulsion to betray yourself. I would give you an example of this, but then I would be telling you a secret, and then I would be feeling these things.

     

  • 94.

    Isn't it lucky that we were in a theater, I think I remember that the theater is called the Old Vic and that snow is sticking to its roof, when we performed our little old-timey-crossroads play, you and I, you as the witch and I as the wayfarer? And isn't it lucky that we got to be in the play rather than simply sit mutely as spectators? Not that watching plays is very often a hardship, although it sometimes is. What isn't so lucky is that our play had such a short run, but oh well. Maybe there will be others! Maybe this is a play, and we're still in it! It is frightening to be in a play in which you as the actor do not know your lines. I know this because I sometimes dream about it, that I am suddenly pushed onstage to perform in a play I do not know. I have been given my lines, perhaps, but only moments earlier. I am not sure it ever ends in disaster, but it is still very distressing! I will not do that to you. I will not push you onstage and ask you to perform in a play you haven't the script to. So if this is a play and you're an actor in it, I really don't know what we're going to do. I don't have a script either. Usually in my dreams I do have the script, but as you must already know, you can't take the script onstage with you, not if it isn't a staged reading, and that would of course obviate the need for the dream, if it were only a staged reading and not a full performance with an audience and everything. The time is 7 a.m.

  • 93.

    Within a box called Self-Denial.

  • 92.

    One of my secret names is— Oh. I guess I had better not tell you that. But it's kept in a box called Wild Profligacy.

  • 91.

    My name is not Emily Dickinson. My name is not Virginia Woolf. My name is not— Well, geez, that would be too long an undertaking. There are too many names that are not my name, I could devote the rest of my life to listing them, and I could not list them all. It is possible that there are also many names that are my name, and I could not list those either, but only because I don't know them. Let's make this a tiny play, shall we? You are the witch at the crossroads, that is the character you will play. I am the wayfarer who meets you at this crossroads, which is 91. Dialogue, dialogue, then I press a few gold (cold) coins into your palm, and then you tell me one of my secret names. But not before some dialogue devoted to your warning that to know will be most probably to imperil myself, a warning I disregard because I'm greedy for knowledge and power. 

    WAYFARER: I promise to use it well, and with caution.

    WITCH: You are a fool to think you can. 

    Nevertheless, because we have made the transaction and the coins are now warm in your palm, you write a name in the air, where I have but a fraction of an instant to catch it before it blows away. Is it my bad fortune that I'm swift? End of Act One. Unfortunately, it's not the end of the play. I say unfortunately because at some point before I quit playwrighting I lost the ability to finish plays. You can see why I quit. So that was a bear, a mean, blood-hungry bear I really struggled with for quite some time, so I have no intention of poking it with a three-pronged burning fork—I will not attempt to write the second act of our little old-timey-crossroads play, but I will tell you this: The ending is ambiguous. And there is some suggestion, I think implicit rather than explicit, that it is not answers we must beware of, but the questions we think to ask, for they are what unlock the vaults where we are hidden, and we are as monstrous as we are beautiful. 

  • 90.

    Contra—diction. Words in opposition, words against each other. Yes and no make zero. Nullity is truth. Contradiction therefore is the way to truth.

  • 89.

    I will give you a statement that is both true and untrue at once: I will give you a statement that is both true and untrue at once.

  • 88.

    Besides which, how do we know that it is not a cover, that I do not find it necessary to take cover under this harmless ingenuous guise? And if it is possible that this is what I'm doing, then we must ask ourselves—rather, I must ask myself, for I am certain you do not care, and I am furthermore certain that this is as it should be, it is the world in right order (although this theater without a play is not), why I find it necessary to camouflage myself? I am not artless, so why do I make every effort, however effortless, to appear artless? Or am I, in fact, so artless that what little artfulness I have is as a shetland pony to a child?

  • 87.

    I have also to confess to you that I have never known precisely what this is, and it is in the not-knowing, in the absence that is certainty voided where I am most myself, most at home, most comfortable, for I am not at ease with definition, and I am made uneasy by titles (as you know), and I believe that ambiguity and flux speak more of truth than firm lines ever could, I believe that truth resides in opposition that makes nullity, so please do not underestimate what it is to not know. 

  • 86.

    I'm fairly confident that you were never here to see a play, so I am therefore equally confident that I am not disappointing you by not showing you a play. In fact, if you are like most people I know, it probably comes as a tremendous relief to learn that you are not going to have to read a play—even slight bits of a play, even the words "Blood is a flower between us," which are words Liesl says to Alfred after he has stabbed himself and she has gone to him to help him, unlike the rest of my plays, Alfred Returner is not a comedy, it is a tragedy, it is a very tragic tragedy—while I am trying to fool you with the conceit that you are not actually reading it, but watching it, because you know as well as I do, that conceit would never work. The only way you could actually be watching Alfred Returner would be if you were in a theater, which you are, but it must be the wrong one, because I am not going to show you Alfred Returner in this theater. If you'd like to see some paintings, on the other hand, they're just around the corner. So is this theater a gallery? Or perhaps it's a confessional. If so, I confess, I do not want to title my work! I do not believe in titles! Why must everything be named?

  • 85.

    So, if I no longer care about that, what business do I have here? And if I am not going to show you a play, what are you doing in this theater? 

  • 84.

    Here is what happened, frankly (I think): I realized over the course of 83, now 84 globs that I no longer care about Alfred Returner getting produced. As I thought to myself this morning in the shower, I no longer care about Alfred Returner getting produced, I then subsequently thought, also to myself, Oh, but you must, you must! It is work you have done, and it is excellent work, so far behind its time as to be ahead of its time. (I'm paraphrasing—rather, I was paraphrasing, for now I am finished telling you what I thought in the shower as a response to my realization that I no longer care about Alfred Returner getting produced. 

     

  • 83.

    There was this bear....

  • 82.

    It would probably behoove me, for many reasons, not to get up to my old shenanigans of starting over.  

  • 81.

    As you know, I've got us in the middle of this you can call it a glob or a muddle or a play or a book (no, don't call it a book) or whatever you want to call it, it really doesn't matter because names are only indicators, they're never the thing itself, except perhaps unnameable things because in the end we all come to nothing (and everything), so call it what you will, this muddled middle place where we now stand, and where I'm now thinking (this part you don't know, although recent inactivity suggests it) of stopping without any sort of conclusion at all. But here is what would happen: I would stop, and it would be like a vacation for a while, because as much as I love writing this, it often feels like an assignment with no assignment, and then I'd feel compelled at some point to begin again, because I'm a fish and I have to swim, a bird and I have to fly, a writer and I have to write, even though I'm no longer a writer, so what's the point of stopping, really? So if it seems as though I've stopped, it's probably just a false stop—unless I really love stopping. In which case, it will be a real stop, but I'll probably still start over again. Ah—to start over! Now, there's the thing! There's the jewel in the sand! There's El Dorado! A clean slate! To extract us from this muddle, this middle, this moddle, this maddle, and to place us—oh, to place us at the beginning, the gleaming, glittering, glattering beautiful beginning where all things are possible and all is new and unflawed! Oh, beauty! Oh, promise! Oh, love!

  • 80.

    I was trying to pretend that I'd (we'd) gotten lost in the woods, a conceit I figured wasn't terribly hard to believe, since I'd already established what a bad guide I was/am, but the truth is, I was just being lazy. I didn't feel like writing. I wasn't—we were never lost. I hope I didn't frighten you. 

  • 79.

    No service.

  • 78.

    No service.

  • 77.

    The trouble with a clearing is—well, I mean, there's no trouble with a clearing, clearings are most lovely, sunlit and spacious places of rest and, in our case, quiet togetherness, but what lies beyond them, just at the edges where the woods rise, the forest stands, there is the trouble, for it is rather dark and rather mysterious and rather, well—shall we go have a look?