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My best friend & I are turning 30 tomorrow.

Nicole: I’m a twenty-something! If you need me, I’ll just be over here livin’ up my twenty-somethingdom. Because I’m in my twenties! wheeeeeeeeee

Rei: You & I are so in our twenties. I’m gonna go rent an apartment for a month and a half and forget to do my taxes. Then I’m gonna climb a building and go dumpster diving and sleep with a nineteen-year-old.

Nicole: I’m gonna drink too much coffee and stay up all night and tweet a bunch.

Rei: I’m gonna write ambiguous status updates that could be about either contemplating suicide or Breaking Bad.

Nicole: I'm gonna pack all my stuff in my escort and drop it off in my dad's basement while I go backpack through Europe and go to ALL THE DISCOTECAS.

Rei: I’m gonna work at an artisan bakery and not worry about my teeth or credit score.

Nicole: I'm gonna wear a candy necklace ironically because, you know, i'm not a teenager.

Rei: I'm gonna be concerned about what teenagers think of me. And then I’m gonna hold a lot of concrete opinions and philosophies about pretty much everything and be a complete stranger to uncertainty.

Nicole: I’m gonna precisely lay out what my life will look like by the time I’m 30 and journal about it. And then I’m gonna get lost in a sketchy area at dark and ask everyone I see for directions.

Rei: I’m going to be extremely concerned about my oral sex technique and then I’m going to do my laundry in the bathtub. I’m going to sleep with a 34-year-old who “doesn’t want to talk.” Then I’m going to get frustrated over other people’s grammatical errors.

Nicole: I’m gonna talk as loud as I want wherever I want. They SHOULD listen. I have important things to say. Then I’m gonna make all my friends watch Food Inc & go vegan & start wearing HATS.

Rei: I’m gonna get married and buy a house and then I’m gonna get a divorce and sell a house.

Nicole: Miss you, birthday buddy

Rei: I’m gonna have the same best friend forever.


Rei: Then I’m gonna blog our conversation about turning thirty.

* * *

Someone's been reading my diery
Someone's been reading my mind
Someone's been thinking the things that I thought
Dying the deaths I have died

Someone's been picking my pockets
Someone's been wearing my face
Someone's been holding the hand i have held
Someone's been filling my space

Someone's been doting to tease me
Someone's been crossing my eyes
Someone's been riding the writing I've written
Someone's been drafting my cries

Someone has dug up my secrets
Someone has fingered my guise
Someone has nailed my cacophony shut
Someone stood up to my lies

Someone has poisoned my waitress
Someone has served me up spiked
Someone has mussed up the tables I've bussed
Someone has loath'd what I've like

Someone is choosing my battles
Someone is calling my shots
Someone is halving my holes into sums
Someone is knotting my naughts

Someone is drowning my lifeguard
Someone is biting my bit
Someone is pointing out points I have made
Someone is shooting my shit

Someone is wetting my whistle
Someone is winding my sheets
Someone is standing my hair at the end
Someone is bound to my beat

Someone was shooting my moon down
Someone was setting my sun
Someone was rifling through all my stuff
Someone was jumping my gun

Someone has hung my head heavy
Someone now knows what I've known
Someone has worn out my welcome by now
Someone should keep to one's own

Someone's been seeding the garden
Someone's been guarding my side
Someone's been Someone while I'm someone else
Dying the deaths I have died
* * *

A wither'd waste of sullen day
Wave heavy hands who flit away
To drop into the earth
The wing and what it's worth
I'd say
These fell'd, dead flies abound the floor
Their dead fly meat attracting more
But darker things have died
For things less lack-of-tried
I'm sure
But bit of bone to hang it taut
Went wound the wire fire brought
So sear'd the sudden sun
Did do what we had done
I'll not
* * *

I woke up the other morning after a day. That day, the prior, I had been drunk, quite. I'd gone to two plus I-don't-know-how-many bars and didn't recall how I had arrived back at home, where I awoke. However, it was just before eight o'clock and I was due to work at eleven.

I was working in a deli that was located, conveniently and irritatingly, just below my apartment. I could hear, soon past eight, the bustle of the preparatory workers readying the place. Voices called to each other through the carpet of my bedroom as chairs were shuffled from tables and clattered to the floor. The front patio of the deli called the iron pell of outdoor furniture being unchained and set up, oddly (I vaguely thought in my morning haze), despite the steady drizzle of rain persisting from the previous day.

The previous day had, with its rain, set me in an unfavorable mode. My mood is often bleak, but the damn rain has never proven to aid its bearing at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. I'd had the day off from work and had set out to see a girl I liked, who worked at a bar, the type lee I often choose in dreary (or any) weather. There, I saw the girl and we spoke, which alleviated my doldrums quite. The bartender's hand was heavy, though, and my wallet unusually deep. I'd had too many drinks less one, and left just before I had the chance to make a daylight ass of myself in front of the girl (I could care less about the barstaff. It was three PM).

I walked through a bare mist, a patter of rain, with my umbrella under my arm, to another bar, one at which I could make (and formerly had made) a fool of myself without debilitating regard. It was (and is) a bitter and ugly place with no windows and the same patrons every day, I knew, as I found myself there very nearly every day. I drank until the point at which I remember thinking that I ought to leave, but I do not remember leaving.

I must have left, however, as I woke the next, dark morning, as I've said. I rose from bed to the scraping of the patio furniture below. I went to the kitchen and took a half a sandwich and an open beer from the refrigerator. I ate and drank them, only looking out the window, at the gray sky, a little.

It got darker as the day grew. By quarter-to-nine, the sky was a heavy azure with a tick of black and bore only the light from the streetlamps, reflected by the thick, grim clouds. About this time I began to think, only slightly and in an unthoughtful way, that perhaps today wouldn't occur. The thought grew every couple of a few minutes or so, as I'd glance out a window at the steady dim and I would think something like, maybe that's all there is today. Maybe there'll be no more sun or days from now on. I actually thought that. I actually thought that was what might very, very possibly be going on.

I thought that maybe that was it. Whether the clouds had set up for good, and dark, or the sun had simply shrugged off passing anymore over.*

Three minutes after nine I was convinced. The sun had burnt out and the world just hadn't gotten cold, yet. Or the clouds had knitted into an impenetrable blanket and that was our new, lower sky. It was never, never this dark after nine in August in this part of the world. It was never. Things must have simply changed.

I smiled at this, believe it. I thought that I might have the day off work. No sense in being open for the day if there isn't a day. Maybe no-one would open shop today. I could take a walk on my day off and there would be nothing to do and nowhere to go and no-one to see. I smiled at this.

I was granted a good hour or so of light bliss and quiet before the obvious struck me, as I'm sure it has struck you now, or had at the start. It was the quiet, actually which made me realize, terribly. Of course, though I thought, still oblivious to what had happened, I will go into work, but they will be waiting, of course, to tell me that the deli wouldn't be open for business, of course, in light of the darkness (pardon). It wan't the prospect of skipping work, however, that drew a smile on me. There was something about the receding of days which brightened what had been in me a heavy heart these past few months, years, truly. It may have been the point that I had begun each day with regret & forboding for so long, and that I was glad to see the entire institution of days wither and be retired, rightfully.

A little past ten, though, I suppose I was sobered sufficiently, the deli below so still & hollow, and I realized that, of course, I had not slept away the night, but only the early evening. The deli had been freshly closed, I was alone in my wakefullness, and, terribly, the day I 'd thought evaporated by perpetual night had yet to begin.

And when I realized that the sun had just gone down, and not died, I was sadder for it.

So I put on a shirt and went to the bar.
*I am aware that this is not how the sun works.
* * *

He wasn't the biggest nor the strongest horse. But he was, being a horse, strong & big & capable. Or had been. And, though he wasn't the best horse, he was my horse now. And, though I didn't know his name, he was my favorite horse, being mine, but also, generally, being a good horse. And, a horse being such a great big thing, he was thus my favorite thing. 

Also, he was in the back of my 1987 Dodge Caravan (which had been stripped of its seats and covered in a hurry with spare floormats from somewhere).

Also, he was lying on his side with his legs bunched up and his hooves knocked up against the big sliding door.

Also, he was dying.

I sped as much as I could though the crowd. They appeared from nowhere, every place to which I turned. I drove alongside their thickness with a ragged, daunted haste like a heavy wind.

Finally, I passed though a pair of gates ajar and the throng of bodies disappeared behind us. There was clear around, but despite this I braked fully and parked the van. I remember now that I must have put the nose of the vehicle north, as I climbed into the back and slid open the side door, spilling in the rusted yellow of the setting sun and spilling out his great, heavy hooves.

He was dead.

I wrangled, somehow, my legs under the animal and laid my hands spread on his still rib cage. I near broke up my spine leaning strain to tunnel my ear with his great dinosaur nostril and heard nothing.

I sat back up, and stayed that way, for a bit. Then I did what I knew I had to do, before the bugs & the flies & the no-see-ums bored in their sick.

It wasn't the biggest knife. Nor the sharpest. I laid it against his side, at the base of his stoic ribs, and I sawed up to his horse's armpit. I stole up again & again, shedding his left side with a quickness that belied that I hadn't any idea what I was doing. Soon, the whole left of his trunk, one leg, and a part of his long face bore naked sinew. I paused in my work and thought bitterfond upon him once more, sorrowed & sorry.

Right then was when he inhaled.

Ragged, then let a cry like a horse making his horse-noise as loud as he can, from a hundred miles away.

* * *
* * *
The other night, my librarian friend & I were drinking, so we began development of a system of categorization to replace the Dewey Decimal Classification. It is called the Robinson-Malone Obfuscation and it is thus:


[author's middle initial][number of words in title, represented (per angle) by a geometric shape][number of pages reduced, by repeatedly summing individual digits, into a single digit].[birth year of author divided by number of main characters]


[number of letters in title, squared][thickness of first printing of book, in cm, multiplied by 2 and represented via the alphanumeric encoding: a=1, b=2, c=3, etc.(in pictured example, the book was 2.75 cm thick, x2 = 5.5, which becomes the letters e & half of f)].[middle page number (or numbers, if book comprises an even number of pages)].[author's blood type]

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Ad dea aspicio, ultra terminus/
Mille ac mille esurio mea cor, exspecto/
Sum ergo Cupiditas/
Itaque calxa proicio ipsae ex earum locus/
Pro oculus gresso per ager ad eius/

Da mi basia mille, deinde centum/
Dein mille altera dein secunda centum/
Adhuc, non appropinquo laetitia eius/
Cum arcus cycnis, hedera luna alba/
Aut quam sidera multa dies obduco lavo visum/

Praeter parietis, recubo Elysium femina forma/
Cum umerus par casum pluvialis/
Cunabul saeta iacio in nix velius/
Flamen ferito in papilla/
Par equui vado, volito in tumulosa tremulus nimbus/

Visio, Exstasis/
Dexterae, ita lente/
Et cum tacet nox/
Sino quae mea laus/ 
Tendo Voluptas ipsa/
Sono unde procul vallum/


At dawn, I saw, past this border/
A thousand thousand curses to my heart wait, yearning/
I am, thus, Eager Desire/
And so the bricks will fling themselves from their place/
That my eye might tramp through the field toward her/

Give me a thousand kisses, give me a hundred/
Give me then a thousand more and a hundred more/
Yet, it cannot approach the joy that is her/
As the curve of the swan, lovely as the pale moon/
As many as there are stars are the days spent bathing in this sight/

Beyond this wall reclines Elysium in a woman's shape/
With shoulders like fortuitous rainfalls/
Which cradle hair scattered atop snowy skin/
The wind lashes across her breasts/
Like steeds rush, fluttering back and forth over hills of trembling cloud/

Her very sight, ecstasy/
Her hand, slow/
And in the quiet of night/
Allow it that my praise/
Reach Pleasure itself/
Be it heard over this wall/

* * *

~Stay in bed until we’re dead

Focused, hand-to-specs

Beauty knelled, your hands beheld

The error of my sex

Twice I’ve marred my soft eyes hard

Twice I’ve cursed and hexed

Twice I’ve sought for sight you wrought

Your vision now dissects~

~Rifle-rail and hand-to-braile

Dextiread your text

Just to find a plan to blind

Yourself from what comes next

Gooey tales of fingernails

Dire dialects

Sockets sip like lidded lip

And lick with cross-eyed vex~

~Understand, I took your hand

Dark in lower decks

Look and feel your stern and keel

Eyes blur and hand corrects

Know the moon as counternoon

Sunlit, it reflects

Cross an I, from sight to sigh

When finger-felt connects~

~Sheathed in-sheet, slow-sucking sweet

Softened sound affects

Sinew cry and glass of eye

Hand-picks and blind-selects

Heaven-sake, why die awake

Wide-eyed, aching wrecks

Best to’ve slept with hard hands kept

A sight below our necks~

~Stay in bed until we’re dead

Focused, hand-to-specs

Beauty knelled, your hands beheld

The error of my sex~
* * *

Just to clarify for everyone else, my seamstress was gored by a white Catalina bull earlier this week.

A brigand rode it into my anterior television room, which is the room with the TVs you can watch.

The posterior television room is the one where all the TVs face the walls. It's where I go when I don't want to watch Northern Exposure.

I spend most of my time in the posterior television room, obviously.

Which is why I had to hear of this incident second-hand from the woodcutter who was turned into an armchair by a wizard.

He spends most of his time in the anterior television room so he can spy on the seamstress who has no idea about furnituremorphic creatures.

He watches her while she masturbates in the fireplace, watching Northern Exposure, which is only sort of ironic.

She does it in the fireplace because this one time the armchair gave her a funny feeling.

The sounds my seamstress was making in her oblivious onanistic rapture only served to agitate the damnable bull. Or "damnabull."

So the white Catalina bull charges her, and she doesn't notice, what with the darkness of the chimney and Barry Corbin and all.

And the armchair/woodcutter tilts himself (the armchair version of throwing) into the path of the animal.

The great alabaster beast rips through the chairman, who is still filled with human insides, as is the gross magic of wizards.

The entrails of the living chair spray all over my seamstress just as she climaxes. The word "stuffing" is elegantly dismissed.

So, after the gore, she comes to me, seamstress seems stressed, tells me that she was, "totally gored," and quits on the spot.

So, it's been a pretty rough week for me. I've got no-one to sew up this damn chair and Northern Exposure isn't on in ten minutes, for once.
* * *

How to ReadA comprehensive guide
First Unit
The Letters

Letter One of Twenty-Six (A a)

[fig. 1], [fig. 2] As in the A in "this is how to pronounce the letter A."

[fig.3] As in "I can never remember if tall & large are the same thing when ordering coffee. Also, grande."

[fig. 4] As in the word "chat," which is the French word for "cat" and whose vowel is pronounced as that in "chat," which is the English word for "chat."

[fig. 5], [fig. 6] As in, uh, something.
Any alliteration assigns an author as amateurish and asinine. Also: an asshole.
A is a wholly unique member of the Alphabet. Not only is it the only letter whose position in the Alphabet is the same as its position in the word "Alphabet" (i.e. first and fifth), but it also begins the majority of single-letter English articles.

The primary nature of A is itself a lesson on the importance of starting things at their beginning. You will find, as you embark upon your quest for literacy, that one of the imperative strategies for reading is to read the beginning of the word first. This is key. In this spirit, our exploration of the Alphabet will commence with the first letter, A, which we have just covered.

Chapter A Exercises

1. Using what you learned in this section, complete the Alphabet:

            __ B C D E F G H I J K L M
            N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

2. Compile a list of everyone you know whose first initial is A. Then, make a list of people whose last initial is A. Compare the lists. Doesn't the term "last initial" seem odd? I think it does.

Letter Two of Twenty-Six (B b)


Like "be" without the "e" (see E).

B was first discovered by early etymologists 45 billion years ago (previously known as 45 illion years ago), sparking a heated fissure that created the rogue, fringe group of ex-classical etymologists, known as "ontologists." ~There are no other facts about the letter B. This chapter is over.
Chapter B Exercises

1. Write a short story using the letter B as a main character. Get it published in every literary magazine in the western world. Forget your dreams of becoming literate. Revel in your fame. Recieve an offer for a movie version of the story. Make a solid bundle. Move to a house made of strong, bare wood with a grand veranda that faces west. The house is on a cool, placid lake. There is a very large bed with very fine linens. Wake each morning in it with different, multiple sex companions who show earnest interest in your story, but know only the details of the film version. Watch less and less television as you see more and more commercials for fast-food figurine toys of the characters from the movie and spend less and less time online as you notice more and more internet ads for the book-on-mp3 version of the novelization of the movie (read by the actor who played B). Wake each morning with people who know nothing of your work nor any literature, really. Begin drinking first thing in the morning. Duck calls from your publisher, from the movie people. Curse the sunset from the veranda. Throw empty liquor bottles at the lake. Fall down your hard, wooden staircase and wake hours later, bleeding, in a small pool of vomit. Wonder how it has come to this. Buy a yacht and set fire to it. Cry every day, all day, in a soft and slow way. Breathe. Dig a shallow hole in the backyard, near the water, near the ashes, and sit in it. Hug the shovel and wait for rain that will not come. Do not shiver in the cool night that beaches itself in from the lake. Breathe. Think of another story, a longer one. One about a man who has nothing and is happy. He dies at the end, in a slow and terrible way and he regrets his happiness. He denies it and then he dies. Do not commit this story to paper or memory. Forget quickly its nuance. Make a mental note to buy a gun. Breathe.

Letter Three of Twenty-Six (C c)


C is pronounced like S (see ch. 19) or K (see ch. 11), as in "civic" and "coelacanth."

When C is paired with H (see ch. 8) it can have a pronunciation as in "lichen" and "chronometer."
While C is often referred to as the "bronze medal letter," its third-string placement in the Alphabet belies the integral role it plays in the world. Without C one couldn't comprehend. One couldn't compose. One couldn't couldn't. Without C the chaste would stop abstaining, in haste. It would be chaos, which would be haos, which is so absurd that this hapter is over.

Chapter C Exercises

1. Try to write an entire phrase without using this segment's letter. You will find that it is impossible.

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