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[MARCH 2010.]

At the Law Office

—Fuck this meeting. I don’t even know why I’m going to it. I guess I have to.
—It’s like in Kafka: “I do this only to keep you from thinking that you have left something undone.”
—Fucking Kafka. That guy had it all figured out.

don't use the "f" word!

Tell my colleague.

potty mouths

didn't he, though?

Coincidentally, "Fucking Kafka" is the most beautiful phrase in the English language, considered as pure prosody.

There is also the transformation “Mussing Samsa.”


An awful machine outdoors won’t quit beeping. I didn’t always understand the phrase “wave of exhaustion,” but in this chair with my eyes shut the wave crests and breaks, my hearing fills up and the machine goes away, then after a few seconds it comes back. Will it be permitted to go on for days and nights? Why build a thing that does this?


Carrion items are limited to one carrion plus one smaller personal item such as a backpack or purse.


Winnemucca, Nevada: as featured in the Johnny Cash number “I’ve Been Everywhere.” So have I. Empty head, too slack to get thoughts down, even my hand around the pen isn’t quite strong enough for proper handwriting. Read Abe on the plane, made me think of Lutosławski. Why? Old structures with new tools. Better put: structures with new materials, as sturdy as the old. They pass the stress test. A page does as much as an entire nouveau roman.

Enormous enchilada plate. Everyone around me talks with a twang. Fellow my age tells his phone: “for years di’n’t have nowhere to live cept with my parents.” So say we all, bud. If you have to dine alone: bring a notebook and the restaurant will think you’re reviewing them. Is it true? I think I got the tip from Steve Martin in The Lonely Guy. Expense-account margarita for aperitif, Negra Modelo for digestif, dark and bitter to cut through all this cheese. When I get back to California I’ll eat nothing but celery and rainbow chard for a year. But when they bring the bill it’s half what I expected. Because of high prices at home? No: because I’m not used to eating alone.


Had a Thursday that felt very late in history, as if its lateness were not just a perspective trick but something inherent and steady. Over the the hills strands of white cloud and the daytime moon, an ice-drop of the same stuff. Thought about Shakespeare and the simple English noun. About being tired.

That was Thursday last week, after I had handed in the dissertation. It won’t let me go yet because I need to wrangle an eleventh-hour committee change, useless ceremony for my useless doctorate. It was a bad week for ten reasons; all I can say is that it’s over.


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