Archive for July, 2011


July 31, 2011

The little princess held classes for the birds that strutted on the palace patios. She pretended to teach them math, the alphabet, and etiquette. Her uncle felt he still held some power, and had two or three loyal agents trying to dig up some dirt on her deceased parents. He didn’t have the energy to do it himself. In fact he received most of their reports in bed, looking out the window at the princess on the patio. He suspected that the steward, friend of her father, must be slipping him something to make him this fatigued.


thrownness and love

July 30, 2011

He thought that the degree to which trivialities become the essential and titanic drama of life is a measure of how locked in you are to a relationship. Examples: being committed to a long-term family partnership, or jailed with a fellow prisoner. He also theorized that how much you transcend these essential dramas is a measure of the love between you. Love not as in passion, but a pervasive affection. He had a chance to test these theories in both situations. At first he wasn’t sure it would be possible to love a fellow prisoner with whom he was paired randomly, but over time he came to believe it was inevitable.

books grown in a vat

July 29, 2011

Bioengineering was used to produced books with pages flexible as paper and durable as plastic. One day a virus ran through the production facility and caused misprints. The virus was isolated and then adapted to produce semi-random works of text. They dubbed it the Gysin virus. Experimenters, or should we call them artists? authors? Literary bio-engineers? They put various evolutionary pressures on strains of the virus to produce different texts. Another possibility opened up by the bio-engineered book was a book that gradually changed into another book over time. You could read it when you first got it, then pick it up again a year later and read a different story. Depending on how fast you read, the book might be changing under your eyes as you read – rather like reading an Anna Kavan novel.

harvest festival

July 28, 2011

An invitation arrives from a friend, to an end of the summer house-warming party. There is no address. They call the friend to get an address but only get voicemail. The friend calls to make sure they are coming – but leaves a voicemail, again with no address. Oh well, they don’t make the party. They run into another friend who reminsces about it, as if they were there. They try to correct him, but he insists they were there, and relates a story they told. This happens with another acquaintance, then a third.


July 27, 2011

I stood between the pursuing officers, and offered them fractions of their goal. I didn’t pay attention enough to see if they accepted or not, but gave the signal, and my partners fell upon them and took away their cords of judgement.

We left their bodies in a hole outside of town. Dawn came before we had time to fill the hole with dirt. Anyway we had the cords. we had to plan how to use them to create a false trail.


July 26, 2011

Pat didn’t think the job posting was real, but he thought it would be entertaining. The interview was at a low-rent office park two exits past the mall. Not upscale enough for a dentist’s office, or even a chiropractor. Lots of the signs identifying the businesses had “import” or “export” somewhere in the text. The office was almost empty of furniture. A bored, large man in a suit who sat in the front room checked his name, sent him back to an interior room, and then went back to his magazine.

Inside the inner office a pudgy man in a Hawaiian shirt sat on a chair looking at his phone. He looked up when Pat walked in. “OK. Thanks for coming. I first tried interviewing at my house, but it got a little weird. I didn’t want people wandering around there. So I rented this place for a few days. Well, as you can see it’s all set up.” And indeed leaves and papers lay on a table in front of a folding chair. Pat sat down and gave it a try. As he worked the man talked. “I realized one day that I don’t need to smoke machine-made cigars anymore. In fact, i can insist on my cigars being made by one particular person. I decided to find that person.”


July 25, 2011

He slipped as he was walking across the muddy field. As he fell, momentum carried his pack forward. He had been carrying it only over one shoulder, and now it slipped off and away. He stretched out his hand but fell without reaching it. It shot forward a few more feet and landed with a loud bang. It had set off a mine and exploded. His fall had saved him from stepping on the mine himself. He got to his knees and looked around. How was he going to get out of the field? He had no way to test for other mines. He could not stay there. No one was coming to help. What was the best way to move? A slow creep? A fast run? A confident walk? Did it make any difference?


July 24, 2011

He studied the application of fluid dynamics to urban populations. Lessons had already been learned about commuter traffic flows, but what about looking at it from a larger time frame – migrations of populations. He discovered that the laws of osmotic pressure applied to the mixing of certain groups, but not others.


July 23, 2011

Somehow in the process of preserving their garden crop of vegetables they ruin it all. Without getting help from neighbors they will go hungry in the winter. The mother in law blames the wife, who is due to give birth in the winter as well.

index case

July 22, 2011

during one of my weekend walks through the desert near my house, as i was walking through a stand of cactus i suddenly felt a wet itch all over. i’m still not sure whether i was pricked by the cactus or not. seized by an intution i walked straight home from there and was so fatigued by the time i arrived i barely made it to my bed. i woke up bloated with water and still thirsty. very uncomfortable. i recovered in a few days, but then my cat got sick. she got really listless, then bloated up and died. now i was really nervous. i wasn’t sure if i even wanted to go to the doctor’s office, but i feel i have to before i go back to work. that’s how it started. whatever career i was pursuing is effectively over. i am an important person, so i’m told, but not for anything i’ve done.