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Sinking back into a wine-induced, near-constant stupor, he reads the review and wonders whether the joke was on him or he is the joke on all of it.

His wife, well sort of, tells him to quit, move back to Brooklyn, and scratch the itch that’s been itching, that he’s not been scratching, since at least 1995. All of it comes back to that, all of it, she says when she’s in the mood to say such things.

Once, at a conference, drunk, he expounded upon the literature of the no. But now he has a hard time reading it. He is embarrassed about it, years later. It was in Chicago, or was in Long Beach, that he did that?

His wife says We’ll open a bookstore and then you will have some time. In return, he wonders aloud, pessimistically. Still, the food would be better.

He wonders, not aloud, later, about turning the screws tight, stripping them in fact, and then never being able to unscrew them.

His wife, well sort of, tells him to do an hour a day on it, that that is him at his best. But he simply can’t

He wonders whether the joke was on him or he is the joke on all of it, and then he writes this post.

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 4, 2010 at 1:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. Hey, are you doing okay? I hope they haven’t sold you all off into the salt mines over there in the Brit system-changes stuff. Or, if they did, that the salt mines are where you want to be.

    PS, I’d throw Stein’s “Patriarchal Poetry” at them and then “Tender Buttons” — first the one that seems to make sense, and then the really crazy stuff. But I haven’t read most of her prose stuff, so what do I know.


    February 4, 2010 at 2:24 am

  2. His wife says We’ll open a bookstore and then you will have some time.

    One of my favourite bloggers – and this is only speculation on my part, mind, but plausible – spends his time in his bookstore writing about the most amazing stuff. Whilst another of my favourite bloggers has abandoned a novel she was writing and wrote about that quite beautifully.


    February 4, 2010 at 6:09 am

  3. Sisyphus,

    No I’m fine job-wise for now. Just sent off abstracts and what not for the book and am on schedule, vaguely. The situation in the UK is extremely fucking dire though – Kings College, for instance, is making every single faculty member in Arts and Humanities reapply for their own jobs this month. We’ll see. I might actually be about to turn from passive to active union member.


    Good links. The issue in my case, though, is a little more self-inflicted than in the second case, which is a lovely post…


    February 4, 2010 at 8:58 am

  4. and the other?


    February 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm

  5. Brooklyn could sure use a really good bookstore these days…the Slope lost all its used ones to rising rents… only BN and the animal-farm like atmosphere that’s Community Bookstore remain… Unnameable Books moved to Prospect Heights and continues to harbor gem laden shelves… Cobble Hill has got the great recession goods though: Atlantic Ave Books holds steady, Heights Books now’s on Smith… Community Bookstore’s still the superb fire hazard its been before gentrification took, the venerable BookCourt in its shining expanded space… and in Dumbo PS Books (which, fwiw, has the comfiest old faded floral print couch on which to read away your lunch hr in all the 5 burrows) is moving to a huge new space with floor to ceiling windows on the corner of Front & Washington… a bookstore, in Bklyn., man, that’s a dream worth dreaming, like squaring the circle, even better than opening a wine shoppe, … just let me know when– I’ll chip in to help build those custom shelves. And yes, the food’s much better… must be the water.

    PS I miss the 1st person. Where’d that guy go?


    February 5, 2010 at 5:59 am

  6. The 1st person guy is a bit confused and finds it easier in the 3rd, in persona, for the moment. He’s also been reading too much Handke and too much Berryman.

    But yes, the bookstores. I am not cut out for that sort of thing anyway… But hopefully I’ll be back to tour some of those soon. I still haven’t seen the expanded BookCourt…


    February 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm

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