Passive Mouse

Derelict passive mouse blog on the weekend has several jobs: primarily to make sure she makes sense. The second is bloggier: I make sure any pregnant children get health-care of the highest quality. The best cheeses at the corporate supermarket (Safeway) are fine if they’re already in your fridge, but when it comes time to replace them, the best cheeses, why not go to the worker-owned grocery store (Rainbow) and buy that Leftist cheddar. Once everyone’s sure they make sense — in the sense that the language pour is robust or solid, making sure the iPod is charging, don’t telegraph anything, — break open a Thought Experiment Set Piece: the adult stoner’s choiceless afternoon (multiplex).

If it’s on my blog, you can be sure it’s vegan AND kosher, so sup.

Language classes:
the false choice of the breastless necktie.

Preemptive salad:
Not a snack, precisely,
and prime.

Lame basalt cup on a hooded truck’s best rodeo gear:
If sense is your master, then this is one holiday potluck
where you won’t have much luck
finding food

The horniest llama at the petting zoo,
Sarah.

If it’s important for fiction to advertise itself as socially conscious and that some of the proceeds will go toward buying the author’s daughters farmer’s cheese, please, please, revise, revise. Salad like typos cranberries itself up into a defecit — My deficit. A blinded salad’s cranberries flare out (“like jeans”–Cricket Pete). If a college salad freezes on a plate, it’ll be imperative that your reading end quickly. And begin again just as soon.

I’ll not make a plate of sense for you, Imperativa. And a beautiful name, totally — Imperativa. Your purple Honda conceals many curves — I’d love to ride shotgun and change the CDs for you. Let’s meet back here later; “Continue the Story.”  I’ve got a Nintendo DS full of stories for you. Knowing, winking, awful self-conscious stories about children of privilege ruining themselves against backdrops of total suffering.

Mail Sack

Hi Readers!

Every Week We Here at my blog get almost Thousands of letters, emails, texts, mails, balloons, of all stripes — all of them grammatical, all of them fine. A typo or two here or there is actually healthy — in precisely the same way that a forest fire is healthy for Ecology. You’re interested in What Walter Benjamin thought about Paul Klee? Well I’m interested in what you, the reader, think about Paul Klee! Pretty affectionate, pretty generous, I am, huh?

Let’s take a look at some recent letters.

Dear Andrew,
How come your name isn’t on your blog? It’s pretty easy if you have an iPhone or even a dial-up internet connection to figure out who you are, but you still kinda fake-occlude your identity on your blog. What gives? I heard you’re vegetarian now?
With Real, Romantic Love,
Daniel Coane
Samp Stones, NJ

Heya Daniel,
Joshua Cohen recently “argued” that, to “our” (mine, his, Tao Lin’s)
generation,

transparency is the new sincerity; many of our peers maintain that it’s psychologically healthy, and artistic, to expose oneself entirely online. Anonymity was so 1990s—the Age of Fake Screen Names. Today, only utter exposure can set one free, while the only thing proscribed is regret.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned? Probably I’m just terrified of my boss.
Erotically,
Q.

Dear @Quailty,
Why do you speak in riddles? Isn’t the point of communication to, like, communicate? What’s the difference between a chat-room conversation and a correspondence conducted via USPS on expensive stationery?
Smiles,
Adults Pretending to be Teenagers

Ads,
More like Adults Acting Like Teenagers! I’m thinking about quitting my job.
Lol,
A.

Whoops That’s all we’ve got time for this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nyc, 1993

INTERVIEWER

I wish your daughter could read your poetry. But with titles like “Neighborly Cum,” you’ve presumably guaranteed that she won’t be allowed, either by yourself or her tutors. And when she does find your work, chances are, she’ll be disturbed forever. I have to ask: Why do you all but ensure that at some point in her life, your daughter will be disturbed?

DERRICK RAPEWONE

I’m not the one ensuring that she’ll be disturbed. Old Barry Life-Truths is the one who makes sure of that. If it’s not “Neighborly Cum,” it’s Return to Oz (1985, Walter Murch, dir.) at a friend’s house—or any number of other horrors one can’t slide through life without being forcibly pressed up against them for longish periods of time.

INTERVIEWER

But why add to the horror by writing a poem like “Neighborly Cum”?

DERRICK RAPEWONE

I’m not making myself understood. I’m not adding to the horror. This is like asking why I’m adding to the flood by dipping my bucket into the angry, swollen creek and reserving that water for tonight’s broths, sipped in misery among the bloated, flood-ravaged corpses of our friends. The water is there, whether it’s in the creek with the dead catfish or if it’s in my tureen—with the dead catfish. [Smiles, awkwardly adjusts his pants, smiles again, grabs a full fistful of the wasabi peas on the table between them. He has small hands.] I’m not inventing the water, and I’m not conjuring it. I’m carrying it.

INTERVIEWER

But you could leave it in the creek. You don’t need to fetch it. Let it pass on.

DERRICK RAPEWONE

You describe the water as something in transit — just passing through our encampment, on its way to nobler fates — a job at a university, maybe, or a self-employment that manages to fuse social justice with a “hip” cultural engagement? Or just broader diffusion into the ocean, for example. Sure. But as it rushes west, the water is also quite a static thing. The creek is there—sometimes swollen, sometimes “normal,” now and then quite meager—but it’s there year-round. Just like your arms, or your thighs—sometimes swollen, sometimes meager, always present. [Derrick, looking away from the interviewer’s thighs, thinks about them.]

INTERVIEWER

Your work often mentions self-loathing, and something you call “fake self-loathing.” Do you really hate yourself?

DERRICK RAPEWONE

Well, yes, I do, but this isn’t really why I use those words. I think of self-loathing as an artistic tool, a raw material — it’s a particular brand and color of paint that I buy in quantity, and use in my compositions. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a subject of mine, no more than you could accuse a painter of using “brown” or “blue” as her subject.

[Originally published in Fake Paris Review, Issue 2, Spring 1994]

Biofuels Digest

ADAM SPIEGEL, HERE.
I’M A RETIRED NEWSPAPER PUBLISHER. I’M ALSO SIGHT-IMPAIRED (RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA), SO I REQUISITION MY WONDERFUL SISTER POLLY TO READ YOUR NEWSLETTER TO ME. DAILY.
ROUTINELY, UPON REFLECTING ON THE CONTENT OF EACH NEW ISSUE, I AM STRUCK BY THE EXTRAORDINARILY ELEVATED TONE OF ITS PROSE. IT IS SO LUCID, SO EFFICIENTLY INFORMATIVE, SO FULL OF CARE IN ITS SHADING OF INFLAMMATORY ISSUES, THAT TODAY I CAUGHT MYSELF THINKING — AS POLLY FINISHED READING YOUR RECENT PIECE ON WATER AVAILABILITY AND USAGE
“YOU, SIR, CONTITUTE A STAND-ALONE HEMI-QUANTIFIABLE NATIONAL RESOURCE…
…SO IMPORTANT IS THE SUCCESS OF YOUR ANNUAL OUTPUT.”
ALBEST,
ADAM SPIEGEL

I have a Google Alert for retinitis pigmentosa. Occasionally, like a well-meaning pet cat dropping the corpse of a gorgeous titmouse at the feet of its owner, it brings me gifts. (I hope my bad analogy doesn’t seem unkind; I love this letter.)

CSR

AG: …and have been published or are forthcoming in ROAPE, Mouthwagon, and Came-Tree.

AL: So you’re a freelance writer? Is that how you pay the bills?

AG: Periodicals publish my writing, yes, but I’m not a freelancer. I’m a writer.

AL: Fine, right. OK. But how do you make money?

AG: I don’t, really. I’ve been living off my savings. Raising my son.

AL: That sounds nice…

AG: It is. I started a pomegranate orchard in my yard.

AL: So money’s not a problem?

AG: Not right now, anyway. I might start volunteering with this political pain intellectual suffering charity thing soon

AL: But that’s volunteer, so they won’t be paying you?

AG: Right. I guess that won’t make any money. But it’ll take time, so the day won’t be quite so empty…

AL: Lots of people don’t have that luxury. They have these awesome sprawling narratives inside them, but they have to work to pay the

AG: Yeah, I know, I realize that it’s a luxury not to have to work and to get to write about fictional people all day. What’s your point?

AL: I guess… I just want you to know… that I wish some of those people… the writers who have to waste their days answering customer service emails, while you grow pomegranates and write stupid poems about pomegranates that are published in

AG: …periodicals including Roiphe’s Bones, College Radio Fiction, AGNI…

AL: … I wish those people who have no choice but to struggle and waste their time on unsatisfying labor could have even a few minutes with you in a  dark room with a whiffle-ball bat, making you feel extremely uncomfortable. It wouldn’t take much. That’d be justice, by my lights

AG: Damn your lights. I may not need to answer customer service emails all day but when I write my poems, some of which have explicitly taken up as their subject the suffering of the customer service representative, I am forced to experience the pain and the boredom and the angst and everything that the CSR feels. So being a writer isn’t any better than being a CSR, at least as long as you’re writing about the great struggles of modernity — the struggle of the Customer Service Representative — which I am. Which I hope I am. Maybe I should write about horny teens in paradise. It might be more fun…

AL: Can I have another one of those…

AG: They’re called “Flynt Martinis.” Help yourself.

Triumpffffffff

A totally new blend of apathy,
super-grateful for your support

Click The Heart icon, <3 <3
as it Depresses, it makes uh Eponymous Sound.

Hot gurgling; Money. The beginning

ahh fuck this Are you writing POETRy??

Gray Ranch must be some sort of code.
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THIS TEXT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE WORK
I’M BEING PAID TO DO, THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY
SMELLS LIKE PINE

Your lack of ambition doesn’t scan as humble.
It reeks as badly as the strainers’. The effortful b.o. of
Apples and oranges, both reek. Rotten sirloins
v. spoiled honeydew. Daria.

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